Deb’s Dozen: Bourbon Belle, a race to win, prejudice to overcome, a promise made.
Maggie Linden loves the horse she’s raised from a colt, Bourbon Belle. Riding before the wind on Belle’s back thrills her like nothing else. However, in her heart of hearts, she’s afraid she may lose Belle. The Civil War and its aftermath has impoverished her father as well as many others in the area. They’ve already sold off their other horses to General Harding at Belle Meade Plantation and can’t even afford to plant the fields to grow paying crops. But if Bourbon Belle can win the Peyton Stakes, the purse of $35,000.00 will bring them out of poverty and allow them to rebuild.
Cullen McGrath, an Irish immigrant, sees the incredible picture of the horse and rider speeding across the fields and is entranced. He’s come to Kentucky to build his fortune and has the cash to do it. Luckily he has cash, for in post-Civil War Kentucky, Irish are looked on the same as are blacks. The prejudice is intense against both.
Cullen comes to Linden Downs and asks Maggie’s’ father if he’s willing to sell his estate. Her father agrees with one condition: Cullen must marry Maggie. Cullen, who lost his wife and baby daughter on the voyage from England, is taken aback at the request. However, after considering the request agrees. Now all they have to do is convince Maggie.
How Cullen and Maggie clash and survive, how Bourbon Belle inspires them both, how the South persecutes blacks and Irish alike (read KKK), all make for a wonderful story of love and redemption. You will want to buy this latest entry in the Belle Meade series. Be prepared to read with a box of tissues by your side for you’ll laugh and cry throughout the book. To Win Her Favor is the best by Alexander I’ve read—what a talent you are, Tamera!
Zondervan Publishing gave me access to a Netgalley copy of this book in exchange for my candid review.