Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"To Win Her Favor" by Tamera Alexander {Age Warning!}

{{TO Those under the age of 15, I recommend you do not read this review or read the actual book as it is filled with marriage thoughts and actions through an arranged marriage. (read: not clean) TO everyone else interested in this book, I don’t recommend this book at all because of all the sexual content, which there is a lot of, this book has bedroom scenes and does not promote Philippians 4:8.}}   
About this book:

  “A gifted rider in a world where ladies never race, Maggie Linden is determined that her horse will become a champion. But the one man who can help her has vowed to stay away from thoroughbred racing for good.
  An Irish-born son far from home, Cullen McGrath left a once prosperous life in England because of a horse racing scandal that nearly ruined him. He’s come to Nashville for a fresh start, hoping to buy land and start a farm, all while determined to stay as far away from thoroughbred racing as possible. But starting over proves harder than he’d wagered, especially when Maggie Linden’s father makes him an offer he shouldn’t accept yet cannot possibly refuse.
  Maggie is certain that her mare, Bourbon Belle, can take the top purse in the annual Drayton Stakes at Nashville’s racetrack––the richest race run in America. Maggie only needs the chance to prove it. To give her that chance, and to save Linden Downs from being sold to the highest bidder, Maggie’s father––aging, yet wily as ever––makes a barter. His agreement includes one tiny, troublesome detail––Maggie must marry a man she’s never met. A man she never would have chosen for herself.
  Cullen and Maggie need each other in order to achieve their dreams. But their stubborn, wounded hearts––and the escalating violence from a "secret society" responsible for lynchings and midnight raids––may prove too much for even two determined souls.”

Series: Book #2 in the “Belle Meade Plantation” series. {I have read & reviewed Book #1, “To Whisper Her Name”, but it looks like I never posted it! I can tell y’all that I give it 4 Stars for My Personal Rating.}

Spiritual Content- Psalm 61:3 at the beginning; Prayers; Mentions of Heaven; ‘H’s are not capital when referring to God; Scriptures are mentioned & Bible reading; Mentions of those in the Bible; Cullen isn’t a big fan of God and thinks God is cruel.
*Note: a ‘devilish’.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘bloody’ and a ‘dumb’; Curses are cut off (like “you sorry piece of—“); Hateful names are said but not written (though “n*gg*r” is said quite a few times along with “white n*gg*r”); Fist fighting (borderline semi-detailed to detailed); Violence to African American people, hanging them, burning their houses and just plain cruelty to them (semi-detailed); Blood (semi-detailed); Many mentions of slaves, freemen & the Civil War; Mentions of gambling & drinking; Mentions of tobacco; mentions of thrashings & whippings; Dead cows (semi-detailed); a sick horse (semi-detailed).

Sexual Content- Touches & Smelling (semi-detailed and goes to detailed); Noticing, staring, Imagining & checking someone out (semi-detailed up to detailed); Wanting to kiss & touch (semi-detailed to detailed); ; Hand kisses, forehead kisses & tingles; Remembering kisses (semi-detailed); five semi-detailed kisses; a Very-detailed kiss; two very-very-very detailed kisses that lead to unbuttoning clothing and a total of five hinted s*x scenes (lots of unbuttoning (semi-detailed), imagining body parts and making-out; the actual intercourse is not written); a form of ‘wanton’; Mentions of women’s curves; Men’s bare chest; Cullen says he hasn’t been with (read: in bed with) another woman since his wife’s death but there is a mentions of women who would lean over & offer “him a generous view of what was cinched beneath tightly-fitted bodices”; Many, many mentions of consummating a marriage, becoming one, sharing love not wearing clothing & being intimate with someone (Like: “Two of those union—interminable as they were—she could live with under the circumstances. But that of the body? She gulped. She could no more be intimate with this man beside her than she could any stranger on the street. And he’d been married before, which means he knew all about...Well everything. And she knew next to nothing. Then again, his being an Irishmen, he’d likely already known about all of that long before marriage.”); A memory of Maggie learning from her brother about the birds & the bees (“She and Savannah had “accidentally” been snooping in one of her brothers’ bedrooms when they found a stack of pencil drawings. Drawings of scantily-clad women. Why her brothers would ever want such things made no sense. But what stood out in Maggie’s memory most was the frank conversation Oak had with her afterward. ‘Knowing Ma, she’s not likely to ever say any of this to you, and it’s time you knew at least a little.’ Growing up on a farm, Maggie was familiar with how the animals often played with each other. But not until that enlightening conversation with her eldest brother had she begun to understand the full meaning of the word play.); three mentions of wifely duties; four mentions of a wedding night; nine mentions of sharing a bed (up to semi-detailed); Maggie wearing just a nightgown goes to the kitchen and Cullen walks in on her and comments quite a few times on how she should walk around and twirl for him; Mentions of ladies’ chests (Like: “Why was it men preferred women with larger busts? In the drawings she’d found in her brother’s room, every one of those women had a bosom ample enough to suffocate a small child. Women with waists so tiny and middles corseted so tight everything spilled over the top like bread left too long to rise. Well, if that’s what Cullen Michael McGrath liked in women, then he could just—“) A mention of girls who blossomed and when younger Maggie tried to get boys’ attention by pulling “her long hair forward over her chest, arranging the curls just so, hoping to give the appearance of substance where there was none. But as her brother Abe had told her in that teasing voice, “You can’t hide what you haven’t got, Little Mag.””; a mention of a man who had his female slaves come “visit” him in a home (barely-above-not-detailed); Love, an arranged marriage, falling in love & the emotion (lots and lots and lots!)
          *Note: Four mentions of a filly being sired by a stallion.

-Maggie Linden
-Cullen McGrath
                                        P.O.V. switches between Maggie & Cullen
                                              Set in 1869 (Epilogue 1870)
                                                        352 pages

Pre Teens-
New Teens- 
Early High School Teens- 
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-
*sigh* I have never been so disappointed in a book before. Ever. I’ve considered Tamera Alexander one of my favorite authors ever since reading three of her books, all which I really enjoyed. “A Beauty So Rare” being her last release (published by Bethany House) which got five stars from me. Her newest book (this one) is getting one star, as that’s as low as I can go. I am so disappointed. While reading it, I kept looking back at the cover to see if it really was her and not, say, Francine Rivers. Interesting side note: F.R. and T.A. have been going to a lot of writing conferences together, both ladies say they’re very good friends. I was a bit worried when I saw I was not a fan of “Bridge to Haven” by Francine Rivers (Very, very, very sexual) and was hoping that Miss Tamera would influence her; looks like it was the other way around, sadly. Had I known this would be an arranged marriage book, I would have not picked it up. Arranged marriage books always have sexual content that is not needed. What happens in a married couples’ bedroom should stay in that bedroom; meaning being PRIVATE. Why authors think it’s okay to put this intimate stuff in, is beyond me. *sigh* The Civil War era is the hardest historical time for me to read about. I just can’t understand it, the prejudice is awful. And there was a lot of it in this book had me on the verge of tears and throwing up. I’m so disappointed about this book, I now will be cautious with this author’s books.

See y’all on Friday with a new review!

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this book for free from the Publisher (Zondervan) for this review.

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