Olivia Aberdeen, destitute widow of a man shot as a traitor to the South, is shunned by proper society and gratefully accepts an invitation from "Aunt" Elizabeth Harding, mistress of Belle Meade Plantation. Expecting to be the Harding's head housekeeper, Olivia is disillusioned when she learns the real reason Elizabeth's husband, Confederate General William Giles Harding, agreed to her coming. Not finding the safe haven she expects, Olivia is caught off guard by her feelings for Ridley Adam Cooper, a Southern man who seems anything but a Southern gentleman.
Branded a traitor by some, Ridley Cooper, a Southern son who chose to fight for the Union, is a man desperate to end the war still raging inside him. Determined to learn "the gift" that Belle Meade's head horse trainer and former slave, Bob Green, possesses, Ridley harbors secrets that threaten both their lives.
As Ridley seeks to make peace within himself for "betraying" the South he loved, Olivia is determined to never be betrayed again.
This is a book to get lost in. The best I have read by Tamera Alexander. It was hard for Union sympathizers after the Civil War, and even harder if your husband was one of them. The brutality of the killing of Olivia's husband is probably true. I'm sure it happened, and that was probably a mild reaction of the people.
Tammy handled the whole subject of prejudice with poise and understanding. The insight into the training of thoroughbred race horses was amazing. We are all informed of the runnings of a mansion the size of Belle Meade. Every character was enchanting and endearing.
I recommend this book highly. Also, you can tour Belle Meade Mansion in Nashville, TN and learn for yourself about the beginnings of horse racing in America. This book is definitely a 5 star.