Set at Nashville’s historic Belle Meade Plantation, the most influential thoroughbred stud farm in America’s history, To Whisper Her Name weaves the struggles of real people of the post-war South with the journeys of a man and a woman scarred by betrayal.
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.
I am now officially in love with all of Tamera Alexander’s southern historical novels. She is literally the master of story telling and weaving memorable characters and tales that will stay with you for a while. Any novel that she pens in this category is an instant buy for me!
First off, lets just say how beautiful this cover is! I mean come on, it is to die for. I love how they managed to create a dress that matches Olivia’s to a T. Well done to the costume department and designers.
I fell madly in love with this book and loved everything about it. Olivia and Ridley were just suburb together, I JUST LOVED THEM. The first time they meet as they both were arriving to Belle Meade was hilarious how she is stuck in the carriage after it’s mishap – she won’t own up to needing his help getting out as she is embarrassed, but eventually she accepts it.
Ridley is at Belle Meade due to previously meeting Uncle Bob during his time in Civil War. He hopes that Uncle Bob can impart his horse wisdom on him as he wants a clean break from his secret past, to move west and start his own ranch away from the hard times that was dealt due to the war. During his time at Belle Meade, he starts to form feelings for Olivia, and she does for him. I love it when Ridley gets one of the plantation workers to give him a hair cut and shave – and boy does he clean up good. He intends not to give Olivia the slightest bit of head start as he intends on courting her. I loved how he scaled the trellis to her window and coaxes her to come down with him like young smitten lovers.
Olivia also has a fear of horses, dating back to her childhood when she was thrown from one while riding. Upon learning this, Ridley numerously tries to coax her to the stables to get her used to the horses and to face her fear. He was quite patient while doing this.
Ridley has a secret, and eventually all secrets comes out, which puts a small riff between him and Olivia plus General Harding (the owner of Belle Meade) which results in him leaving ahead of time to go west after he collects his pay. He asks Olivia to go with him, but she just can’t after she finds out the secret he harbors. So he leaves without her, heart broken. Eventually she over looks what he has done and realizes, he is just a man, and that she loves him, so she leaves Belle Meade in hopes to catch up with his travel wagon that is headed to Colorado. I dont know about everyone else, but I love when one of the main characters (preferably the male one but hey I won’t complain that its the other way around) wakes up and realizes they let something really great slip through their hands and they decide in the end to go after it.
Not only is Olivia and Ridley great characters, but this book also has great secondary characters as well – meaning the plantation workers. I love when authors writes the dialog between them differently – with a little bit of slang. I feel like it makes it much more realistic when it is done this way.
I feel like when Tamera writes these types of books, she really puts her heart and soul into them, creating a beautiful masterpiece that shouldn’t be missed by anyone whom loves a good southern historical romance story. Well done Tamera, well done!