Monday, June 2, 2014

Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer

When Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston from an eastern finishing school, she's stunned to find her father in ill health. Though she loves him, he's only ever focused on what she's not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run their family business, Renard Shipping.Vowing to secure a suitable marriage partner to alleviate her father's fears and save their family from danger, Nicole sets out with the Renard family's greatest treasure.

Darius Thornton needs a secretary--someone to help him get his notes in order. Ever since the boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana, Darius has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. The pretty young socialite who applies for the job baffles him with her knowledge of mathematics and steamships. He decides to take a risk and hire her, but he's determined her attractive face and fancy clothes won't distract him from his important research.

As Darius' experiments get more dangerous, Nicole cannot help but feel that sparks are beginning to fly between them. Darius Thornton is not the sort of man debutante Nicole Renard could ever marry. But can she stop her heart from surging full steam ahead?

Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer was a sweet and charming novel that was a perfect summer time read. Quick paced and exciting, I was glued to the pages for the entire novel. The plot was entertaining and contained some suspense, mystery, and, of course, romance. I found the topic of steamboats and how they were originally extremely unreliable and could blow up at any change to be very interesting. The characters were well written and relatable to the reader. While I did not like how quickly the romance developed between Darius and Nicole, I did enjoy their interactions with one another and how Nicole directed Darius to trust God's plan and to forgive himself instead of trying to overwork himself to find a solution to the steamboat problem. I liked how Darius developed from the first chapter until after he met Nicole. I also found Nicole to be a good character who had her own strengths and weaknesses, especially as she struggled to see her own worth as the only child (and as a daughter) to a father who desperately wanted a son. I also enjoyed how Darius and Nicole interacted with the housekeeper and butler who were basically family to Darius and how they extended kindness to a young boy who had no one. I thought all the fuss about a dagger to be a bit ridiculous, but it did show how some people believe that an object can bring prosperity instead of hard work. Overall, I enjoyed this historical romance, and I thought Full Steam Ahead made for a great summer afternoon read.

I received this novel for free from in exchange for an honest review.

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