Saturday, September 20, 2014

Full Steam Ahead - Karen Witemeyer

Nicole Renard is the only daughter of the successful business owner of Renard Shipping.  Rumors abound that her father's success is directly tied to his possession of the Lafitte Dagger, a rumor pervasive enough to drive her father's competitors to threats and violence to possess it themselves.  Determined to find her father a worthy heir, in the form of a husband that she chooses, Nicole sets off for New Orleans, only to be waylaid in a small town along the way.  The small town where Darius Thornton is known as the eccentric hermit who occasionally blows things up at his property outside of town.  Most people don't know that he is actually doggedly pursuing ways to prevent steamship disasters.  In need of money to continue her journey, Nicole ignores Darius' request for a male secretary and the town's warnings about him, and proves her worthiness as not only a transcriber of notes, but of a contributor to his experiments.  But what of her own pursuit, and pursuers?  Will she risk the lives of those she's come to care for if she's found, or will she run away again?  And what of the heir for her father?

Once again, I felt misled by a cover; I expected a much fluffier book, with a sort of wilting heroine.  I found much the opposite; Nicole Renard was an intelligent, brave, independent woman, with a strong sense of family loyalty.  She was willing to make necessary sacrifices for her father, but with an eye to not sacrificing her own well-being along with them.  I loved watching her relationship with Darius develop, as she proved that she was not only capable of copying his chicken scratch, but interpreting it and correcting it as necessary.  I may have a weak spot for heroines who excel at math. Ahem.  Additionally, watching the other characters come to care for her and her for them made the story warm and gave it depth.   Nothing was solved easily, but there was hope for all, and it was enjoyable watching it all come together.

I give this book 3.5 stars.  I'm glad that I picked it up to read, despite the cover!

You can find Full Steam Ahead HERE.
You can find Karen Witemeyer's site HERE.
I have enjoyed several of Ms. Witemeyer's books; you can find my review of Stealing the Preacher HERE.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House, in exchange for my honest review.

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