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Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer
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Full Steam Ahead

by Karen Witemeyer

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Delightful story. The story starts with a bang (literally) and draws you through. Hero and heroine aren't in the same room together until well into the story, but the payoff was definitely worth staying with it.

The hero/heroine combo is delightful: pirate-princess secretary and a deeply wounded, propriety-flouting gentleman scientist. This hero broke free of every character cliche I've read. He's chock full of contradictions. Gentle, but intense. Wounded, but so strong. Protective, but entrusting. Curious and cautious. Truly unique and delightful to read about. His perfect complement, the heroine was a gutsy, running off by herself, protecting everyone at her own risk, females can do anything kind of girl. I've seen quite a few of these types recently, but her willingness to sacrifice and her ability to bring healing to the hero was beautiful and something unique to her.

While reading, I sensed nuances of Pride and Prejudice, Beauty and the Beast, and perhaps something of a nod to Tom Hiddleston in there, ha, but that may just be for this reader.

Would recommend to anyone who likes historical romance. ( )
  NatalieMonk | Jul 3, 2017 |
Nicole Renard has always felt like a mild disappointment to her father as his only child isn't a son. When local business rivals, the Jenkins, threaten her parents in an effort to recover a contested family heirloom, Nicole has every intention of fulfilling her father's wish of marrying a man who can immediately become his heir and take over their shipping business. But as Nicole prepares to leave for New Orleans to find such a man, the Jenkins interfere with her plans and leave her traveling deeper into Texas under an assumed name. In the small town of Liberty she takes a position as a secretary with Darius Thornton who is attempting to excise his past by developing boilers that won't explode. As Nicole and Darius spend time together they discover a mutual attraction that alters their plans for their futures in ways neither expected.

Witemeyer has quickly become one of my favourite Christian romance authors. While the writing in this one was a little rough at the beginning with some bumpy dialogue, the book quickly took off and I was quickly charmed by both the lead characters and their romance. As is usual with Witemeyer's books the suspense plot adds a forward momentum to the plot that keeps thing moving. I'd recommend this one to readers who enjoy Christian romance but I wouldn't suggest this be the first Witemeyer novel to try. ( )
  MickyFine | Oct 17, 2016 |
Loved this book like all her others. Nicole has a lot of guts. She wants to please her father with everything she does in life. Good thing she meets Darius. He helps her to know she can please her father and herself. Looking forward to reading more books by Karen Witemeyer. I received this book from Bookfun.org for a fair and honest opinion. ( )
  Virginia51 | Nov 15, 2014 |
Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer is another delightful story from this author. Nicole Renard is a beautiful, rich, and head strong young woman and when she returns home to Galveston, Texas, she meets Darius Thornton a reclusive and obsessive scientist. He was aboard the Louisiana when a boiler exploded causing the death of many passengers. Darius is determined to built a better boiler and this experimenting causes him to work for long periods of time not bothering to eat or sleep. When he meets Nicole, he thinks that she is just another pretty face but she convinces him that she could be a great help to him as his secretary for she could organize his notes and findings. Not only is she pretty but she has a head full of knowledge concerning shipping and boats and this helps her becomes an excellent assistant to Darius. Nicole’s father has never let her forget that she is not a son that can take over his shipping business.

The author did an excellent job in developing all the elements of the story. Nicole was so real that I could just see her doing all the things that she did to get herself into trouble. And Darius with all his experimental explosions was quite loveable in spite of his obsessiveness. Each time there was an explosion in the story, I felt as if I should duck and run for cover. The dialogue of Nicole and Darius gave me some good laughs as did all her antics. In addition to the romance, there was the mystery surrounding the Lafitte Dagger to keep one guessing. This story was a page turner and I could not stop reading until I finished the book in one sitting.

I highly recommend this book, especially if you are a fan of Karen Witemeyer.

Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. ( )
  deanna13 | Aug 11, 2014 |
3.5/5

I'm a fan of Karen Witemeyer, but this one fell just a little short for me.

It was still a page-turner, still captivating, from the very first words to the very last. And I really loved the first half of the book. Nicole was intelligent, strong, and sassy, but with some understandable insecurities of her own. Darius was confident and lovable in his mania. I liked the way he respected her and treated her as his partner, his equal.

But some details didn't add up. Nicole's mother's parting words were to choose the right man for her, not her father's business, yet she talked herself out of Darius being the right choice. I got the impression that her father wasn't as concerned with someone with loads of shipping experience, so much as some brawn to protect the family. So I was a little confused as to why Nicole was so adamant on that point.

Despite references to God and scripture, and despite Nicole praying for God to direct her path and lead her to the right man, she did not turn to God when she realized she'd fallen for Darius. She tried to blaze ahead on her own, which almost ended in disaster. I thought this was an excellent portrait of the way we try to solve our problems without God- thinking that if He didn't respond in the way we wanted, He just must not be listening. In her broken relationship with her father, I would have loved to see Nicole turn to her Heavenly Father for love and acceptance, and through Him, finally believe that she is enough and loved as is. Then, to see her step out in faith, trusting God to have worked everything for her good, without having to see proof of it first. These characters were human and relatable, but sometimes I want ones that inspire me, that make hard choices and encourage me to do the same.

I was also surprised at the amount of time spent fantasizing about or pursuing physical things- looks, touches, kisses, etc. It took up a decent amount of pages and more of the relationship than I was expecting.

I loved the historical aspects and Darius' struggle to face his obsession and turn it over to God. I thought that was really well done. I'd recommend this book to fans of this genre and fans of this author. ( )
  lyssa73 | Aug 2, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0764209671, Paperback)

When love simmers between a reclusive scientist and a wealthy debutante, will they abandon ship or is it full steam ahead?


Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston, Texas, to find her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, Nicole's father has always focused on what she's not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard Shipping.

Vowing to find a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it's too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family's greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But her father's rivals come after the dagger, forcing a change in Nicole's plans.

After a boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana nearly took his life, Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. Even if it means letting a female secretary into his secluded world.

Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grow between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire an heir for her father when her heart belongs to another? And when her father's rivals discover her hiding place, will she have to choose between that love and her family's legacy?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:57 -0400)

"In this 1850s romance 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?"--

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