Review: Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer

Karen Witemeyer
Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date: June 3, 2014

From the back cover:

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?

Karen Witemeyer is an author I love to read when stress is getting me down. She has a way of making farcical comedy absolutely charming, endearing and so much fun. Throw in some romance, a little bit of intrigue and jeopardy, and a perfect happy-ever-after, and you’ve got the perfect book to help you forget about life’s troubles for a while.

FULL STEAM AHEAD features hero Darius Thornton, an eccentric scientist driven to find a solution to steamship boiler disasters after having witnessed their devastation first hand, and heroine Nicole Renard, a dagger-wielding mathematics genius desperate to earn her dying father’s favor by finding an heir who can take over the family shipping business. From the moment these two meet, readers are treated to witty banter, romantic sparks, and gentle truths that make for a fast-paced story that is almost impossible to put down.

While I found the intrigue surrounding the Lafitte Dagger to be a little bit far fetched and over-the-top, the power in this book lies in the fact that I honestly don’t care that it’s wholly unbelievable. It’s just too much fun. And somehow Karen Witemeyer manages to beautifully blend all this comedic goodness with heartfelt themes of learning to let go. My favorite part was when she talked about God being the potter and us being His clay. It’s a wonderful moment in the story as well as for the readers.

I loved FULL STEAM AHEAD and recommend it to anyone who enjoys romantic comedy with a great historical twist. I can’t wait to see what Karen Witemeyer will bring to her readers next!


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