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?
I've read several other books by Karen Witemeyer and I'd really enjoyed them. She writes funny, exciting, historical/romantic books that I really like. And this book was no different. It started off a tiny bit slow but literally within about three chapters I got sucked in. And then I just couldn't put down the book for basically the rest of the time I was reading.
I admit to not knowing much about the 1850s except for that the civil war is only a decade away. But there wasn't any tension and the book focused on something that I found quite interesting but hadn't heard of before. Steamboat accidents where the boiler explodes and causes the boat to sink. Darius is devoting his time to trying to figure out why this happens and I found it pretty cool. I liked his characters a lot because it was easy for me to imagine him instead of some gentleman dressed up in suites and such. He was pretty laid back and straight forward which could be said about Nicole too. I really liked her character, she was all girl power and really demonstrated how much a stereotype shouldn't hold you back. Or gender. I thought she was great :)
I liked most of the other characters although she seemed to use the same sort of description for two of the servants, being really stoic and serious and not breaking from that. And I thought that was a bit weird. There were one to two times where something a character said was a bit weird and I didn't quite understand what they meant by it but for the most part I didn't get annoyed by any of them. The fact that the rival family was trying to get this "good luck knife" was a bit outlandish but I guess back then and for such circumstances, it could be believable.
I really loved the scene where Nicole comes to ask for the secretary job and Darius tries to send her away ("oh this is a girl, she won't do") and she shows his up and really grabs his attention. It was really great. One thing that did annoy me was that Darius would try to ignore her and his attraction to her and while I understand that we do this and it's realistic it just struck me as a bit annoying at times. And she did it a few times as well. But for the most part I just enjoyed the story and adventure and wasn't bothered by the few little details that irritated me.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I read it in only a few hours and got really sucked into the story. I liked the writing style and the characters and the plot kept me interested and excited. However I feel like I would remember the plot too well to really read it again (who knows maybe in a year or so I would) and there were a few small annoyances. But anyhow, I really did enjoy it and cannot wait for the next book from this author. I'm giving Full Steam Ahead 4 out of 5 flowers.
Sara Bennett happens to be a slightly crazy girl. A slightly nerdy girl. A slightly strange girl who likes being that way. A slightly obsessed girl when it comes to things she loves. A girl who cries when reading books. A girl who desperately wants her own personal library. A girl who is a total bookworm. A girl who would rather read than watch reality tv. A girl who wants to be an author someday. A girl who loves her Savior. And a girl who just loves to read.