This book has been out since spring last year...how have I not read it? Especially when I love Karen Witemeyer's book! But this past weekend I had time to curl up and read, so I purchased it and dove in. Here's the blurb, and we'll chat on the other side.
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?
As usual with Karen's books, I was immediately drawn in. I loved Nicole and her strong personality, and I loved how this played into the lessons she needed to learn. To watch it dawn on her where her worth came from...to see her worth for herself, that was a beautiful journey. And funny. And adventurous. And romance--great romance!
Darius was a perfect leading man for Nicole too. The truth-giving conversations she would have with him were spot on and his story arc was well written and believable. We knew what motivated him, and that Nicole could both stand up to Darius as well as be gentle with him made a perfect combo. In fact, at times I thought about the fairytale Beauty and the Beast while reading this novel. (sidenote: that's always been my favorite fairytale. I think it's when he gives her the library...)
All together Karen paired several elements to make this a page turner. The cast of characters were lively and endearing. The setting pulled you right in. Even the history she wove through made for an interesting layer. I loved this book, but I can't say I was surprised. I'm already watching for her new release which comes out this spring, only this time I won't wait a year to read it:)
I happily give Full Steam Ahead 5 out of 5 stars!
Also, it's time for my February Bookshelf Giveaway. If you'd like a chance to win your pick of one of these books from my bookshelf, let me know here or "like" the picture on my Facebook page:) I'll announce the winner next week!