Full Steam Ahead, a novel by Karen Witemeyer, takes place on the coastline of Texas during the mid-1800s. The story revolves around the steam boat industry with two central characters. Nicole Renard, whose ill father runs a profitable shipping company, is determine to find a husband to take over the family business before her father dies. Darius Thornton, a recluse scientist, is determined to find “the fix” to prevent any more disasters by steamboat boiler explosions.
Their paths cross while Darius is searching for a secretary and Nicole—short on cash—is trying to evade her assailants the Jenkins brothers.
“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?” (Bethany House)
Full Steam Ahead was a book that I didn’t want to end. Karen Witemeyer has a talent for creating great character match ups. If you liked Meredith and Travis from Short-Straw Bride, then you’ll love Nicole and Darius. Nicole is feisty with many talents up her sleeves. She is smart, good with math and can throw a blade with deadly accuracy. Darius is focused and relentless, but Nicole has a way of distracting him. It was fun to read how Darius struggled to think straight when Nicole entered the room and watching him come to value her for her merit and not her gender. Throw the two together and they make a great team.
I especially liked how the book revolved around steam boats. I’ve never read a book that uses this theme, so it was refreshing. Though I enjoyed the added drama that the Lafitte Dagger brought, I felt like the extreme importance that the Jenkins put on it was unrealistic. However, I’ve always enjoyed a good damsel in distress story, and you get that in the last third of the book.
I also really appreciated Darius’ struggle with his faith. We as Christians often want to redeem our failures, but that job is for the Redeemer. Like Darius, I’ve wanted to fix my mistakes and in doing so I’ve held on to my feelings of guilt. Nicole reminds Darius as well as the reader, “There is therefore now no condemnation for them which are in Christ Jesus.”
All in all, Karen Witemeyer has another great hit.
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A Mommy Talks Reviews: The featured product for this review was provided to me, at no cost, by Bethany House. All opinions expressed are my own. If you’d are interested in signing up to receive review copies from Bethany House, head to www.bethanyhouse.com/bookreviewers!