Thursday, June 12, 2014

Book Review: Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer

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Title: Full Steam Ahead

Author: Karen Witemeyer

Series: Full Steam Ahead #1

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult


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?

**3 stars**

Boilers on riverboats are exploding without warning, and one disgruntled riverboat passenger is caught in such an accident … a day his life changes tragically. Overcome with horrible memories and guilt, Darius throws himself into experimenting with boilers, determined not to waste even a moment of his time on other “frivolous” things, such as sleep and social happenings.
Nikki is a fearless young woman determined to keep safe a pirate’s treasure, her family’s legacy. She always felt her father wished he had gotten a son instead of her, so she embarks on a life-threatening journey to keep the legacy intact at all costs …
Throw in a sweet butler/housekeeper couple and an endearing orphaned boy, and you have a lovely cast of characters. Oh, and I should mention, there’s the horrible Jenkins brothers … not really lovely at all, them.

Full Steam Ahead is Karen Witemeyer’s 6th novel. Though I found myself quite enjoying it at some parts, the overall book just didn’t touch me as much. It felt much less humorous and lighthearted as her previous novels, with a lot heavier, sorrowful, and dangerous situations. Not that I really mind heavy issues—it taught some poignant lessons—, but it just felt different than her other books. I just didn’t quite connect with Full Steam Ahead, though there were parts that had me crying, others breathless, others smiling with happiness. I appreciate Karen’s weaving of a spiritual theme through her stories. But I felt Darius and Nikki’s romance bordered on obsessive, for some reason. I don’t know. It just seemed like too much relying on each other instead of God.

Overall? A historical romance story with important lessons learned wove throughout. I enjoyed it for the most part, but just can’t say more than that. I’ve loved all of Karen Witemeyer’s other books, except for The Tailor-Made-Bride only made a three-stars for me. So who knows? Perhaps Full Steam Ahead with be a favorite for you.


  1. I agree with you on it feeling different than the others. I gave it four stars. I didn't connect with it like the others either. It's funny, I only gave Tailor Made Bride three stars too. It was the first book I ever read of hers. I'm so glad I didn't decide not to read the others. ;)

  2. Hmmm, maybe we have similar tastes in books... :)
    I know! I loved all of her other novels, such as Short Straw Bride, Stealing the Preacher, and *sigh*, To Win Her Heart! :) Oh, and Head in the Clouds.
    But yeah, Full Steam Ahead just didn't touch me like they did. Still a good book though, had some great parts! :)