Full Steam Ahead  -     By: Karen Witemeyer
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Full Steam Ahead

Bethany House / 2014 / Paperback

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Product Description

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.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764209671
ISBN-13: 9780764209673
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

When love simmers between a reclusive scientist and a wealthy debutante, will they abandon ship or is it full steam ahead?


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?

Author Bio

Two-time RITA Award finalist and winner of the HOLT Medallion and ACFW Carol Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to provide the world with more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher and shower singer, and she bakes a mean apple cobbler. Karen makes her home in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more at www.karenwitemeyer.com.

Product Reviews

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  1. inspiremichelle
    Loureauville, LA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great book
    July 20, 2014
    inspiremichelle
    Loureauville, LA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer
    Full Steam Ahead is set on the Texas coast in 1851. Nicole Renard is the only child of the owner of Renard Shipping. She is willing to do just about anything to make her father proud and give him an heir. He never had a son so she tried to be one of the guys in order to please him. Darius Thornton is obsessed with making steamboats safer; it is his life’s goal. Nicole’s life runs amuck as she searches for the perfect heir for her father and tries to protect the Lafitte Dagger. Daruis life is full of hurt and regret but Nicole adds the right touch of sass to his life to get his attention.
    I found Full Steam Ahead to be a great book. The characters are full of life, funny and inspiring. Karen Witemeyer did a great job of giving life to the characters. They were highly developed and authentic. I found this book to be entertaining and amazing. I don’t read many historical fiction books but the cover caught my attention, I am so glad I picked this book. The history of the steamboat was fascinating and factual. I give Full Steam Ahead 5 stars and highly recommend it.
    I want to give a high-five to the author Karen Witemeyer and publisher Bethany House for bringing compelling Christian books that are entertaining and give hope to the reader with stories of faith. The Book Club Network Inc. provided me with this book in exchange for my honest review and I am so grateful for their, the authors and publishers generosity.

  2. Little Aussie
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Absolutely fantastic!!
    July 19, 2014
    Little Aussie
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    Well, well, well… hold onto those heirloom daggers of yours ladies! This has to be one of my favourite Karen Witemeyer books now! Absolutely fantastic! As with all of Karen’s books, there is her signature humour, adventure, suspense and characters that grow and overcome life’s challenges because of their faith and trust in God. Nicole is a feisty, spirited heroine who will do anything to protect the people she loves. When well laid plans go awry, her quick thinking comes up with an alternative and she courageously puts herself in danger in order to draw the danger away from her parents. What wasn't part of her plan was meeting Darius. Nor that her wit, good heart and keen mind would intrigue him enough for him to consider things beyond his research. Moreover, that she should find herself feeling more for this dishevelled yet handsome man who has a decidedly dangerous obsession for blowing things up.

    Ever since an accident, Darius has been driven to the point of obsession by guilt for a failure that he can’t forgive himself for. He wants to find a way to prevent more innocent people from being harmed. As Darius’ initial annoyance fades about having to work with someone whose skirts he finds most distracting while he works, a deep sense of respect, admiration and a delightful dash of rogue emerges (well, maybe more than a dash!). Sparks certainly fly as they embark on a most unforgettable and riveting adventure. Nicole and Darius need to support and protect each other, outsmart the bad guys, keep the Lafitte dagger out of their enemy’s reach, and gain the approval of Nicole’s father for a certain significant decision. What will happen? Trust me, this book will have you clasping it tightly and not wanting to let it go!

  3. Okieladybug
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Full Steam Ahead
    July 17, 2014
    Okieladybug
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female

    I am reviewing “Full Steam Ahead”, a Christian romance novel by Karen Witemeyer. This is the second book I have read by this author.

    The premise of the novel is about a young woman that is sent by her parents to find an “heir” for her ailing father's business after the family is attacked by a rival shipping company. Not only does she need to find a husband to help with the business, but the family needs help in protecting a rare family heirloom that is also at stake.

    This is a predictable love story, but not a dull read. It had a good message about God's forgiveness and our ability to forgive ourselves. We sometimes punish ourselves instead of accepting God's forgiveness, even though it was there for us the entire time. There were a a couple of things I had issues with, especially since it is a Christian novel. First and foremost, I felt there was too much physical contact between the love interests. I do not have a problem with kissing, but I feel there was too much passion involved. I was also disappointed with the suggestive language used. Here are a couple of things I found inappropriate, a man's imagination when he sees a woman's body parts that are accentuated when she wears pants and something is mentioned about feet and intimacy. My second issue was the over use of two words by the author, “stiffened and “blast”. My main concern was the over usage of “blast”, since this was a Christian novel. I felt it was used in the same way a swear word would be used and that bothered me. All in all, I will probably read more books by this author. I just hope the others aren't quite as risque as this one. If they are, I guess they will be my guilty pleasure, but I will definitely not recommend to anyone else. I would also like to add that I found the author's note with the tidbit of history about steamboat safety measures and regulations very interesting.

    *I RECEIVED A FREE EBOOK COPY FROM NETGALLEY AND BETHANY HOUSE PUBLISHERS IN EXCHANGE FOR MY HONEST REVIEW*

  4. Iola
    New Zealand
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Witemeyer's Best Yet
    July 13, 2014
    Iola
    New Zealand
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    Nicole Renard is the heir to Renard Shipping and the famous Lafitte Dagger, rumoured to have brought the family great fortune. But the Jenkins family think the dagger should be theirs, and are prepared to take it using any means necessary. Nicole plans to leave Galveston, travel to New Orleans and find a husband to protect her, and the dagger. A series of unfortunate coincidences means she ends up as the secretary to Mr Darius Thornton, who blows things up.

    Darius almost died when the boiler on a steamboat exploded, and has spent the last two years experimenting with boilers to prevent further accidents. He doesn’t sleep, barely eats, and finds his new secretary rather too appealing. Nicole is attracted to Darius, but knows he isn’t a suitable husband—she needs a husband who knows the shipping business, who can lead Renard Shipping for her dying father.

    I really enjoyed Full Steam Ahead. It perhaps didn’t have as much humour as Karen Witemeyer’s previous novels, but there was a depth of research and characterisation they didn’t have. They reminded me of novels by Jody Hedlund or Deanne Gist, in that it was based on the real-life historical issue of exploding boilers and unsafe shipping. The real-life background was integrated with a plot full of both romance and suspense.

    I found Nicole and Darius to be a well-matched couple (although neither of them thought so to begin with), especially in terms of their intellects. It is good to see an intelligent female character who excels in a subject like mathematics, especially in historical fiction. I also liked the fact that Darius respected her abilities and wasn’t too proud to employ a woman in a ‘man’s role’.

    I think I've read every one of Karen Witemeyer's books, and haven't had a dud yet. This is a step in a slightly different direction, but it's as good if not better than her previous titles. I'll look forward to her next book!

    Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

  5. Rosie
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    July 11, 2014
    Rosie
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4

    A cute, funny, new release from Witemeyer!

    I can't say that Full Steam Ahead is a new favorite, BUT I extremely enjoyed Nicole and Darius. Their chemistry drew me deeper into the story, and I loved their banter. Together, they were great. I liked watching Darius come out of his shell, and Nicole learning to let others into her heart. The story and the plot itself is well developed, but I struggled with accepting it. For me, I wasn't convinced how realistic it was, but it is fiction so I will give the author that. In all other areas, the research was evident.

    Darius struggles with something I believe many new Christians can relate to, such as forgiving yourself for whatever mistakes you've made in your past. I LOVED how Witemeyer handled this. I'd say more, but you need to read it for yourself. All in all, Darius felt very real, given his past and circumstances.

    Nicole too, seemed to come alive off the page. She's determined, intelligent, and compassionate all in one. Her greatest fault is her determination to keep her loved ones safe. This normally wouldn't be a bad thing, but Nicole does make some mistakes, like anyone. Ultimately, she wasn't my favorite character but I really loved reading about her time spent with Darius.

    This is the kind of book historical fiction lovers will appreciate and adore. I easily recommend it to fans of the genre and fans of Mrs. Witemeyer. I recommend readers be fifteen or older for readability and some scenes.

    I received this book from Bethany House in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!

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