In Full Steam Ahead, Nicole Renard returns home to find her father quite ill. Her father is working himself to death, and wants a husband for Nicole to pass the reins of the family business. Nicole has her own plans to find a husband – by using the secret family treasure as her dowry. Her father’s rivals know he is ill and try to steal the treasure – the Lafitte Dagger – putting her family in danger.
Darius Thornton is haunted his failure to save a little girl when a ship’s boiler exploded. He becomes obsessive in his experiments with steamboat engines, trying to avoid future boiler disasters. Nicole shows up on his doorstep after she flees from Texas, and takes up employment as Darius’ secretary. Together they face exploding experiments, a homeless boy, mutual attraction, and ruthless rivals in search of the infamous dagger.
Will Nicole set aside her heart’s desires to give her father a suitable heir for Renard Shipping? Will Darius overcome his guilt from not saving the little girl? Will he be reunited with his family from whom he is estranged? Will the Lafitte Dagger fall into another family’s possession? Will her dying father live to see his daughter marry?
Faith elements are clearly evident, and the historical elements are well-researched. Main characters see their relationship with God grow as they experience trials and challenges, yet the tone is not preachy. Witemeyer manages to use the right combination to produce a well-written, enjoyable book.
Recommended for public and church libraries, especially for fans of Julie Lessman and Deeanne Gist.
— reprinted with permission, Christian Library Journal, 2014.
Carol R. Gehringer