It has been an enjoyable few days. Just finished Karen Witemeyer’s latest, a Christian historical romance entitled “Full Steam Ahead,” set in the mid 1840s to the early 1850s. I received this book from Bethany House Publishers as a gift in exchange for my truthful analysis.
The plot revolves around Nicole Renard, a shipping heiress, who must find a husband to ensure the continued success of her ailing father’s corporation. The plan is for her to travel to New Orleans to seek out suitable candidates among the family’s associates. That idea is quickly thrown in the wind, however, when the company’s biggest rivals break into the house in search of a priceless heirloom handed down through several generations. Frightened for the safety of her parents, Nicole secrets the item away and runs to Liberty, Texas, determined to outsmart her malevolent pursuers. Desperate for funds, she secures a job working as Darius Thornton’s secretary, helping him with his experiments to improve the safety of boilers on steamboats. As Darius and Nicole spend more time together, it is clear that the appliances are not the only generating heat. Can Nicole follow her heart, and save the business at at the same time? Will Darius be able to trust God to help him overcome the guilt related to the past that could impede his joy in the future?
This is the first Witemeyer novel that I have encountered. I am glad to know that there are several more for me to enjoy. The author brought the 1840s and 1850s alive for me in a way that I have not experienced before. It was particularly refreshing to discover that Nicole was not your average 19th century damsel in distress, possessing knowledge of weapons and mathematics. I would recommend this story to those who read Julie Lessman and Lorna Seilstad. General audiences will appreciate the wholesome nature of this tale. However teenagers and adults will most likely understand best both the historical significance and the important Christian principles discussed. My rating is five out of five stars. Until we meet again…