"Full Steam Ahead" by Karen Witemeyer is a standalone book published on June 3, 2014 by Bethany House.
Nicole Renard is the unmarried daughter of a wealthy member of the shipping business. Her father is shipping rivals with the Jenkins family, who want the heirloom Lafitte dagger from the Renards. Nicole must marry someone that can be an heir to the Renard shipping, and is prompted to do so when her mother and father are in danger of the Jenkins. Her plans are foiled by the Jenkins brothers, so she detours and ends up losing money. Thus, she looks for a job in the small town in which she has landed, and finds a notice for a mad scientist in need of a secretary.
Darius Thornton has much emotional pain resulting from a boiler explosion on one of his ships in which he could not save a little girl. He has since locked himself away and has studied boilers and tries to develop methods to prevent future explosions. He can barely read his own handwriting, so he puts out an ad for a male secretary, but receives no answer for months. Then Nicole shows up, and he does not know if he can handle a woman, but has no other options. He is drawn to her, and curious of the trouble she seems to be hiding.
This book starts out so exciting! The characters and situations were so unique, and their relationships priceless. There were several scenes with phenomenal messages that were very encouraging to me as a reader as the characters comforted one another. This book was not as necessarily "western" as previous ones by this author, but I still really enjoyed it.
Thank you so much to Bethany House for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. These are my honest opinions in this review; I was not required to give a positive review.