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Full Steam Ahead

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Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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?

"Witemeyer's latest is full-steam-ahead good! Readers will appreciate the research the author has done to give her story depth and give her characters added dimension. They will also enjoy the solid storyline, mystery elements and humorous moments." -RT Book Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764209673
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/3/2014
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 66,870
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

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.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 29, 2014

    I received an advanced copy of this book from Baker Publishing G

    I received an advanced copy of this book from Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

    I just love a great book! The preface of this book threw me a little bit and I was afraid that I was going to be disappointed in the story. But as soon as the actual story got started I was hooked. Of course, the preface worked its way into the story line, but in a much more meaningful way.

    Watching Nicole and Darius fall in love got me so excited. I couldn't wait to get to the next chapter to see how everything would work out for Nicole, Darius, and Renard Shipping.

    This was one of those books that kept me up at night wanting to finish it because I had to see how it all turned out. I would love to see this story on the big screen!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2014

    Wow!

    Karen Witemeyer is an amzing author! Her plot and character development is wonderful and her stories are one of my favorite escapes from the world. Thank you for writing clean historical romance. I reccommend this book it is tender and keeps you laughing with the characters and their wit.

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  • Posted October 18, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Cute diversionary read... Full Steam Ahead   By Karen Witemeyer

    Cute diversionary read...
    Full Steam Ahead  
    By Karen Witemeyer  

    When Nicole Renard is summoned home because of her father's declining health she little realized the danger she was returning home to.  Danger that would quickly send her on a mission - a mission to secure a husband that would protect her family's legacy.  But when her enemies cause her plans to change Nicole must rely on her intelligence and quick wits to fulfill her promise to her family.

    But she never expected to have to seek employment with a reclusive madman.  But Darius Thornton is not a madman but rather a man obsessed. And Darius's obsession is the unpredictable and dangerous nature of steam engine boilers.  

    Full Steam Ahead is a diverting story - great if you want to pass time in a quiet activity.  Nicole and Darius are both stubborn in their own way.  But this very stubbornness could be what draws them together and it could also increase the danger that they are facing.  But both have regrets that is the drive behind their motivations - regrets that they must overcome to find true happiness and love.

    I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher through BookFun/TBCN in exchange for my honest review. 

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  • Posted October 2, 2014

    What a delightful book! This is the first I've read from Ms. Wit

    What a delightful book! This is the first I've read from Ms. Witemeyer. It's good to get to know another fabulous writer of Historical Christian Romance. I'm a fan!
    I was caught up right from the beginning of the book. Learning about Darius and the fatal steamboat accident of 1849 quickly brings you deeply into the story. It was then a pleasure to get to know Nicole and her family. Brought together from entirely different agendas and both from highly successful shipping families, they had a lot in common, but it took quite some time for them to discover that about each other. The author brings each and every character to life perfectly. The lessons and Christian values throughout the book wonderfully support the story. This is an incredibly interesting tale of some depth as well as a very satisfying romance. And it's full of heart stopping danger. I read this book in 24 hours - I didn't want to put it down! Now I'm hoping there will be a second book, and I'll be first in line to read it.
    I received this book from Heidi Reads blog and this is my honest review.

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  • Posted October 2, 2014

    ¿Full Steam Ahead,¿ is a Christian historical fiction novel writ

    “Full Steam Ahead,” is a Christian historical fiction novel written by the esteemed Karen Witemeyer.  Ms. Witemeyer is a popular Christian writer with numerous awards under her belt such as the ACFW Carol Award and the Holt Medallion, not to mention being a multiple RITA and National Reader’s Choice finalist.  “Full Steam Ahead” is an excellent novel about redemption, and placing one’s worth on the only one who matters, God.




    “Full Steam Ahead,” takes place in Texas in 1851.  Nicole Renard, the only child of Anton Renard the prestigious sea captain and owner of Renard Shipping, returns home from school because her father is growing ill.  Anton Renard’s body is a mere shell of what he used to be, but is mind is still sharp as ever.  He needs an heir to take the reins of Renard Shipping and since Nicole is not the son he needed, he sends her to New Orleans in order to find a husband and heir. 




    Nicole agrees to go, but she takes with her, the Lafitte Dagger, a family heirloom that has placed the Renard family under grave danger.  Men from a warring shipping company are looking for the dagger and in a bid to prove herself to her father she steals the knife in hopes of keeping her family safe.  Finding herself with no money, Nicole cannot complete the trip to New Orleans and attempts to find work in Liberty, Texas.  Finding a job, however, proves to be difficult as no one is hiring, except for the crazy man living on a vacant plantation conducting explosive experiments.  Nicole has no choice but to work as Darius’ Thornton’s secretary.




    Darius is a troubled man facing demons of his own.  Plagued by the horrors of a steam boat accident, Darius has dedicated his life to preventing steam boat explosions that had taken the lives of many.  He attempts to redeem himself in the eyes of his family and to the person he couldn’t save that day.  




    Darius and Nicole are both trying to prove themselves, but as they grow to know one another they help each other sooth the balm of pain by turning their gaze heavenward.  My favorite quote from the novel is a prescription for the healing they desperately need. 




    “You can’t redeem your failures.  None of us can.  Only the Redeemer has that power, and he’s already wielding it on your behalf.  He’s bringing good out of that tragedy, good that we are only beginning to see.”




    In conclusion, Nicole and Darius try to escape the inward turmoil as well as the physical danger that calls upon them in Liberty.  While not my favorite of Ms. Witemeyer’s, it certainly tops the list.  I would highly recommend this book to fans of the Christian genre who crave both romance and action.  “Full Steam Ahead,” is a beautiful story of accepting the grace God so lovingly offers and showing faith in the great Redeemer.    

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  • Posted August 30, 2014

    A GREAT READ THAT TAKES THE READER THROUGH A RANGE OF EMOTIO





    A GREAT READ THAT TAKES THE READER THROUGH A RANGE OF EMOTIONS
    Nicole Renard carries a heavy responsibility on her shoulders. She must find a husband worthy to inherit her ailing father’s shipping business. She carries with her the Lafitte Dagger, the family’s most treasured possession which is to serve as her dowry. Her father’s rivals, the Jenkins family, will stop at nothing to obtain ownership of the dagger, forcing her to abruptly change her plans.
    Short of money with no place to go, Nicole gains employment as the secretary to the strange and elusive Darius Thornton, a man whose guilt fuels his obsession to find a solution for steamship boiler explosions. Nicole and Darius draw closer to each other through mutual respect that leads to much deeper emotion. Still, Nicole’s problems are not solved. Surely Darius cannot fill the position soon to be vacated at Renard Shipping, and she constantly fears the ruthless Jenkins brothers will catch up with her. 
    Full Steam Ahead is full of sadness, regret, hurt, and frustration, but the author strikes a nice balance with tenderness, forgiveness, joy, and humor. She portrays her characters beautifully, but the relationship between Nicole and Darius is especially well done. The change in Darius follows a realistic progression through Nicole’s tender attention and instruction about the power of God’s forgiveness. The plot moves along at a good pace with plenty of action and danger as well as deeply emotional scenes that show the hurt and healing of the characters’ hearts. 
    I especially liked that interesting facts about the evolution of boiler safety in steamship travel were woven into the story,. This is the first book I have read by Karen Witemeyer. I will definitely searor other titles by this author in the future.
    I would recommend Full Steam Ahead to adult readers who enjoy well-written 19th century historical romance. Some scenes depicting violence and some kissing scenes may not be suitable for younger readers.
    I received this book from Bethany House Publishers through Fred St Laurent and The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2014

    A wonderfully exciting read!

    I enjoyed this story. The characters were wonderful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2014

    Karen is an author who's books I know won't disappoint. They are

    Karen is an author who's books I know won't disappoint. They are usually set in Texas in the 1800s and are so creative and fun I savor them as a treat. Full Steam Ahead did not disappoint.




    This story is a frolic through the race to improve steam engines and end the explosions that led to terrible disasters in the mid-1800s. Funny that two of the last books I've read dealt with scientific advancements. I loved learning a bit about steam engines...but I adored the hero and heroine. The hero has an edge of the beast to him -- a self-imposed recluse who is misunderstood because of his all-consuming drive to fix a horrible problem. And the heroine is a woman who can match mind and wits with him. There is also a thin thread of suspense that doesn't overshadow the story but adds a layer to it. 

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  • Posted August 11, 2014

    It's pretty hard to give an unbiased opinion of Karen's books wh

    It's pretty hard to give an unbiased opinion of Karen's books when I love her writing style and her sense of humor. And I really like ALL the books I have read by her so far. So although this review may not be unbiased, it is certainly honest!
    I like just about any kind of book. But Karen's are my favorite weekend, no brainer reads. I mean that in a positive light. Her books are fun and relaxing. I don't have to stress over the plot or re-read something to make sure I understood it before I move on. I can laugh, maybe cry (depends on the book) and sometimes skim just a bit to see what's gonna happen.  They are just easy reads. I always come away refreshed!
    The plot in this book is interesting. Girl, Nicole, is sole heir to a shipping industry; she runs away with family heirloom with intentions on finding a husband and an heir to her father's legacy. She ends up in at a completely different destination than originally intended.  Meets crazy but cute scientist, Darius, and tries hard not to fall in love. There's romance, mystery, suspense, and of course a sweet ending. What more could you ask for?  Well, there is a bit more to the story. Darius is dealing with issues of his own. His are deep and troubling. He rarely sleeps, rarely eats and is constantly blowing things up. 
    If you have never read Karen's books, you have to pick one up and give it a whirl!
    I was blessed with this book by TBCN and Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given and I am not required to give a positive review. 

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  • Posted August 11, 2014

    Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer is another delightful story

    Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer is another delightful story from this author. Nicole Renard is a beautiful, rich, and head strong young woman and when she returns home to Galveston, Texas, she meets Darius Thornton a reclusive and obsessive scientist. He was aboard the Louisiana when a boiler exploded causing the death of many passengers. Darius is determined to built a better boiler and this experimenting causes him to work for long periods of time not bothering to eat or sleep. When he meets Nicole, he thinks that she is just another pretty face but she convinces him that she could be a great help to him as his secretary for she could organize his notes and findings. Not only is she pretty but she has a head full of knowledge concerning shipping and boats and this helps her becomes an excellent assistant to Darius. Nicole’s father has never let her forget that she is not a son that can take over his shipping business.




    The author did an excellent job in developing all the elements of the story. Nicole was so real that I could just see her doing all the things that she did to get herself into trouble. And Darius with all his experimental explosions was quite loveable in spite of his obsessiveness. Each time there was an explosion in the story, I felt as if I should duck and run for cover. The dialogue of Nicole and Darius gave me some good laughs as did all her antics. In addition to the romance, there was the mystery surrounding the Lafitte Dagger to keep one guessing. This story was a page turner and I could not stop reading until I finished the book in one sitting.




    I highly recommend this book, especially if you are a fan of Karen Witemeyer.




    Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2014

    Karen Witemeyer has a style of writing that makes her stories re

    Karen Witemeyer has a style of writing that makes her stories real and believable. She infuses humor, danger and faith into a beautifully flowing plot. You root for the heroine as she steps out on her own to save her family while hiding from the danger hunting her. You feel great heartache and sadness for the hero who deals with inner turmoil that drives his every thought and action. The characters are all engaging and full of personal traits that make you believe it could be a real story. The author has that gift of writing!
    I loved the element of danger mixed with the sparks of romance. The detail into all the steamships and boilers made this exciting. I wanted to root for Darius to find the solution and heal his broken heart! You can never be disappointed in picking up a Witemeyer book – I highly recommend it!

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  • Posted August 4, 2014

    Nicole Renard is determined to find an heir who will be capable

    Nicole Renard is determined to find an heir who will be capable of running her father's shipping company, even if it means traveling alone in order to do so. She is a determined, strong heroine with knife skills. I found myself laughing at her 'out of character' antics.

    Darius Thornton is obsessed with finding a way to make steamships safe after surviving an explosion on one. He is in need of a male assistant to decipher his notes and drawings and isn't prepared when a woman shows up for the interview.

    Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer is a delightful tale of two strong characters who are determined to forge their own futures and aren't afraid to do what it takes to get there. I highly recommend this novel.

    This book was provided free for review by the author and Bethany House Publishers.

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  • Posted August 2, 2014

    Recommended for historical romance readers

    Set in the times of steamboats for river travel, Darius leaves his family's business to research boiler safety after experiencing an explosion on a steamboat. Nicole is sent by her father to New Orleans to find a man to marry who could run the family shipping business. To avoid her father's rivals, Nicole is forced to change her travel plans and find work to pay for her journey. Taking a job as secretary to Darius begins Nicole's romantic journey.

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  • Posted July 31, 2014

    Karen Witemeyer writes such fun stories, and this one is no exce

    Karen Witemeyer writes such fun stories, and this one is no exception. I loved the connection to Galveston and was fascinated to discover there were steamships in Texas! Clever character development and verbal sparring between Nicole and Darius sparked plenty of chuckles as I read. On the flip side, the issues burdening their hearts are as relevant today as they were in the 1850's and added depth to the story. Witemeyer deftly weaves a thread of faith throughout, making this both an enjoyable and inspiring novel.




    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this this book from Baker/Bethany House Publishing as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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  • Posted July 31, 2014

    I am a very big fan of Ms. Karen Witemeyer's books so of course

    I am a very big fan of Ms. Karen Witemeyer's books so of course I was very excited about her new book coming out. I was automatically pulled in from the first few pages, it was so good that I started and finished it in two days, I found myself never wanting to put it down. Her books have never disappointed me and this one I will happily say was no different!
    Nicole Renard was a very strong female character and I really loved her. I loved the strength she displayed as well are her courage to protect her family even when it could very well put her life in danger, the selflessness she displayed in these acts was admirable. I found myself learning from Nicole's character. She was stubborn and determined which at times came in handy and I enjoyed her spunk (especially when she stood up to Darius and his bullheadedness) but at other times did get her in trouble. She comes from a very refined and proper family and this is the air she displayed upon first meeting but those who knew her knew she that she is a fighter and stands up to those that she is smaller than. She was afraid but had the courage to beat all when she needed it. I loved how she never hid her intelligence. Aside from all the rough and tough traits she had, she was very sweet and caring as well. I really enjoyed getting to "know" her and enjoyed her character very much. 
    Darius Thornton was a hero unlike any other I think I have ever read I do believe. I have never read a story about a mad scientist, his character was very intriguing. As Nicole broke his walls you seen a glimpses of a man, a hurting man and well as a gentleman. His determination to help others and save lives based on destruction he seen first hand touches depths of the heart. But because of that destruction he was also tortured, feeling responsible for an accident that was out of his control. I really did enjoy watching this journey, though painful for him, it allowed the theme of forgiveness to flow throughout the book. I loved Darius from the beginning. 
    Both characters had struggles, as Darius struggled with not being able to forgive himself and not being able to accept God's forgiveness on his life. I did love how Karen handled this though, how this process of healing happened throughout the book and wasn't rushed. He over time finally gave up the fight even though it wasn't without a struggle. Nicole struggled with being enough for her father, all her life she strove to fill in the shoes of the son her father had always wanted but never got. She felt like the dagger meant more to her father than she did. Which made me sad that her father hadn't corrected this assumption before but it was a very sweet and heartwarming moment when her father told her that she and her mother meant more to him than anything in the world and without them he truly had nothing. 
    I extremely enjoyed this book and I have no complaints. As I have said previously Karen Witemeyer has never disappointed me and she certainly didn't disappoint on this read either. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good historical romance with a hint of suspense as well as interesting and quirky characters!
    I received this book from The Book Club Network Inc. for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are mine.

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  • Posted July 29, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Another Winner!      Nicole was never the son her father wanted

    Another Winner!

         Nicole was never the son her father wanted. When she returns home she finds him very ill. With him in bad health her family is in danger of losing something very valuable. Her only choice is to set out and find a husband an heir to take over her fathers shipping business. Before she can set out trouble forces her to divert her plans and she ends up working for a crazy young man named Darius who likes to blow up things and nearly himself in the process! Nicole soon finds out there is more to the handsome crazy man then she thought and he might just be the answer to her problems. But her trouble finds her and may ruin everything she is trying to save.




         This was a good book and I enjoyed it. I have read a few books with steamboats as part of the plot and find them very interesting.




    What I liked: I liked Nicole. She was smart and  spoke her mind. She was willing to do what she needed to do to keep her family safe. Even if she was not 100% ready to get married she understood her family needed her. Yet she was still herself and her interaction with Darius was very enjoyable. I liked how they both had to work through personal issues to find they needed each other and Gods help.




    What I did not like: The whole idea that Nicole had to get married to protect the family business was kind of silly.




         Overall this was a great book and fun read. Definitely one to add to your to read list

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  • Posted July 20, 2014

    Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer Full Steam Ahead is set on

    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.

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  • Posted July 17, 2014

    A fun and engaging read.  My first by this author, but I enjoyed

    A fun and engaging read. 
    My first by this author, but I enjoyed her style of writing  historical Christian fiction and will buy her other books.
    Witty banter, great research, empathetic characters, fast moving plot- all present in this book.
    You won't regret any time spent reading her book!!
    NetGalley provided the ebook, the review is mine alone.

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  • Posted July 15, 2014

    Nicole is my kind of girl--spunky, loyal, and full of life. I lo

    Nicole is my kind of girl--spunky, loyal, and full of life. I love the way she protects those she loves to her own detriment. Strong heroines pull me in like no other, and she is one of those. 




    Darius also caught my attention. He hid his caring side behind a gruff demeanor, but it was still there.




    I've been a Karen Witemeyer fan since I first read one of her books. Full Steam Ahead just cemented my loyalty. If you like romance with a hint of humor, you will love this novel, as well as her other works.




    ***I received this book from the publisher/author in return for an honest review.***

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  • Posted July 11, 2014

    A cute, funny, new release from Witemeyer! I can't say that

    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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