Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Full Steam Ahead


Full Steam Ahead, by Karen Witemeyer

Back Cover

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?


Karen Witemeyer never seems to disappoint.  I’ve loved and devoured each and every one of her books!  Each novel is witty, enjoyable, exciting, and completely different from the other.  The characters are always extremely likeable, and the plots decidedly original. 

From the first chapter to the last page of Full Steam Ahead, I was hooked – wanting Nicole to save her father’s business, hoping that Darius finds a way to prevent further steamship explosions, and in the end, finding a way that both Darius and Nicole can be together.

Guaranteed to be an enjoyable read for anyone who enjoys a good historical romance, Full Steam Ahead will make many new fans for Karen Witemeyer, and endear her current readers ever more dearly to her books.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Until I Found You


Until I Found You, by Victoria Bylin

Back Cover

When Kate Darby swerves off a mountain road to avoid hitting a California condor, she ends up trapped in her car, teetering on the edge of a cliff.  Terrified, she breathes a prayer that changes her life.

It’s Nick Sheridan who comes to Kate’s rescue.  Nick is handsome and confident, and he seems to develop a habit of rescuing her, but Kate is in town only until her grandmother recuperates from a stroke.  She’s not planning to get involved with one of the locals.

Nick is a reformed veteran of life in the fast lane, a new Christian, and a travel writer.  When he sees a car dangling on the edge of a cliff, the daredevil in him jumps into action.  He doesn’t expect to be swept off his feet by the car’s occupant.  He’s made a vow—no dating for a year—but keeping that vow is going to be a lot more difficult now that he’s met Kate Darby…


This was a really lovely novel.  While it may start with the typical “heroic knight swoops in to save the damsel in distress”, the rest of the story felt very fresh and not your average romance novel. 

Nick and Kate are very likeable characters.  Kate is passionate about her job, but is willing to put it on the line for family.  Nick is always ready to lend a hand and help someone in need.  I related to Kate especially as someone who also likes to be in control.  I’m not your “fly by the seat of your pants” type of girl.  Schedules, organization, and plans are my friends.  To me, when you have control, you have predictability, and when you have predictability, you have stability…at least, that’s what I tell myself.   And I do believe there is some truth to that.  However, the other truth is that one cannot have control of absolutely everything, and when something goes awry, for me, it can be very difficult to accept the fact that unexpected events can happen and to be able to deal with it as it throws (or so it seems) everything off-kilter. 

This book was a good reminder to me that God has everything in control – like the childhood song, “He’s got the whole world in His hands”.  When life throws curveballs, the unexpected or unexplained occurs, our Father in heaven is our strong fortress, Who we can run to with all our fears, doubts, and struggles.  No burden is too hard for Him to bear, and no mess is too complicated for Him to untangle.  

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Life Behind the Wall


Back Cover

This epic tale extends across generations and unfolds against the backdrop of a dangerous Cold War Berlin.  This historically accurate, action-packed, three-books-in-one edition features three generations of resourceful teens living in the shadow of the Berlin Wall.

Candy Bombers:  In spring 1948, teenage cousins Erich and Katarina are simply trying to survive in war-ravaged Berlin when the Soviets blockade the east side of the city, isolating its citizens—and starving them—behind the Iron Curtain.

Beetle Bunker:  In August 1961, Sabine discovers a forgotten underground bunker.  Though she first uses it to escape her crowded home, she soon realizes her hideout could possibly take her family under the wall to West Berlin and freedom!

Smuggler’s Treasure:  In spring 1989, life is good in West Germany, and even the Cold War seems to be thawing in the warmer weather.  But as Liesl works on a class project about the history of the wall, she stumbles onto a startling secret no one will talk about.


Growing up, I read a lot of Robert Elmer’s books for young readers.  The “Young Underground” and “Adventures Down Under” were two of my favourite series.  They were fast-paced and always filled with exciting adventures and mysteries.  The perfect type of novels for a pre-teen with a vivid imagination!

While the “Life Behind the Wall” trilogy was just a smidgen less as thrilling as previous stories of Mr. Elmer’s, it otherwise made for a very good read.  Each story was as unique and fascinating as the characters.  Erich was a bit of a daredevil, Sabine had a lot of spunk, and Liesl’s stubbornness was admirable.  They were each incredibly likeable and I loved getting to know them.

In all, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this series to young readers – and even older ones looking for an easy, entertaining read.  

Thomas Nelson provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my review which I freely give.