When Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston from an eastern finishing school, she’s stunned to find her father in ill health. Though she loves him, he’s only ever focused on what she’s not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run their family business, Renard Shipping.
Vowing to secure a suitable marriage partner, Nicole sets out with the Renard family’s greatest treasure: a dagger personally gifted to Nicole’s father by the pirate Jean Lafitte. Many believe the legend that the dagger is the source of all Renard Shipping’s good fortune, though Nicole is sure her father’s work ethic and honorable business practices are the keys to their success. Before she can board the steamer to New Orleans, Nicole finds her father’s rivals–the Jenkins brothers–on either side of the gangplank, ready to grab her and steal the dagger. Quickly, she decides to instead travel north, to Liberty, Texas, where she can decide what to do next.
Darius Thornton needs a secretary–someone to help him get his notes in order. Ever since the boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana, Darius has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. The pretty young socialite who applies for the job baffles him with her knowledge of mathematics and steamships. He decides to take a risk and hire her, but he’s determined her attractive face and fancy clothes won’t distract him from his important research.
The job offer comes at exactly the right time for Nicole. With what Darius is paying her, she’ll be able to afford passage to New Orleans in mere weeks. But Mr. Thornton is so reclusive, so distant, so unusual. He can create complex scientific equations but can’t remember to comb his hair. And his experiments are growing more and more dangerous. Still, there are undeniable sparks of attraction between them. But Nicole is leaving soon, and if she marries, it must be to a man who can manage a shipping empire. Darius certainly doesn’t fit that description. And the Jenkins brothers have not given up on kidnapping Nicole and seizing the Lafitte dagger for themselves.
It is always such a joy to get my hands on a Karen Witemeyer novel! My thoughts:
What I liked:
How uncomplicated her romance novels are. Sometimes you just want a straight romance novel that will make you sigh in the end and that’s what this is.
Darius. He’s a bit of the absent minded professor, but you can’t help but like him. More to the point, once he starts focusing in on Nicole, he really becomes endearing. I loved reading about him falling in love.
Nicole. She’s both beautiful and smart and to some degree, fully capable of taking care of herself. There are certain elements about her that are really unique and helps make for a very fun heroine.
The premise, because it allowed Nicole and Darius to get to know each other before they fell in love.
Spiritually, there is this great theme of grace and how you don’t have to do penance for things in the past. That’s what Jesus was for.
What I didn’t like:
There was a moment or two when I felt like Nicole was making a mountain out of a molehill about something. But the book doesn’t stay there.
Overall, such a fun, delightful romance that is completely enthralling!
Romantic Scale: 9
**I received this novel from Bethanyhouse. My opinion was not affected in any way.**