Just a middle-brow reader who loves a good story, recipe or how-to.
Nicole Renard is on a mission. She has to get to New Orleans to choose a husband who will inherit her family's shipping business. Darius Thornton is on a mission of his own, and he'll go to any length in his experimentation, to prevent more fatal accidents due to steamship boiler explosions. When Nicole's money nearly runs out, she answers Darius' ad for a (male) secretary. Now hiding on her employer's estate, will she be able to stay long enough to earn her fare to New Orleans without being discovered by the ruthless men who are after her, and without losing her heart?
"She'd known the man was a tad eccentric and enjoyed exploding things, but couldn't he hold off on his destructive hobby long enough to let her collect a round of wages?" (p.86)
In Nicole and Darius we get a girl who is quite self-possessed but insecure about her father's approval and a man who is haunted by his experience as a passenger when a boiler exploded on a steamship. Their romance is fraught with danger, both from his explosive experiments and the cruel Jenkins brothers. I enjoyed Darius' unconventional nature and didn't mind the rapid build of the attraction between him and Nicole. The secondary characters are delightful (well, except for the Jenkins brothers) and I was glad to see that a novella featuring a grown up Jacob has recently been published as an ebook.
Karen Witemeyer is one of my go-to authors for fun and humorous inspirational romance.
Though this might not be a favorite out of all her published books so far, it is definitely enjoyable. I'm looking forward to reading more of her writing.
(And I just have to mention that the girl on the cover's expression makes me want to laugh, and should make a man want to run.)