Nicole Renard is on a mission for her father. She is determined not to fail. She must find an heir for her father’s shipping business. Before she leaves on her journey from Galveston, Texas to New Orleans, her plans go awry. She improvises quickly and ends up in the small town of Liberty, Texas with too little money to continue on to New Orleans. Her search for a job leads her to the eccentric Darius Thornton.
Darius needs a secretary, someone to help him get organized. He’s too busy working on his boiler experiments to spend the time to decipher his notes. When someone finally applies for the secretary position, he’s ready to hire the man. He’s shocked when a woman enters his home to interview for the position. She proves herself intelligent and capable from the get-go.
As Nicole and Darius spend more time together, they both grow to admire the other person and their attraction begins to grow. Darius is determined not to let anything, not even the beautiful, intelligent Nicole, take him from his experiments. Nicole’s promise to her father keeps her from being able to give her heart to a man she is beginning to care deeply for.
Karen Witemeyer’s historical fiction is touching and engaging. Nicole is spirited and feisty, she speaks her mind, and makes no apology for who she is. Darius is tortured and in need of someone to take care of him. Both of the characters have some flaws and at times, as a reader, I wanted ring their necks, but that made them more human. The story was engaging, entertaining, and even a little educational.
****Bethany House Publishers provided me with a free eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated in any way for either a negative or a positive review.