Reviewed by Zita
Laurel Benson-Desmarais is an adrenalin junkie. We first meet her at sea racing solo during a storm and loving it. Lightening flashes, thunder crashes, waves splash(es) and she and her boat are hurled into an alternate reality. Before she even realizes she’s in trouble, her racing yacht is hooked from above by, of all things, a dirigible. A sailor boards her boat trying to free the grappling hook. To make matters worse, the ocean appears to be corrosive and is eating away the hull.
Laurel manages to board the dirigible, but she finds out soon enough that the reality she’s been dropped into is a world at war. Naturally, her rescuers are convinced she’s a spy, and she spends the first half of the book trying to win over the crew and earn the captain’s trust. The captain, of course, is a hottie, one Phineas Hamilton (your typical alpha with issues), which just complicates Laurel’s life even more. Eventually they follow their libidos and the encounter between them is smoking. The waters do not run smooth, however, and misunderstandings ensue. Our intrepid hero must realize the error of his ways, save the day, and rescue the girl.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Phineas is kind of a boiler-plate alpha hero, but Laurel’s character more than makes up for it. She’s a great heroine: feisty, smart, competent, and likable. There are a couple of rough spots mid-way through the story, particularly in the slightly stilted conversations, but nothing that detracts from the reading enjoyment. There are a whole crew’s worth of secondary characters that are just excellent, and the villains are brutish and dastardly–everything you expect a Victorian-era villain to be. The world- and character-building is very well done. One can only hope that Nathalie Gray will revisit this world and these characters to give us further adventures with Laurel and Phineas.
This book can be purchased at Red Sage: http://eredsage.com/store/FullSteamAhead_NathalieGray.html