Meet Lacie Heatherton from BURK’S SURRENDER, a Christian Romance Book

Tell us your name and a little bit about yourself.
Hi guys! I’m Lacie Heatherton. Oops, I mean Lacie Harmon. Burk and I have only been married a few weeks, so I still haven’t adjusted to my new name. My thirteen-year-old daughter, Violet, lives with us along with my grandma Wilma. But I suspect Grandma won’t be here too much longer. Monty’s been coming around every night. Can you believe she finally ditched the baggy sweatpants? 🙂
Tell us about where you live and why you choose to live there.
We live in Harrison, North Carolina, in a Craftsman home I saw online. I’d bookmarked it, thinking I could scrounge up enough savings to buy it for Violet and me. But, then I almost lost my job and Violet needed braces. And, well, you know how it is being a single parent. Of course, the listing expired, but Burk’s twin brother, Beck, remodels and stages homes for a real estate company. His company picked up the listing for the tiny house. He added a bunch of square footage and transformed it into a gorgeous home. We snapped it up. It’s perfect for our family, and I love it!
What is a quirk of your personality that most people wouldn’t know?
Burk couldn’t stand that the number four by the front door at Grandma’s house hung crooked. Every time he came over, he straightened it. What he didn’t know was that I twisted it just to mess with him. He never found out!
What obstacles did you have to overcome to reach your happily-ever-after?
I had to harness the fear that rose up like a tidal wave and threatened to drown me. Fear that he would hurt me just like all the other men in my life. Fear that a man in Violet’s life would hurt her and complicate our lives. I had to trust him and trust that our ten years of friendship meant something, that it proved he was a man I could depend on and that he would never hurt us.
Tell us about your knight in shining armor. What makes him special?
Like I said, he would never hurt us, and his friendship has never wavered. Even when we went through a rough patch and I told him to leave, he didn’t. He’s been my friend since practically the day I met him. Part of my job was to take the Parks and Rec collections to him every day. After a few months of doing that, I started to plan my visits for late afternoon, after everybody had gone home, so we could chat uninterrupted. He was always kind, never complained that I took up too much of his time, and he seemed genuinely friendly. He never tried to push my buttons or ask me out. One night I complained that our washer had kicked the bucket. He offered to fix it. That was the first of many fixes and dinners that I cooked in trade. So, when Renee left me in the lurch with the senior trip, I knew I could count on him to go with us if I asked. Nicely. Which I did. And can you believe he accused me of batting my eyelashes?
But you know what really lights up my heart about my husband? His faith. It’s quiet, but steady and sure. Just like him. And he’s a family man. After his faith, he puts his family first. Always has.
The first time you saw him, what did you think? Did you like him immediately, or did he have to grow on you?
Oh, I liked him. With his friendly smile and that incredibly deep voice, how could I not? But the first time I saw him, he was a college intern and I was…pregnant. I didn’t introduce myself. What was the point? Dating was not on my agenda. I had more important things to worry about. Like how to keep my job when I spent every morning running to the bathroom or where I would sleep that night.
But then he became Finance Director, and I finally had the chance to really get to know him. I thought he’d arrange for me to turn in the collections to someone else, being so busy and all, but he didn’t. Our conversations started veering to personal things, and we became friends more than business associates.
And he’s over six feet of gorgeous! But like him? Not a chance! Not after being beaten by Violet’s father when I told him I was pregnant and then being kicked out of the house by my stepfather. Poor Burk had his work cut out for him. I’m so glad he didn’t give up!

With Pelican Book Group

Deputy City Manager Burk Harmon has always been the strong one for his family, but recently those responsibilities have dwindled. When Lacie Heatherton, Assistant Director for Parks and Recreation, ropes him into a city-sponsored trip to the mountains with fifty seniors, Burk has two things on his mind: considering a possible promotion and wooing Lacie past friendship and into a future. Lacie has emotional scars and a thirteen-year-old daughter to remind her that men can be cruel and unforgiving. Can Burk convince Lacie to relax her “no dating” policy or will he surrender his dreams of family and love?

On My Kindle ~ Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer

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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?

Sharing my thoughts:
A man of few words, Darius Thornton is all about numbers and ledgers, but a boiler explosion changes his priorities. Boiler research and experiments consume his time, so much that he rarely sleeps. People around town consider him crazy, and not a soul is willing to accept employment as his secretary. Until Nicole. 

Nicole Renard will do anything for her gravely ill father, including picking out an heir to assume the family shipping business although she’s perfectly capable of running it herself. When the Jenkins brothers derail her plan, intent on stealing the family heirloom, she escapes until she runs out of money. She needs a job, and the only one who will hire her is the crazy scientist.

“I believe, Miss Greyson, it’s customary for the employer to give the orders, not the employee.”
She crossed her arms over her chest, her brown eyes shooting sparks at him. “When one’s employer nearly blows himself up, he forfeits the right to give orders. At least for the rest of the day.”

Unique, well-crafted characters and a chemistry that sizzles from the pages lightened up some sections where the technical aspects of steamship boilers bogged a bit for me, but that’s probably because I’m not a huge history buff. I’m more into the romance, and Full Steam Ahead delivered! Their romantic journey might have been a short few days, but it seemed totally natural and organic. With a couple kisses leaning toward steamy, Full Steam Ahead was just the right “heat” level for me. 

Marred. Cracked. Broken. Yet for the first time Darius realized that what truly mattered was not that the pot was marred, but that it remained in the hand of the potter.

These sweet words reminded me that no matter how ugly life can get sometimes, God can take all my broken pieces and turn them into something beautiful. Fraught with danger, packed with passion, and weaved with a sweet message like this, reading Full Steam Ahead was a wonderful way to spend a few evenings.

Disclaimer: Sending a big thank you to Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for allowing me the privilege of reviewing Full Steam Ahead and for the free copy I received in exchange for my fair and unbiased review. This opinion is my own, and I received no compensation.