I have always shied away from Titanic based fiction because, let's face it, no matter how you dress up the story, you know how it is going to end = the ship is going to sink, and nothing will change that. So I was pleased when I found I really enjoyed this story. The main theme running through the book is the romance between ordinary girl Emilia and super rich Carl, and this made really good reading. At first I did wonder if I was reading a sequel, because there is a "story before the story starts" which is revealed in good time, so that Emilia is a "woman with a mystery in her past" when we meet her.
You know virtually from their first meeting that Emilia and Carl are attracted to each other, but the author still manages to keep you interested, wanting to know if, how and when they will take matters further and to what end, knowing the fate that is in store for them.
There are some wonderful colourful characters in the book including the busy body matrons who are determined to keep the couple apart for their own selfish reasons as well as the evil Mr Barker who has his own plans for Emilia. The descriptions of the ship, its crew and passengers on that maiden voyage really bring the story to life in such a way that whilst reading the book I actually forgot that the ship was going to hit an iceberg and sink, and was really quite shocked for a moment when disaster struck. I found that the part of the book dealing with the iceberg and sinking was well paced and gripping reading and went on for just the right amount of time, without taking up hundreds and hundreds of pages so that I didn't lose interest.
The author has obviously done an incredible amount of research for the book, and it certainly pays off.
Highly recommended romance read.