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Ship of Dreams


Half a century before Titanic…

Set amid the true events of the final, ill-fated voyage of the SS Central America, a starched-up businessman and a desperate adventuress are thrown together by circumstances and find true love…only to have it threatened by nature itself!

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Half a century before Titanic…

Another famous shipwreck captured the hearts and imagination of the world. In 1857, laden with gold and adventurers fresh from the California Gold Rush, the luxury sidewheel steamer SS Central America went down in a hurricane off the Carolina coast. Many were saved, many were lost, and lives were changed forever. Relive the experiences of her passengers, as told through the eyes of a fictitious couple who find love and danger on the high seas aboard this first “Ship of Dreams.”

On her own in wild, wicked, post-Gold Rush San Francisco, Della Gilliland has become a bit of a con artist, though a harmless one. Falsely accused of murder by a rival snake-oil salesman, she is forced to flee the lawless city’s vigilantes aboard an outbound steamer. Surely her quick wits—and tongue—can convince someone to help her until her pursuers are far behind.

Stuffy New York businessman Kent Bradford is shocked when a lovely redhead he’s never met suddenly introduces herself as his wife to an important business contact. Fearing a scene, he plays along . . . for the moment. But moments turn into weeks and growing attraction becomes something more. Then, only days out from New York, their ship encounters a hurricane that threatens not only their budding love, but their very lives.

Praise for Ship of Dreams:

“A rousing adventure and a grand romance.” ~Susan Wiggs, NYT bestselling author

Ship of Dreams starts as light adventure then swirls the characters and the reader into passion and danger that challenge body, heart, and soul. A gripping read.” ~ Jo Beverley, NYT bestselling author

Adventure Aboard a Sidewheel Steamer in 19th Century America—Simply Superb! This was my first book by Hiatt and I was impressed with how well she portrayed an historic event through the eyes of a man and woman falling in love. I love historical romances that integrate real history and real historical figures (and do not just use historical settings as background “wallpaper”). This one does it very well. Hiatt is a superb storyteller and I soon found myself absorbed—both in the romance and life aboard the steamship. All in all, I think Hiatt did an incredible job of bringing both the Victorian period in America and this incident in history to life. I highly recommend it.” ~Regan Walker, author and Goodreads reader

“This heartwarming romance, along with vivid scenes of a shipwreck based on true stories, will keep you turning pages.” ~Nancy, Goodreads reader

GREAT LOVE STORY Really enjoyed this love story but didn’t realise until the end that it was based on true events . Don’t usually read or enjoy love stories but this was a bit different with quite a bit of action. Give it a read, you won’t be disappointed.” ~Amazon reader

Really good read Loved this book, was not aware it was a true story (at least the part about the ship, not the romance obviously) but really loved it and have read several times.” ~Amazon reader

“Another fun and very entertaining read from this creative author.” ~Virginia, Goodreads reader


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