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Ship of Dreams

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  183 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
A Harmless Little Lie

Accused of a crime she didn't commit, Della Gilliland flees San Francisco, barely escaping aboard an east-bound ship. Penniless yet proud, Della would never dream of approaching an attractive, charming passenger for help, but she's desperate.

Grew Into A Passion

Businessman Kent Bradford is shocked when a beautiful, flame-haired woman unexpectedly intro

Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 5th 2000 by HarperTorch (first published 2000)
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3.5 stars

San Francisco, 1857. Della Gilliland has been making her way in the world by selling harmless medicines, but one of her *patients* has just died and she's being wrongfully blamed for it. With the law hot on her heels and justice in San Francisco somewhere questionable, Della figures her safest bet is to get on the first ship heading out-of-town. But how to get on board when there's not enough money for it? Why, she marches up to ever-so-handsome Kenton Bradford (of the New York Bradford
Regan Walker
Jan 26, 2013 Regan Walker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-reads
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.

SHIP of DREAMS is a romance, yes, but a romance wrapped around the true story of the sinking of
Based on the true story of the SS Central American and it's sinking in 1857, this story had good characters and an interesting story line. I definitely would have given it a 4 but unfortunately the author spoiled this novel for me by including several intimacy scenes that included too much information. Sorry to see a very good book spoiled by it's author when these scenes could have been described with one or two sentences with much less detail. Would not recommend it as I could not deem it a cl ...more
Nubia Sanchez
Jun 04, 2012 Nubia Sanchez rated it really liked it
This book was amazing!! I really like it! I didn't actually love it because I wish it would continue on with Della and Kent new adventure. Yet I like the plot and setting that the characters have to go through. Each setting show how much Della and Kenton relationship grew more within each passing day that they could no longer hide their for one another! But to those who love historical romance novel this book is a good one!! :)
Jun 16, 2012 Jaime rated it it was ok
I would give 3 stars for the historical event, the account of a steamship sinking which is based on an actual occurrence (and one of which I had been previously unaware). I didn't find the characters particularly sympathetic, or their situation remotely believable, but I enjoyed learning something new. The book prompted me to find out more about the wreck of the SS Central America.
Sep 19, 2012 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Della, a medicinal herbalist, escapes from a possible murder charge in San Francisco onto a cruise liner headed to Panama and eventually the States. Needing a quick disguise, she proclaims a stranger onboard to be her husband. For reasons of his own, he plays along until the ship sails and he gets her alone in his cabin. When she reveals her ruse, he explains that he needs a wife for business purposes. They agree to an arrangement but their fake marriage soon changes into deep affection. Their m ...more
Apr 30, 2015 Larena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Historical Romance

Della flees San Francisco aboard a ship after being accused of a crime she didn’t commit. Della then introduces herself as Kent Bradford’s wife to an important investor, shocking Kent. Determined to not cause a scene he goes along with the ruse.

The story is set amid the real events of the final voyage of the ill-fated SS Central America.

This is a story that takes the reader back in history and brings a tragic part of history to life for the reader. The reader gets to know som
Apr 02, 2013 Natalija rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Ship of Dreams by Brenda Hiatt is a historical romance inspired by a true event, the sinking of the S.S. Central America, a 278-foot sidewheel steamer that operated between Panama and New York City during the 1850s.

Overall, Ship of Dreams was a great read that pulled me in from the first page, though it was not without its flaws. My biggest issue with the book was the main heroine Della Gilliland. I never warmed up to her and all I saw was a lying opportunist who kept running away from her prob
Aug 14, 2016 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a well-written fictional story of an actual historical event, the sinking of the SS Central America in 1857. I found the historical aspects and descriptions of the events leading up to the sinking and the actual event and aftermath very interesting. The story line was enjoyable too, though I found it hard to believe that Della attempted the deception and Kent went along with it. I found that part of the book to be pretty slow, and was disappointed that they didn't just go to the captain ...more
May 29, 2012 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A full transit Panama Canal cruise in 1857. While this is fiction, it is based on an actual historical event where a steamer sinks off the east coast. A penniless girl boards a ship to escape from San Francisco where she is wrongly accused of a crime. She introduces herself as the wife of one of the passengers (much to his surprise). Because his business interests demand that he live a scandal free life, they must continue with the lie and, of course, this is where the romance begins. A shipboar ...more
Aug 14, 2013 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this was a fun book. Della is spunky and great for Stuff shirt Kenton. She is a bit too perfect and I found I liked her better when she began to despair. Kent is a man who grows into hero_ism and we are so glad of it! Anyone who likes ships, history, and romance will want to try this book.
May 20, 2015 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Romantic, Historical fiction. A wonderful love story and a great deal of historic information and interest. Keeps you on your seat. A real page turner. Reminded me a lot of the story of the story of the Titanic.
Lisa Howard
Jan 13, 2013 Lisa Howard rated it really liked it
The ships and most of the people in this book were actual living people, the author added the two main characters to romanticise the story. I thought the story was a great one and it kept me interested throughout the entire book.
Robyn Echols
May 28, 2012 Robyn Echols rated it really liked it
Interesting historical romance. I skip over the blow-by-blow sex scenes, of which there were several, but I did enjoy the historical detail. The character development for the main characters was good, although some of the minor characters (New York blue-bloods) were cookie-cutter predictable.
Apr 20, 2013 Shelly rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
I believe this was an Amazon freebie. I liked the beginning a lot. It stalled a little later on. Interesting from the perspective of a historical romance.
Oct 04, 2012 Kris rated it it was ok
Free Kindle book. Too graphic for me. If I had seen the cover first I would have never read it. I skipped the graphic parts to finish the story. Lesson learned...check Goodreads first.
Free Kindle Book May 26, 2012.
Oct 30, 2012 Mom rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
Read on Kindle - fun read especially with the ship wreck but too much detail on romantic moments for me.
Skimmed. Fist chapter or two, okay. The rest I skimmed until the shipwreak and the end.
Judy Towers
Judy Towers rated it really liked it
Oct 26, 2014
Judy Wiersma
Judy Wiersma rated it really liked it
Oct 01, 2014
Elaine Hubbard
Elaine Hubbard rated it really liked it
Nov 25, 2015
Amanda rated it liked it
Jul 09, 2014
Ids Fuentes
Ids Fuentes rated it liked it
Feb 27, 2017
Holly Maria
Holly Maria rated it it was amazing
Jun 10, 2012
Donna Roberts
Donna Roberts rated it really liked it
Jul 01, 2014
Adelheid rated it liked it
May 27, 2012
Myrna rated it really liked it
Jun 07, 2012
Annie rated it liked it
Jul 15, 2012
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Jul 16, 2013
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New York Times bestselling author Brenda Hiatt has published 21 novels to date, her first 15 with Harlequin and HarperCollins. Her novels include six traditional Regency romances, one time travel romance and eight historical romances, most set in Regency England, as well as one humorous mystery and a new young adult series. She has indie published her backlist and is currently writing more books i ...more
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