By Kelly Bridgewater
About the Book
Book: Undercurrent of Secrets
Author: Rachel Scott McDaniel
Genre: Christian Romance
Release date: September 2021
Two women, a century apart, are bound by a haunting secret aboard a legendary steamboat.
Walk through Doors to the Past via a new series of historical stories of romance and adventure.
As wedding coordinator for the 100-year-old steamboat The Belle of Louisville, Devyn Asbury takes pride in seeing others’ dreams come true, even though her engagement had sunk like a diamond ring to the bottom of the Ohio River. When the Belle becomes a finalist in the Timeless Wedding Venue contest, Devyn endeavors to secure the prestigious title with hopes to reclaim some of her professional dreams. What she hadn’t planned on was Chase Jones showing up with a mysterious photo from the 1920s.
A century earlier, Hattie Louis is as untamable as the rivers that raised her. As the adopted daughter of a steamboat captain, her duties range from the entertainment to cook. When strange incidents occur aboard the boat, Hattie’s determined to discover the truth. Even if that means getting under First Mate Jack Marshall’s handsome skin.
Undercurrent of Secrets by Rachel Scott McDaniel created a story that allowed the mystery of secret loves and secret lives to come to the readers’ attention. The time slip element of the two time periods really captured my attention. I have read a number of stories by other authors, like Rachel Hauck and Jaime Jo Wright who have crafted their stories in the same vein. This allows the readers to actually see the past mystery as it is unfolding and the present day story to work through the mystery at the same time. The plot, to begin, was a little dry and not enough action, but then the plot deepened and became more interesting as the story moved along. The romance in both time periods really had no beginning. Both couples jumped right into feeling emotions for each other and dived right into the romance. Overall, Undercurrent of Secrets has a deeply engrained mystery to it that was interesting to see unveil near the end of the novel. There was a reflection section near the end of the novel that was a nice way to tie both stories together. I believe this was a delightful novel to spend a couple of days with.
I received a complimentary copy of Undercurrent of Secrets by Rachel Scott McDaniel from Barbour Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase Undercurrent of Secrets
About the Author
Rachel Scott McDaniel is an award-winning author of historical romance. Winner of the ACFW Genesis Award and the RWA Touched By Love award, Rachel infuses faith and heart into each story. Rachel can be found online at www.RachelScottMcDaniel.com and on all social media platforms. Her work is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency. Rachel resides in Ohio with her husband and two children.
More from Rachel
A Century on the River
In 1914, America hadn’t joined WWI yet. Airplanes, or flying machines as they were called, were still a phenomenon. Radios weren’t a thing. Hawaii and Alaska weren’t part of the United States. The world as a whole looked different than the one we walk today. But one thing remains true as it had 100 years ago—The Belle of Louisville graced the waters. In fact, the century-old steamboat is like a floating time capsule.
First named the Idlewild, this boat was built in Pittsburgh, PA and was launched in October 1914. It began its days as a packet boat, hauling freight and ferrying passengers. During the ‘Roaring 20s’ there wasn’t much documentation for her travels. But it’s believed the Idlewild spent the decade tramping—a steamboat term for going up and down the river, stopping at various towns and taking passengers for excursions. Which worked perfectly for Undercurrent of Secrets.
The boat was then sold to New Orleans where it continued to ferry passengers. In 1931, The Idlewildspent a season in Louisville running trips to Rose Island and Fontaine Ferry amusement parks. It then spent the next several years coursing the waterways from Canada to New Orleans, living upon the Mississippi and Ohio river systems until WWII. The second world war brought a lot of action to the Idlewild which was then outfitted with special equipment to push oil barges along the river. She also served as a floating USO nightclub for troops stationed at military bases along the Mississippi River.
In 1947, she was sold and renamed the Avalon. For the next two decades the legendary lady spent her days along the rivers, hosting excursions, bringing adventure to the hearts of many Americans. But all those years and miles eventually caught up to her and she fell in disrepair. In 1962, she was put up for auction in Cincinnati where she was purchased by Jefferson County Judge Executive Marlow Cook for $34,000. She then received her third name, The Belle of Louisville.
The restoration of the boat was supervised by marine architect Alan L. Bates (later Captain Bates). Capt. Bates’ books, Str. Belle of Louisville, and Moonlight at 8:30, were a huge help to me while researching the history of the boat and the crews who worked on her. The reno crew worked tirelessly rebuilding the Belle and on April 30th, she tested the waters again by racing against the Delta Queen in the first Great Steamboat Race. The Belle has been wharfed in Louisville ever since. This century-old steamboat has stood the test of time, surviving decades, sinkings, storms, weathering all the trials with grit and grace. If you ever find yourself in Louisville, you could book a cruise on the Belle and experience history.
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Christian Bookaholic, September 26
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For Him and My Family, September 28
Life of Literature, September 28
deb’s Book Review, September 29
Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 29
Remembrancy, September 30
Locks, Hooks and Books, September 30
She Lives to Read, October 1
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 1
Older & Smarter?, October 1
Mary Hake, October 2
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 3
Simple Harvest Reads, October 3 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Bizwings Blog, October 3
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 4
For the Love of Literature, October 4
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 5
Through the fire blogs, October 5
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 6
Pause for Tales, October 6
Artistic Nobody, October 7 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Just Your Average reviews, October 7
Splashes of Joy, October 8
Labor Not in Vain, October 8
To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.