Undercurrent of Secrets by Rachel Scott McDaniel ~ Book Review + Giveaway

October 4, 2021


About the Book

Book:  Undercurrent of Secrets
Author: Rachel Scott McDaniel
Series: Doors to the Past
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.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

She has done it again! Rachel Scott McDaniel has written a book that has captivated me through and through and let's not forget mentioning the swoon-worthy moments you will encounter while reading this completely intriguing dual time storyline. I must say that sometimes dual line storylines are not all equal, meaning that sometimes you get sucked in one timeline more than the other, that is not the case with this story. You are equally immersed in both and intrigued by both so much that at the end of the chapters you want to continue reading. Yes, this was definitely one of those books that kept me up at night and I read it overnight just because I needed to know what was going to happen. 

We meet two sets of characters in this story. Devyn and Chase are from the present time line and you fall for them immediately. I mean their banter and chemistry is just dreamy. You feel for Devyn immediately, she has been hurt by a previous relationship and is trying to find out who she is on her own. She is drawn to Chase despite being super cautious. Hattie and Jack are from the past timeline, set in 1926, and goodness what a timeline to e in as well. Hattie is not your typical lady. She is a "grab it by the horns" kind of gal and I loved it. She was the only lady, besides the cook, living amongst all the crew of the Belle and she was one of them. She didn't take any nonsense from the crew and they didn't give her any! When Jack enters the picture and joins the crew she is wary and so was I!! Why was he there? And why is he being so purposeful about certain things in the ship? (Wait till you find out!!)

There are other characters that you will fall for like Duffy who is Hattie's "adoptive father" of sorts and Devyn's brother Mitch (who should totally have his own book...just saying...) and I guess I should mention that there is also characters...one in particular that you will wan to throw overboard of slap. We can chat about it when you read the book!

Okay, besides the amazing characters this book has quite the suspense and mystery. There were twists and turns I definitely did not see coming. I will not divulge and tell you what they are because it is really the core of the story and you definitely need to read it for yourself. I promise you will love it!

Overall I thought this was a great book and a wonderful addition to the Doors of the Past series. It doesn't have to be read in order but I must say all the books I have read so far have been stellar. I for one cannot wait to read the next book from Rachel Scott McDaniel she writes great stories this one included. If you haven't picked up a book from her yet.. what are you waiting for?

My Rating: 5 Stars/LOVED IT!!

I received a copy of this book from the author as part of her Street Team. I was not required to post a positive review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

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 Idlewild spent 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.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 25

Rachael’s Inkwell, September 25

Texas Book-aholic, September 26

Christian Bookaholic, September 26

Where Faith and Books Meet, September 27

Inklings and notions, September 27

Genesis 5020, September 27

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

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 2

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.


1 comment

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this book, it sounds like a wonderful read