Mysteries in the ground and a second chance... The Secrets Beneath by Kimberley Woodhouse (Review) #thesecretsbeneath #newbooks #romancebooks #historicalfiction #christianfiction #booktwitter @bethany_house @austenprose

Welcome! This was an intriguing read. Read my full review below...

The Secrets Beneath
(Treasures of the Earth #1)
By Kimberley Woodhouse
Inspirational Historical Fiction, Western Romance
Paperback, Audiobook & eBook, 336 Pages
September 26, 2023 by Bethany House Publishers


Some secrets can only stay buried for so long. . . . 

Anna Lakeman has spent her life working alongside her paleontologist father, drawing intricate sketches at every dig. When they find dinosaur bones near their home in Wyoming Territory, they're given the opportunity of a lifetime and are swiftly caught up in the competitive era of the Bone Wars. But after her father becomes sick and Joshua Ziegler, an old beau, returns for the summer, Anna's world is upended, and the practical, orderly life she has made for herself shatters. Medical student Joshua Ziegler left his hometown to forget Anna, the one woman he truly loved and deeply hurt. But when he returns, time hasn't erased the feelings they've always had for each other. After Joshua's nephew goes missing—just like his sister did years ago—and Anna's job is threatened, tensions mount and dangerous secrets are unearthed.

Praise for the Book

“…a propulsive launch with plenty of fuel for future adventures.”— Publisher’s Weekly

"This book is full of intrigue and adventure, twists and turns…I highly recommend you pick up a copy and enjoy the journey."— Tracie Peterson, author of Pictures of the Heart

“Fans of Kimberley Woodhouse will rejoice in this launch to a unique and engaging new series."— Jocelyn Green, author of The Metropolitan Affair

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

THE SECRETS BENEATH is the first book in a new series and one where a young lady works with her paleontologist dad but dreams of holding such a position herself. She's had her dreams of happily-ever-after crushed already but finds that there is a second chance, although possibly not with who she thinks. The story is full of intrigue with different aspects of paleontology at the time, set in a small western town in Wyoming with interesting, likable characters. 

This story had a fairly dark beginning, which was a bit unexpected and may be a trigger for some. It definitely built an immediate feeling for a character and the possible ramifications for the story. It also evoked empathy for a boy who grew up under very difficult and violent circumstances. There was a feeling of suspicion at contrast to empathy that continued through much of the story.

I liked Anna from the start and she continued to be my favorite character in this story. She is full of kindness, intelligence, skill, talent and strength. I also liked Joshua, although he had to grow on my a bit as the story progressed. He's a solidly good man who is trying to figure things out while also achieving his dreams of becoming a doctor. 

This story had a bit of a love triangle surrounded by mystery and twists and turns. I wasn't sure what would happen or be discovered. I also thought the paleontology aspect to be unique and interesting. It's the first time I've encountered a character involved in that and this had the added pleasure of being historically set so that you get a glimpse of how things happened when it was a newer field. The romance was also a bit of a question mark as to what would happen although I had a pretty solid guess. The romance was present, but didn't overtake the story. I loved the mix of romance and mystery. I felt like the author did a really good job in developing the characters and story.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was such an intriguing story! It's always great when a book can teach you new things and keep you guessing, which this one definitely did. There were aspects of inspiration, family, friendship, suspense and romance. An overall enjoyable read!

Content/Trigger Warner: Some references to violence, abuse, people disappearing, and killing small animals.
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Austenprose PR, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Kimberley Woodhouse is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 30 fiction and nonfiction books. Kim and her incredible husband of 30-plus years live in Colorado, where they play golf together, spend time with their kids and grandbaby, and research all the history around them.

Have you read any of this author's other books? Have you read any books with paleontologists?

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