Credence by Penelope Douglas *New Favorite*

Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Credence
Author: Penelope Douglas
Format: eBook Borrowed from Kindle Unlimited

Tiernan de Haas doesn’t care about anything anymore. The only child of a film producer and his starlet wife, she’s grown up with wealth and privilege but not love or guidance. Shipped off to boarding schools from an early age, it was still impossible to escape the loneliness and carve out a life of her own. The shadow of her parents’ fame followed her everywhere.

And when they suddenly pass away, she knows she should be devastated. But has anything really changed? She’s always been alone, hasn’t she?

Jake Van der Berg, her father’s stepbrother and her only living relative, assumes guardianship of Tiernan who is still two months shy of eighteen. Sent to live with him and his two sons, Noah and Kaleb, in the mountains of Colorado, Tiernan soon learns that these men now have a say in what she chooses to care and not care about anymore. As the three of them take her under their wing, teach her to work and survive in the remote woods far away from the rest of the world, she slowly finds her place among them.

And as a part of them.

She also realizes that lines blur and rules become easy to break when no one else is watching.

One of them has her.

The other one wants her.

But he…

He’s going to keep her.



I was scared to read this.

Based on what I’d heard people say this book was about (I never actually read the synopsis) paired with some of the books I’ve read by Penelope Douglas that I didn’t love (*cough* Bully *cough*) I was a little hesitant reading this book.

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely wanted to read it. After all, one of my favorite forbidden romances was Birthday Girl by this author.

I felt like this book could either be really uncomfortable or really good.

Well… it was neither. It was great.

I don’t know that this knocks Birthday Girl off of the #1 spot of my Penelope Douglas favorites, but it certainly comes in a close second.

Here’s the thing. This book is problematic, it’s true. There were quite a few things that happened in it that I normally wouldn’t be ok with. There are some consent issues, the whole family aspect is super weird, along with the age-gap – but for some reason, it wasn’t a deal breaker for me.

I was on completely invested in this story from the very first page.

Tiernan’s story was so heartbreaking and shocking, and at first I worried that the taboo nature of this story would take away from her trauma, but it actually lended itself well to the entire story.

I’m not against taboo books, but I think they need to be handled with a lot of care. It shouldn’t just be someone’s brain dump of dirty thoughts, more than anything else the story and the characters and the character development has to be strong. This is something that Penelope Douglas (and Sierra Simone) do incredibly well.

I had so many emotions while reading this book. Of course there were a lot of WTF moments, but I was also swooning so hard.

I expected to be much more torn between the three choices, but I was immediately biased as soon as Kaleb come into the picture. Despite him being a total pushy alpha, I was all in – shipping him and Tiernan so hard.

I did not have any interest in Tiernan and Jake whatsoever, in fact, if any of the relationships made me uncomfortable – it was theirs.

I did adore Noah and he was my second choice.

Something else that surprised me was how I totally didn’t mind that she had relationships (of varying levels) with all of them. I understood how repressed she’d been and why she did what she did. I do wish the guys weren’t as promiscuous as they were, though.

All in all – I was so in to this book and I have a MAJOR book hangover from it. Unfortunately there aren’t any books I can think of that can quite come close to the quality of this book and I’m afraid I will have this hangover for a while.

Butterfly Rating: 5 Stars


Re-read Worthiness: Yes!

Bookshelf Placement: Yes

Book Boyfriend Rating: 5 stars





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