Credence, a New Adult romance by New York Times bestselling author Penelope Douglas is LIVE!
***Disclaimer – this book is not going to be for everyone. It isn’t your traditional romance. There characters who are damaged, who make decisions you don’t agree with, who act in ways that will make you want to scream, but to me, they are human, flawed dealing with issues the way they seem fit. For me, personally, I was enthralled by the journey.
5 Unconventional CROWNS
Penelope Douglas is not a conventional writer in the romance world. She writes what she wants and creates characters that do not follow the norm, but what we do always get with a Douglas book is something that is well written and develops themes that hit me straight in the heart.
This story follows the characters of Jake, Kaleb, Noah and Tiernan. And while all the characters are important to the story, this story is really about the evolution of the heroine. Her growing and becoming stronger, feeling more, and exploring who is really is. Through her relationships with these men she finds her voice on her own terms. There will be readers, I’m sure who are not happy with her choices, but they are just that, her choices. Her acts become a part of her character growth. I love who she became and the strength she showed. Her choices at the end of the book truly exposed how much this girl had changed into a woman. She became someone who knew her worth and demanded it.
The men in this book are all so different but so similar, and Penelope did a phenomenal job showing who they are what drives them and their needs, especially in nonverbal ways. The nuances to develop these characters were peppered through, making me fall for each of these men in their own way.
Their similarities are reflected in Tiernan as well. These similarities are what pull them together. They become a family, a bit unconventional, but a family nonetheless, one that cares about each other, supports each other, and wants what is best for each other.
This story from page one had my mind reeling. The blurb wasn’t clear about who would end up with whom, would it be RH or one guy and one girl at the end. And you know what, I’m not going to ruin that for anyone, but I will tell you that this journey was perfect. These characters found a home in each other, become a family, found love, chased their dreams. By the end of this book, I loved them. I loved the idea of home being a feeling, not a place. I loved the underlying themes that were laid below the romance and erotic moments. Those are the parts that shine the brightest for me.
This has been my first five star read of 2020. It was unique and pushed some boundaries, but it is so much more than that. It is a layered and complex journey of life, love and family.
3 I wanted to love it CROWNS
This is a really difficult review for me to write, as although I liked Credence, I didn’t love it and, based on the opening chapters of the book, which totally drew me in, I really wanted to love it, all of it.
Tiernan has been undervalued, ignored and unhappy all her life. Following the death of her parents she moves out of the family home and into a remote cabin in the Colorado mountains with step-family who up to that point had been strangers to her. She wants to feel, something, anything after being numb for so long and embarks on a journey of self discovery and somewhat of a cathartic healing process, in a very unconventional way.
I loved the writing and the majority of the plot (although I wouldn’t have minded if it was darker) but for me it dragged a little in parts and overall it fell rather flat. There was a fair amount of misogyny and double standards from the men in this book but my view is that Tiernan recognized this and had a choice whether to ignore and disregard their behaviour, or acknowledge it. I feel for the most part she made her choice to accept it and carry on regardless. I believe that some readers on the other hand will have a real problem with accepting the behaviour of these men, and I can totally see why, but personally those aspects of the story were not a stumbling block for me. However, although there are things in fiction I’m ok with that I wouldn’t condone in real life, there was one particular incident between Tiernan and one of the men which is a big no no for me both in the real and fictional world. All I will say on the subject is it’s disgusting and disrespectful and really influenced my view of him for the rest of the book.
My real problem with the story, and where I did feel that I was missing something was in the emotional connection between the characters, especially when it started to become apparent towards the end of the book that Tiernan was leaning towards one man in particular. I simply didn’t get it. To me there was an imbalance, what feelings there were between her and this man felt more one sided and just not enough to persuade me that they both held deep feelings for one another equally. I don’t know how else to describe it, other than apart from their lust, I just didn’t feel immersed in their passion, or gripped by their love for each other. A case of too much tell and not enough show, or too little too late perhaps.
Maybe I was literally missing something. I believe that the author tried to give us non-verbal clues as to their growing feelings but it’s possible that other signs were just too subtle for me. Overall, despite having a happy ending, it was just not enough to make up for the lack of a believable loving relationship leading up to that point. Sadly, overall this one left me feeling disappointed.
5 They Didn’t Leave a Note Crowns
Penelope continues to amaze me with her unique stories and flawless writing, and this book is no different. She has created an EPIC unconventional romance unlike anything I’ve ever read, and I could not put it down. This story is about 4 lost and broken souls and their journey towards healing. This is not for everyone but if you take the chance on it you will not be disappointed.
“It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.”—Frederick Douglas
This book is hard to label as any one thing because it has layers upon layers in it. The story is so unique, and Penelope has delivered it with such precision that it took a couple days to even wrap my head around what I read. The characters are all damaged in some way. And they handle that in their own way’s but what you witness is the process with which they took towards slowly healing from their broken places. This book is emotional and at times hard to read due to what’s happening, but each of their journey’s is a necessary one and so worth the ride.
His voice is deep but soft, like he’s a little bit scared of me but not scared of anything else.
The development of each character and their individual personalities really pull this story together effortlessly. Penelope has this way of writing that draws you completely into her stories, to the point you get lost in them. And this story does just that she pulls you in from the very first chapter and as the story progresses you get wrapped up in her twists and turns that continue to keep you on the edge of your seat just waiting to see what she’s going to do next. This book is a Non-Stop ride from start to finish. Every new development and moment she wrote keeps you utterly enthralled. I had to know what was going to happen, she had me furiously turning the pages to see what she would do next.
I feel it. The need to engage. After the sadness, anger was my constant companion as a kid. And then the anger went away, and there was nothing.
I love stories that are different and push you out of your comfort zone. Those types of stories for me are my crack I cannot get enough. And this story checks those boxes for me. This is unlike anything I’ve read, and I did not want it to end, alas it did of course. But not before taking me on a journey that I will be hard pressed to forget. Penelope tore open my soul with this book and slowly and meticulously put it back together with her words, but she pieced it with a part of this book embedded into my marrow.
I swallow. Why would he put a dreamcatcher on there? But it is beautiful. He made this himself? Then I notice something else, and I chuckle. “The notches go all the way to the buckle,” I point out. “I’m flattered, but my waist isn’t that small.” Noah leans in, whispering, “But your wrists are.”
I am so grateful that she took the chance with this book, because I couldn’t imagine not having it. I commend authors who write what they want to write even though they know that not everyone will like their story. Those books are the ones that we need, if they aren’t going to write those stories than who will? Is this book for everyone? Absolutely not. But is it without a doubt worth the risk? Yes! All you must do is keep an open mind and embrace this amazing world that Penelope has created.
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.
And 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.
He’s going to keep her.
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About Penelope: Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her books have been translated into fourteen languages and include The Fall Away Series, The Devil’s Night Series, and the stand-alones, Misconduct, Punk 57, and Birthday Girl. Please look for Kill Switch (Devil’s Night #3), available now.
She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter.
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