Credence by Penelope Douglas Book Review

Credence by Penelope Douglas Book Review

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From New York Times bestselling author, Penelope Douglas, comes a new standalone!

Three of them, one of her, and a remote cabin in the woods. Let the hot, winter nights ensue…

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.

*Credence is a full length, stand-alone romance suitable for readers 18+.


There were no triggers listed in my ebook but Penelope Douglas might have some on her website. Here are some of the sensitive topics that I observed:

  • Alcoholism
  • Animal Death
  • Blood
  • Bullying
  • Child Abuse (not from main characters)
  • Cheating
  • Fire
  • Polyamory
  • Pregnancy
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Assault (potentially DubCon)
  • Sexually explicit scenes
  • Slut shaming
  • Suicide
  • Violence


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There are possible **SPOILERS** beyond this point!

Overall Rating

4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I didn’t know what I was getting myself into but I really ended up liking this one a lot! Reading this book was like being on the tallest rollercoaster ride in the fog! I never knew what would happen next with these characters. Each one was captivating in their own way. I wanted to know their backstories and how they would react next! The character development was spot-on for me. My heart was definitely involved! There was DRAMA, to say the least, in this house!

Tiernan de Haas is our FMC and she is on a journey as she processes the death of her parents. The healing and restoration are so cathartic to experience through her eyes. I loved how Douglas communicated that process; it was really beautiful and easy to relate to Tiernan. I just wanted the best for her and grew to feel protective over her recovering from all that she faces in Colorado. There’s a strong self-discovery and coming of age theme running through these pages and I was not mad at it! There is also a theme of home and what home truly means for someone. Hello, found family! The conclusion of this book was extremely satisfying in a non-cheesy way! Well deserved HEA!

This book has some relationships that are not traditional and definitely read as taboo, intentionally. I’m a dark romance reader but one of the relationships Tiernan experiences was particularly unsettling for me. I know that it wouldn’t be a deterrent to many but I thought I’d include this acknowledgment in my review. I was debating whether I could finish this book if the relationship continued. And I would encourage anyone who gets to the relationship I’m talking about to just keep going! I’m glad I didn’t put this book down because I really liked it! It’s the only reason I took a star away.

Spice Rating

4/5 🌶🌶🌶🌶

This book is laden with sex. So if you’re opposed to open-door scenes in your novels, skip this one! One of the self-discovery parts of this novel really comes from the sexual relationships that Tiernan engages in. She learns about herself and she takes you through that journey with plenty of details. As I mentioned, there’s so much more to the storyline other than the sex in this one.

Setting / World / Universe

They’re in Chapel Peak, Colorado! I love books set here. As a Coloradoan, I think she did an amazing job capturing the beauty here during winter. Ultimately, everything I love about being outside here was pictured in this tale. I was obsessed with their cabin and the nature scenes when they did activities outdoors too.

Genre & Tropes


Contemporary Romance


  • Coming of Age
  • Close Proximity (Snowed in)
  • Enemies to Lovers
  • Found Family

Favorite Quotes

“Would you rather be used than never thought of at all?” “Would you rather be never thought of at all or used?”

He stops and looks down into my eyes. “I won’t be happy without you,” he states. “I know that.”

“He’s the one who smiles at me and always makes me feel like my lungs are full.”


Check out Credence on Amazon here. It’s available on Kindle Unlimited! Try Kindle Unlimited with this link!

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