Counterfeit Love: Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age, Vol. 1
4.7 Stars Out Of 5
4.7 out of 5
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  1. null
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    ready to preorder the next 2
    May 17, 2022
    null
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book. I was so excited to read this book. Sigh. Crystal Caudill, I'm afraid I have some distressing news. I'm gonna need you to fire up that laptop a little more each day so you can get the next two books done. I need to preorder them right now.

    See, I figured I'd love this book, and I was not disappointed. As crazy as it sounds, I feel a connection with the author. I've been stalk-er, FOLLOWing her online, and we seem to have a lot in common.

    There was suspense, intrigue, terror, humor, everything that makes up a good story.

    It was so good that I didn't even take any notes, so now I'm scrambling. There were times I had goosebumps, times I had tears, and times that I laughed out loud. Toward the end of it, one of my girls was going to bed, but she wanted to talk (nothing of importance; just about our dog who'd gotten a fresh haircut). I just kept thinking about a tree and water and rope (and that's all I'll say about that). I just wanted to read, already! I will admit that I got a little short-tempered every time one of my kids wanted my attention and I was trying to read this.

    So if you have kids, maybe wait 'til they're grown, but otherwise, go get yourself a copy today!
  2. KavR
    Canada
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    History plus mystery makes me a happy reader!
    May 12, 2022
    KavR
    Canada
    Gender: female
    So, that cover caught my eye first. Striking! And atmospheric with the heroine looking behind her and the mysterious gentleman standing further down the way. Friend or foe? I just had to get the book to find out! Don't you love a cover that tells a story and lures you in?

    Extremely hard to believe this is a debut novel! I'm a forever Crystal Caudill fan now and -- eeeeepppp!!!! -- Counterfeit Love is the first in a series! Super excited about that.

    I go into a near swoon at the prospect of two of my favourite genres -- historical and romantic suspense -- colliding so that was another draw for me and Caudill handles both brilliantly.

    Danger and suspense and romantic entanglements...even a bit of a love triangle (gasp!) but I could handle it because it's obvious who the best man is. :-) The story is rich in historical detail which contributes to the overall ambience of the suspense and makes certain parts more chilling. Make sure you have some comfort chocolate on hand to get you through the tough spots. At least that's my excuse for indulging. :-)

    A solid suspense plot kept me riveted, even though I figured some key parts out early on. It was still fun to be 'in the know' when the characters weren't. And I might have screamed dire warnings a time or two (which Theresa and Broderick ignored. Gah!) But I could never in a million years predict exactly how everything would play out in such stupendous nail-biting glory!

    I'm thrilled to report that there's a solid faith thread woven through out the entire story as our hero and heroine grapple with the kind of struggles any reader can relate too -- trusting that God has a plan even in the midst of difficulties and sorrow. And that forgiveness isn't an option, it's a sacred opportunity. Caudill is never preachy -- she quietly speaks with conviction through the lives of Theresa and Broderick.

    So, romance + suspense + faith = sublime reading bliss! Please tell me book two is due out soon!

    P.S. I enjoyed the audible edition narrated by Stephanie Cozart.
  3. Sassy Bookish Mama
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent Debut Novel!!
    April 29, 2022
    Sassy Bookish Mama
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I love and hate when I fall in love with a debut author! I love it because I have found a new author that I can add to my list but I hate it because it means I must be patient until they release their next book! Bookish nerd problems am I right? This book was so good! I was immersed right away and I could not put it down. Crystal Caudill added all the elements needed to have me utterly captivated.

    The characters were so well written and developed. I loved getting to know Theresa and Broderick. You definitely feel the emotions in this story. Goodness, poor Theresa, I felt like nothing was ever going to go right for her. I mean she was clueless of her grandfather's shenanigans and was being the sole provider for the family. I just wanted something to go right for her. Then we meet Broderick, who just happens to be her former fiancee and goodness is he absolutely swoon worthy!! Ladies, let me tell you he is the perfect leading gentleman. You will definitely fall and root for him the entire time.

    The faith element in this story was superb. I really enjoyed seeing the growth in Theresa's faith throughout the story and I love that it was her friend Lydia who made her truly see that God is always with her no matter the circumstance. Sometimes we need a wake up call and who better to give it to us than a bestie.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It was well researched, had outstanding characters, great mystery and plot twists, action and a faith element that we can all relate to and have been through and swoon-worthy moments that are completely amazing! I would love to see more from these characters especially more of Nathaniel. I think he needs his own story but that's just me the reader hoping for more!

    If you enjoy Christian Historical Fiction you need to make sure you grab this one and add this author to your list! I can't wait to read what she comes up with next!! (Now we patiently wait...)

    My Favorite Quote:

    " I know you've been struggling, but no matter what happens or what you think you've lost, you cannot lose God. He pursues you with an unstoppable passion. He wants to be with you, and sometimes it takes stripping everything away for us to realize how much we need HIm. If you have nothing left, then turn to the One you do have. He's there waiting."

    I received a copy of this book from the author. I was not required to post a positive review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
  4. Rebecca Maney
    Gastonia, North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    What An Outstanding Debut!
    April 17, 2022
    Rebecca Maney
    Gastonia, North Carolina
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    4.5 stars

    "When death haunts you, the nightmares become real, and you feel there is no escape, God is with you. . . . . Don't abandon hope. Even if our lives aren't like we planned."

    Not like we planned? . . . the understatement of Theresa Planer's young life. Who would choose tripping through a graveyard in the dead of night only to meet up with some despicable characters, on the off chance such a rendezvous could grant her a better life? Even the heavy ring on her finger was a symbol of second choices, her first choice having abandoned her, much like God Himself had seemed to do after her near-death experience. But that was then, and this was now, . . . . . and now was not turning out to be much better.

    Undercover Secret Service Agent Broderick Cosgrove had finally managed to infiltrate a dangerous Cincinnati counterfeiting ring. When the woman he had once planned to marry, six years prior, turns up at a reconnaissance mission gone bad, Broderick is almost certain that her grandfather is involved, but the confounding woman appears to be up to her pretty neck in the business as well, but . . . "had the woman he loved become one of the criminals he hunted?".

    What a stunner of a debut! With its questionable characters and frustrating heroes, one must trust no one and everyone at the same time. Much of the action is spent running in circles leaving Theresa at the mercy of those who want to help her; granting her no option but to help herself . . . right back into the trouble she was in, in the first place. And the romance . . . heaven help us; it's obvious that years apart hasn't dulled the attraction between these two.

    Yet, it's the faith elements that steady this story from beginning to end. For, "ye shall not need to fight in this battle; set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you." - 2 Chronicles 20:17

  5. Polly
    missouri
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Secret Service Case
    April 14, 2022
    Polly
    missouri
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    It is hard to believe this is a debut novel. It is packed with information about the Secret Service in 1883. The characters are richly drawn and the story moves at a fast pace with danger at every turn of the page. The romance was complex and the villains were crafty.

    I so enjoyed this story with well researched facts about the Secret Service. Agent Broderick Cosgrove is tracking a counterfeiting ring which leads him to a very interesting lady, Theresa Plane. Theresa is doing her best to cancel the debts that her grandfather accumulated. But he is keeping things from her and that puts her in danger. Broderick, in agent mode, trusts no one and tries to separate lies from the truth. There in lies the conundrum when Broderick and Theresa start to favor each other. In addition, Theresa is having a crisis of faith but she finds support in her friend, Lydia: * I know you have been struggling, but no matter what happens or what you think you have lost, you cannot lose God... if you have nothing left, turn to the One you do have. He is there waiting.*

    Interesting, also, were references to other characters and their back story. I hope that Ms Caudill will favor us with a prequel. I am anxious to read the next book, Counterfeit Hope.

    *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
Displaying items 1-5 of 35
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