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Credence Paperback Book Cover
Published: January 13, 2020

Penelope Douglas Credence Book Review

Are you a fan of romance novels that keep you on the edge of your seat? Look no further than ‘Credence’ by Penelope Douglas.

This thrilling book follows the story of Tiernan de Haas, who finds herself living with her stepbrothers after her mother’s death. As she navigates this new living situation, Tiernan finds herself drawn to her stepbrother Kaleb, leading to a forbidden romance that is both exhilarating and dangerous. It is a new adult standalone novel.

Douglas expertly weaves together themes of family, love, and betrayal to create a page-turner that will leave you breathless. But don’t be fooled by the steamy romance – this book is also a commentary on societal expectations and the lengths we will go to protect those we love.

So, if you’re looking for a book that will keep you up all night and leave you wanting more, ‘Credence’ is the perfect choice. Read more in my Credence book review below.

Plot Summary of ‘Credence’

Penelope Douglas’ latest book, Credence, is a new adult standalone novel that explores complex characters and taboo romances. The story centers around Tiernan de Haas, a young girl who lost her only living relative at an early age.

Her parents’ fame came crashing down when they suddenly passed, leaving Tiernan alone in the world. Jake van der Berg, her father’s stepbrother, and a film producer, assumes guardianship of her after her parents died.

After she’s grown up to become a woman. The lines blur between family and love interests when Tiernan is sent to live with Jake in the remote woods.

As she slowly finds her own way, Tiernan spends winter hopping between her step-cousins, Noah and Kaleb, in a reverse harem situation. She flirts with step-cousin Noah first and then with her other step-cousin Kaleb. The forbidden attraction between Tiernan and her step-uncle, Jake, is also apparent from the moment she’s finished unpacking her bags. The age gap is what attracts Tiernan.

Penelope Douglas is known for her dark heroes, and Credence is no different. Many readers have disliked Penelope Douglas’s heroes for their psychopathic tendencies, and Jake van der Berg is no exception. Despite this, Tiernan finds herself falling for Jake’s charm and the forbidden love they share.

The book does have its moments, and the character development is well-done. The slow burn between Tiernan and Jake builds up to the point where the reader can’t help but be invested in their story.

Tiernan is a relatable protagonist, and Jake is a fascinating and complex character. The silver devil makes the reader feel all the lust and desire that Tiernan feels, and it’s hard not to root for the two of them.

The love triangle between Tiernan and her step-cousins, Noah and Kaleb, is one of the random moments in the book. Douglas spends ages building up the taboo romances and developed characters only to throw in a love triangle. It feels like a way to create tension in the story, but it falls flat.

The book does have some issues, and the Stockholm-esque nature  (Stockholm syndrome) of Tiernan’s relationship with Jake raises some concerns. The winter nights that ensue are full of sexual tension and even some sexual assault, which might not sit well with some readers.

In the end, Credence is not for everyone. The taboo subject matter and troubled characters may not be to everyone’s taste. However, for those who love psychopathic heroes and taboo romances, this book is a must-read. It’s an honest review of a book that has caused quite a stir in the contemporary romance genre. If you are a fan of Addison Cain and other dark romance authors, you might want to give Credence a try. Just be prepared for a wild ride.

Character Analysis of the Main Protagonists

Tiernan de Haas is the protagonist of the story. She is a quiet and reserved girl, who tries to keep a low profile. Tiernan is a survivor, having lost her mother at a young age. She is forced to live with her stepbrothers, who are strangers to her. Tiernan is portrayed as a strong and independent woman, who is not afraid to stand up for herself.

Kaleb is Tiernan’s stepbrother and love interest. He is portrayed as a bad boy with a dark past. Kaleb is a complex character, who is struggling with his inner demons. He is attracted to Tiernan, but he knows that their relationship is forbidden. Kaleb is protective of Tiernan, and he will do anything to keep her safe.

Noah is Tiernan’s other stepbrother. He is the most level-headed of the three brothers. Noah is a successful businessman, who is trying to keep his family together. He is protective of Tiernan, and he wants what is best for her.

Themes Explored in the Book

‘Credence’ explores themes of family, love, and betrayal. The story revolves around Tiernan’s relationship with her stepbrothers and the challenges that come with it. Tiernan is forced to live with her stepbrothers after her mother’s death, which puts her in a difficult situation. She is torn between her loyalty to her mother and her growing feelings for Kaleb.

The story also explores the theme of forbidden love. Tiernan and Kaleb’s relationship is forbidden, which adds an element of danger and excitement to the plot. The two are drawn to each other, despite the odds, and their love is put to the test as they navigate the challenges that come with their relationship.

The theme of betrayal is also explored in the story. Tiernan uncovers some of the secrets of the town, which puts her in danger. She realizes that some of the people she trusted have betrayed her, and she must rely on her own strength to survive.

Writing Style and Structure of Penelope Douglas

Penelope Douglas’ writing style is engaging and descriptive. She has a way of creating vivid imagery that transports the reader into the story. The story is well-structured, with each chapter building on the previous one. The plot is full of twists and turns, which keeps the reader engaged.

The story is narrated from the perspectives of Tiernan, Kaleb, and Noah, which adds depth to the plot. The characters are well-developed, and their motivations are clear. The dialogue is natural and realistic, which makes the characters relatable.

Positive and negative reviews of ‘Credence’

‘Credence’ has received mostly positive reviews from readers and critics alike. Readers have praised the book for its engaging plot, well-developed characters, and steamy romance. The book has been described as a page-turner that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.

However, some readers have criticized the book for its taboo subject matter. The relationship between Tiernan and Kaleb is seen as controversial by some readers. Some have also criticized the book for its explicit sexual content.

Comparison to other Works by Penelope Douglas

‘Credence’ is similar to Penelope Douglas’ other works in that it explores themes of forbidden love and betrayal. However, ‘Credence’ is unique in that it deals with the taboo subject of step-sibling romance. The book is darker and more intense than Douglas’ other works, which makes it stand out.

  1. Bully (Fall Away, #1)
  2. Until You (Fall Away, #1.5)
  3. Rival (Fall Away, #2)
  4. Falling Away (Fall Away, #3)
  5. Aflame (Fall Away, #4)
  6. Next to Never (Fall Away, #4.5)
  7. Corrupt
  8. Hideaway
  9. Misconduct
  10. Punk 57
  11. Birthday Girl
  12. Kill Switch (Devil’s Night, #3)
  13. Credence

Impact of ‘Credence’ on Readers by Penelope Douglas

‘Credence’ has had a profound impact on readers, particularly those who enjoy the romance and erotica genres. The book has been praised for its steamy romance and intense plot. Many readers have praised the book for its relatable characters and engaging storyline.

However, the book has also been criticized for its taboo subject matter. Some readers have expressed discomfort with the step-sibling romance, while others have praised the book for its bravery in tackling controversial subject matter.

Recommendations for Fans of Romance and Erotica Genres

If you’re a fan of romance and erotica genres, ‘Credence’ is a must-read. The book is a page-turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The steamy romance between Tiernan and Kaleb is both thrilling and dangerous, which adds an element of excitement to the plot.

However, if you’re uncomfortable with the taboo subject matter, ‘Credence’ may not be the book for you. The relationship between Tiernan and Kaleb is controversial, and some readers may find it uncomfortable to read.


In conclusion, ‘Credence’ by Penelope Douglas is a thrilling and intense book that explores themes of family, love, and betrayal.

The taboo subject matter of step-sibling romance adds an element of danger and excitement to the plot. The characters are well-developed, and the writing style is engaging and descriptive. If you’re a fan of romance and erotica genres or if you are a reader who loves psychopathic heroes, and a reverse harem ‘Credence’ is a must-read.

However, if you’re uncomfortable with controversial subject matter, this book may not be for you. In real life, bloody hell, this story would be really troublesome. I hope this book review has been helpful.

Book Reviews by Shalini
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