Thursday, May 12, 2022

COUNTERFEIT LOVE By Crystal Caudill, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"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
*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 4.5 stars


BackCover Blurb:

Can this undercover agent save the woman he loves--or is her heart as counterfeit as the money he's been sent to track down?

After all that Grandfather has sacrificed to raise her, Theresa Plane owes it to him to save the family name--and that means clearing their debt with creditors before she marries Edward Greystone. But when one of the creditors' threats leads her to stumble across a midnight meeting, she discovers that the money he owes isn't all Grandfather was hiding. And the secrets he kept have now trapped Theresa in a life-threatening fight for her home--and the truth.

After months of undercover work, Secret Service operative Broderick Cosgrove is finally about to uncover the identity of the leader of a notorious counterfeiting ring. That moment of triumph turns to horror, however, when he finds undeniable proof that his former fiancée is connected. Can he really believe the woman he loved is a willing participant? Protecting Theresa and proving her innocence may destroy his career--but that's better than failing her twice in one lifetime.

They must form a partnership, tentative though it is. But there's no question they're both still keeping secrets--and that lack of trust, along with the dangerous criminals out for their blood, threatens their hearts, their faith, and their very survival.

Combining rich history, danger, suspense, and romance, Crystal Caudill's debut novel launches this new historical series with a bang. Fans of Elizabeth Camden, Michelle Griep, and Joanna Davidson Politano will be thrilled to find another author to follow!
Kregel Publishing, March 15, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook
Buy COUNTERFEIT LOVE at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House 

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