Friday, June 9, 2023

COUNTERFEIT FAITH by Crystal Caudill, Reviewed by Winnie and Rebecca

Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age

I’ve enjoyed reading this series by talented author Crystal Caudill. Set in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the Gilded Age, this tale features Gwendolyn Ellison as the matron of Final Chance House of Refuge for children deemed as juvenile delinquents. The aim was to reform the children and try to improve their chances of a productive life. When she suspects criminal activities occurring at Final Chance, she encounters Josiah Isaacs, who is a Secret Service operative involved in apprehending counterfeiters. As they work together to solve the mystery of who is involved in the crimes, their relationship grows.

With plenty of suspense, action, mystery, a dash of romance, and a heaping dose of faith, this story has something for everyone. If you enjoy historical romance with a strong faith thread, I would recommend this book and series. I enjoyed learning more about the Secret Service and how it evolved through the years. The historical notes in the back of the book were very interesting and informative and added to the tale.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Kregel Publications. All opinions are my own.
4.5 stars

"It's easy to counterfeit faith by putting ourselves as the decider of all things . . . "

With its witty dialogue, intriguing plot twists and out-of-this-world-great characters, this story is essentially about faith . . . the real kind, the putting-your-life -and-your-future in God's hands kind. The kind that exhibits patience, kindness, and self control in spite of fumbling, bumbling good intentions. The kind that hangs on and holds fast because of the Giver, not the receiver. Let's take a look at the key players, shall we?

Gwendolyn Ellison loves fiercely when it comes to the children under her supervision at the Final Chance House of Refuge. When her life, and the well being of those in her care is threatened by nefarious activities, she allows Secret Service operative Josiah Isaacs into her personal space; with his exuberant charm and flirtatious distractions it's a little difficult (but admittedly pleasurable) to determine his motives, for Josiah has quite the reputation with the ladies.

"Most knights require a kiss for their heroic acts. I only require a name."

Josiah Isaacs has been a widower for quite some time, but the beautiful, buttoned-up-tight matron captivates him in a way that makes him think that a second chance at love may be possible. The thing is, how much time will it take? Because the lady is not at all sure that Josiah's path is one that she wants to take; not now, maybe never. In the meantime, priority number one? Keeping Gwendolyn alive long enough to make her decision.

" . . . It might be time to surrender your plans and timelines to God's and see what He has planned instead."

Wonderful book! Wonderful series! Talented author!

*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. I also purchased a copy. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.
4.5 stars


BackCover Blurb:
She's losing her faith in mankind. He's lost his faith in God. Can working together restore them both?

As matron of Final Chance House of Refuge, Gwendolyn Ellison has dedicated her life to serving the children deemed delinquents by society. She'll protect them with everything she has. So when she suspects someone is using Final Chance for criminal deeds, she's determined to investigate and put a stop to it. But villains don't like to be crossed--and they're willing to kill to get their way.

Gwendolyn knows she can't quit fighting. More than her own life is on the line if counterfeiters go free. She must find someone she can trust to help her expose the criminals and protect the children under her care.

Charming and chivalrous Secret Service operative Josiah Isaacs has never been able to turn his back on a woman in trouble--and capturing counterfeiters is his job, after all. The danger he's truly worried about is his growing attraction to Gwendolyn when his heart wants to remain faithful to his deceased wife.

As both peril and interest grow, he begins to consider whether a second love may be possible--if they can live through this case. At the same time, he's put off by her faith in a God he no longer trusts. How can a future together even be possible when their beliefs are at odds?

Kregel Publishing, May 16th, 2023
Available in digital ebook and paperback at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House




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