Book Review | Credence

Credence by Penelope Douglas

Publication Date: January 13, 2020

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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 new adult standalone novel suitable for readers 18+.


I noticed that I do two things when I’m reading a book that I absolutely love. The first, and most common is, I speed read a book and typically devour it in one sitting. The second, however, is where I take my time and read the book as slowly as I possibly can. This is usually really hard to do, especially if the book is really good, but I do it on purpose to prolong the reading experience. With this book, I took my sweet, sweet time reading. I haven’t felt this way from reading a book in what feels like forever.

Since I don’t enjoy writing long reviews nor do I wanna spoil anything for anybody, I will leave you with this: this book absolutely captivated me. Mind, body, and soul. For the life of me, I could not stop thinking about this book. Every time I had to put it down, as I said before, I purposefully read this book as slowly as I possibly could. The roller coaster of emotions that I went through with this book kept me on my toes and grasping for more.

This book is by no means for everybody. I could totally understand why people wouldn’t and don’t like it, it makes sense. However, I fucking loved it! If you’re looking for something different, have already dipped your toes into the taboo realm of romance, and go in with an open mind, then I highly recommend this book for you. Otherwise, steer clear. I also listened to the audio of this book while reading the paper back and I loved it. I thought that the voice actor who voices Tiernan did such an amazing job with her. You can really feel the emotions.


About the Author:

Hi! My name is Penelope Douglas, and I write romance. New adult, erotica, a little contemporary… Really whatever is calling me at the moment. I believe a good writer can spin any story in a way with which you’ll connect, and I endeavor to do just that with every book I write. Not many topics are too taboo for me. I love breaking rules, and I love taking myself out of my comfort zone.

Why is that, you ask?

Well, there is a reason for everything.

I could tell you where I was born, how many siblings I have, or which hobbies I enjoy, but none of that really tells you about someone’s life. Experiences do.

As an adolescent, I was quiet, shy, and afraid. No mistakes could be made, because people would hate me or I’d be alone. So rather than run, I walked. Rather than climb, I kept my feet on the ground. And rather than say “yes,” I always said “no.” And as a result, I didn’t live.

And I still felt disposable, fearful, and alone.

What would they say about me when I was gone? Would I have regrets? Every day that I didn’t blaze a trail swallowed me up.

So I decided I wouldn’t be invisible or waste another second. I left home, went to college, and traveled. I took trains from Atsugi to Tokyo all by myself. I jumped Hiji Falls when others joked I wouldn’t do it. (I did it twice.) I climbed Mt. Fuji, and I moved to New Orleans for graduate school without knowing a single person in the city. I did what I dreamed, and I was a lot happier.

I don’t worry so much anymore, and I don’t let others’ opinions hold me back.

Be yourself, and OWN it. You know what that means? Be loud and proud. Nurture who you are and good things will come. Most importantly, your happiness.


Facts about Me:

  1. I love taboo! I love to read it and write it, although I write non-taboo as well.
  2. Music is my biggest inspiration. My stories all have playlists, and I am influenced more by music that any other form of art or any other authors.
  3. I need time to give you a story. Good books aren’t written fast, and I often recharge with an occasional standalone in the middle of a series. If you have ideas about how long you think a book should take or what a writer’s schedule should be, I wanted to be upfront about that. In the end, you’ll be happier with a good book rather than a fast one.
  4. I really love the rain. Like, really love it. A lot.
  5. I have a BA in Public Administration from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master’s in Education from Loyola University New Orleans.
  6. I was a teacher for eight years.
  7. I love road trips. It’s one of my favorite things in the world.
  8. My favorite movies are The Karate Kid and Dead Poets’ Society.
  9. My favorite writers are Erin Morgenstern, Stieg Larsson, and Marie Lu.
  10. I really love scary movies! I rewatch the Halloween franchise every year.
Follow the Author:

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