By Penelope Douglas
This book came recommended to me as a deliciously taboo read. Credence by Penelope Douglas certainly comes with several trigger warnings including suicide, child abuse and grooming; however these elements were crucial for telling this story. The author was not afraid to cross boundaries and enter into some seriously taboo topics in order to deliver her heroine a happy ending she can rejoice in.
This book is primarily told from the point of view of Tiernan, who for half of the book is seventeen years old. Tiernan’s famous and wealthy parents die in a very Romeo and Juliet inspired manner. Tiernan has never felt like she had a home or family to belong into. She never really made true friends; her closest companion is her parents’ assistant.
Since she is underage, she is given custody to her closest relative, who happens to be her late father’s stepbrother Jake Van der Berg. Jake lives in a remote cabin in the Colorado wilderness with his two adult sons, Noah and Kaleb. Tiernan makes the move to Colorado and feels a kinship with all three men. While Noah is friendly and open and mischievous, Kaleb is dark and animalistic and terrifying.
This book was super intense from the very beginning. Tiernan is put through a lot and she makes some questionable decisions but the reader is rooting for her to find peace and happiness. It took me longer than usual to finish this book because I had to keep putting the book down. The emotional upheaval in this book made for a satisfying happily ever after.
Review by Michele W.