Title: Counterfeit Love
Series Info: Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age, Book #1
Author: Crystal Caudill
Genre: Historical Romance
Book Info: Kregel Books; March 15, 2022; 336pp
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!
Wowza, what a debut!
I’ve been looking forward to reading Counterfeit Love and I wasn’t disappointed. Caudill has written a spell-binding historical mystery filled with plenty of conflict, danger, and intrigue that made it impossible to put down.
I loved the heroine, Theresa Plain. She’s very much like me—a strong, independent woman (that some like to call bull-headed and that may be appropriate at times. Ah-hem). I love that despite the obstacles placed in her way, Theresa won’t quit. Though her faith is challenged, she is a fighter.
And Broderick—what’s not to love about this swoon-worthy, badge wearing hero. I love that he has a strong moral compass and that despite how things look, he knows in his heart that Theresa can not who his boss suspects she is.
As a lover of all things history, I was thrilled with the historical accuracy of this novel. The author brought the neighborhoods and people of 1880s Cincinnati to life with realistic dialogue and vivid descriptions, including the historic floods of 1883 & 1884 and their devastating effects on the city. The story was impeccably researched and filled with rich historical details about law enforcement, counterfeiting, and the Secret Service during the Gilded Age.
Although I purchased a paper copy, when I saw the audio book narrator was Stephanie Cozart, one of my favorites, I decided to listen to the book as well. As I expected the narrator did a fabulous job setting the mood of the story and bringing the characters to life.
If you enjoy historical fiction with strong faith elements and a villain you won’t see coming, then I highly recommend Counterfeit Love!
“I’m not some brittle piece of china that needs to be packed away and forgotten.” “No, you’re not. You’re a beautiful, independent woman who drives a man to distraction.”
She could do this. She could march into a man’s world and demand her place. She would command it, just like her Grandfather always had.
He couldn’t remain her any longer. If he had to crawl across the floor and up the stairs, he would make it to her.
Once committed, she would not turn back, an admirable quality and a terrible nuisance all at the same time.
“Fine. but just one cup, and then I’m going to see Nathaniel.” His teeth shone. Let him think he had won. She was getting chocolate and her way.
“No one, not even skunks like Drake or Grandfather’s partners, can chase me off. This is my home. My sole connection to family, and i dare anyone to remove me.”
‘You and I have been trying to overcome our problems on our own, but that’s not how God wants it.
Sometimes he has to strip us of everything—even the illusion of control—for us to see our need for Him.’
That quote is the essence of the spiritual message behind Counterfeit Love. The events of the story strip the main characters of every illusion they have of control and makes them realize that they are nothing without Christ. They learn to love and rely on God in new and deeper ways. I could so relate to Theresa and Broderick. I’ve been there and no matter how deep you dig, in the darkest seasons of life, we can’t go it alone—none of us can. Theresa and Broderick’s story is a great reminder that God is always with us, that He alone is our strength and our shield.
About the Author
Crystal Caudill is the author of “dangerously good historical romance,” with her work garnering awards from Romance Writers of America and ACFW. She is a stay-at-home mom and caregiver, and when she isn’t writing, Crystal can be found playing board games with her family, drinking hot tea, or reading other great books at her home outside Cincinnati, Ohio. Find out more at crystalcaudill.com. Keep up with all of Crystal’s author happenings at:
This giveaway is now CLOSED
Congratulations to our winner Kathy B!
I’m giving away one paperback copy of Counterfeit Love to one lucky Romancing History reader. To enter the drawing, take this quick Counterfeit Love Character Quiz, then drop your character name in the comments. While on Crystal’s website, you might enjoy checking out additional Bonus Content about Counterfeit Love.
**Giveaway ends midnight, Wednesday, April 13, 2022. Paper copy for US residents only. International winners will receive an eBook copy.