Friday, February 17, 2023

Counterfeit Hope By Crystal Caudill

Counterfeit Hope
by Crystal Caudill
Publisher: Kregel
Series: Hidden Hearts of the Golden Age
ISBN: 9780825447419

I was so thrilled to be able to read Counterfeit Hope after reading book one, Counterfeit Love, last year! And seriously, LOOK at the cover! It's so gorgeous. I'm thankful to be on Crystal's launch team. She sent me the book for review.


Trapped by their pasts, is there hope for a future?

When Secret Service operative Andrew Darlington is brought in to support a US Marshal case involving counterfeiters in rural Indiana, he thinks it's simply the next rung on his climb to the top of his career. But liars can only climb so high--and Andrew is keeping a dangerous secret he doesn't ever want to get out. When he clashes with the criminal family that took over the town of Landkreis and killed the Marshal he was sent to assist, his past life is in danger of being exposed.

Widow "Lightning Lu" Thorne has only one goal: escape the clutches of the Thorne family with her son. Her decision to be an informant and testify against the Thornes looked like the perfect answer. Until the Marshal ended up dead. Now the tether keeping her tied to her felonious family is tightening, and a forced marriage to someone else in the Thornes' clutches threatens to kill any hope of escape.

Andrew and Lu find themselves on the same team--unwillingly. They each believe the other to be the enemy to their future plans. And even if they could learn to work together, the secrets they hold could shatter all hopes and dreams. Despite the encouragement of the local preacher, they're not even sure God can be trusted--much less other humans. Can either of them escape their past--and the family that is willing to kill their own when they smell betrayal?

My Review:

Can I please have more books just like Counterfeit Hope?

Historical? CHECK
Great characters? CHECK
Full of faith? CHECK

We meet Lu who has been through a life of hardship being sold from one person to another. It makes one want to wring the necks of all the people who have treated her so terribly. Her sole focus is her son, Oscar, who is also under the thumb of the family, and escaping with him.

Then along comes Doc Andrew and Josiah (aka Pretty Boy). They're in town to take down the Thornes. Their initial contact with Lu is humorous and sets the tone for most of their interactions.

To say that the Thornes are the epitome of scum of the earth and filled with evil is putting it mildly. What Ma Frances does time and time again to her family members will make you cringe. What the whole family does to each other and those in the town makes the readers cry for justice. Thank goodness the lawmen are in town, but they have their work cut out for them.

Lu has so much to learn after all she's been through. Thankfully the pastor and his wife have slowly loved on her over time. She's doing her best to understand God in the midst of all of her bad choices and the life forced upon her. And Andrew struggles to see her through the eyes of the Lord when he knows her to only be a pickpocket and a woman who sidles up to men when given the chance.

Readers, let me tell you, this story is so filled with faith and the Gospel, that I was constantly smiling in my heart. The author doesn't shy away from it at all. In fact, she uses faith at every chance given. It's not done in a way that's over the top or doesn't fit, but it comes up at all of the right times!! I loved it!

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, Caudill 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


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