Counterfeit Love Book Review

Counterfeit Love is author Crystal Caudill’s debut novel. It is Book 1 in the Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age series. This is a Christian historical romance with mystery and intrigue. It is the first time I have read anything by this author, and I will be watching for future works.

This is the story of Theresa Plane and Broderick Cosgrove. She has been trying to pay her grandfather’s debt and clear her family’s name. The emotions from the trials and struggles she experienced jumped from the pages of the book into my heart. I was so engrossed in the story and the character. She went through so much that she felt God had deserted her.

A few years ago, Broderick had been in Theresa’s life and then just vanished. He had so many secrets that Theresa deemed him untrustworthy. Now they encounter one another again and Theresa appears to have secrets, also.

This is a captivating story with twists and turns, humor, mystery, romance, and a beautiful Christian message. The author has an inviting style of writing. She whisked me off to the late 1880’s and taught me about life there. I enjoyed learning about the Secret Service and counterfeiting from that era. The characters’ spiritual journey was my favorite of the book. It was written realistically and beautifully.

I highly recommend this for history, romance, or Christian fiction readers. Reading groups and book clubs would enjoy this selection. There are discussion questions at the back to aid in their chats. It gets a 5 out of 5 star rating from me. A copy of this book was provided but these are my own, honest words.

About the book:

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 fiance 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.

To read an excerpt of Counterfeit Love click here.

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. Counterfeit Love is her debut published novel.

Caudill says that reading and writing are part of her soul and have been since she first held a crayon. While she considered writing to be an escape from challenges and struggles and a way to keep her sanity, Caudill would come to recognize that God used it as a teaching tool. “The stories came through my fingertips, but they were marked with His fingerprints,” she shares.

As she delved into history and crafted her own stories of hope through danger, Caudill would answer the call to pursue writing as a career after her first writer’s conference. “My stories are still filled with danger, struggle, and history, but they are also permeated with the hope and love of Christ. I hope they are dangerously good. Good for the heart and for the soul.”

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 or find her on Facebook (@crystalcaudillauthor) and Instagram (@crystalcaudillauthor). You can also join fellow readers in Crystal Caudill’s Reading Friends group on Facebook. 


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