book reviews · NetGalley · Read with Audra · Theme Chatter

Counterfeit Love by Crystal Caudill

Theme Chatter

Trusting God even if the worst should happen was a strong theme in this book. It isn’t always an easy thing to do, but it’s worth every ounce of fight we have in us to surrender to His will. I’ve been on the brink of death several times in my lifetime, and every time, I surrendered to God’s will. Trust, in those instances, was easy. I can’t explain it well, but all I know is having my life in His hands was the safest place to put it. He brought me through all of those near-death experiences when He could have called me home to Heaven, and I’m grateful for His seeing fit to let me do more work for Him here on Earth for the time being.

What makes it easy or hard for you to trust God even if the worst should happen?
How may you take measures to more fully trust Him in your day-to-day life?

Book Review

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. These are my honest thoughts.

The stunning cover and excellent premise had all the earmarks of being a solid, emotional, right-up-my-alley read for me, but the story itself turned out to be anything but my cup of tea. My favorite things about it were that Nathaniel was a fantastic second-chance fellow and the history shared was an accurate depiction of what really happened in the past. I highly appreciate historical accuracy in fiction stories, so the author gets brownie points for that, definitely.

What I struggled with the most was the antagonists. Both of the main bad guys read as two-dimensional brutes rather than the nuanced, sophisticated men they were supposed to be. I found them unrealistic and unbelievable, and I wasn’t sure why they were trusted to be in charge of anything. They made it impossible for me to enjoy the majority of this novel.

I also struggled to understand why the leading lady couldn’t see the obvious abuses and cruelties her fiancé threw in her face and against her person when she could so easily see through everyone else. She readily excused his behavior as her fault, becoming even more a victim to his tyranny, but she was always bold and independent with everyone else. She was a conundrum I couldn’t figure out, and that made it difficult for me to root for her.

Why did the leading man have a pet rock in his pocket? I get the reason he tried to give me toward the end, but throughout the whole story, it just came off as immature for a Secret Service agent to be dependent upon clenching his fist around a rock in order to cool his temper. Maybe he wasn’t cut out for the career path he chose.

I did like that somebody was called to task about “compromis[ing] [their] convictions” at one point. This is something I don’t see often enough in most Christian fiction books I read today, so it was really refreshing to see that play out here.

I’m sad that I couldn’t enjoy this one, as the first chapter hooked me in and many of the plot twists were well delivered and surprising. The author’s voice was pretty solid and quite expressive, so I’m sure she’ll gain lots of fans in her career. I hope there will be better character development for future bad guys so that they will be a lot more realistic than these ones turned out to be. And do please keep that historical accuracy coming!

Content: bullying (excessive), skimpy clothing, prostitutes, gambling, brothel, tobacco, saloon, alcohol, replacement profanity, one profane word, derogatory terms, swearing “by all that is good and holy”

Note: There is a giveaway associated with this Read with Audra book tour. Please see Audra’s website for more details.

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