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Credence by Penelope Douglas Summary and Review – A Captivating Contemporary Romance

  • Author: Penelope Douglas
  • Originally published: January 13, 2020
  • Page Count: 470 pages, Paperback
  • Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Adult

Are you ready to embark on an emotional roller coaster woven with passion, secrets, and unexpected connections? If you’re a fan of heartwarming contemporary romances that leave you breathless, then look no further than ‘Credence’ by the incredibly talented Penelope Douglas. In this tale of love, resilience, and self-discovery, Douglas masterfully crafts a narrative that will sweep you off your feet and leave you yearning for more. If you are a fan of Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas, you’ll definitely love Credence as well. Set against the backdrop of a charming small town, ‘Credence’ introduces us to a cast of intriguing characters whose lives intertwine in ways they never imagined. As we delve into this spellbinding world of desire and vulnerability, prepare to be captivated by a love story that defies the odds. Whether you’re a romance aficionado or simply seeking a heartwarming escape, ‘Credence’ promises an unforgettable journey that will leave an indelible mark on your soul.

Credence Summary

In the quaint and picturesque town of Willow Creek, ‘Credence’ introduces us to a tale of love and desire that transcends societal norms. At the center of the story are three complex and compelling characters whose lives become entangled in unexpected ways.

Meet Tiernan de Haas, a fiercely independent and headstrong young woman who finds herself grappling with the responsibilities of adulthood far sooner than she anticipated. Tiernan’s life takes an intriguing turn when she becomes the legal guardian of her two stepbrothers, Noah and Kaleb. Faced with this newfound responsibility, she struggles to balance her own dreams and desires with the daunting role of being their protector.

As fate would have it, Tiernan’s life collides with those of her stepbrothers in ways she could never have foreseen. Noah and Kaleb, two troubled and enigmatic souls, harbor secrets that have shaped their paths and molded their perspectives on life. In their shared journey of healing and self-discovery, Tiernan becomes their guiding light, igniting sparks of hope and passion that challenge the boundaries of societal norms.

Set against the picturesque backdrop of Willow Creek’s serene countryside, ‘Credence’ explores the intricacies of family, acceptance, and unconditional love. Penelope Douglas artfully weaves a narrative that goes beyond conventional romance, delving into the raw and vulnerable depths of human emotions. The characters’ interactions and relationships are deeply nuanced, creating a palpable tension that keeps readers engrossed from page to page.

What sets ‘Credence’ apart from other romance novels is its unapologetic exploration of unconventional connections and the resilience of the human spirit. Douglas masterfully intertwines passion and emotional vulnerability, painting a vivid picture of love that defies societal expectations.

As the lives of Tiernan, Noah, and Kaleb intertwine, the story unravels with moments of heartache, longing, and hope. The exploration of complex family dynamics and the courage to embrace one’s true self adds layers of depth to ‘Credence,’ making it a riveting and unforgettable read.

If you’re seeking a contemporary romance that ventures beyond the conventional, ‘Credence’ is a must-read that will leave you spellbound and eager for more. As the characters navigate the trials and triumphs of their intertwined destinies, you’ll find yourself cheering for love in its most authentic and unfiltered form.

Character Development

In ‘Credence,’ Penelope Douglas expertly crafts characters that come alive with authenticity and depth, drawing readers into their world of vulnerability, resilience, and self-discovery.

Tiernan de Haas, the heart and soul of the story, is a force to be reckoned with. Determined, headstrong, and fiercely protective, she embodies strength even in the face of adversity. As the legal guardian of her stepbrothers, Noah and Kaleb, Tiernan’s motivations are driven by a profound sense of responsibility and love. Her journey throughout the book showcases her growth from a young woman navigating the complexities of adulthood to a beacon of hope for her family. Tiernan’s unwavering commitment to those she holds dear adds a layer of emotional depth to the narrative, allowing readers to empathize with her struggles and triumphs.

Noah, the enigmatic and brooding stepbrother, is haunted by a past he keeps guarded, making him a complex and intriguing character. His motivations remain shrouded in mystery, and as the layers of his personality slowly peel away, readers witness his emotional transformation. Douglas delicately weaves Noah’s growth, allowing readers to glimpse into the depths of his soul as he learns to confront his demons and embrace vulnerability. His dynamic with Tiernan brings both heartache and tenderness, adding an alluring and emotional dimension to the story.

Kaleb, the other stepbrother, complements the trio with his charming and charismatic persona. However, beneath his easygoing exterior lies a profound desire for acceptance and love. Kaleb’s motivations are driven by a longing to break free from societal expectations and embrace his true self. As his relationship with Tiernan and Noah evolves, the emotional chemistry between the three ignites, intensifying the story’s intimacy and complexity.

The relationships between Tiernan, Noah, and Kaleb are the driving force behind ‘Credence’s’ emotional tapestry. As they navigate the uncharted waters of their unconventional connections, the dynamic interactions between the characters create moments of raw vulnerability and heartwarming camaraderie. Their bond goes beyond the boundaries of traditional family, presenting readers with a love that is both profound and unconventional. The growth of their relationships, wrought with complexities and challenges, lends a unique and powerful narrative arc that remains with readers long after the final page.

In ‘Credence,’ Penelope Douglas not only delivers a compelling contemporary romance but also presents characters that grapple with genuine human emotions and personal growth. Their motivations, struggles, and connections intertwine, weaving a tale that is rich with authenticity and heart. As Tiernan, Noah, and Kaleb embark on their journey of self-discovery and love, readers are drawn into a world where vulnerability and courage pave the way to healing and acceptance.

Themes and Messages

In the enchanting world of ‘Credence,’ Penelope Douglas weaves a tapestry of profound themes and messages that resonate deeply with readers, evoking a range of emotions and reflections on the human experience.

Love Beyond Norms: At the core of ‘Credence’ lies a love story that defies societal conventions and norms. The book explores the idea that love knows no boundaries and can blossom in unexpected places. Tiernan, Noah, and Kaleb’s unconventional connection challenges preconceived notions of family and romance, celebrating the beauty of love in its most authentic form. As Tiernan reflects in the novel, “Sometimes, the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.”

Trust and Vulnerability: Trust emerges as a central theme, illuminating the transformative power of vulnerability in relationships. Throughout the story, characters grapple with their past traumas, learning to trust one another and themselves. This growth is beautifully captured by a quote from the book: “Trusting someone was hard, but trusting yourself was even harder.”

Self-Discovery and Acceptance: ‘Credence’ delves into the journey of self-discovery, where characters navigate the path to self-acceptance. Tiernan, Noah, and Kaleb each embark on their personal quests to shed societal expectations and embrace their true selves. The book imparts the message that self-acceptance is the key to finding genuine happiness and love.

Resilience and Healing: The characters in ‘Credence’ demonstrate remarkable resilience in the face of adversity. Their struggles and triumphs illustrate the healing power of love and human connection. As they find solace in each other’s presence, readers are reminded that healing is a process that can be nurtured through love and support.

Family Bonds: The novel explores the concept of family beyond blood ties. Tiernan’s role as a guardian to her stepbrothers emphasizes the importance of chosen family and the depth of love that can be fostered outside of traditional relationships. As the characters forge unbreakable bonds, ‘Credence’ showcases the beauty of a family united by love and understanding.

Embracing Desires: ‘Credence’ sensitively navigates themes of desire and passion, emphasizing the importance of embracing one’s true desires without shame or judgment. The characters’ emotional journeys remind readers that it’s okay to pursue what sets their hearts on fire.

Through eloquent prose and thought-provoking moments, ‘Credence’ paints a vivid picture of love, acceptance, and the resilience of the human spirit. Penelope Douglas delivers a tale that touches the very core of human emotions, encouraging readers to reflect on their own experiences and connections.

Writing Style and Pacing

Penelope Douglas’s writing style in ‘Credence’ is a masterful tapestry of emotions, vivid imagery, and lyrical prose that elevates the reading experience to new heights. Her skillful storytelling weaves together the complexities of human emotions and relationships, leaving readers spellbound and emotionally invested from the very first page.

One of the strengths of Douglas’s writing style lies in her ability to create deeply relatable and multi-dimensional characters. Through rich character development, readers are effortlessly drawn into the lives of Tiernan, Noah, and Kaleb, connecting with their struggles, hopes, and desires on a profound level. The characters’ authenticity, brought to life through Douglas’s insightful portrayal, makes them feel like real people, igniting empathy and a genuine investment in their journeys.

The author’s descriptive prowess paints a captivating picture of Willow Creek and its inhabitants, immersing readers in a world that is both enchanting and familiar. Her ability to craft vivid settings and sensory details enhances the atmosphere, making readers feel as though they are a part of the story, rather than mere observers. This descriptive depth ensures that the reader’s imagination is thoroughly engaged, making ‘Credence’ a truly immersive experience.

In terms of pacing, Douglas skillfully balances moments of quiet introspection with heart-pounding intensity, creating a rhythm that keeps readers eagerly flipping pages. The gradual unfolding of the plot allows for a deeper exploration of the characters’ emotional landscapes, while well-timed moments of tension and intrigue heighten the overall sense of anticipation. The pacing maintains a delicate equilibrium, ensuring that readers are consistently engaged without feeling rushed.

The narrative’s ebb and flow align seamlessly with the characters’ personal growth and the development of their relationships. As Tiernan, Noah, and Kaleb journey through their trials and triumphs, the pacing mirrors their emotional arcs, providing a sense of organic progression and depth.

Douglas’s ability to evoke a wide range of emotions is another hallmark of her writing style. From heartwarming moments of love and tenderness to raw and gut-wrenching instances of pain and vulnerability, ‘Credence’ elicits an emotional roller coaster that resonates with readers long after they finish the book. The author’s proficiency in tapping into the intricacies of human emotions creates an intimate connection with the characters, making their experiences feel achingly real.

In conclusion, Penelope Douglas’s writing style in ‘Credence’ is a true testament to her artistry as a storyteller. Her compelling characters, evocative descriptions, and perfectly balanced pacing make for an unforgettable reading experience. ‘Credence’ is a captivating journey through love, self-discovery, and the courage to embrace unconventional connections, leaving readers enthralled and eager to explore more of Douglas’s literary treasures.


While ‘Credence’ by Penelope Douglas is a captivating contemporary romance that excels in many aspects, there are a few areas where some readers may find room for improvement.

Pacing in the Middle Section: While the overall pacing of the story is commendable, some readers may feel that the middle section of the book could have been tightened. At times, certain scenes or plotlines might feel slightly prolonged, leading to a slight dip in momentum. Streamlining these portions could have enhanced the overall reading experience, ensuring a consistently engaging narrative from start to finish.

Secondary Character Development: While the main characters, Tiernan, Noah, and Kaleb, are richly developed, some readers may have wished for more depth in the secondary characters. Expanding upon their backgrounds and motivations could have added additional layers to the story and further enriched the overall dynamics of the Willow Creek community.

Lack of Clear Resolution for Certain Subplots: In the midst of the central romance, ‘Credence’ introduces several subplots that contribute to the complexity of the story. However, some readers may feel that certain subplots could have been more conclusively resolved. Providing closure for these additional storylines could have added a sense of satisfaction and a more well-rounded conclusion to the novel.

Trigger Warnings: ‘Credence’ explores themes of trauma, past abuse, and complex family dynamics, which may be triggering for some readers. While these themes are integral to the characters’ growth, providing trigger warnings could help readers make informed choices before delving into the book.

Exploring Secondary Themes: While the book successfully delves into themes of love, trust, and self-discovery, some readers may have desired a deeper exploration of certain secondary themes introduced throughout the story. Expanding on these themes could have further enriched the narrative and offered additional layers of emotional resonance.

It’s essential to note that opinions on these aspects may vary among readers, as individual preferences and expectations play a significant role in how one perceives a story. Despite these minor considerations, ‘Credence’ remains a beautifully crafted romance that tugs at the heartstrings, leaving a lasting impact on those who embark on this emotional journey.


In conclusion, ‘Credence’ by Penelope Douglas is a compelling contemporary romance that skillfully weaves a tale of love, resilience, and self-discovery. Douglas’s artful storytelling and authentic character development make for an immersive reading experience that will tug at your heartstrings.

The strengths of ‘Credence’ lie in its beautifully portrayed characters, whose unconventional connections and emotional depth leave a lasting impression. The evocative writing style transports readers to the charming world of Willow Creek, where love knows no bounds and vulnerability paves the way to healing.

While the book presents minor room for improvement, its captivating narrative, intriguing themes, and heartfelt emotions far outweigh any drawbacks. For those seeking a romance that breaks free from the ordinary and embraces the complexities of human emotions, ‘Credence’ is an absolute must-read.

Dive into this enchanting world and join Tiernan, Noah, and Kaleb on their transformative journey. ‘Credence’ will sweep you off your feet, leaving you with a profound appreciation for love’s power to defy expectations and blossom in the most unexpected places.

About the Author

Penelope Douglas is an acclaimed contemporary romance author known for her emotionally charged and captivating storytelling. With a penchant for exploring unconventional connections and delving into the complexities of human emotions, Douglas weaves tales that resonate deeply with readers. Her writing style is characterized by lyrical prose, vivid imagery, and multi-dimensional characters that come alive on the page. A master at crafting heartwarming romances that defy societal norms, Penelope Douglas has garnered a dedicated following of romance enthusiasts around the world. Her ability to infuse raw vulnerability and genuine passion into her narratives makes her a standout in the genre. As a trailblazer in contemporary romance, Douglas continues to enthrall readers with her richly woven stories of love, resilience, and self-discovery.

Dear fellow book lovers and romance enthusiasts, I invite you to join the discussion and be a part of our vibrant book-loving community! Share your thoughts and reflections on ‘Credence’ by Penelope Douglas in the comments section below. Whether you agree with the highlights or have different perspectives to offer, we value each and every insight you bring to the table. Your comments will not only enrich our understanding of the book but also connect us through our shared love for literature. If ‘Credence’ touched your heart as it did ours, don’t hesitate to share this blog post with your friends and fellow readers on various platforms. Let’s spread the magic of this captivating contemporary romance far and wide, inviting others to dive into this emotional journey alongside us. Your support and engagement make this community thrive, so let’s celebrate the beauty of storytelling together!” – Your Book Corner

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