Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Counterfeit Love by Crystal Caudill

Posted March 16, 2022 by meezcarrie in Christian, Crystal Caudill, giveaway, historical, mystery/suspense, romance / 26 Comments

COUNTERFEIT LOVE by Crystal Caudill
Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age #1

GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romantic Suspense
RELEASE DATE: March 15, 2022
PAGES: 381

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!


Let me start out by saying: There are a select few debut authors that have made me positively giddy for more of their books – Crystal Caudill is one such author. Reading Counterfeit Love was a riveting story that kept me glued to the pages, swept up in the intrigue & the romance as well as the history. Writing style, character development, historical research – all of it – it’s hands-down one of the best debuts I’ve ever read, and I didn’t want it to be over.

There were several elements that initially attracted me to the story – the Gilded Age setting, the Secret Service angle, and (of course) the romance. Each of these aspects combine to create a tangibly charged atmosphere that draws you in and keeps you invested in how things play out. I wanted to hug Theresa more than once (and do some purse whomping on her behalf!), and Broderick…. blissful sigh. I fell for him the moment he shows up on the page, and I have a feeling he’ll be showing up on some book boyfriend lists in the near future. And check out this quote from the advanced copy I read:

Six years of missed moments couldn’t be satisfied in a single kiss, but this one was a masterful attempt.

I’m a swoonified puddle. Definitely a strong contender for the next KissingBooks 101 post I do!

And tucked seamlessly among the other layers to this masterfully-drawn story is a gentle faith message that touched my heart. Theresa and Broderick have both been through some really tough stuff, and their honest struggles are relevant to all of us. I so appreciated the authentic faith questions that the author addressed as well as the reminder that “even if our lives aren’t like we planned” God is with us & He will fight for us. The author’s call to not abandon hope no matter what ‘even if’ is on the horizon is something that I needed to hear precisely when I read it. And I think, as I said, that it’s relevant to all of us especially after the last two years.

Bottom Line: With swoony romance, intriguing history, gripping plot twists, and strong characters, Counterfeit Love is one of the strongest debut novels I’ve ever read! Caudill’s writing voice is pitch-perfect and draws readers immediately into the heart of the story, holding them in thrall until the end. And did I mention the swoony romance?? I couldn’t put it down, and I am already eagerly waiting for the next book!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / In a class by itself

KissingBook Level: 4 / keep those fans & fainting couches handy

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To read an excerpt of Counterfeit Love click here.

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 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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What about you? What makes you want to read Counterfeit Love by Crystal Caudill?

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26 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Counterfeit Love by Crystal Caudill

  1. Roxanne C.

    Oh, wow—this book sounds like an enthralling read, and it has all my favorite elements, too. TY for the terrific review.

  2. Debra Pruss

    I love this cover as well as suspense novels. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.

  3. Perrianne Askew

    I’ve been seeing this gorgeous book all over Facebook and wondering why I haven’t ever read her books. Well, this is her debut! I really have a heart for an awesome debut and this one sounds fabulous.

  4. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for your review on “Counterfeit Love” by Crystal Caudill which has me placing this book on my TBR list. The description as to the type of book – Inspirational Historical Romantic Suspense – clicks four of my favorite things to read. The story sounds amazing and I can’t wait for the opportunity to dive in read. Great cover that would draw my attention for sure.

  5. Amy M.

    The cover and premise immediately captured my attention, so I was already excited about reading this book. But after your review I’m even more anxious to get it in my hands.

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