Book Review: Credence – Penelope Douglas


From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Douglas comes a new standalone…

Tiernan de Haas doesn’t care about anything anymore. The only child of a film producer and his starlet wife, she’s grown up with wealth and privilege but not love or guidance. Shipped off to boarding schools from an early age, it was still impossible to escape the loneliness and carve out a life of her own. The shadow of her parents’ fame followed her everywhere.

And when they suddenly pass away, she knows she should be devastated. But has anything really changed? She’s always been alone, hasn’t she?

Jake Van der Berg, her father’s stepbrother and her only living relative, assumes guardianship of Tiernan who is still two months shy of eighteen. Sent to live with him and his two sons, Noah and Kaleb, in the mountains of Colorado, Tiernan soon learns that these men now have a say in what she chooses to care and not care about anymore. As the three of them take her under their wing, teach her to work and survive in the remote woods far away from the rest of the world, she slowly finds her place among them.

And as a part of them.

She also realizes that lines blur and rules become easy to break when no one else is watching.

One of them has her.

The other one wants her.

But he…

He’s going to keep her.
*Credence is a new adult standalone novel suitable for readers 18+.

If Credence, by author Penelope Douglas, was a movie then it would most definitely be a porn. Since Credence is a book ( not a movie ) I´m going to flat out say that this is an adventurous rated – R, polyamorous romance that touches many delicate bases ( what a way to describe a story ).

Credence is fun. It´s exciting. It´s unpredictable at times. It´s one of those romances that´ll get you all hot and ready!


What I absolutely loved about this book…

  • The beginning. Let´s face it- There are books that have a shitty start. This book belongs to one of the few that begin interesting. A 17 year old who had been neglected for most of her life becomes an orphan. Tiernan ( Heroine ) ends up leaving home ( and fame ) to live with a step-uncle in the Colorado mountains. Tiernan goes from one extreme environment to the next. I liked this type of start a whole lot because I was able to predict so many outcomes for the story… which none happened.
  • The characters. I loved Tiernan´s character development. There was a lot of strength and growth on her part.
  • The sex. Hands down- I´m a fan of graphic scenes.
  • The age gap. I do love me some good ol´ age disparity.
  • The ending. Although I wasn´t completely knocked out of my socks I still liked the way the story wrapped up.

Sounds great, right? If only there weren´t those pesky little things that I didn´t appreciate so much…

  • As much as I adored the graphic scenes I wasn´t able to warm up to the foursome thing. I´m not against polyamorous relationships but the idea of having such relations with “family” members was not easy to digest. Step-uncle and step-cousins? I´m aware that there wasn´t a blood relation involved but it still screwed with my mind a little ( possibly because I have quite a few step-family members myself and refuse to see them as anything but family )
  • Kaleb. One of the “cousins”. I felt his character didn´t receive as much spotlight. I would´ve loved more scenes with him just to be able to connect a little more.

But this is just me being picky. In the end, the only thing that matters is that I really enjoyed this book. I mean- What´s not to enjoy? Three possessive mountain men ready to give a neglected girl some attention.


Would I recommend this book? I sure would. Readers who love raunchy romances are in for a real treat with this one.
Would I reread this book? Probably.


The Cover: 5 Stars – It´s really pretty. Love the color theme.
The Story: 4 Stars – Everything was spot on except for that little bit I mentioned above.
The Characters: 5 Stars – I have no complaints what-so-ever.

Be sure to grab yourself a copy of Credence by Penelope Douglas!

Sorry, I Won´t Buy Your Paperback.

It´s time to take off my ever understanding book blogger glasses and become the everyday reader. The consumer. The poor sucker who doesn´t earn enough money to afford all the physical books I´d like to have. Well, that´s not entirely true. I could, but, you know… Life and all that.

 

Isn´t that who we all are?

Just normal book-loving people who want to read? 

 

To be honest, I don´t necessarily want to take my book blogger glasses off. By doing so I´d have to be the rational person I am. The one who weighs out options and often has to say no. Because more often than not- Many things deserve a big fat no.

It´s common knowledge that authors are starving artists. Everyone knows this whether they care about it or not. And this is where the problem lies:

 

  • The people who care are often the ones who have a lot more insight into what it means to be an author. We know. We understand. We try to support this artistry.
  • The people who don´t care lack the background info or just flat out don´t give a hoot for whatever reason.

 

Many either belong to one or the other. I belong to both except…

Today, I´m going to be the one who´ll turn two blind eyes towards everything I know about struggling artists/authors because I can´t be anyone else regarding this topic. Because it involves my wallet.

 

Self-published book prices. 

 

Now, I´m the type of book blogger who´s chosen to remove all sorts of easy book access ( ARCs, betas, review considerations ) from my book blogging life because I want to support authors by purchasing their books. Their physical books. I´ll consider an ebook purchase if there´s no other way but will otherwise avoid ebook editions. What can I say? I´m a paperback girl.

I know books aren´t always cheap. Reading is an expensive past time activity.

But this… This takes the cake.

 

 

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You´ll have to excuse me for not wanting to shit all over the author. It´s not the name I dislike- It´s the price I´m allergic to.  16.23 Euros for a 370-page paperback?

And this book is the first book in a trilogy. This means that price ( give or take a few cents ) x 3.  I´d be spending somewhere around 50 Euros ( $ 55.00 or 43 GBP ) for 3 books.

 

No. 

 

At this point, I don´t even want to think about the author because I´m a normal Amazon shopper. I´m disappointed that the price is considered to be okay enough to demand. And without my ever understanding book blogging glasses, I´d even go so far and say this is rude.

This is another reason why many readers pick Kindle editions- Because they´re the cheaper option. Which isn´t horrible, by any means. This just means readers can´t afford printed books. Well, no wonder. If they weren´t able to afford them before they sure as Hell won´t be able to afford them now.

I´ve spoken with a few book bloggers about this topic and many said the majority of the self-published authors they´re in contact with are saddened that their printed editions are never purchased. I have a wild guess as to why that is.

Sadly, after having seen this shocking price, I began noticing so many other over-priced printed novels by other self-published authors.

As an everyday consumer, I find it difficult to accept this. A novel written by a novelist who´s demanding almost hardcover prices for a self-published work.

 

Now, for the sake of saving my own ass, I´m going to slip my book blogger glasses back on and see this from a kinder perspective.

Authors are struggling. They´re trying to turn their hobby/passion into a full-time profession that´ll pay the bills. I´ve spoken to many self-publishing authors and have felt their pains to want to make their dreams come to life. The struggle is real in this over-crowded literary world. There´s more at stake than just book sales. It´s also about making a name for themselves. It´s about growing a fanbase. It´s making sure they stay relevant so their dreams can carry them for as long as possible. Their dreams are just as important as anyone else´s. All the sweat, time and love invested in their carefully written stories has to be paid. Their efforts should be paid. I will support authors. I will help any way I´m able to and if that means I´d help more by purchasing their work then I will do that. All within reason.

But… ( removing my book blogger glasses again ), not like this. Not by asking for an unusual amount of money from a reader.

 

Sorry, I won´t buy your paperback.

 

The price is a little over the top. 16. 23 Euros for a paperback is definitely unreasonable for me. The same goes for any other overpriced self-published paperback.

 

Authors need to earn money. I need to save money. 

 

There´s no doubt that there are readers ( especially fans of authors ) who stand behind a self-publishing author´s price choice. They´ll justify the high amount by telling everyone else that “Their ( an author´s ) time is worth money. Authors are artists and books are written art.” 

Which is true. But does this mean I´m chopped liver?  It´s not about the art a person has unleashed upon us peasants. It´s about what they want for their work- money.

Of course, I could just ignore all this and go straight for the Kindle edition. But I won´t. Because I´m a paperback girl.

 

 

So, where does this leave me? If an author wants to be compensated for their hard work and I refuse to buy their overpriced book then I guess there won´t be any progress on either side. I, the stink normal consumer, can absolutely live with that.

 

On a kind note: Should anyone feel it´s okay to invest in overpriced books then by all means- You have my blessings.

 

I´d also like to add that whatever type of reader you are: You´re fine. I won´t judge you for wanting to support an author nor will I judge you if you couldn´t care less about an author. I understand both sides and find each is acceptable.

 


 

What about you? What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you have a book price limit? What´s an acceptable book price for you? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤

 


 

As always, thank you for reading my blog post. I hope you enjoyed.

 

XO´s

Morgana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Reviews: Griffin Family- Suzanne Enoch

griffen banner

 

It´s Suzanne Enoch time, y´all! With all the Historical Romances I´ve been collecting over the years I thought it was time to write reviews for my guilty reading pleasures.

Are you familiar with Suzanne Enoch´s books? I wasn´t. It actually took me a while to discover the author or her books ( possibly because I was too caught up with finishing every Lisa Kleypas book out there ) but when I did stumble upon Suzanne Enoch on Amazon I was a happy Historical romance camper.

I remember having seen the cover of `Sin and Sensibility´ ( book #1 ), thinking I should give the book a go. Minutes later I ordered all books from the Griffin Family series. Days later, I inhaled all four books. I felt and still don´t feel any shame.

I will say this, though: Reading this series was a rollercoaster ride for me. Each book did something different for my emotional household.

Are you ready for the mini-reviews for book #1 – #4? Have a seat.

trenner

Sin and Sensibility ( book #1 ) – Suzanne Enoch

 

Sin And Sensibility #1

 

The brother´s best friend. Set in a time where etiquette felt like it was above the law, we meet Elenore Griffin, sister to overbearing older brothers. Elenore is ready for an adventure, but not ready to settle down and give in to the pressures of society. Just when Sebastian ( oldest brother ) has enough of Elenore´s wish for independence they both strike a deal. Only that deal is more twisted than it´s supposed to be.
Enter Valentine Corbett, London´s drop-dead gorgeous bad boy and best friend to Sebastian Griffin. Elenore can have her freedom IF she stays out of trouble. And what better way to make sure that doesn´t happen? One employs unofficially babysitter- namely, Valentine.

Seriously, I loved Sin and Sensibility. It´s cute and romantic and so full of emotional fluff that I can´t find it in me to find anything negative to say. I loved Valentine. His character was a true masterpiece. An arrogant ass waiting to be loved. Elenore was… As one would expect- a tad childish at times. That can be forgiven if you consider the era and how ignorant women were kept in those days. This was beautifully highlighted in this story.

So, the arrogant, worldly ass falls for the best friend´s sister who wants to see and experience the world before she meets her unwanted fate.

Best HR couple, ever. A story well told.

5 hearts

 

 

 

 

 

An Invitation To Sin  ( Book #2 ) – Suzanne Enoch

 

An Invitation To Sin #2

 

If you ever want to read a story that feels so random- Look no further. `An Invitation To Sin` will give you that feeling right from the start. Bah, my least favorite read from the Griffin bundle. If I´m honest- Elenore´s brother, Zachary, never interested me when his character popped up in the first book. It was clear he´d receive his own let´s-find-true-love story but I didn´t think I would dislike it as much as I did. His story felt so unnecessary. His supposed better half felt equally unnecessary. Not a good match. Not a great story.

Zachary gets shit from his older brother, Sebastian, the Duke, for basically being a good-for-nothing ( I could have told Zach that during book #1. But nooo. It takes the Duke to drive the point home ). One thing leads to another and we meet Caroline, the most egoistical Heroine in the book universe. Seriously, she was a pain. How and why Zachary and Caroline ended up together will forever be a mystery to me. With their lack of chemistry, you´d think she´d have cured him for life for ever thinking about a relationship.

From start to finish- I was not in the best of moods.

1 heart

 

 

 

 

 

Something Sinful  ( Book #3 ) – Suzanne Enoch 

 

Something Sinful #3

 

A Cat & Mouse read with some adventure! And definitely a far cry from being anything like the previous book.` Something Sinful` is truly a read that feels alive and… different. Was it as good as book #1? Not for me. But that´s okay. I kind of felt like the first would be the strongest of all four books.

We meet another brother, Lord Charlemagne Griffin, the “sharper” brother, who´s book feels more like it´s set in India than in London. Okay, I´m down with that. What I liked about this book was how “exotic” it felt but also hated how “exotic” it was. There was sex overload, which I wasn´t too fond of. But other than that the core of the story was interesting. As for the couple: Yeah… Meeh. Gonna have to pass.

2 hearts

 

 

 

 

Sins Of A Duke ( Book #4 ) – Suzanne Enoch

 

Ha! We´re back on the love-gush train. `Sins Of A Duke` was exactly what I had hoped it would be- A challenge for the Hero.

Sebastian- Oldest brother of the Griffin lot, match-maker extraordinaire and almost most powerful figure in London receives his own story. And it´s a quirky one, too.

When Sebastian is set to marry a Princess from a new country he turns on his killer Duke wits and senses fraud. Of course, it doesn´t help his case that the phony Princess is beautiful beyond words.

The best thing about this book is to read about someone as controlled as Sebastian loses his composure and the iron grip he had on many things. I love when the perfect becomes flawed.  This is kind of like watching an opera where the actors drop their masks after every act.

A worthy conclusion to the Griffin Family series.

4 hearts

 


 

As a whole, I´d say the Griffin Family series deserves a 3 – rating. There was a strong start with book #1 and a floppy middle with book #2 and #3 but book #4 picked things up again. Thankfully.

Suzanne Enoch´s writing is great. Smooth and engaging. Character development was satisfying. Details were spot on. Sadly enough, I haven´t had enough interest in checking more of the author´s books out. Maybe that´ll change in the future, though.

 


 

Would I recommend this series? Yes and no. It really depends what a Historical romance reader is looking for.

Would I reread this series? I´ve already reread book #1 and book #4. The others weren´t really my cup of tea.

 


 

 

Purchase Links

( Books in reading order )

Sin And Sensibility  ♥ 

An Invitation To Sin

Something Sinful

Sins Of A Duke

 

 

 

 

 

What I´d Like To See More Of In NA Romance Novels

NA Romance-

If there´s ever been a genre that´s loved and hated in equal proportions then it´s definitely New Adult Romances. NA romance books are often tacky and full of unrealistic, unrelatable fluff no one needs- That´s what I´ve heard.

As a devoted NA Romance reader, I have to agree. There´s often too much of everything often squeezed into 350 pages. These books carry topics any of us would gladly walk away from without batting an eyelash yet we crave these things in our NA romance books. Weird. The usual tropes?  Virgins, rich characters, unrealistic sex, love heals the mentally unhinged, and instalove. In some cases, it´s a combination of all.

 

But do we really crave what NA romances offer?

 

I often wonder what NA romances would be like if there were less drama, less intensity, less cheesiness, less explosiveness. Would it really hurt to give the mountain gorillas disguised as gorgeous and powerful CEOs a break? Do characters always need to have dark pasts for us to love them? No and no.

I also wonder what kind of effect it would have on authors and readers if characters were suddenly 100% relatable. I mean- Let´s take the average Joe. He´s full of flaws and above all- doesn´t have an ass in his weird fitted jeans. He comes home, orders take-out then falls asleep on the sofa before the delivery guy arrives because he just came home after a 12-hour workday. Do authors want to write about your average Joe, who´s life is just as exciting as a slice of toast? Probably not. A reader could mistake them for someone they´re trying to forget while reading. Escapism is a thing.

Authors provide an outlet for readers with their stories. They offer us a way to forget our mundane lives and be a part of something that raises our blood pressure. This is done in the form of exaggeration. By amplifying emotions, reactions, and actions. Things are often so intense that a reader can often thank their lucky stars that average Joe is snoring in the next room.

But, what if…? Is there a possibility people could actually like a romance story they can relate to?  Would it be so terrible to read about an insta-attraction and to watch that form into more rather than being hit with an instalove? Hmm… I think it wouldn´t be terrible at all. Not sure what other readers think, though.

Personally, I like to see less exaggeration and more relatable stuff. Call me dull but sometimes less is more. Less drama can still have a positive effect on readers.

No book character has to lose their job, their best friend since Kindergarten, their left leg and their unborn baby and have to deal with infidelity in 230 pages. Each of these things can be traumatic events on their own if delivered properly and with care. I mean- We often experience chain reactions in life but none as drastic as some authors like to paint out. Or, I´m just a fool living off the grid and have no flipping clue about real-life dramatics. Could be – Who knows. I´m no expert.

Losing your job can have a negative effect on someone´s relationship. This can lead to depression or break a marriage. I can see a second chance romance from this storyline.

You can lose your best friend if that friend has a new relationship that´s toxic. Let a new Hero swoop in and whisk the best friend off her feet.  This can be turned into a New Adult romance that includes abuse.

You can have an accident and be forced to become disabled. This can definitely be traumatic for any romantic relationship. I can see this as a new beginning NA romance.

Pregnancy loss or infertility has been a reason why couples split. Why not include this topic into a romance and draw that cruel event out?

Adultery is another topic that has no problem standing on its own. Cheating isn´t great but authors sure as hell can work this one into a romance and draw it out in a trilogy.

Or how about this: How about writing a  story about a couple who´ve grown apart? Simple. Effective. Realistic. People forget how to love each other if they´ve been together for some time.

 

 

 

I guess what I´m saying is that authors don´t need to stick with the usual tropes. They don´t need to bombard their characters with so much tragedy. One tragic event is enough to send average Joe to therapy.

Speaking of average Joe. He can be a desirable and flawed character if an author´s willing to make their readers see him as such.

Authors don´t need to over-exaggerate events for the sake of wanting to touch a reader´s heartstrings.

Less is often more. Simplicity can have a greater impact on readers than anything too intense.


 

For the record: Yes, I know there are authors who write less dramatic NA romances. Trust me when I say that I´ve read their books. But I think it wouldn´t hurt if more authors tried their luck with something as simple as a simple NA romance.

Also good to know: I´m not fully against overly dramatic NA romances. I´ll still read them if they sound interesting. I prefer simple stories, though. There are quite a few readers who wouldn´t want to change anything about the majority of NA romances… and that´s perfectly fine.

 


 

What do you think? Do you agree? Are NA romances too over the top or do you believe they´re perfect the way they are? What would you like to see more in NA romances?  Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat ❤

 


 

As always, I appreciate the time you´ve taken to read this blog post. I hope you enjoyed.

 

Much bookish love,

Morgana

 

 

 

Sunshine Blogger Award

A huge shoutout goes to Jonny @Jaunts & Haunts for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award! I´m sending you loads of virtual chocolate and giving you many hugs for even thinking of me in the first place.

 

 

If you haven´t already make sure to shower Jonny with lots of love because he deserves every ounce of it.

 

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

 

The Rules:

– Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.

– Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.

– Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

– List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post/or on your blog

 

#1   What was the last book you strongly disliked?

Oooh, that would be `You` by Caroline Kepnes. It was one of those books I completely forgot I bought but then spotted it again, got excited, had high hopes, then ended up being so disappointed that I had to call my mom.

 

You

 

 

#2   How does your star rating system work for your reviews (if you use one)?

I use a 5-star rating system for my reviews that´s hopefully easy to understand.

5 stars: The best book existing.

4 stars: T´was great.

3 stars: Could´ve been better / Could´ve been worse.

2 stars: Nope.

1 star:  Nope nope nope nope.

 

#3   What are your favorite pizza toppings?

I´d say pizza with extra cheese and sausage. Or pizza with prosciutto and thick chunks of shaved parmesan. I would actually kill for a pizza right now.

 

#4  Would you rather read a great plot with mediocre characters, or a boring plot with amazing characters?

Since I would end up giving either a lower rating I´d say neither.

 

#5   How many books are you currently reading, and which one is your favorite so far?

I can´t read more than one book at a time. I get confused really quick.

 

#6   What was the last book review you posted?

The last review I posted was for Book Review: How The States Got Their Shapes – Mark Stein

How the states got their shape

 

Not necessarily a genre I typically review but.. a book is a book, right? And this one was worth writing a review for.

 

#7   Do you prefer MG, YA, NA, or adult books?

YA, NA, and adult books have ( more or less ) always been my go-to genres. Nowadays I´m not really feeling any YA love so I´ll go with NA and adult books.

 

#8   Is there a popular author you’re NOT interested in reading anything by? (Elaborate if you’re comfortable doing so!)

I´m going to team up with Jonny on this one. J.K. Rowling. I have yet to read one of her books. I just can´t be bothered. The world she created is probably great but it doesn´t interest me… like, at all. I did try to watch the movies, though. Paid good money to fall asleep 3 times in a row at the movie theater.

And Cassandra Claire. Although, I think she´d fall into the “popular author I´m not interested in reading anything anymore” category.

 

#9   What marginalized rep would you most strongly like to see more of in books?

Again- I´m with Jonny. I´d really love to see more LGBT characters in books.

 

#10  Do you listen to music while reading?

Aaaaaaah! No. * hides face * I suck at multitasking. I can do one or the other but never both. But when I take blog breaks I tend to listen to music. Does that count?

 

#11  Do you prefer book twitter or bookstagram?

 

Bookstagram + Me

=

 

 

Twitter + Me

=

 

I´ll go with Twitter. Lol.

 

That´s about it, my dear bookish Padawans. I hope I didn´t bore you too much.

I Nominate:

Everyone. I´m terrible at nominating anyone in particular. Besides- Doesn´t everyone deserve a Sunshine Blogger Award?

And because I´m so original *snorts loud* I´m going to copy Jonny´s Questions. Don´t forget to tag me so I can see your awesome answers ❤

 

  1. What was the last book you strongly disliked?
  2. How does your star rating system work for your reviews (if you use one)?
  3. What are your favorite pizza toppings?
  4. Would you rather read a great plot with mediocre characters or a boring plot with amazing characters?
  5. How many books are you currently reading, and which one is your favorite so far?
  6. What was the last book review you posted?
  7. Do you prefer MG, YA, NA, or adult books?
  8. Is there a popular author you’re NOT interested in reading anything by? (Elaborate if you’re comfortable doing so!)
  9. What marginalized rep would you most strongly like to see more of in books?
  10. Do you listen to music while reading?
  11. Do you prefer book twitter or bookstagram?