About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Counterfeit Hope (Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age, #2) by Crystal Caudill

Counterfeit Hope (Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age, #2)

Trapped by their pasts, is there hope for a future?

When Secret Service operative Andrew Darlington is brought in to support a US Marshal case involving counterfeiters in rural Indiana, he thinks it's simply the next rung on his climb to the top of his career. But liars can only climb so high--and Andrew is keeping a dangerous secret he doesn't ever want to get out. When he clashes with the criminal family that took over the town of Landkreis and killed the Marshal he was sent to assist, his past life is in danger of being exposed.

Widow Lightning Lu Thorne has only one goal: escape the clutches of the Thorne family with her son. Her decision to be an informant and testify against the Thornes looked like the perfect answer. Until the Marshal ended up dead. Now the tether keeping her tied to her felonious family is tightening, and a forced marriage to someone else in the Thornes' clutches threatens to kill any hope of escape.

Andrew and Lu find themselves on the same team--unwillingly. They each believe the other to be the enemy to their future plans. And even if they could learn to work together, the secrets they hold could shatter all hopes and dreams. Despite the encouragement of the local preacher, they're not even sure God can be trusted--much less other humans. Can either of them escape their past--and the family that is willing to kill their own when they smell betrayal?

On the heels of her smashing debut, this second entry in Crystal Caudill's historical series maintains the excitement that readers of Michelle Griep, Liz Tolsma, and Elizabeth Camden will love.


Counterfeit Hope has so many elements that I love, including intriguing characters, a historical setting, and an unexpected romance! I was immediately drawn into Lu Thorne's story, but it wasn't always easy to read. Tragic circumstances forced her into a life of crime, but she now had one goal: to escape to a better life for her young son and herself. Would a marriage of convenience to a Secret Service operative be the first step to achieving this? Is Andrew Darlington's secret past something that she can use to her advantage?

Author Crystal Caudill takes us back to America's Gilded Age and the Secret Service's continued efforts to find the counterfeit rings that were rampant in the 1880s. She paints a vivid picture of good, evil, and the power of sin but also shows that hope and redemption are available to all. Sadly, there are those who refuse to seek forgiveness! I was totally engrossed with this thought-provoking story and I recommend Counterfeit Hope to all who enjoy historical Christian fiction.

I received a copy from the author and Kregel Publications. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


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.

Learn more at crystalcaudill.com. You can also find her on Facebook     Twitter     Instagram.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I am looking forward to reading this one!