Credence by 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.
He’s going to keep her.
*Credence is a new adult standalone novel suitable for readers 18+.
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Excerpt Credence by Penelope Douglas
“Take me over your knee…” I repeat Jake’s words, looking at him in the rearview mirror. “I’ve never been spanked in my life.”
He looks up, meeting my gaze. “If you want to be, keep it up.”
The girl next to me shifts in her seat, and the tension in the cab suddenly rises a couple notches.
“You’ll hit me, because I would do things you don’t like?”
“It’s called correction,” he retorts. “And I’ll do it, because I care about you.”
Noah glances over his shoulder at me and then looks over at his father, whispering, “What’s going on?”
Jake shakes his head once, blowing him off.
“You can’t stop me from being with someone or having sex if I want to,” I inform him. “It’s called a double standard, Jake. You guys get to be with women. Why can’t I enjoy someone’s company?”
“We can be with women, because no one has laid claim to us.”
“No one has laid claim to me.”
“You’re a young woman in my house,” he fires back. “We claim you until you’re old enough.”
“In a few weeks?”
He cocks a brown eyebrow at me but doesn’t reply as he focuses back on the road.
So will I be old enough when I’m eighteen? Will he back off then?
Of course not. I’m old enough when he says, because he thinks I‘m too stupid to keep myself out of trouble.
And whether or not I’m ready for sex is one thing, but intimacy is another. We all want to be special to someone. Family isn’t the same thing. I’d like to meet someone eventually.
“Your logic is flawed, you know?” I tell him, staring at him through the mirror. “If a woman claims you, then she’ll also do for you what other women do. But if you all are claiming me, you’re not doing for me what other men would do.”
Noah spurts beer from his mouth, choking and dripping liquor everywhere as he looks wide-eyed over at his father and coughs into his hand.
I bite back a smile.
Noah hacks, struggling for breath, and wipes the mess off his lap. Jakes stares at me through the rearview mirror.
But he doesn’t reply.
And I’m not the first to look away this time.