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15 Books Like Credence by Penelope Douglas

Books Like Credence

Looking for your next addictive read after finishing Penelope Douglas’s ‘Credence’? 

Delve into this curated list of similar books that will keep you turning pages late into the night. 

From intense family dynamics to forbidden romance and unexpected twists, these recommendations promise to satisfy your craving for gripping storytelling. 

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Books Like Credence by Penelope Douglas

1. Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

In “Punk 57,” we dive into the lives of Misha and Ryen, who’ve been pen pals since grade school, mistakenly paired due to their gender-neutral names. 

Unlike their real-life personas, their letters to each other reveal their true selves. However, things take a turn when Misha discovers Ryen’s true nature at a high school party, and he decides to teach her a lesson without revealing his identity. The story weaves a complex narrative of identity, love, and the masks people wear.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Credence,” “Punk 57” explores themes of hidden identities and complex relationships that challenge the characters’ perceptions of love and truth. Both books feature a dark, intense romance and deal with the journey of self-discovery and acceptance, showcasing Penelope Douglas’s signature style of blending emotional depth with compelling storytelling.

2. Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

“Birthday Girl” tells the story of Jordan, who finds herself falling for Pike, her boyfriend’s father, after moving in with them. The relationship is taboo and fraught with moral dilemmas, but the attraction between them is undeniable. 

As they navigate the complexities of their feelings and the implications on their lives, they must decide if their love is worth the scandal.

Major Similarities:

This novel, like “Credence,” delves into a forbidden romance that challenges societal norms and expectations. The characters are faced with difficult choices that test their morals and desires. Both stories captivate readers with their emotional depth, complex characters, and the exploration of forbidden love’s intoxicating but dangerous allure.

3. Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

“Corrupt” is a dark romance that follows Erika Fane as she gets entangled with Michael Crist, a man whose world is far removed from the safety and structure she’s known. 

The story unfolds in a seaside town, where Erika finds herself caught in a game of revenge that blurs the lines between hate, love, and obsession. The narrative is gripping, filled with twists and the exploration of darker desires.

Major Similarities: 

Similar to “Credence,” “Corrupt” features a dark, compelling narrative where the boundaries between love and hate are tested. Both novels showcase Douglas’s ability to craft stories with deep psychological complexity and morally ambiguous characters. The themes of power dynamics and the exploration of forbidden desires are central to both stories, making them resonate with readers who enjoy edgy, emotionally charged romances.

4. Den of Vipers by K.A. Knight

Den of Vipers” introduces us to Ryder, Kenzo, Garrett, and Diesel, the feared leaders of a notorious gang, and Roxy, the girl who finds herself at their mercy. Unlike the typical damsel in distress, Roxy challenges the men at every turn, sparking a dangerous game of power, dominance, and seduction. As alliances and loyalties are tested, they must navigate their complex relationships while facing external threats.

Major Similarities: 

Both “Den of Vipers” and “Credence” share a dark and erotic theme, focusing on complex dynamics within unconventional relationships. The stories delve into themes of power, control, and the blurred lines between love and obsession, appealing to readers who are fascinated by intense, taboo romances and morally complex characters.

5. The Unrequited by Saffron A. Kent

“The Unrequited” revolves around Layla Robinson, who is hopelessly in love with her professor, Thomas Abrams. The novel explores their forbidden love affair, filled with passion, longing, and heartbreak. 

As they navigate the consequences of their relationship, they are forced to confront their pasts and the possibility of a future together. The narrative is intense, with poetic prose that delves deep into the characters’ emotions and desires.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Credence,” “The Unrequited” explores a taboo and intense romance that defies conventional boundaries. Both novels feature complex characters grappling with their desires, guilt, and societal expectations. 

The themes of forbidden love, self-discovery, and the pursuit of happiness despite the odds are central to both stories, making them appealing to readers who enjoy emotionally charged, provocative romances.

6. Vicious by L.J. Shen

“Vicious” introduces us to Emilia and Vicious, the latter being one of the Four HotHoles of Todos Santos. Vicious is cruel, ruthless, and seemingly harbors no feelings for Emilia, except disdain. 

However, as their story unfolds, layers of their past and the complexity of their emotions come to light, revealing a deep, undeniable attraction that challenges everything they thought they knew about hate and love.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Credence,” “Vicious” delves into a hate-to-love dynamic set against a backdrop of intense emotional turmoil and dark themes. Both novels feature complex characters whose relationships evolve from animosity and misunderstanding to an intense, passionate connection. 

The exploration of themes such as redemption, the fine line between love and hate, and the characters’ emotional growth are prominent in both stories.

7. Fear Me by B.B. Reid

“Fear Me” is a story about Keiran Masters, a boy who has tormented Lake Monroe since they were children. But as they grow older, their dynamic shifts in a way that Lake could never have anticipated. 

The novel explores themes of dominance, fear, and the unexpected forms love can take, all while navigating the dark pasts and secrets that bind Keiran and Lake together.

Major Similarities: 

Both “Fear Me” and “Credence” explore the dynamics of power, control, and the transformation of relationships from animosity to complex emotional connections. 

These novels are not for the faint-hearted, delving deep into themes of obsession, redemption, and the blurry lines between love and hate, making them appealing for readers drawn to intense, emotionally charged narratives.

8. Bully by Penelope Douglas

“Bully” is the first book in the Fall Away series, telling the story of Tate and Jared, childhood friends turned enemies. Jared’s return from a year away is marked by his cruel treatment of Tate, but as senior year unfolds, the reasons behind his behavior and the pain both characters have endured come to light.

The push-and-pull dynamic between them evolves into a complex relationship that challenges their understanding of love and forgiveness.

Major Similarities: 

Similar to “Credence,” “Bully” focuses on a relationship that starts with animosity and evolves into a passionate, deep connection. Both novels examine themes of forgiveness, the impact of past traumas on personal relationships, and the journey towards understanding and love. 

Douglas’s ability to craft multifaceted characters and emotionally resonant stories is evident in both works.

9. Ruthless People by J.J. McAvoy

“Ruthless People” follows the arranged marriage between Melody Giovanni and Liam Callahan, heirs to two powerful mafia families. 

Initially, their union is nothing but a power move, but as they start to navigate their roles as leaders and partners, they find an unexpected match in each other. 

The story weaves together themes of power, loyalty, and the complexities of a relationship built amidst the dangerous life of crime.

Major Similarities: 

Both “Ruthless People” and “Credence” share a narrative where love blossoms in a high-stakes environment, challenging the characters’ preconceptions and loyalties. 

The themes of power dynamics, the complexities of love in unconventional settings, and the characters’ evolution through their trials make both stories compelling for readers who enjoy dark, edgy romances set against a backdrop of danger and intrigue.

10. It Ain’t Me, Babe by Tillie Cole

“It Ain’t Me, Babe” is the first book in the Hades Hangmen series, which introduces us to Styx, the leader of a motorcycle club, and Mae, a woman who has escaped from a cult. 

Their meeting sparks an intense and complicated relationship, fraught with the challenges of their vastly different worlds. The story explores themes of freedom, loyalty, and the power of love to transcend the darkest of pasts.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Credence,” “It Ain’t Me, Babe” explores the development of a relationship between characters from starkly different backgrounds, each with their own deep-seated issues and traumas. 

The themes of redemption, the search for freedom, and the healing power of love in the face of adversity are central to both stories. Both novels offer readers an emotionally gripping experience, blending elements of darkness with hope and love.

11. Deviant King by Rina Kent

“Deviant King” is the start of a dark high school romance series that focuses on Aiden King, a powerful and feared student, and Elsa, the new girl with secrets of her own. 

Their connection is immediate, intense, and complicated by the power dynamics at play within their elite school’s walls. As their story unfolds, secrets are revealed, and the line between love and obsession becomes increasingly blurred.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Credence,” “Deviant King” dives into a dark, intense relationship characterized by dominance and a push-and-pull dynamic. Both novels explore themes of power, secrets, and the complexities of a love that challenges both characters to confront their darkest selves. 

The emotional depth and psychological intrigue in these stories make them appealing to readers who enjoy exploring the darker aspects of romance and identity.

12. After by Anna Todd

“After” follows the tumultuous relationship between Tessa Young, a dedicated student and loyal girlfriend, and Hardin Scott, a mysterious and brooding rebel. 

Their relationship starts on rocky terms but soon evolves into a passionate, all-consuming love that challenges every expectation Tessa had for her life. The series navigates their intense emotional journey, fraught with challenges, misunderstandings, and deep personal growth.

Major Similarities

Both “After” and “Credence” share a theme of young love that is intense, complicated, and transformative. The relationships in both novels are marked by significant challenges and growth, pushing the characters to explore their deepest fears and desires. 

The journey from conflict to deep connection, against a backdrop of personal discovery, makes both stories resonate with readers drawn to complex romantic dynamics.

13. Twisted Love by Ana Huang

“Twisted Love” features Ava Chen, a young woman determined to keep her family safe, and Alex Volkov, a cold and ruthless businessman with a hidden vulnerability. 

Their relationship begins under a cloud of manipulation and secrets, but as they grow closer, they uncover truths about themselves and each other that challenge their initial perceptions. 

The novel is a mix of dark romance and emotional healing, exploring how love can both bind and free.

Major Similarities: 

Like “Credence,” “Twisted Love” explores the themes of complex, unconventional relationships marked by secrets, manipulation, and a journey toward understanding and healing. Both novels delve into the characters’ psychological depths, exploring how love can emerge from darkness and trauma. 

The intense, emotion-driven narrative and the characters’ growth through adversity are key similarities.

14. Sick Fux by Tillie Cole

“Sick Fux” is a dark and twisted tale of two individuals, Heathen and Ellis, who find solace and companionship in each other amidst their traumatic pasts. 

Their story is one of vengeance and love, as they navigate a world that has been cruel and unforgiving. The narrative is intense, dealing with themes of revenge, survival, and the healing power of love in the darkest of times.

Major Similarities: 

“Sick Fux” and “Credence” both delve into the depths of dark romance, where the protagonists’ relationships are forged in the fires of shared trauma and a desire for vengeance. 

The themes of darkness, love as a healing force, and the pursuit of justice against the backdrop of their tumultuous pasts are central to both narratives, appealing to readers who are drawn to stories that explore the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

15. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

“Beautiful Disaster” tells the story of Abby Abernathy, a girl who wants to distance herself from her dark past, and Travis Maddox, the ultimate bad boy. 

Their relationship starts as a simple bet but quickly evolves into an intense, all-consuming love that tests their limits and forces them to confront their demons. The novel explores themes of love, redemption, and the power of choice in shaping one’s destiny.

Major Similarities: 

Both “Beautiful Disaster” and “Credence” feature a central relationship that is as tumultuous as it is passionate. The journey of the characters from attraction to deep emotional connection, amidst personal challenges and external pressures, highlights the transformative power of love. 

The themes of overcoming a dark past, the intensity of young love, and the challenge of finding one’s path resonate deeply in both stories, appealing to readers who appreciate romance that is both deeply emotional and fraught with conflict.

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