Release Day Review: Rival: Penelope Douglas

Rival (Fall Away #2)
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Expected August 26, 2014

From the New Adult sensation and New York Times bestselling author of Bully and Until You

Madoc and Fallon. Two estranged teenagers playing games that push the boundaries between love and war…

She’s back.

For the two years she’s been away at boarding school, there was no word from her. Back when we lived in the same house, she used to cut me down during the day and then leave her door open for me at night.

I was stupid then, but now I’m ready to beat her at her own game…

I’m back.

Two years and I can tell he still wants me, even if he acts like he’s better than me.

But I won’t be scared away. Or pushed down. I’ll call his bluff and fight back. That’s what he wants, right? As long as I keep my guard up, he’ll never know how much he affects me….

I have to admit that I am a new addict to this series and just read all three of them consecutively. I devoured Bully and Until You. I fell for these characters and was excited about Madoc's story.

Madoc and Fallon are step-siblings but their parents' marriage is distant and toxic so they are not one big happy family. Two years ago something happened between Madoc and Fallon and she was sent off to boarding school. He remained King of his Daddy's castle despite the fact that neither of the parents ever really lived there. But now Fallon is back and so is the big elephant in the room. Problem is that they both are mad and appear to hate each other, but the other one is blind to the real reasons since they were separated without being able to communicate. This caused hurt feelings, pain, bad blood, and distance. 

That beautiful girl that hated me, and I hated her, but--goddamn it--I loved how we hated, because it was raw and real. It didn't make any sense, but yeah--it was real. 

They tease, taunt, fuss, and fight and their anger leads to other activities. But for as much as they repel each other, they also have an unavoidable pull and chemistry. Unfortunately there are still secrets, lies, hidden agendas, miscommunication, and unresolved and unspoken feelings that keep the drama and angst high.
I felt for both of them at times. They both got raw deals. They were manipulated in a lot of ways and got caught in the crossfire. I really just wanted to take the tow of them and lock them in a room and not let them out until everything was out there. 

I started out disliking Madoc in Bully(well, he was supposed to be one of the bad guys), but along the way I came to love him. He is funny, outgoing, a little obnoxious, but also caring and devoted to those he cares about. And underneath it all, he is also vulnerable. We got hints of his secrets and issues in the other books, but now we see what his childhood and family was like and how it shaped him. He is the epitome of the poor little rich boy who did not get attention from his parents. And a young man that was broken by love, but tried to hide it. I just wanted to hug him so many times.

"You're going to ruin me, Fallon."

Fallon is feisty, independent, tatted, pierced, and likes to think of herself as a free spirit. But she is also harboring serious anger issues, resentment, and emotional scars. Her parents also have their own set of issues that affect her life. But I have to admit sometimes she drove me crazy! She is what I call a runner and I felt frustration about it along with Madoc. I know she had her reasons, but sometimes I just wanted to throw my kindle as she avoided situations or took off running again. Again these two really needed to communicate better. It was repel, attract, run, chase, repeat. But I liked them together and enjoyed their fights and also their times of sweetness. And they had hot chemistry. But they were also a mess.

"You act like you have no heart, like you just swallow your conscience with all of the pain you cause. But I see through it, Fallon. The truth is, you want me like nobody's business...You've always wanted me. You know why? I didn't try to kill your demons, I run with them."

I loved getting more with Tate, Jared, Jax, and K.C. We got to see them progressing in their lives and relationships. I was happy this book was told in both points of view and it was definitely necessary due to their communication issues and hidden thoughts and feelings. This one was funny, mysterious, emotional, steamy and completely engaging. I have become a total fan of this series. They are unique and have so much going on that it is fun just trying to keep up. The characters have depth, connections, chemistry, and love to spar, but also care deeply and support each other(well at least when they are not tearing each other apart). The plot lines have twists and turns adding interest and surprise. They literally sucked me in and I had a three day Fall Away series marathon and now I already miss them. 

This one had some surprises I did not see coming and some teasers thrown in the mix for Jax's book too.   He really is a unique guy with hidden talents, intelligence, charm, and a difficult past. I am anxiously awaiting his book Falling Away.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Bully (Fall Away #1)
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My name is Tate. He doesn't call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all. No, he'll barely even speak to me.

But he still won't leave me alone.

We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. I've been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to stay out of his way. I even went to France for a year, just to avoid him.

But I'm done hiding from him now, and there's no way in hell I'll allow him to ruin my senior year. He might not have changed, but I have. It's time to fight back. 

I'm not going to let him bully me anymore.

***This novel contains adult/mature young adult situations. It is only suitable for ages 18+ due to language, violence, and sexual situations.

Until You (Fall Away #1.5)
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Have you ever been so angry that hitting things felt good? Or so numb that you actually felt high? The past few years have been like that for me. Traveling between fury and indifference with no stops in between.

Some people hate me for it, while others are scared of me. But none of them can hurt me, because I don't care about anything or anyone.

Except Tatum.

I love her so much that I hate her. We used to be friends, but I found out that I couldn't trust her or anyone else.

So I hurt her. I pushed her away.

But I still need her. The sight of her centers me, and I can pool all of my anger into her. Engaging her, challenging her, bullying her...they are my food, my air, and the last part of me that feels anything human.

But she left. She went to France for a year, and came back a different girl.

Now, when I push, she pushes back.


Falling Away (Fall Away#3)
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Expected January 2015

Jaxon is the guy she’s supposed to avoid.

K.C. is the girl he won’t let get away....

K. C. Carter has always followed the rules—until this year, when a mistake leaves her the talk of her college campus and her carefully arranged life comes crashing to a halt. Now she’s stuck in her small hometown for the summer to complete her court-ordered community service, and to make matters worse, trouble is living right next door.

Jaxon Trent is the worst kind of temptation and exactly what K.C. was supposed to stay away from in high school. But he never forgot her. She was the one girl who wouldn’t give him the time of day and the only one to ever say no. Fate has brought K.C. back into his life—except what he thought was a great t wist of luck turns out to be too close for comfort. As the bond between them grows, he discovers that convincing K.C. to get out from her mother’s shadow is hard, but revealing the darkest parts of his soul is nearly impossible.…
Penelope Douglas Website/Facebook/Twitter
Penelope Douglas is a writer living in Las Vegas. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, she is the oldest of five children. Penelope attended the University of Northern Iowa, earning a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration, because her father told her to "just get the damn degree!" She then earned a Masters of Science in Education at Loyola University in New Orleans, because she HATED public administration. One night, she got tipsy and told the bouncer at the bar where she worked that his son was hot, and three years later she was married. To the son, not the bouncer. They have spawn, but just one. A daughter named Aydan. Penelope loves sweets, The Originals, and she shops at Target almost daily.

Bully (Fall Away #1) is her first book, published June 2013. Please look for the companion novel, Until You, in late fall 2013 and Rival in the summer of 2014.


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