Release Day Post, Review and Giveaway: Falling Away: Penelope Douglas

Falling Away (Fall Away #3)
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Kobo/Books a Million
Expected January 6,  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 twist 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.…

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K.C. Carter is returning to Shelburne Falls for the Summer after being away for two years, but not by choice. She got into some trouble and is doing her time. She is a bit lost, lacking direction, and has lost her spark.

Jaxon Trent, Jared's younger brother, has always had the hots for her. But she rejected his advances and had a boyfriend at the time. But now they are back in the same town, same street, but Jax's reaction to her is inconsistent at best. One minute he advances and the next minute he criticizes her or pushes her away. He challenges her and calls her out. He misses her spunk and sass and is not happy with the fearful, gutless woman she has become. 

Jax needs control since he lacked it growing up, but some things he just can't control which makes him anxious and frustrated. He gets under her skin and  makes her lose control and her mind at times. Anytime he is near, he makes her want to branch out and be a bit wild. And he encourages her to find herself, be brave, stand up for what she wants, and be herself. But she challenges him as well and pushes to find out his secrets. 

I gotta say that I loved Jax especially towards the end of Rival. but then in the beginning of this one I was a bit disappointed because he could really be an ass. And I was never that fond of K.C. before due to some of her previous actions in other books. So I was worried at first that I was not going to connect with them. But it did not take long to see each of their fears, vulnerabilities, and battles scars. And their chemistry and reaction to the other was intense and volatile. They challenged and pushed each other sometimes to their extreme and often found themselves scaring the other one off or making them mad. But underneath it all, they both just wanted to belong to someone, be understood and be loved for who they really were instead of who people expected them to be. They both had to fight to face the people and self doubts that made them feel not worthy enough and truly accept the people that did love them. 

There is tons of sexual tension, advance and retreat, and angst. But these two have truly been circling around each other for three years and now that they are back in the same vicinity, it is finally unavoidable.  Their chemistry is off the charts.

It is told in K.C.'s point of view initially but then around thirty percent we get dual point of view. I was so glad once we got into Jax's head. He really had a lot of demons and self doubt hiding under his intelligent, controlled, competent facade. He has alpha tendencies and  a wild steak too, but really had a strong need to take care of himself and those he cared about. He needed to be in control in any situation, but there were some things happening that he could not control. And his past haunted him and created scars that never really healed.

K.C.'s journey was very different than I expected. We thought we knew the put together, rule follower, but did not really know what was under her impenetrable facade.  Her history was surprising and sad. She really needed to find out who she was and who she wanted to be. She had not truly been living for herself in a long time and had become apathetic. But Jax was determined to help her find her spark and strength again. But it involved facing her own demons and bringing down her walls. 

But once they get in deeper, they have the potential to ruin the other. Because the  only way to truly know the other is to give up the secrets that haunt them and have the courage to face their rejection or acceptance. And that is a task that neither might be ready for.

Penelope Douglas does an amazing job drawing you into these complicated relationships with  multi-faceted characters and in depth stories. This one brings back all of our old friends: Tate and Jared, Fallon and Madoc, and their parents. I love the rapport that these characters share. We also spend time with K.C.'s cousin Shane, and unfortunately K.C.'s ex Liam is back as well. This installment was as antagonistic, funny, feisty, passionate, and tense as the other books in the series. But I think they both had more emotional and traumatic pasts making it deeper and more heart wrenching. My heart broke for both Jax and K.C. and what they had to overcome and was in suspended animation as they tried to navigate all of the challenges they were still facing in their lives while also trying to build and keep their fragile bond alive. It was a painful journey with many pitfalls. They struggled so much, but I really came to like both of the characters individually and together. It does give us a resolved ending, but I still look forward to more with these characters in the next book in the series since I am sure we will see more with them. The next book is Aflame and is a continuation of Tate and Jared's story and wrap up the Fall Away series. 

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.

Rival (Fall Away #2)
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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….


Aflame (Fall Away #3.5) 
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Pre-order: Amazon/B&N/iTunes/Kobo
Expected April 21, 2015

Jared and Tate's story continues...

Penelope Douglas 

Penelope Douglas is a writer and teacher 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 (yes, she was drunk at work) 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 show Sons of Anarchy, and she shops at Target almost daily.

Penelope Douglas still has this giveaway running from the Countdown to Falling Away excerpt tour so there is still time to enter.

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