Release Launch/ Review/Giveaway: Aflame: Penelope Douglas

Aflame (Fall Away #4)
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Expected April 21, 2015

Jared and Tate's story continues...

From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Bully, Until You, Rival, and Falling Away comes the sizzling conclusion to the Fall Away series. 

The tables have turned. Now I have the power—and it’s his turn to beg…

Everyone wants to be me.

Maybe it’s the sway of my skirt or the way I flip my hair, but I don’t care. Even though their attention is the last thing I crave, I just can’t stop. I dominate the track, the speed rattles my bones, and the wind and the crowd screams my name.

I’m her. The girl driver. The queen of the race. And I’m surviving—something he thought I’d never do.

They all still talk about him. Did you see Jared Trent on T.V? What did you think of his last race, Tate? When is he coming back to town, Tate?

But I refuse to care too much. Because when Jared does come home, I won’t be here.

Tatum Brandt is gone. I’m someone new. 

This review contains spoilers to the previous book Falling Away...

We saw at the end of Falling Away that Jared was leaving to find himself and left both he and Tate destroyed. We got her point of view of this pivotal scene then, but now get into Jared's head regarding his decision. My heart broke all over again. Fans of this series that might have been disappointed that Penelope Douglas chose to break apart this couple that had already been through so much, I think will come to understand why she did it. I felt like this was not contrived drama just to add another book to the series and  she gave us justifiable reasons why both Tate and Jared needed some time to grow apart in order to be able to have a chance to be truly happy together.

They both went their own ways, struggling at times, but trying to find their own passions away from each other and move on. But eventually Jared cannot avoid Shelbourne Falls any longer. And once they come face to face, all the pent up feelings, anger, disappointment, jealousy, and fear rear their ugly head. Gone are the lovey dovey couple. Back are the antagonistic, ex friends, ex loves who have been apart for an extended time who are unclear about the other's current feelings. They have both grown in their own lives and pursuits, but a big chunk of their hearts are still tied together. But they both are too proud and hurt to admit it, so hide it under smirks and sarcasm. They try to appear cold and unaffected, but they could always bring out the worst and the best in each other.

But Tate has especially become much stronger and fiercer. She is untrusting and more guarded. She realizes she likes having more control of her life and will never let Jared dominate her or take all the control again. Jared was always the one that held back some of himself due to his past. And he knows he started this chain of events and only has himself to blame if Tate is really able to move on without him.

As usual with these two, there are  mistakes, arguments, miscommunication, and resistance. But there is also passion, shared history, and a deep love that can't be denied forever. Neither of them know all that happened to the other when they were apart or all of the motivations of the other one.  I love their banter and how they play off each other, even when I want to shake them both. But all throughout the series I have been invested in Tate and Jared having  a full happy ending.

They both needed time to grow into their own path. But at the same time they have been connected since they were ten years old. I enjoyed seeing the growth and change in these characters personally, as well as the continually changing dynamic in their relationship.

They will each have to decide if they can forgive mistakes and stop hurting each other. They both will have to prioritize their needs. They need to discover the difference between fighting each other and fighting FOR each other and to understand what they can and cannot live without.

All of the crew is back: Jax and Juliet, Madoc and Fallon, as well as other side characters Lucas, Ben, Zack, and the parents. Pasha was a new character that kind of just fit right into their group. I love how this group is there for each other and is not afraid to tell the others when they screw up. Their bonds are so tight and their lives are so intertwined that it added to the complications, but I loved how they managed to do what they thought was right for their friends at the time. I was thrilled to be able to see the progressions in all of their lives and smiled really BIG with the extended epilogue.

This was another feisty, fun, emotional, and heartfelt installment. It was aggravating, frustrating, humorous, sweet, passionate, heartbreaking, and kept me engaged throughout. I enjoyed getting both Tate and  Jared's points of views in the present and some from the past.

As sad as I am to see this series officially end, I am happy to have gone on the journey with these complex, fallible characters. And I think that this really was a necessary step to complete Tate and Jared's story fully. It brought everything back full circle and gave us all the answers and resolution we needed for all of the characters. But I will say that I would love to see a future spin-off 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.

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….

Falling Away (Fall Away #3)
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Kim's 5 star review

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.…

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.
The giveaway is international and ends at 11:59 PM CST 04/25/2015.

·         (2) Signed set of Bully, Until You, Rival & Falling Away
·         (2) $20 gift card (Amazon or B&N)

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