Rival (Fall Away #2) by Penelope Douglas

4.5 stars!

“You’ve always wanted me. You know why? Because I don’t try to kill your demons. I run with them.”

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There is just something about the way Penelope Douglas writes, that when I pick up one of her books I cannot put it down! There were so many mixed reviews from friends on this book that I had been avoiding it. But when I saw Tate and Jared got another book I decided to play catch up and believe me am I glad I did!

Drama. Angst. Love. Hate. Fear.

Fallon and Madoc have been stepsiblings that tolerate each other at best. When they’re sixteen it developed into something different and the two got along. Until the day Fallon disappeared and Madoc’s parents wouldn’t say where she went.

Now, two years later Fallon is back. No explanations, just invading Madoc’s home, being chatty with his friends, and basically being a tease. And Madoc is pissed. What he doesn’t know is there’s more to the story. Much more. But is he willing to listen?

“Sometimes I wore smiles but didn’t feel them. Sometimes I felt them and didn’t wear them. I didn’t want her to know how much I craved this. I bit my bottom lip.”

Bully was a read that was incredibly thought provoking for me, and it teetered on the edge of young adult. Rival is all out romance from the start. It got steamy 25% in (yay!) and remained so throughout the rest of the book. This book had all the things I love in a romance: angst, betrayal, and forgiveness. Sure I got a bit tired of the off and on between Fallon and Madoc, but when they made their choices, they remained faithful to one another, which I loved.

One reason I think I loved this book so much… it reminded me of old school Tijan books. The one’s I love. Obviously not exactly the same, but teens with completely fucked up parents and revenge scenarios? Broken and Screwed anyone? Jaded? It was like coming home reading this book. I devoured it.

I also loved the side characters. We got a little bit of Tate and Jared (although most of what they did was screw each off screen but still). We got to get to know Jax, Jared’s little brother some more. I really liked his sly ways. That guy’s a sneaker fucker and it was AWESOME.

Anyways, enough gushing on my end. I can see how this wouldn’t be for everyone, it’s a little bit OTT but it really worked for me. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

“But breaking was beautiful. It hurt, and it was an uphill climb back to sanity, but you came back stronger, fiercer, and more solid than you were before.”


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