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From the New Adult sensation and New York Times bestselling author of 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….

366 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 26, 2014

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About the author

Penelope Douglas

35 books63.8k followers
Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Their books have been translated into nineteen languages and include The Fall Away Series, The Devil’s Night Series, and the stand-alones, Misconduct, Punk 57, Birthday Girl, Credence, and Tryst Six Venom. Please look for The Hellbent Series and Motel, coming next.

They live in New England with their husband and daughter.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,343 reviews
Profile Image for Komal Kant.
Author 17 books792 followers
Want to read
July 7, 2013
Whyyyyyyy? Why isn't this book out like yesterday??? Why does this always happen? Why am I always forced to stalk authors like an insane person eating socks? Please, book, please come out.
Profile Image for • Lisa •.
555 reviews1,526 followers
August 19, 2014

"You reached me. When no one else ever has."


It was love at first chapter when I first read the work of Penelope Douglas. Intrigued by it's title and a newfound author I found myself falling for this authors debut writing style and since reading 'Bully' I've not once wanted to look back. This author brings something fresh to the 'new adult' genre of writing and it seems I'm not able to stop my admiration for her work. 'Rival' has been a long anticipated release and i can now admit that I was a little dubious with how this story would play out, but my doubts were unfounded, this novel was spectacular it had the right amount of grit and taboo without making it too dark or difficult to read and if there is one thing I can now be sure of is that Penelope Douglas has a wickedly sensual talent of making me fall straight into love with her story telling. With a hero to die for and a heroine with plenty of bite I could not have enjoyed my time spent with these characters any more than I did. My expectations have been blown away, 'Rival' is a novel not to be forgotten about and a book that I'm happy to say I loved.

What's it all about?
Madoc and Fallon are two star crossed lovers fighting against the pain and secrets of the past. Their connection was one that has stayed with them both and their obsession with each other doesn't seem to want to end. One wants revenge, the other wants to beat its partner at it's own game. They both need each other. But will games, hate, family connections and a dark past stop a love that was destined to be or will they both be able to fight beyond themselves. Follow this fall away novel and fall in love with rivals that can't help but love to hate each other.


What did I love?
What was not to love? Gorgeous story telling, fantastic writing talent, characters that blew me away and a plot that stole my heart. Everything about this novel dramatically appealed to my reading tastes. I loved that this book was deliciously tempting and swayed on the side of taboo but never crossed over into the uncomfortable territory, instead it made my heart pound and the anticipation of what was to come was well played out by the author. I'll always have a soft spot for a dual point of view in a novel especially one that provides the reader with an opportunity to get involved with the characters thoughts and feelings. I had a honest to goodness soft spot for both hero and heroine in this story and nothing appeals more than characters who profess to hate each other when in truth their love is just as evident. Madoc and Fallon were fantastic lead characters and in addition to falling for their love story I also fell for them as individuals and I adored them both equally as much. Sibling rivalry, falling unashamedly in lust, chemistry that can't be rivalled (see what I did there?) and a story that will stay with me for some time to come 'Rival' is one of my favourites of 2014 and a book that deserves to be celebrated for all it's deliciously dark romantic talent. Penelope Douglas has created a love to hate you story that has blown me away. For those readers that can't help but be attracted to angry sex, broken characters and epic love stories that break you up and by the end fix you all up again then this book will be just what you need.


Final thoughts ...
If you are a reader that has not yet read a Penelope Douglas novel and you enjoy all the drama of a new adult novel then I can only urge you to get yourself aquatinted with this authors work. As for those readers who are anxiously waiting to read 'Rival' I can assure you that you will not be disappointed. Mrs Douglas has outdone herself and provided a novel that had me glued to every chapter and has more than filled my need for an angst filled, love story fix. With plenty of story telling to keep you interested and characters that are as bold as this authors shining talent the only complaint I now have is that I'm now back in the queue waiting for the next release by this author. Predictably so, five star books are what I crave and from start to finish 'Rival' had that unforgettable quality stamped all over it, I have no regrets with my time spent here and I'm sure this book will find itself being re read over and over again. Until then I'll be satisfying my addiction with reading my most favourite quotes and I'm looking forward to seeing other readers fall in love as much as I did. Enjoy ... Kisses.


*Guest reviewer for Dirty girl romance book blog, ARC generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*

Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,000 reviews11.8k followers
January 5, 2017

That beautiful girl 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.”

Why the hell did it take me this long to read this book?! Why? WHY I ASK YOU?! I'll admit that reading a few reviews made me a little nervous to pick this one up. I should have known better. Other people's pet peeves tend to be my catnip. What? I never said I wasn't a lot little crazy? But I digress.

As you may already know from my reviews, I love enemies to lovers. And you already probably know that my love for all things Penelope Douglas know no bounds. I LOVED and I mean LOVED Bully and Until You. So why did it take me so long to read this book? I have no freaking idea! But I'm so happy to rectify that grand error in judgement.

Madoc was everything I had hoped he would be. A goofball hiding a lot of depth beneath the easy jokes and quick smile. He's a downright asshole to Fallon at first, and as more and more of their history comes to light, the puzzle pieces begin to click together.

Fallon is exactly the sort of heroine I love to read about; smart mouthed, sassy, and with a spine of steel. This girl sure knew how to dish it, and she could take it just as well.
You’ve always wanted me. You know why? Because I don’t try to kill your demons. I run with them.”

Her family life isn't exactly ideal and her mother is downright kaka for coco puffs. Her father is the only solid influence she's had in her life, and I'll admit that I loved reading about their unconventional relationship.
Nothing that happens on the surface of the sea can alter the calm of it’s depths.”

Did I love this as much as Bully? No. But nothing compares to that book. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the hell out of this one. Because I did. I really REALLY did. It had everything I love in NA; great banter, hate lust, and the sexy times were downright SIZZLING.

I devoured this book in a day. It reminded me all over again why I love this woman's writing. She does it for me every time. Every. Single. Time. Now to just finish the rest of this 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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Profile Image for Geri Reads.
1,232 reviews2,029 followers
August 26, 2014
2.7-3 stars!

This was my reaction when I read that Madoc is getting a book.

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So when the cover/blurb and release day was announced

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And because luck on my side, I got my hands on the ARC. I went and...

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So I devoured the book in less than 6 hours. It was...

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It was. Well, I wanted to love this one so much and I wish I could give this 5 stars.

The Story
Madoc and Fallon are step siblings and two years ago something happened with them that ended very badly. But now Fallon is back and Madoc doesn't quite know what to do with the whole situation. There were a lot of misunderstandings, feelings of betrayal and the desire to seek revenge.

Suffice it to say, this book was a little uneven for me. There were parts that I liked and enjoyed but there were parts that I wasn't really crazy about. I won't enumerate all of them because they are massive spoilers but you get my gist.

What worked for me.

The writing. Penelope Douglas can write. No question about it. She takes this really compelling and sometimes difficult characters and make you fall in love with them. That's what she did with Madoc. You all remembered Madoc, right? I cheered Tate on when she finally junk punched the guy. He was the classic arrogant douchecanoe but at the end of Bully, I wanted his story so bad. We finally got a glimpse of it during Until You. And I was excited to read his story because of forbidden quality to it.

The sex scenes were pretty darn hot. If you think Bully and Until You were hot, this book surpassed both of them in the steam department. And I got to tell you, for readers who are looking for some serious steam in their book, read this book.

Madoc and Fallon, I liked them together. They're opposites in so many ways yet they have enough in common to make their relationship believable. When they're not at each other's throats, I enjoyed their interaction very much.

We also get a glimpse of Jared and Tate and Jax. In fact, in some of the scenes, I would Jax stole the show.

What didn't work...
The overall plot. For one, it felt like a rehash of Jared and Tate's "I-hate-you-but-I-love-you" story line. I thought the forbidden aspect would be the main thing that holds the whole story together. There were echoes of it, for sure but they are just that, echoes. The reason why it left me unsatisfied was when the book started, the forbidden part already happened. That moment where they started their relationship happened off screen. Most of the book was just dealing with the aftermath of their forbidden relationship. I was expecting to see more of it, instead we get Fallon and Madoc hating each other the first half of the book pretty much like Jared and Tate in their book.

Another thing that didn't work for me are the major plot devices--yup, devices used in this book. There were, oh, I don't know, three major ones not to mention the many side plots running along the three main ones. It ended up trite and a little bit all over the place for me. There was entirely too many things happening that Madoc and Fallon's character development sort of got lost in the shuffle.

One less plot device or one less side plot, this would have ended up great. I'm sorry but the story just didn't really come together for me. It felt too cluttered and too heavy-handed for my taste.

Overall, I wasn't wowed but still a decent read for me. And if you loved Bully and Until You, I'd still definitely recommend this one.

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Miriam.
256 reviews213 followers
Shelved as 'library'
July 22, 2015
After reading what could be the single-most amazing book in 2013 that I have ever come across and falling in love with deeper and deeper with Jared, Rival is one of the books I'm looking most forward to.

And it has Madoc! Madoc!!! The guy with the smart-ass remarks and easy humour!

"Totally. This is the start of a great friendship." I jostled Madoc's arm playfully.
"It could be the start of a great porno, too," Madoc deadpanned, breaking into laughter."

Bring me thee, Madoc! I am ready for you.


But at the same time, I'm don't think I'm ready for Rival.


Bully completely tore me apart and I have this niggling feeling at the back of my mind that Ms Penelope Douglas won't go easy on us readers in Rival. It's going to be sad, I just know it. It's going to be angsty. It's going to tear my heart apart.

But since I'm apparently a glutton for emotional pain, I'll still be reading Rival. Ms Douglas has gotten me addicted and I need more, a.s.a.p.!!

Profile Image for Christy.
3,758 reviews32k followers
September 1, 2014
4 stars

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“Nothing that happens on the surface of the sea can alter the calm of it’s depths.”

I loved Madoc in Bully. I know he was a bit of an ass, but he had some charisma. I was so excited when I found out the next book would be his. And with his stepsister. Win! I can say honestly, I loved Bully and Until You much better than Rival. I did like this, but there were a few over the top things that made it impossible for me to give it 5 stars. Still, there were things I did really like.

Madoc’s stepsister Fallon has been gone for two years. She’s been at boarding school and hasn’t had contact with him since she’s been gone. Now she’s back. A lot has changed in the past two years, but one thing has stayed the same. These two are still intensely attracted to one another, and they are still playing games…

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This was a game to Madoc- but it was a war to me.

Madoc and Fallon hate to love each other, and love to hate each other. There are a lot of secrets and miscommunications that got them to the point they’re at today. They were essentially torn apart by lies, by their family betraying them in the worst way. Now that some of the secrets are out… will they be able to be together? Just them? No games, no hate, none of the other stuff that was pulling them apart? Or will this rivalry between them stay put?
That beautiful girl hated me, and I heated 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.

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I actually really liked both of the main characters in this story. Once I figured out why they had this big rivalry, I understood them both better.
This needs to be mentioned… in bold shout caps… THE SEX WAS HOT! Sometimes, writing sex scenes for characters between 16-18 can be not so hot, but she knocked it out of the park with these two. I don’t know if it’s because they had a love hate thing going on, but damn! The scenes that they were together were smoking!

The writing was great, I loved the premise of the story and Madoc and Fallon were both great characters. I love love loved the steamy scenes! I really wish the end wouldn’t have had so much over the top crazy, but I still liked the book overall. This is a series I’ve really grown to love and I have very high hopes for Jax book being a real winner! I can’t wait to read it!

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Profile Image for Mysza.
474 reviews386 followers
September 2, 2014

It was just OK, I didn't love it but I didn't hate it either. Since Bully is still one of my favorite books ever, I waited for this one with excitement. And sadly it did not meet my expectations. I won't write what the book is about because you can read it in blurb and in plenty other reviews. I'll just focus on what I did and didn't like.

First - writing - it was very good. I have no doubt that Penelope Douglas is a talented author. She delivered fast paced and intense story, just the drama was OTT for me. I actually do like drama in books, but here was just too much and not necessarily needed. I think the book would be much better without the huge amount of it

Second - sex - off the charts hot!!! And I mean it, sheets were on fire with those two. It probably saved the book for me, definitely added 1 star to my review.

Third - Tate, Jared and Jax - good side charachters. I liked glimpses in Tate and Jared's relationship. It's good to know they're fine and still hot for each other. And Jax? Well , I think he could be the real dark horse of this series, I can't wait for his book. Talented and mysterious, that boy has potential to surprise us all.

I actually really liked the first half of the book. But when it hit 40% mark, the story went down for me. The hint to the author

I never got to believe in their love. And it was mainly Madoc that I didn't believe. He never fought for Fallon, never went after her, he just believed in what he was told by their parents and went on with his life, never tried to check if it was true or not, never looked back. And that happened twice!!!

The drama after 70% just was too much for me, it slowly turned into sopa opera, for real. I mean, her mother, his father, her father, Jared's mother, all the side plots running along with the main one started to get on my nerves.

It wasn't bad book at all, just not enough for me. I think this happens often when you wait for a book so long and you have your expectations high. This one proved the point that it's not easy to write a good sequel. And I was so counting on Madoc to be my new hot alhpa book boyfriend:((((

Profile Image for [~Ami~]♥Sexy Dexy♥ .
501 reviews454 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
August 21, 2014
DNF @ 54%

Madoc and Fallon are step siblings that never got along. After 2 years being away she is back.

Let me just break it down:
•Hero- I normally like douches but I didn't find any redeeming qualities in Madoc
•Heroine- I think I found a pattern
•Storyline- Secrets, misunderstandings, DRAMA!!!
•Romance- Didnt feel the love
•Feelings- Too much anger, some eye rolling
•Banter- None
•If I finished my rating would have been- 1 star

So you see nothing about the book is what I like to read about (except the angry sex). I tried really hard to remind myself they were young, but misunderstandings and the drama was too much for me. Had I been in a better reading mood I might have enjoyed this more. So sorry!

ARC provided by NetGalley
Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,562 followers
August 26, 2014

This was really good!!!For one more time Penelope managed to captivate me with her characters!!!I was so excited when I saw that there is a new book from her!!I adored Bully and Until you.Tate and Jared were amazing!!And now we have Madoc's story!!
From the moment I read the synnopsis I was intrigued!Love/hate relationships always are the best!!Finally we can see and understand some of Madoc's reactions in the previous books and finally we can understand him better!!The characters were realistic and all the time I felt like I was into the story!!It was hot,funny and romantic!


Do you remember Madoc????He is Jared's best friend...and now we have his story...His step-sister is back..What happened in the past between them?
Their story is much deeper,they have a history..
So many things happen in this story...


I liked Madoc!!I thought Jared was the hot guy...but wait until you meet Madoc and know him better!!!And Fallon was also a good character!!She was a kick ass girl!!!What Madoc needed!! The chemistry between those two was hot!There was some steamy scenes and of course fighting!!I liked them together!!!They have amazing chemistry!!


Jax OMG!!!!He is amazing!!!I need his book now!!!!If you loved Bully and Until You then you definately love this one!!!

*ARC generously received in exchange for a honest review.*

Profile Image for Jennifer Kyle.
2,358 reviews4,607 followers
August 28, 2014
2.75 ~ 3 Stars

”My little rival. You think I can’t rise to the occasion in this game?”


This story started out pretty good… Madoc and Fallon are step siblings who have a secret past together consisting of sex regularly in the evenings and hating each other during the day hours when they were sixteen years old. Events unfolded that Madoc wasn’t made fully aware of and Fallon leaves never to return again… scratch that, she shows up two years later to wreck havoc and revenge on her stepfather and brother.

"This was a game to Madoc - but it was a war to me."

Fallon and Madoc hate each other and they have the verbally sparring down and they extremely sexually attracted to one another. The author writes some truly HOT scenes but sadly their love connection for me wasn’t established for the past and for the rest of the book.

I have a ton of complaints with the story from 70 % on but I will attempt to be kind...

• Dumb tattoo
• Fallon’s slutty mother

• The 18 year old affair
• Where is the love between these two?

Overall,this author can write, the pace was good and those sex scenes were steamy but the love wasn't there and the last 30 percent was soap opera ridiculous.

"We weren't good parents," she chocked out. "Our kids have paid for our lifestyle, and not it's out turn to pay for theirs."

I truly wanted an epic love story for Madoc and I just feel terrible and want a redo. I can pretend this book never happened if the author goes back to the drawing board and gives Madoc a wonderful memorable and swoon worthy story...pretty please!


* Arc paperback won through Goodreads contest *
Profile Image for Aestas Book Blog.
1,059 reviews74.8k followers
Want to read
March 17, 2014

OMG!!!!!! It's Madoc's story!! YESS!!!!!!!

*happy dance* Can't WAIT!!! :-)

Madoc - It’s different within these four walls—behind this closed door, at night, in the dark. I’m not Madoc, and she’s not Fallon. I’m not smiling, cracking jokes, or putting up a front. And she’s not cutting me down with her smart mouth or looking at me and wishing I was a million miles away from her.

Here—in her room, on her turf—is where she’ll let go of everything that makes her fight me everywhere else. I told her that she should lock the door to keep me out. She never does.

Fallon - Madoc thinks that he has me pegged. He thinks that what you see is what you get, and that he’s on top of the world. Three years ago, I was cast aside and kicked out of my home all because of him. The little prince plays a game not even knowing that we’re at war.

Some people call it fighting. Others call it angst. Our parents call it sibling rivalry.

This is Book 2 in the Fall Away Series. It can be read as a stand alone, but characters from Book 1 and 1.5 will be featured heavily in this book. *** NOTE: these are STEP siblings. This isn't incest.

My review of book #1: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
Profile Image for Geri.
14 reviews56 followers
October 13, 2014

This is a story about need and hope. A story about sharing your life with someone who makes you want to wake up every morning and see thousand reasons why it’s worth it.

We don’t chose who to love, do we..?.They come from two completely different worlds.
. ,, I talked a lot of shit, but truth be told, it was more for my ears than anyone else’s. Madoc was designer. I was Target. He was Godiva. I was Snickers.’’



..Fallon: ’’ Madoc was always calm, after all. So calm all the damn time growing up. He didn’t shout or show his anger until he’d had enough. And you never knew exactly when that was going to be. That was the scary part about him.’’.



: He was good-looking with his bright, blue eyes and styled blonde hair.......Madoc didn’t intimidate me. He just pissed me off..


"....Fallon showed up today,” he explained, and my breath caught as I nearly dropped my phone. What? She’s here? I put my palm down on the hood of my car and tried to unclench my teeth.

She’s back...

And there comes she, David’s Goliath, no matter how much he tries , he can't deny his attraction to her and what's under it... BUT she wants REVENGE
..>‘’And that was it. He’d won. Or so he thought…..’’.
She is angry and hurt.

She wants to destroy him , to make him feel as helpless she felt then..She blames him for what happened in the past.


That’s why they start to play the mind-fucked game of seduction but you know what they say’’…..watch out when you play with fire because you might get burnt…’’
At the beginning they just bark at each other, there are lots of offences and extreme speeches
’’Stay’’, I told her in a relaxed voice.’’Eat the food.Use the pool.And then get a fucking life of your own when you leave.’’
..You know what I used to call you? Pussy-on-the-Premises. You were convenient when I need to blow a load, Fallon.’’

...You know what they say ....ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR ,"The little prince plays a game not even knowing that we’re at war."

I told her that she should lock the door to keep me out. She never does
...and again the awesome pent-up sexual tension.....


...leads usually to...!!!!!


"Fuck the past," he breathed on my neck.
"I want to hear that you missed it."

OMG can't wait ....love soo much this type of storylines with angst, character knowing each other since childhood, sexual tension, the game of seduction, who's going to succumb first.


SEX&DESIRE&TENSION& i cant's take it..
I pushed back against his long body, the wet heat between my legs nearly making me groan
" You want to hear how much i wanted it?" i asked


Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,135 reviews7,329 followers
April 29, 2015
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TITLE: Rival
SERIES: (Fall Away, #2)
AUTHOR: Penelope Douglas
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHED: August 26th 2014
MY RATING: ★★★★★

I'm having a Penelope Douglas marathon this long weekend in hopes that I can finish this whole series!!

”My little rival. You think I can’t rise to the occasion in this game?” ~ Madoc

I loved this, I admit it did take me a while to get into, I hated the games these two played with each other, but I loved the ups and downs, the shocks, the drama, loved Madoc, the story line, past characters still making an appearance..

Gushes I am soooo freaking glad Madoc gets his own book, I expect a funny az hell ride, he's not been the sharpest tool in the shed in the previous books but you can't help but like his character..

So this was pretty confusing in the beginning there up until this point has been no mention of Fallon unless I missed it in the previous books!!

“I wished I didn’t feel the invisible cord pulling me to him, wanting to touch him again, we always want what’s bad for us"

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“I was sixteen, too. I was a virgin, same as you. You were all over me, too, and you know it. I didn’t force you! You didn’t have to go and complain to our parents. Jesus Christ!”
“They treated me like I was pressuring you or some shit!” he shouted”
“You told them that I was forcing you”
“All you had to do was say something. I would’ve left you alone"

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Nothing that happens on the surface of the sea can alter the calm of its depths.

So much more, drama, angst, black mail, step sister sex, bomb shell of a relationship that was revealed which I did not see coming!! Drama ~ Drama ~ Drama

Madoc was designer. Fallon was Target. He was Godiva. I was Snickers. And as far as he was concerned, he was entitled, and I was the freeloading daughter of the gold-digging whore who had snagged his father.

3 Down 2 to go!!

Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,157 followers
November 7, 2015
This was a nice follow-up to 'Bully', focusing on the romance between Madoc and his estranged stepsister, Fallon. This book provides a glimpse into Madoc's past and the events that drove him to be the womanizing side-kick that I despised for most of 'Bully'. A more sentimental side of Madoc is revealed, even if he regresses back into his jerky ways when he's hurting.

I love a forbidden romance, so this book was right up my alley. With parents scheming to keep them apart and colossal misunderstandings standing between them, this duo had to fight an uphill battle every step of the way. In addition, Fallon had to come to terms with the facts, as well as her feelings, and decide what revenge was really worth to her. Throw in some angst, betrayal and deception and you've got a great tale.

Jared and Tate are still going strong and it was nice to continue their story as well. Jax seems to have grown up also and I'm looking forward to the next book in this series, which will focus on him.

While this book didn't rise to the level of 'Bully' in my opinion, that is a tough act to follow. It was still a good book and a worthwhile read.
Profile Image for Rachel Reads Ravenously.
1,804 reviews2,159 followers
May 5, 2015
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."
420 reviews62 followers
Want to read
June 28, 2013
Aaaaaand it is about Madoc *happy dance*


Pleeeeease please please be about Madoc!
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,041 reviews47.7k followers
December 25, 2019
realizing i never reviewed this the first time i read it!

totally classic new adult with improbable plot lines and melodrama but of course i'm totally here for it. i said it about the first book in the series and i'll say it for this book too: the fall away series just doesn't have the same level of heart as devil's night series or punk 57 or birthday girl.

and that's not a terrible thing! these were some of penelope douglas's first books and her writing has really grown over time. but this was still pretty damn fun.

this book definitely hinges on misunderstanding but the backstory/history between the two characters was enough to keep me intrigued. and if you're really craving something steamy this has no shortage of sex scenes.

i think i like fallon and madoc more than jared and tate. might be the dual pov who knows. but this was fun, and it was nice revisiting this world.
Profile Image for Mariℓina.
622 reviews194 followers
September 2, 2014
I am not gonna lie, i was a little obsessed with this book long before its release, i woke up in the middle of the night to read it the moment it came out.. And now i want to do it all over again.

I loved it so much, the pasion, the unyielding tension it held, the hatred, and all the emotions, up until 75% it was amazing.. Not that i didn't like the rest but i got a little overwhelmed by all the things that happened so quickly.

Now for the characters, I liked Fallon so much, but i always had a sweet spot for Madoc from the previous books, so i was glad it was a dual POV. Also we had an opportunity to follow the rest of our favorite characters as they grow up and go on with their lives. Intertwining a totally new story with this element, with out making it very prominent is both faschinating and well-crafted.

I figured out the big secret rather early and i spent the rest of the book screaming O.M.G. everytime a new revelation came to light. And let's be honest some of them were quite mindblowing. This sequel unveiled many secrets..

Rival was filled with many astounding scenes. For me the best two were undienably the one in front of the mirror with both of them unravelled and showing their inner selfs and of course the iconic car sex scene, with the rain beating down on them and AWOLNATION's Sail playing as the soundtrack.

As for the end, i loved this story to bits. Maybe Fallon and Madoc acted much older than their real age, maybe if it was a 1st person narrative we could have the opportunity to experience the story with more consistency and maybe the situation with Patricia was too disgusting, but no matter what this book rocks. Simply Perfect!


- Jax is awesome, just like his brother..
- The prologue was very strong.
- I loved the glimpses on Tate and Jared so much..
- The writing is stunning, real and raw. Most of the the time i felt like i was in there with them..
- Tate and Madoc were hilarious, the friendly banter between them is exquisite.
- Madoc's piercing -hehe- and let's not fortget his tattoo.. Always his tattoo..
- I am happy Tate didn't left for New York after all..
- Addie was great and the only real parent.
- Jared is always hotheaded but he has mature..
- He kept all of her things..aww
- Madoc playing piano..

- Madoc with Lucas, a new perspective to his life.. He was so good with that.
- Katherine and Jason. I didn't see that coming, but finally it explains many questions..
- I hated Patricia from the start.. She was a manipulative bitch..
- Ciaran was dangerous but he loved his daughter..
- He slept on the couch so much.. awww, again..
- And of course all the sex scenes.. Filled with sentiments. Angry sex at its best.

Profile Image for Ramona Popescu.
364 reviews133 followers
November 14, 2016
"Bully" was one of my favorite books because of the way Penelope delivered such a beautiful love story and adding a twist in it. The way it confuses you and makes you question if you are actually reading a love story when obviously it is one is intriguing and made me admire her deeply. Not everybody can pull off such an amazing technique.

Now, I got the chance of reading "Rival", that tells the story of two young lovers who are broken, force to be apart and had no way of letting this love go only by transforming it into hate. They say that between love and hate is a small step, and they are right, this book proved it.

Madoc and Fallon are our heroes. By now I am going to tell you that Fallon was ok for me, but Madoc wasn't. Let me explain. The 2 of them fell in love when they were teens, experienced everything together, they thought they were it and after that Fallon left. After that, Madoc had his heart broken and love was out of his life for good because of this. He was a player, managing his hurt through sex **typically**.

This book was kind of a soup opera, with so many twist and OMG moments, that you didn't know what connections to make and in which way to go.
Fallon for my was a great heroine because she experienced pain and suffering at a young age. She went through a traumatizing experience that changed her so much. Given the circumstances, she was hard to read and kind of confusing. But as I said, I understood her guarded position and mixed feelings. But she was determined and I liked that about her.
Madoc on the other hand, was not the hero I was hoping to find. He was sort of judgmental, impulsive and made a lot of mistakes. I wanted him to fight harder for Fallon and make up for the time they lost.. But unfortunately not all my wishes came true. He was a little immature for my taste, seeking revenge without having a proper conversation with her and maybe finding out the reasons that made her leave. He acted by impulse and little by heart.

I made a comparison between Jared/ Tate and Madoc/Fallon. The first couple based their relationship on more feelings than the second one. Jared and Tate bonded as kids and were driven by hate, love, lust. But there are feelings involved, more intense than Madoc/Fallon. From my point of view our heroes were more intense and explosive, having this attraction impossible to ignore. The attraction was there, but I was not very convinced of the love. This constant push and pull diminished a little the love it had to be between them. I don't know if I made myself clear, but I tried.

A bonus for this book were the love scenes. God!! They were intense to say the least and quite original if I say so myself.I know I'm picky, but overall an enjoyable read, with a lot of intense and mind blowing moments.


Profile Image for ~♡AB♡~.
975 reviews665 followers
August 9, 2014
4.5 Stars, loved it!

I was a HUGE fan of Bully, so I was pissing my pants with excitement for this one and I wasn't disappointed. I love the Love/Hate storyline, I think it has to be a favourite of mine, all that angry sex - yes please!

The prologue takes place when they are both 16, Madoc's dad is married to Fallon's mum and they don't really get along, they go to the same school but don't have much to do with each other during the day.

2 years later, Fallon comes home from boarding school having been sent there unexpectedly, and she wants revenge. When Madoc hears of her return he is thrown for a loop and responds with snarky comments and nasty barbs. What follows is the discovery of what went on 2 years ago and the reason behind their rocky relationship.

Deep down, Madoc is an adorable, sensitive person who hides behind his jokey persona and Fallon is a spunky woman who is determined not to lose herself to her past.

This book is New Adult, but don't be put off - It's pretty steamy, the sex scenes were brilliant and the emotional connection between the 2 MCs was great. There was a decent amount of drama and angst, nothing over the top.

I wanted to come at her. Again and again until she came undone. I wanted her screaming and crying. I wanted to chip away this tough little act until she was red with anger and sobbing miserably.
I wanted her broken.
And then I wanted her shivering and grabbing for me in need.

ARC Received via Netgalley
Profile Image for Tiffany.
226 reviews18 followers
April 14, 2017

Wayyyy more epic than I even expected!

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Oh..the feels. I LOVED this book. Like more than Bully and Until You combined! It was phenomenal. I loved Madoc as soon as I met him in Bully and Rival was absolute bliss!
Profile Image for *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time.
1,921 reviews3,437 followers
August 27, 2014

"Nothing that happens on the surface of the sea can alter the calm of its depths.”"

For some reason, Rival fely awfully familiar to Bully to me. I guess the whole love/hate back-and-forth thing.

Fallon and Madoc are step-siblings...barely. Madoc's dad and Fallon's mom have never had a traditional marriage. When Madoc and Fallon are sophomores in high school things between them heat up only for Fallon to leave one night in the middle of the night.

I wish we would have gotten more of Madoc and Fallon's first time together. I think maybe I would have connected with things more.

Two years later Fallon returns to town with one thing on her mind...revenge. Against her mom, Madoc, Madoc's dad...everyone that caused her pain those years ago. Unofortunately, my thoughts on the whole revenge thing were...

Once again, Fallon and Madoc were very love/hate with each other. The last two years of miscommunication building in to hate and anger. So many secrets and feelings kept from each other.

I really expected to get annoyed with their love/hate and back and forth but honestly it didn't annoy me that bad. It really wasn't dragged out like I thought it would be. And overall, I liked both Madoc and Fallon's characters for the most part.

Once Fallon and Madoc finally open up to each other and are honest about everything that happened over the last two years, they were able to move forward, together.

"I miss hating you....It felt better than loving anyone ever had."

Like Bully, this one had quite a bit of drama...some of which was OTT. But I liked getting to see more of Tate and Jared.

Honestly, the best part of the book was Jax! Who...

...for totally taking one for the team there. Really looking forward to his book!!!
Profile Image for Bookadmirer.
367 reviews152 followers
July 26, 2020

This is the second book of Fall Away series and also my most favorite book. This book focuses on Maddox and Fallon.

Maddox was introduced in the first book, he is the best friend of Jared. I was immediately fascinated by his character, especially when Tate and Jared started their relationship and he was so supportive of his friend. I felt he is a genuine guy.

Unlike Maddox, Fallon is a completely new character for me. There is a tension between Maddox and Fallon, it later was revealed they were secretly dating. Although I thought I wouldn't like Fallon because she was really mean at the beginning of the book, my mind changes completely as the story progresses. The plot unravels and we realize both Maddox and Fallon suffered but what Fallon went through was much harsher than Maddox

Maddox was lied by his stepmother who is Fallon's biological mother. She also lied to Fallon, her own daughter. She is a despicable character. It was devastating when Maddox gets to know what Fallon went through, that she never lied, that her mother forces her to abort their baby. Jaxon actually found it out and told Maddox, even if he didn't Fallon will eventually tell him.

The author dealt with this issue very well. The scene was devastating. When Maddox embraced Fallon and she cried, I felt tears in my eyes.

Fallon's mask slowly comes off, she wasn't mean at all. She just tried to take revenge but didn't have the ability to hurt Maddox. She turns out to be very naive, innocent and completely in love with Maddox. As for Maddox, his character growth was remarkable. What they did at the end was completely unexpected but I understand why they did it. They were just young teenagers who loved each other deeply but had people who wanted to keep them apart, they just didn't have any choice.

Maddox and his father's issue was also solved. It was good to see them accepting their differences.

I liked the friendship between Fallon, KC, and Tate in this book. Overall, It's a very emotional love story, filled with angst, passion, mistake, secret and betrayal. It is also a beautiful love story of young teenagers who overcome every obstacle of their life just to be together.
33 reviews1 follower
December 19, 2014

I'm so disappointed with this book! From the very start it was cliché after cliché. There was so many scenes and dialogue that I skipped because it was just too cringey to read. Everything was so unrealistic or dramatic for the sake of it. I hoped that this series would of improved as time went on because I think each book has great potential but the execution doesn't work for me sadly. I was highlighting so many mistakes on my kindle I simply had to stop.

For example, in Bully Tate lives in France for one year but there's no mention of her experience. Was it an educational exchange? Were other American pupils there? Did she live with a family or in dorms? Did she make any friends? Nope! It was all left out and I'm assuming that PD just found it easier to leave it out.

Same happened in Rival. Fallon is in boarding school for two years but we don't know where. Does she make friends? Dorms? Did she have Facebook? How was she so isolated in this day and age. If you're gonna add in these trips away make them realistic please. Use this time to show us their development as characters.

Also, a couple of points.

* both Tate and Fallon have no friends? Not buying that.
* yet they seem to become buddy-buddy pretty easily considering how socially inept they both appear to be.
* they're both too goody-goody to drink.
* only sluts wear make up or take pride in their appearance.
* other girls? All sluts apparently.
* Jax can get private financial transactions from the internet? HA!
* Nate is the resident cliché almost-rapist brings me to damsel in distress cliché in both Bully and Rival. At least change the would-be rapist!
* another little brother character, cos that wasn't already done in Bully?
* thought Katherine was a drunk? Conveniant affair under our noses without the trouble of adding in a new character.
* Tate and Fallon never kiss or sleep with other guys but it's perfectly acceptable for their male counterparts to be manwhores.
* of course the girls would be sluts of they did that.
Which brings me back to the slut shaming cliché.
* absent parents once again appear in Rival. Makes writing a story easier I suppose in both Bully and Rival.
* Madoc punches Jared for no reason whatsoever and then comes out with the cringest statement ever "we're already brothers as far as I'm concerned". So why punch him??
* why do all these 17/18 year olds have so many tattoos??! Oh ya cos they're all so DEEP.
* why is Tate even thinking about a wedding?
* "We sat there, eating and chatting for the next hour, and then Madoc reluctantly let me out of bed after I’d begged to use the bathroom."
* Fallon's dad is part Irish so he must have Guinness on tap on his house. Sure why not add in a racist cliché there too cos all Irish people are such drunks aren't they.
* Madoc is upset so sleeping with a slut (other girls are sluts remember?) Is perfectly acceptable. Hmm.. Just like Jared and Piper in Bully.. Yet neither guy tells the girl they apparently care about so much. This isn't normal behaviour.
* characters can't communicate with words so have to use violence, vandalism, sleeping around or really really embarrassing karaoke to express themselves. Again, I blame laziness for these.
* Jared and Madoc have a fight and no one thinks to contact Madoc for weeks afterwards? How could he even call these people his friends?!
* why the hell would they get married? They're too young, still step siblings and why couldn't it wait til after college if the truly want to be together forever? So unrealistic!!
* oh look slutty evil stepmom.
* and then Jax took one for the team. Why? Again with the whole 17 year old how unrealistic can this get?

And on and on and on!!

I really wanted to enjoy this book but I cannot over look so many dumb clichés and the same storylines appearing. It's just laziness in my opinion. This read like a series of overused clichés with very little depth. I would of preferred less drama and more character development and actual conversations. No offense meant but this book sadly didn't do it for me!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,809 reviews28.5k followers
November 11, 2016
4 Stars, Rounded Down...

Disclaimer #1: I have been looking forward to this book for what seems like forever, so I made sure not to read any reviews before reading it. I also wrote this review before reading any reviews (which I usually try to do).

Disclaimer #2: This is going to be a short, probably shiteous review because I am in a book coma from the crazy book marathon that was my weekend.

My Shiteous - Might Contain Spoilers - Review:

I really liked this, but I did not Oh my God, LOVE this book as much as I loved Bully. Jared? *orgasmic shudder* Maddoc? Not as much.

I really liked the premise. The whole forbidden, naughty young love thing? Awesome. The whole love/hate thing. Decent. Fallon? I liked her. She was a tough, tattoed, badass skateboarder with a wicked attitude.


I did not think their story was as powerful as Tate and Jared's story, which I thought was crazy because Fallon and Maddoc - with their history - had the potential for even more of a connection in my opinion.

I think what kept me from really feeling it was:


Also, I felt that the "aha" epiphany moment where they realize they love each other just wasn't as seamless and clearly done as it was in Bully. Yes, I realize that this is a different book, but it's impossible not to compare the two.

Other than that, I love Penelope's writing style and her characters. Also, that ending scene with Jax? Holy shit, EPIC. I am definitely curious to see how Jax and KC's story will play out.

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Profile Image for Beverly.
1,005 reviews800 followers
May 23, 2015
4 Solid Stars

I have really enjoyed the Fall Away series, so of course I was so excited to read Madoc’s book. Starting this book I knew Madoc as Jared’s sexy best friend, and any friend of Jared’s is a friend of mine.

The story starts off with Fallon, Madoc’s stepsister. Now I feel like I need to explain Madoc and Fallon didn’t grow up together and are the farthest thing from siblings. Okay, back on track, Fallon is back in town after being gone for two years. As the reader we are not sure why she is back or even why she left. What we do quickly realize is Madoc and their family hurt Fallon, and she has a plan to make them all pay.

"But we were different now. I wanted only his pain, and judging from the girl he’d come home with last night, Madoc was still the same. A user.

Fallon returning home changes everything for Madoc. Two years ago she left in the middle of the night after telling lies to his family about their relationship. He doesn’t know why she has returned, and wants to not care, but it is proving to be more difficult then he planned.

I really enjoyed this story. I hate to do this, but with series you tend to compare, and this one didn’t blow me away like Bully did. I liked the story a lot. I liked Madoc and Fallon together. I was able to relate to their characters and their heartbreak. I loved how Madoc was protective of Fallon. I loved that he saw past the image she used to protect herself. This is a beautiful story about overcoming the past, and finding a future.

I think it is always important to point out the steam factor and this story was HOT! I mean super HOT. Ms. Douglas can write a sex scene, and theses scenes were panty melting HOT!

I highly recommended this book and cannot wait for Jaxon’s story.

“Fight. Fight through everything. Don’t leave the house angry or go to bed mad. Fight until it’s settled. The end of fighting is the beginning of giving up.”

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Profile Image for * Meli Mel *.
856 reviews652 followers
December 16, 2014

♥♥♥ 3.75 STARS ♥♥♥

●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

“Nothing that happens on the surface of the sea can alter the calm of its depths.”

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This story is about two eighteen year old teenagers who fell in love with each other without knowing it. They hated each other during the day and in front of everyone else. But at night, Fallon would leave her bedroom door unlocked so that Madoc and she could sleep together. Why couldn't they tell anyone about their relationship?? Because they were step siblings. Fallon gets sent away once their parents find out, and Madoc is left alone, each being told lies by their parents as to why the other doesn't want see him/her. Two years later, Fallon comes back to get revenge for what happened in the past.

●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

“Fight. Fight through everything. Don’t leave the house angry or go to bed mad. Fight until it’s settled. The end of fighting is the beginning of giving up.”

●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

This was not that bad of a read. I will admit it did take me a while to get into it, though. The reason for that was because this back and forth 'I-hate-you-but-I-love-you' thing, was a little too much like Bully. I just thought this one would be different in that the forbidden aspect of their relationship would be up front and center. Unfortunately all of the forbidden parts had already happened when this book begins. We did get glimpses of it, but I definitely wanted more. I did love the tension between these two. Seriously, the chemistry between them was quite intense.

Once Fallon and Madoc got over their hate for each other, I truly began to enjoy them as a couple. That is not to say that I didn't enjoy how their stubbornness fueled their passion. But I absolutely loved all those heartwarming moments between them. It did take a while for these characters to come together as a real couple, and I definitely wished Madoc would have fought harder to have Fallon, but it was very enjoyable. I liked having Tate, Jared and Jax be a part of their story. I liked knowing what was new with them after their book ended.

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"You were my first everything. And my only love."

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The writing was really great. I enjoyed the story for the most part, well with a few exceptions. I just wasn't sure how much Madoc truly loved Fallon, especially when he did some things that I totally didn't like. I liked how the story flowed, I just could have done without the crazy drama and all those unbelievable over the top scenes. I did love the steamy scenes. Holy cow were they smoking hot!! The steam just kept getting better. The only question I had was, where the heck were their parents? They knew Fallon had returned and they were adamant of Madoc and her having a relationship, but not once did they show their faces until very later on. So yeah, I did not like their parents very much, especially Fallon's mother *cringes*, she was the worst. Overall, it was good read. I wasn't too happy about what Jax did in this book, but I am totally excited for his book next. I cannot wait!

Profile Image for Syndi.
2,838 reviews625 followers
October 11, 2020
This book is slow burner. On the second half, then its getting interesting. I always curious with Madox. He is mischief, cocky and alpha male character. His character and his smart ass dialog managed to make me smile and laugh.

I just wish Fallon character is more convincing and strong. I wish she can be the next Tate. But she falls short.

Anyway, this book is entertaining.
Profile Image for Claire.
2,304 reviews704 followers
August 26, 2014
3 - Nothing that happens on the surface of the sea can alter the calm of its depths. Stars.

I really loved Bully and enjoyed Until You so it’s regrettable for me to not be able to give Rival the same high ratings that they were given.

I really hated turning corners. I hated closed doors. I hated not seeing the path ahead.

I think the main issue I have with this book is the fact that were a reading about two 18 year old people, who basically go at it like porn-stars for most of the book, there is virtually no parental involvement in this story, and when there is, they have absolutely no issue with the fact that their children are pretty much doing each other in every available public recreation area, and on/over every available home surface. Now this really wouldn’t have been a problem for me, if it had actually added to the story, but the reasons I loved the first two books were that although sex was included it wasn’t the mainstay of either story, the characters and their issues, and their actions in resolving their differences were. Most of the time Madoc and Fallon’s behavior felt more like a couple in their twenties. What then made it even more eye-roll worthy is that around 75% in there is a conversation where the lack of experience sexually is bought up… Seriously, the previous ¾ of the book really doesn’t give the reader that impression.

Madoc and Fallon themselves were a difficult couple to like, which bearing in mind their story is coming off the back of Jared and Tate’s both of whom I found a lot more amenable, it was also a bit of a shock. Madoc featured quite heavily in Until You, and everything I thought I knew about him from that book was pretty much wrong. You are lead to think in the first part of this book that he is one thing, when it then turns out he is another. I liked the way the author managed to put this twist in, but for me there was just far too much going on. Fallon hasn’t figured at all in the previous two books, but I just found her to be a little too Lather, Rinse, Repeat for most of the book.

Madoc was designer. I was Target. He was Godiva. I was Snickers.

For all of the above, though it wasn’t actually a massive issue for me as I was still enjoying the story, it was good to see Jared & Tate and how their relationship had developed. A lot of things that weren’t really answered in the first two books are cleverly interwoven into this story as well, and up to about 85% I was pretty impressed with the author’s skill with tying things up and together.

Unfortunately, the story then goes not one, but two steps too far for me, and the phrase Kitchen Sink was firmly in the back of my mind. I will be honest and say that if the two BIG plot points that were then added to the end of this story had been put into the book any earlier, this may well have been a DNF read for me.

We always want what’s bad for us.

Am I deterred from reading Falling Away when it releases April 15? My answer would be not at all. I still like the characters, the set-up and the writing. Although I wasn’t blown away this time, I can see the reasoning behind the addition of the aspects that I disliked, and I am intrigued too see what Penelope Douglas decides to do with K.C. and Jax…

ARC generously provided via Netgalley, in exchange for the above honest review.
Profile Image for Cristiina♡Reads.
574 reviews3,299 followers
March 20, 2018
➳One of my favorite step-brother, and step-sister romances and because Penelope wrote it I am re-reading it again for my craving that never goes away...

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