Megan ~The Never Ending Book Basket's Reviews > Rival

Rival by Penelope Douglas
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it was amazing

Madoc Caruthers where have you been all of my life?!?! Like for reals. I have loved his character ever since I met him in Bully. Even when he was being a butt, I loved him and his sense of humor, so to say I was ready for his book is putting it too lightly. That man owned me in this book. He owned my heart, and my mind, and my very soul, and he gave me a story I was not expecting. That man and his endearing charm, effervescent personality, and his heart that was there right below the surface of the front he put on blew me away. What I got with this character in this story, what I got with him through it all, and what I got with this world of characters through every page of this story was phenomenal. It was enrapturing, humorous, bursting with heat and fire, and that fine line between love and hate that is giving me everything in this series.

Rival is the second book in the Fall Away Series (or the third if you count Until You), and it follows the story of Madoc, the man who is guaranteed to make you laugh your ass off with his antics, all while wondering what in the world could be going on in his head. The events of this story follow Madoc as the one person he never expected to see again, comes crashing back into his life. Enter Fallon. A girl my heart immediately went to, a girl who kept Madoc on his toes, and a girl who pushed him in all the right ways. That girl has some chutzpah, and getting to be there with her and him through every part of this story as they pushed each other, as everything between them came to light, and as things went the way they did was phenomenal.

This story follows what happens when Madoc and Fallon come face to face for the first time in 2 years. You see those two have one helluva past, and through every chapter and page of this story you get more of that past. You see where the feelings and hate and everything else in between grew between them. You get that past with a present these two can't seem to stay away from, no matter how hard they might try. The fire and connection between Madoc and Fallon is off the charts. It is firing off in every moment those two are together, and the more they both try to deny it isn't there, the stronger and more intense it all gets. The more they feel it, the more they experience exactly what it does to them, and the more they realize it is damn near impossible to resist what they do to one another.

Over the course of Rival you learn more about how things have come to be between them, and you go along with Madoc and Fallon as they try to sort through what in the world they're going to do with all of the feelings they share for one another. Will they try again, will they keep pushing and pushing like they always have, will they give into the pull they can't seem to resist between them that gets stronger everyday, or will they finally see what it might be like to give it all a real honest to goodness chance? What you get with them in Rival will shock you, surprise you, make you blush, squeeze your heart again and again, and will have you rooting with all you have that these two find a way to make it all work.

I think what I loved the most about Rival was how much it surprised me. It's not that I didn't know that this book would be good and that I would love it. I knew that because I have LOVED all of the books in this series, and I love Penelope Douglas's writing so much. But what I found in when I was reading this book was that I got so much more than I bargained for, especially with Madoc and Fallon. I knew Madoc was a charmer and someone who liked to use his personality to get him out of things, but I had no idea what was really going on beneath the surface. I had no idea what he was going through, or what Fallon had been going through until I read this book.

And let me tell you, what I got with them both in this book was exceptional. It was raw and emotional and so visceral at times. There were honestly moments that brought tears to my eyes for what these characters went through and endured and had to overcome. The amount of honest emotion and feeling I got with them both was extraordinary and added another dynamic layer to everything I was reading. It made their journey together feel so authentic, and it hit me in the gut and the heart with what it did to these two characters along the way. What Fallon and Madoc go through together, the obstacles that tear them apart, the hurdles they go through, and just everything that comes their way highlights their resiliency, their tenacity and strength, and just how right they both feel for one another.

My heart was seared to these two right from the start of this book, and getting to be with them every step of the way as they tried to figure it all out was everything. It was real, it was heartbreaking and healing all at once, and it was them. Through and through, through every word, every moment of heartfelt emotion, every moment of hate and banter and pushback, and through every moment those two were together. It was them and it was everything to experience.

I have to say that I loved getting the dual perspective of both characters in the same book with this story. It worked so well for the story itself, and it just had me loving both Fallon and Madoc and everything I got with them. I loved her fire and strength that came through on every page. I love that she originally came for one reason, and I loved being with her as it all started to crumble at her feet. I loved how I hurt with her, healed with her, and felt every bit of her journey in this book. I love how I fell with Madoc right along with her, and I loved how easy and relatable she was. I loved her. Getting into Fallon's head burst my heart in the best way, and had me so invested in her story, and in getting her and Madoc to a good place.

Now Madoc was a character that I loved ever since I met him in Bully. Yes he was an absolute butt from time to time in that book, and he was in this book too, but there was just something about his charming self that I could not get enough of. The way he just did and said what he wanted, yet how you also knew there was something so much deeper going on below the surface pulled me in like crazy to me. It made me desperate to get more of him, and desperate to see more of the Madoc that I loved. What I loved about Madoc in this book was that I felt like I got to see the real him. I got to see and understand the man behind the mask and front, and I got to understand exactly what he felt for Fallon, what had happened in his past, and what had made him the man he was and that I had come to love.

What I got with Madoc in Rival wasn't always easy, in fact it was downright hard at times to watch him struggle with what he felt, to do the same with Fallon, and to be there with them both when it all got to be too much to handle. What Penelope Douglas gives you with them in this book will wow you in every way. It will melt your heart with they give you, it will have you hoping and believing in what could be, and it will have you knowing that there is something about what Fallon and Madoc share that is so real and so worth fighting for. The way she allows you to understand and feel every bit of their story, and the way she brings it to life and pulls you in, gives you it all with them. It gives you their story, the world of feeling they share, and it shows you what happens when you're reunited with the one person you never wanted to see again, yet completely need in your life.

Rival was an exceptional book. It was well written, thoughtfully crafted, and it gave me a story that gave me it all. What I got with Fallon and Madoc was so real, so consuming, and just so them. Their story was one of heartbreak, strength, love, hate, every emotion in between, along with some serious fire and even some moments that brought tears to my eyes. It balanced everything so phenomenally well, and in the end it gave me a new adult romance that was completely unforgettable. This book wowed me in every way, and once again showed me why this series is becoming one of my all-time favorites. It is so damn good. It is easy to love, it's got this fire and grit and intensity to it unlike any other series I've read, and the way that Penelope Douglas brings these characters, their dynamic personalities, and every part of their world to life is outstanding in every way. This series is amazing in every way, and I truly can't say that enough.

I said it before, and I'll say it again, Madoc Caruthers where have you been all my life?! This book and what I got with these characters gave me life. It gave me an emotional, heartbreaking, blush inducing, intense as all get out story of what happens when the enemies become lovers to become enemies all over again, to then finding themselves rethinking everything they knew. Rival was a perfect addition to this series and was an outstanding book. It gave me Madoc and Fallon and every bit of their consuming love story, and for that I will honestly be forever grateful because this book was that damn good.

Seriously, if you haven't read these books yet, start them this second!! Read them, love them, and feel it all in them. You will love these characters and what you get with them, and in the end you'll know that this is one of the best series around. Trust me!!
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Quotes Megan Liked

Penelope Douglas
“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. 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.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“Madoc thought I was dirt under his shoe. Screw him.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“Most guys, Madoc, like something different. You know why you want to see me in “nice,” skimpy things? Because the more I show, the less I’m hiding. I scare you.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“I knew exactly how I felt about Madoc. And I knew why I felt that way. I hated him. I hated what he did to me. But why in the hell did he hate me?”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“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.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“The thing is, Fallon . . . I told you before to lock the door if you wanted me to stay out. Funny thing is . . .” I leaned in. “You. Never. Did.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“Oh, shit!” My breath caught as I slid, and I stupidly kept my weight on Tate, which was too much for her. Backward I fell and into my lap she stumbled. We slammed to the floor, hitting the wood hard. I’d probably bruised every damn inch of my ass, but Tate was cool. She landed on me. That was cool for me, too.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“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.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“This is why Madoc was going to be a great lawyer like his dad. Working people wasn’t just about the words you spoke. It was about body language, tone, and timing. Keep your voice natural, your body relaxed, and distract them with a change of subject as soon as possible. Here it comes in three, two, one . . . “Come on,” he nudged Addie. “It’s fine.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“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.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“Fallon and I were a lot like them. Only I didn’t love her, and she didn’t love me. I was infatuated with her once— and loved that she let me take my pubescent urges out on her— but we weren’t in love.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“Fallon affected my body in weird ways. But only because she’s different, I told myself.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“But that was two years ago. She wasn’t sexy to me anymore. Now she was lethal.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“When you stepped on Jared’s toes, you’d get punched in the gut. If you stepped on Jax’s toes, he’d hack into the county database and issue a warrant for your arrest.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“Madoc has a winning personality, and he’s hot. But Jared is just hot. At least Madoc has more going for him. Was she on a mission from God to reform assholes?”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“Whether or not he still wanted me, I knew he wouldn’t want anyone else to have me.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“I wanted him angry and out of his mind. I wanted to trap him.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“But I found out that they were part of a façade that he adopted. When the clothes came off, so did Madoc’s mask. At night when he’d hang out in just jeans and nothing else, it was like I was seeing an entirely different guy. Strong. Powerful. Mine.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“He was soft and slow, gentle and attentive. Possessive.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“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. Tate had obviously been through it, I had, and eventually so would K.C., I thought.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“Fallon continued. “We learned in school that bullies abuse others because they feel bad about themselves. They’re hurting.” She brought up her knees and locked her arms around them, her tone light and taunting. “We shouldn’t be mad. We should pity them." Madoc has never had to make a real decision in his entire life, which means he’s never had anything real. This house, the cars, the money. It’s all an illusion. It’s like parading a victory when you missed the war.” She took a breath and whispered slowly. “Madoc has no idea who he is.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“Sometimes I wondered if the angels talked to get me to behave or to entice the devil to come out to play.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“Guys didn’t like their cars messed with. And I didn’t like being messed with, so I guessed we were even.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“He was here. We were alone. We were angry. Déjà vu.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“Madoc, it’s Jax,” he said in a serious tone. “I’m at your house. Tate and I want confirmation you’re not drunk, high, or suicidal. Jared’s here, but he could care less. We’ll meet you after your game, or I’ll give Tate a crowbar and set her to work on your car.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

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

Penelope Douglas
“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.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“You have to have something to love. Something to fight for to make living a goal instead of a job.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“Now, I knew more, and I knew what I wanted.
I wasn’t afraid of taking it and taking chances.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“Expressions like “the good ole days” implied that life used to be of a higher quality than it is now, but I think everything looks better in retrospect.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“You just think I’m cool, because I have all of the seasons of Vampire Diaries on DVD.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“A single composition can have so many meanings depending on the person playing.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“Mistakes can be dealt with. Loss of time can't.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival
tags: madoc

Penelope Douglas
“Do you love me?"
I nodded like a kid that wanted ice cream. "Yes."
"Like love me so much that you wouldn't be able to kill me if I turned into a zombie?”
Penelope Douglas, Rival

Penelope Douglas
“Chase. Harder.”
Penelope Douglas, Rival


Reading Progress

August 20, 2017 – Shelved
August 22, 2017 – Started Reading
August 22, 2017 – Finished Reading

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