Sunday 31 August 2014

Review ~ Rival (Fall Away #2) by Penelope Douglas

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 Stars

**ARC received via publisher from NetGalley **

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

I loved Bully and Until You and have been itching for this one to be released. This is Madoc’s story, you know, Jared’s best friend and side kick, Mr Cocky, Mr Jack The Lad, Mr Comedian, Mr Player…so many sides to Madoc, but is this just a façade? Who is Madoc Caruthers…really?

“That’s what makes Madoc a good kid, Fallon. He picks up the pieces.”

Madoc is a truly beautiful person, inside and out and he is totally misunderstood. The brave front that he puts on covers up a multitude of feelings that Madoc never shares, not even to his best friends. He is lonely, he feels unloved, and he lacks parental guidance and just feels that his parents are never there for him. They put their lives, marriages, divorces, mistresses and work before him and he just feels like a spare part, albeit a privileged spare part. Wealth though does not make up for emotions, money may make you rich but time, love, relationships and understanding make you richer.

“Sure, I’d spun out for a few weeks after getting to South Bend, but then I zoned in on soccer and my friends. I was fine. And yeah, I’d gone AWOL on my friends. And sure, I’d barely laughed since being here, but I was still handsome like nobody’s business. That worked for me.”

His step-mother has a daughter called Fallon, she is a Goth type person with tattoo’s and piercings, wears black and likes to be anonymous, she is a skate boarder and she keeps a very low profile. She also has issues. Her mother marries for money and her father is some shady character that is high up the ladder in criminal activities who keeps her at arm’s length for protection; however he is always there for her when she needs him. So you can see she too has a very unconventional life.

Madoc and Fallon may go to the same school but they couldn’t be more worlds apart. We all know how great Penelope Douglas is at writing that love/hate drama and angst and this book is no different, however, in this book it definitely ramps up a notch, in more ways than one. This book is high on drama and angst, is incredibly steamy, lots of angry sex, romantic sex, make up sex, sex in the rain, sex on a car, well you get the picture. A kind of forbidden love that never crosses the line, but an intricately woven beautiful love story that shows the best side of two totally misunderstood people that have been totally neglected and hoodwinked by people they should be able to trust. It is that classic “I love to hate you yet I hate that I love you” scenario one that Penelope Douglas mastered in Bully and Until You, but way surpasses in Rival.

This book starts when Madoc and Fallon are sixteen and quickly fast forwards two years. Fallon is no longer on the scene and has been shipped off to boarding school. Fallon comes back during one of the holidays and old feelings and the past is raked up and slowly but surely what happened two years ago is slowly revealed throughout the book. It is this story that reveals a totally different side to Madoc, a side he never lets anyone see, only Fallon. He took a chance with Fallon, he let her in, he let her see the real Madoc Caruthers, it was real, he felt it, and he knew it, so why did she leave?

“You’re going to ruin me, Fallon.”
No more than you ruined me.

The writing style of this book is fantastic; it pulls you in from the first word and does not leave until the end. The characters are beautifully developed and you cannot help but fall in love with both of them. Penelope Douglas has that knack of submersing you into the storyline so that you live and breathe it, your heart races, your head hurts, you feel the pain, you laugh, you swoon, you cry, you will feel like you have been on an emotional rollercoaster, but then there is always that immense feeling of relief when it suddenly starts to slow and all becomes right in the world. Karma is a b**ch and Jason Caruthers certainly married one, the best part…Jax “taking one” for the team. Best…Twist…Ever, you will just have to read and find out!!

Jared and Tate are present in this book throughout so it was great to catch up with them and see how their relationship is faring. Jax is also another enigma that makes his presence felt throughout this book and I cannot wait for his story. He is one guarded, complex and intriguing character and you just know that his story is going to be explosive. I have my theories…I will just have to wait and see!

If you haven’t read this series, I highly recommend it. Penelope Douglas’s writing just gets better and better and I for one cannot wait to see what she has up her sleeve next.

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

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