Author: Penelope Douglas
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Genre: New Adult
Series: Standalone, Book 2 in the Fall Away Series
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…
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…
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….
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Note: If you haven’t read Bully or Until You no worries, this book can be read as a standalone. This series is a perfect example of how a standalone series should be written. If you haven’t read the previous books, you can still enjoy the side characters that played center stage in the other books; however, if you have read Bully then there are tons of bonus scenes in this book as we get to subtly get to check in on Jared and Tate.
First of all it’s no secret that Penelope Douglas can write. She sucked me in from the beginning with this fast paced, attention-grabbing book.
Madoc was one of my favorite characters in Bully. I’ve got a weak spot for jerks, so it was only natural that I was a fan. Throw in the step-siblings/enemies to lovers tropes and it sounds like a winner to me. I love these kind of reads! However, the thing about step-siblings to lovers books that I enjoy is the forbidden aspect. I didn’t feel that with this read, and was never concerned about them being “caught”. If anything it was just convenient that they lived together so they could spend more time together… less gas money that way. The same goes to the enemies to lovers theme. I never for a second felt like they hated each other. They said some pretty mean things, but it just felt like foreplay.
The beginning of the book was great, but seemed to fizzle as the book went on. The first part of this book was pretty similar to Bull just with different characters. Although there were many similarities I still enjoyed it immensely. You know what they say…. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”
I liked Madoc and Fallon’s characters and the potential they had. They were very entertaining and I found myself grinning when they were together. There was also the sex. I’m not one who requires sex in my books, but WOW it was hot! The downfall was some of the dynamics of Madoc and Fallon’s relationship. Basically their maturity level. It’s New Adult, so I expect some level of immaturity. I understand they are growing up and have to learn from their mistakes. The problem was that the same pattern occurred over and over and over and over and over… see where I’m going with this? The course of their relationship became very predictable at an annoying level… lather, rinse, repeat.
Then, around 70% this book just kind of got out of control for my taste. Plot lines, drama, and surprises were coming out of the woodwork. I’m all for drama, but some of the things that went on towards the end of the book seemed over the top, and didn’t always seem to fit with the story.
All that being said I wouldn’t NOT recommend checking out this book for yourself, because the issues I had with it are not issues that bother everyone. I looked through reviews and many loved it and some even thought it was better than Bully. I wasn’t’ one of those people, but it won’t deter me from reading more from Penelope Douglas.
Overall, I’m a fan of this series and look forward to the next book staring Jaxon!
Rating: 2.5-3 STARS
Other books in the series:
(LOVE THIS BOOK!)
(I didn’t read this one)
Until You (#1.5)
(according to goodreads)
Penelope Douglas is a writer living in Las Vegas with her husband and daughter. She is the author of the New York Times and USA Today Bestsellers BULLY and UNTIL YOU, and the USA TODAY Bestseller, RIVAL. Look for the next book in the series, FALLING AWAY, coming January 6, 2015.