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Sunday, September 7, 2014

RIVAL by Penelope Douglas Blog Tour Review

Title: Rival (Fall Away, #2)
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: NA | Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Tour Hosted by: As the Pages Turn


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 three 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.

Three 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….

Excerpt ~ 

Reaching around, he twisted my chin towards the mirror, and I sucked in a breath. “What do you see?!” he shouted.

“You and me!” I blurted out. “Madoc and Fallon!”

My heart was racing.

I looked at him through the mirror. I sat on one side of his lap, so he could see from the other side, and we stared at each other, my chest rising and falling more urgently.

“That’s not what I see,” he said in a low voice. “Those names mean nothing to me. They’re simple and empty. When I’m with you, I don’t see the daughter of a gold digging bitch and an Irish drug lord or the son of a crooked lawyer and a vegan Barbie.”

I almost wanted to laugh. Madoc had an ironic way of looking at the world.

But he wasn’t smiling. He was scowling. He was dead serious, and I knew from experience that his genuine moments were few and far between.

He reached up, threading one hand into my hair while the other hand rested on the chair.

“I see everything I want for as long as I can have it,” he continued. “I see a woman that wears the cutest little scowl like she’s two years old and was just told she couldn’t have candy. I see a guy that went and got an apadravya piercing, because he wanted to live in her world for even a little while.”

I closed my eyes. Don’t do this to me, Madoc. Please.

~ Buy books 1 & 2 of the Fall Away series 

Bully (Fall Away, #1) - Buy Links:
Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

Until You (Fall Away, #1.5) - Buy Links:
Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

~ About Penelope ~

Penelope Douglas is a writer in Las Vegas. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, she is the oldest of five children. Penelope attended the University of Northern Iowa, earning a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration, because her father told her to "just get the degree!" She then earned a Masters of Science in Education at Loyola University in New Orleans, because she hated Public Administration. One night, she got tipsy and told the bouncer at the bar where she worked that his son was hot, and three years later they were married. To the son, not the bouncer. They have spawn, but just one. A daughter named Aydan. Penelope loves sweets, The Originals, and she shops at Target almost daily.

Follow the tour for more reviews, excerpts, character QA, author QA, guest post...etc! You can find the schedule HERE.

Giveaway ~
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review ~

Rival (Fall Away, #2)Rival by Penelope Douglas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this author's characters. I have crushes all around. The female leads aren't these oh-woe-is-me types. They're fabulously badass. Fallon is just as hard-core as Tate. She isn't into hot rods and racing like Tate, but she's a tattooed and pierced skater girl. Actually, I would say that Fallon is a lot more nonconforming and fierce. The main male roles in this series are varied, but all are definitely a member in the guys-every-girl-wants-a-piece-of club. Jared and Madoc have been best friends for several years. Where Jared was an brooding bad boy, Madoc is an athletic pretty boy. Just as Jared put up an asshole front to block out his pain, Madoc is ever the clown to cover his sadness.
"I do stupid things, Tate. That's what I do. I'm good at it."

I never knew there were so many layers to the cocky Madoc we've seen so far. I could always tell there was a good guy underneath just from his comments to Jared while dealing with the whole Jared/Tate hatefest fiasco. All we had been shown was the rich playboy. We knew nothing of what he's been through or of his inner workings. In this story we get to see more of his loving and mature side.
"That's what makes Madoc a good kid, Fallon. He picks up the pieces."

The backdrop of the story is that Madoc's dad married Fallon's mom in some type of sham wedding. I don't know why they got married because they were never together. While they were off living separate lives from each other, they left their children behind at home with the help. Madoc and Fallon eventually started having a relationship of sorts. Some issues arose that put a halt to it, and now, after a long time apart, they are both back at the house again. So, we've got another case of love/hate going on, but there are just so many previous unknowns surrounding these lovers.
"You've always wanted me. You know why? Because I don't try to kill your demons. I run with them."

Per usual for Penelope Douglas, the music mentioned is phenomenal. Her music choices and plots are top shelf always. Although this book is about friends and lovers, it focuses a lot on family issues. And lemme tell ya, they have some whopper family issues.

Because this series is about the same group of friends we get to keep up with everyone even when it isn't their story. It's great getting to see how Jared and Tate are doing now. It's wonderful knowing the true Madoc and finding out about Fallon. But the character that I can't get enough of and can't wait for his book is Jax. That Jax! There is so much mystery surrounding him that I can't wait to find out all of his secrets. And that one stunt he pulls in this book (if you read it, you know what I mean) is an OMG moment.

I loved this book and can't wait for more. I recommend it to those that want a NA romance with a bite, hot wild guy and a girl tough enough to handle him.

***Copy given in exchange for an honest review***


  1. I read Rival and I loved it! I'm so excited for all the blog tours this week!

  2. I thought Bully & Until You were excellent and Rival did not disappoint! I can't wait to read Jax's story in January!

  3. I'll be reading RIVAL this week and I'm excited to know the story of Madoc!

  4. I LOVE this series! So excited for Jax`s story! :)