Title: Rival (Fall Away, #2)
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 26 2014
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…
“Nothing that happens on the surface of the sea can alter the calm of its depths.” ~Andrew Harvey
Rival by Penelope Douglas is book two in her Fall Away series. This is an author that took me by complete surprise when I read the first book in this series, Bully. I fell completely under her literary spell. Ms. Douglas stands apart as an author who writes in the new adult genre. She brings something unique and refreshing to the table and her books seem to be a perfect blend of romance, angst, taboo and steam. It is hard not to get swept up by her story-telling. Rival once again proves why this author is a go to for me. It is often stated that there is a fine line between love and hate. Both emotions push our boundaries. Both may cause us to fight and push back.
“My little rival. You think I can’t rise to the occasion in this game?”
Fallon Pierce and Madoc Caruthers entered into a precarious and forbidden world when they could not fight their attraction to one another any longer and became star-crossed lovers despite the fact that they were step-siblings. Being young and led by strong emotions and hormones, they kept their relationship a secret. By day, they barely acknowledged each other with not much more than an antagonistic look. By night, that is when their obsession began and the pair gave in to their carnal desires. They were discovered and torn apart by lies and betrayal. Fallon went away to a boarding school while Madoc was left behind, both were hurt and angry. Now, two years later, Fallon has returned. She wants revenge. However, Madoc is up to the challenge and is willing to play her game. As secrets are revealed and matters become clearer, both discover that what actually happened between them was not what they originally were led to believe. Can Fallon and Madoc overlook the past and turn their rivalry into something so much more profound? Can they stand together rather than tear each other apart?
“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.”
I truly enjoyed this book. Both Madoc and Fallon stole my heart. The hatred and animosity between them was very real but so was how deeply they cared for one another. Fallon broke my heart in her loneliness and her need to seek retribution for all the wrongs that were committed against her. But, behind that tough girl façade was a tender-hearted sweetheart who gave her heart (and body) away a long time ago to someone who managed to stay deeply ingrained in her soul. Imagine how heart-breaking that would be to discover (and believe) that the person who you cared for so profoundly could somehow deceive you and break you into a million pieces. Both Madoc and Fallon had a lot of bitterness to overcome and the banter between them often got nasty and cruel. They were hiding their hurt and lashing out. No matter how horrible things got between Madoc and Fallon they both could not overlook what they truly felt for one another. This is where the heart-warming gushy moments came that made me swoon as well as the hot and sizzling action between the sheets that was enough to leave anyone hot and bothered. I loved every second of this journey where two rivals learn how to walk the path of love rather than hate.
All in all, Rival was a wonderful addition to this fantastic series and a must read. Penelope Douglas has penned a slightly forbidden, gritty and romantic love story that will pull at the heart string as much as it will make your heart pound. I remain a huge fan of this series and will be anxiously awaiting the next book.
Fall Away Series
1.5 Unitl You
3. Falling Away – releasing Jan 2015
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. Look for the next book in the series, RIVAL, coming August 26, 2014.