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I Belong

Review: Rival by Penelope Douglas

RivalTitle: Rival

Author: Penelope Douglas

Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

Series: Fall Away (Book #2)

Publication Date: August 26, 2014

Format: Paperback, 368 Pages

ISBN-10045147242X (Intermix/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0451472427 (Intermix/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Bridget


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 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…

I’m back.

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….

Quick & Dirty: Heartwarming, emotional, steamy new adult romance that will capture your heart! I loved this book and would highly recommend it to all new adult fans!

Opening Sentence: There were people I liked and people I didn’t like.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Two years ago 16-year-old Fallon was shipped off to boarding school. After all that time away she has come back home to finally get the closure she needs to move on with her life. She wants revenge for how she was treated and what she lost. Her plan is to seduce the boy that shattered her heart all that time ago and leave him with a broken heart this time around. What she didn’t expect was how much he would still affect her and how wrong she was about the past.

Madoc is a rich boy with great friends and an endless amount of girls to fill his bed. Sure his family life is screwed up, but who’s isn’t. For the most part he is happy with how his life has turned out, but then one of his biggest regrets walks back into his life. Fallon is the only girl to ever came close to touching his heart and she just walked out of his life two years ago without even saying goodbye. She was always good at playing games, but Madoc is no longer a horny teenage boy. He is a man now and he’s willing to fight for what he wants.

I absolutely adored Fallon. She is a spunky, independent, skater chick that doesn’t take crap from anyone. She wasn’t always as strong as she is now. Growing up was not a fairytale for her. She has a crazy mom that cares only about herself and the money she can get from her husbands. She has a good relationship with her father but his business is not 100% legal, so for her safety she has never gotten too close. She doesn’t trust easily, but for some reason she used to trust Madoc until he broke her heart. Fallon has grown so much in the last couple years but she still has a lot of pain from unsolved issues and watching her learn how to deal with them was both heartbreaking and inspirational. She was a really easy character to sympathize with and I developed a very deep connection with her throughout the story. I loved that she was strong but at the same time she knew she wasn’t invincible. She was a great protagonist and I’m glad I got to read her story.

Madoc is a super sexy, preppy, charming guy that is totally swoon worthy! I liked him when I met him in Bully, so it wasn’t a surprise that I loved him in Rival. He has this confidence about him that draws you in and makes you want to know him better. Sure he can be jerk, but for the most part he is a really great guy. His relationship with Fallon is explosive and full of great sexual tension. The two of them fight like cats and dogs, but they have some pretty steamy make up scenes. They have a love/hate relationship and in so many ways they are prefect for each other. Madoc was so easy to love and he has become one of my favorite book boys!

Rival is a heartwarming, emotional, steamy new adult romance that will capture your heart. I personally had a few issues with the first book in the series, so I was a little nervous to read this one, but luckily all the issues that were present in the previous book were not present in this one. From the first page I was instantly hooked and I found it hard to put this one down. The pacing was spot on and overall the story was very entertaining. There were some very emotional moments, great humorous moments, and awesome sexy moments. The romance was hot and developed perfectly. I loved Fallon and Madoc together, their relationship was adorable and interesting. I also enjoyed getting to know all the secondary characters and I’m interested to read some of their stories in the future books. Overall, this was a great read and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a steamy new adult romance.

Notable Scene:

“Say it, Fallon.” He pushed into me, his lips in my hair. “Tell me how much you hated my hands on you … my mouth on you.”

I splayed my palms against the door, remembering how my hands had been on every inch of him.

Madoc became my world two years ago. I’d wait for him at night, my heat pumping a mile a minute, knowing that he was coming. Knowing that he was going to touch me. I loved all of it. I never wanted the sun to come up.

I pushed back against his body, the wet heat between my legs nearly making me groan.

Fall Away Series:

1. Bully

1.5 Until You

2. Rival

3. Falling Away

4. Aflame


FTC Advisory: NAL/Penguin provided me with a copy of Rival.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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