Friday, September 12, 2014

Rival by Penelope Douglas Blog Tour

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….

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo


“This is my father’s house.” I spoke low and straightened my back. “And someday all this shit will be mine, Fallon. That bed you sleep in, along with everything else under this roof.”

“Not me, Madoc. You don’t own me.”

“Yeah.” I brushed her off. “Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt. Thanks.”

“Get out,” she ordered, her tone hard.  

I took another sip of my beer. “The thing is Fallon…I told you before to lock the door if you wanted me to stay out. Funny thing is…” I leaned in. “You. Never. Did.”

In one swift movement she whipped off her covers and stood up on the bed. Charging to the end, she slapped me across the face before I even knew what was happening.

I almost laughed. Hell, yeah.

My body stayed in place, but my head had twisted to the side with the blow, and I closed my eyes out of reflex. The sting started as a few little needles under the surface but exploded and spread like electricity.   I kept my eyes shut for a few seconds longer than necessary, savoring the rush.

With the bed elevating her, she stood about six inches higher than me, and I turned my head back to her slowly, welcoming whatever she had.

She scowled down at me. “I was sixteen years old and too stupid to keep you off me,” she spat. “Little did I know that they have toothbrushes bigger than you. And I’ve definitely had better than you in the past two years, so count on the door being locked from now on.”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Man, oh man am I torn. I went up on my rating because there were some ansgty and real emotion brought through the story.

"There were people I liked and people I didn’t like. People I loved and people I hated. But there was only one person I loved to hate.”

I was extremely excited to read Madoc's story. And I did enjoy it but it didn't live up to Bully, which was one my fave books last year. The first half of the book had a Bully vibe, angst, banter, all the things I love. But the second half was too much, the storyline was all over the place, it certainly took the main characters out of focus. For me anyway. Enough with the negative.

I could feel the passion between Madoc and Fallon. The love and hate was off the charts. I found myself tearing up a few times. So much drama for such young kids but it was realistic. She wrote these teenagers as teenagers and it was refreshing.

I have to say Penelope is a phenomenal writer, she drew me in, I read this in one sitting!!!!

I'm excited to see where Jax's story is going to head. Even though this wasn't my favorite, I still love the writing and I can't wait to see what else she puts out.

"That beautiful girl that 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 began reading, and I was slightly confused, asking myself who the narrator was in relation to Bully. I couldn't place Fallon. So I stopped reading, and began debating if I should reread Bully, since I initially read it so very long ago. After consulting a book bud who read this prior to me, I was told Fallon was new to the reader. So, if you read this review before reading the book (something I do) then you've been schooled.

I was gripped by the story immediately. Fallon was a kick-ass sort of girl. Her internal monologue had me busting a gut, as well as tearing up a time or two.

Madoc was easy to love, and he was written as so very male. I say this because sometimes books with a dual perspective sound like the same voice no matter the narrator (the author's natural voice). Fallon and Madoc each had a distinct voice of their own in Rival. Thank goodness for their voice, or I'd have been even more confused. (I will explain this in the con section of the review)

I loved Bully, as I did its sequel. I laid in bed, planning on reading a few chapters, and ended up reading it from start to finish. Rival is NOT a tiny book. It took me over 7 hours, and I didn't finish until the sun was rising. I was thankful that I finally found a book that clicked with me after so many disappointments as of late. I've read book after book of smoke and mirrors, hiding the fact that it lacked in story behind scene after scene of mechanical sex. I cannot express how many times I've used the phrase I don't want sex with a side of story. I want a story with sex as the decadent dessert.

Proving less is more. Rival is very HOT. Smoking hot, yet done in a way to slowly build a banked fire that turns explosive. I haven't read a lot of erotica books that got me as bothered – squirming around uncomfortably – as Rival had me. Proof that when sex is the dessert, not the main dish, you appreciate the taste on the back of your tongue.

Rival was filled with everything I love in an addictive book: angst, angst, and more angst. Frustration. Love/Hate back-and-forth banter, while often mean, it's just as humorous. A great side cast of characters that add to the story but never overpower the main couple. Chemistry. Emotion.

We continue to see the developing/evolving relationship between Bully's co-stars, keeping us connected, as well as several other sets of characters.

Jax? Are you the next book? Goodness, I hope so. Rival sets up the next book perfectly, creating a rabid reader, thirsting for more. If it's Jax's turn, I'm excited. That book will rock. Hard.

Okay, now for the cons. I only have 2. I was being picky with all those DNFs I've experienced, but I don't have much to complain about with Rival. But it does need to be said.

1: Formatting. To see this con, go to Erica’s Review on Goodreads.

2: Length of the book. It was a long book. I'm not necessarily saying that's a bad thing. I write epic-length books. I'm only stating this because it started to drag when I felt like it should have met its conclusion chapters ago. Fast-paced lovers may become bored, and even I began to skip to get to the conclusion. I loved the story, eager for whatever the author would give us. But near the last 3/4th, I was asking myself what role the scene I was reading played out in the bigger picture, and whether or not it could have been crunched down into other scenes.

Rival was a huge book packed with even more story, raw emotion, with a strong connection between the characters, and a great supporting side cast.

I'll read whatever Penelope Douglas writes. Thank you for allowing me to read for free, and for proving there are still great books out there to read. I began to lose faith during my book slump. I've been renewed, and now I'm hungry to hunt down another read.

Also Available in the Fall Away Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Book 1.5
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Book 3
Coming January 6, 2015
Pre-Order Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon Ca  ~  B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

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.

Connect with Penelope

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Pinterest  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Rival (Fall Away #2) by Penelope Douglas to read and review for this tour.

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