Oh my gosh, OH MY GOSH! Rival was utter perfection! I laughed, I swooned, I gasped, and I fell deeply and madly in love with this book. Rival is a stunning, beautiful, heart-wrenching book that will make fans of Penelope Douglas fall in love all over again with this series after reading it.
Rival was definitely one of my TOP anticipated reads of the year, and it didn’t disappoint. It totally met every one of my high expectations and then some. So for those of you who, like me, fell in love with Jared and Tate’s story and were wondering if Rival will be just as good? I’m here to tell you that it abso-freaking-lutely is. It’s been a while since a book has had me so consumed in its story, but once I started Rival, I literally could not stop reading. I was utterly addicted to each and every page.
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.
Madoc and Fallon: step-siblings–who hate each other. Basically, the perfect ingredients for one hell of a book.
Two years ago, Fallon was sent away to boarding school. Madoc was left behind, and during those two years, hatred festered over misunderstandings and hurt. But the Madoc we know now? He’s not exactly an angry boy. He’s obnoxious, rude, funny as hell, but not very emotional. But now that Fallon is back, all these emotions are rising up in him–his lust and hate for her–and the chemistry between them is passionate and can’t be denied.
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 absolutely loved how Penelope Douglas portrayed Madoc and Fallon’s attraction. No matter how much they hate each other, that attraction is always there, and it’s hard and fast and felt very, very real. I could feel the tension between them, how on edge the two of them were. I felt like I was on the edge of my seat, with my heart pounding, just waiting for the tension to explode between them. And besides, love and hate? There’s a very thin line between the two, and Madoc and Fallon cross that line again and again.
Fallon is one hell of a chick. I loved her, admired her, felt for her, hurt for her. She goes through such emotional turmoil from past and present hurts, all the while never giving up that badass persona. She’s tough through and through, but the one person who can get through those walls, the one person who sees her for her, is Madoc. Madoc, the first boy she’s ever been with, the boy who broke her heart, and now the man who fires her up like no other.
“You act like you have no heart, like you just swallow your conscience with all of the pain you cause. But I see through it, Fallon. The truth is, you want me like nobody’s business.” She closed her mouth and swallowed. “You’ve always wanted me. You know why? Because I don’t try to kill your demons. I run with them.”
Madoc and Fallon definitely don’t have an easy path ahead of them. They have so much history that we piece together as it’s slowly revealed throughout the book. Rival almost felt suspenseful, in the way that it was so thrilling and intense to read. There is just so much for Fallon and Madoc to overcome, but there is no doubt that these two can do anything together.
Rival is told in both Madoc and Fallon’s POVs, so we come to understand how both of them feel. We understand where their anger comes from, how their anger is justified. I never even wanted to smack either of them, that’s how much I came to love and understand them. This couple has one of the most gripping and addicting stories, and I applaud Penelope Douglas for creating them, for creating characters that I’ll never forget.
And Jared and Tate fans, don’t despair! These two play a heavy part in Rival, which totally me happy. And holy crapola, JAX! We get to see a little more of Jax, Jared’s brother, and I have to say, I have a feeling I’m going to love Jax even more than Jared or Madoc, which is saying something because I love Jared and Madoc to infinity and beyond. I grew a little obsessed with Jax while reading Rival–I swear, Falling Away cannot get here fast enough!
So, Rival? It’s one of the best books I’ve read all year. I loved every single thing about it. I was up until three in the morning finishing this darn book, but it was so worth it. I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK!
Reading Order: Fall Away series
#1 ~ Bully: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Until You: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Rival: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Falling Away: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Aflame: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads