Review | Rival by Penelope Douglas

Contains Spoilers

18129852This was a game to Madoc – but it was war to me. 

Published: August 26, 2016

Publisher: Penguin Group USA

Pages: 356 (Kindle)

Series: Fall Away #2




5 Stars


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


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….


Hot damn I forgot how addicting her books can be! I own them all on my Kindle but continue to buy the paperbacks whenever spotted in the wild (shout out to Dollar Tree for my rouge copy of Falling Away). I love her. She’s my ride or die. The author I save for when I need a good time. Boy, did she deliver.

I think the thing I was most excited about for this was the taboo aspect because step-brother/step-sister is kinda taboo but not outright gross, so I was into it. She did it so well, too! It was compelling, interesting, angst-y, and full of all the new adult tropes that I love so so much. This was different from her other books, as well, because Madoc was almost kinder, in a way. It’s hard to describe but Madoc had a tough exterior and a sweet interior, whereas Jared is tough on top of tough. I liked seeing that contrast between the two, it didn’t feel like I was reading the same book with different characters, which was my fear going into this.

It was so fun to go back and visit with all these characters that I learned to love in Bully,  and it set the stage for future books really well. Like that Jared and K.C. drama? Give it to me. Jared and Tate are a fan favorite and I while I enjoyed seeing them again I thought there was a good balance between having them as both main and side characters in this series. Douglas does a great job of giving us this current drama and then taking us on a trip down memory lane and giving us the full story of Madoc and Fallon, and I really love that we get these two characters with so much history between them.

My favorite part of this book, however, is the marriage plot. I LOVED that Fallon and Madoc got married, they loved each other so much they wanted to make sure they were never apart again and I adored this aspect of it. It was a different plot line that reminded me a lot of Hideaway, which is one of my absolute favorites of hers! It also served to highlight just how different Madoc and Jared are because Jared isn’t into marriage but Madoc was the one who came up with the idea for it.

Douglas’s books are literal crack to me, I always devour them and have the worst time putting them down. I usually like to read before bed, but I can’t with her books because I’ll be up all night reading, they’re that addictive. If new adult is your favorite genre and you haven’t read Penelope Douglas yet, you’re missing out on a world of greatness.

Happy reading


Book Links  GoodreadsAmazon                    B&N         BAM


Fall Away Series



One thought on “Review | Rival by Penelope Douglas

  1. Pingback: Reading Guide | New Adult Romance | Tonkin About Books

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