Author: Penelope Douglas
Published: August 26th 2014 by Piatkus
Amazon| Amazon UK
Blurb: She's back.
For the three 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 . . .
Three 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 . . .
Review: Rival is the third book of a series, Fall Away, but can be read perfectly as a stand alone novel, as I did. It tells the story of Fallon and Madoc, two teenagers who haven't seen each other for more than two years because Fallon was sent away to a boarding school when their parents discovered that they were sleeping together when they were 16. Fallon comes from a dificult past, an absent father because of his problems with the law, and an un-loving mother who only worries about status and money. So when she marries Madoc's father, the two teenagers find themselves sharing the same roof. Fallon, not used to being wanted, and Madoc, fascinated with the weird girl with tattos and piercings, start an intense relationship that ends abruptly with no good-byes.
So when she comes back, they both have unsolved business as they both think that they were meaningless to each other. You can tell from the begining though that the chemistry between these two is undeniable and it won't take long until they succumb. From that moment, a fast-paced story with lots of obstacles for them but also with a lot of passion follows.
I quite enjoyed this book. Both Fallon and Madoc are complex characters with strong personalities and they know how to play with each other's feelings. Plus, I'm guessing that the first book of the series was about Madoc's friends Tate and Jared because during the book you gets glimpses of their story (it looks like theirs was even more complicated). But in this book they play an important role, advising and helping their friends.
There was a twist though, almost at the end, that kind of disappointed me a bit. No spoilers here but I felt like it was all a bit too much. Apart from that, in my opinion this is a great example of the new adult genre, fast-paced, steamy, flirty with strong characters and lots of conflicts, and I can see why this series has been so successful. Moreover, this is not end of the series, there's a new one coming about Jax, Jason's half brother that will probably feature all the characters again so we get to see how they are doing.
Bully and Until You, the first two titles in the Fall Away series – which tell the story of Tate and Jared – are available on eBook and will be available as paperback on 6th November 2014.