Review: Rival by Penelope Douglas

Rival (Fall Away #2) by Penelope Douglas
Release Date: August 26, 2014


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…



I find it rare when a sequel is better than the original, but Rival by Penelope Douglas was able to pull it off. I read and reviewed the previous books, Bully and Until You, but wasn’t too impressed after Until You. In Bully, we were introduced to Rival’s hero Madoc, a bully and the antagonizing friend who appeared to mean well, even if he goes about things a bit twisted. We were given a glimpse during Until You of the secret depths within Madoc, so I was looking forward to reading his story.

In Rival we meet Fallon, a tough as nails gal that goes to school with Tate and Jared. Madoc and Fallon share a hatred for one another, which makes their lives even more complicated since they’re parents are married and they live together. After their battles reach an interesting breaking point when they’re sixteen, things start looking better…until they’re pulled from each others lives. Two years later, Fallon is back with one thing on her mind, revenge.

I loved Madoc and Fallon together. Even when they hated each other, there was a sweet energy pulling them together. Fallon was strong, even in her moments of heartache. She had her weaknesses, but she knew they’d help her grow. Madoc was definitely a shock, in a great way. I was prepared to not like him, but he wound up being such a wonderful character. His heart was so big and full of love. The little things he did to show he cared, even when he “hated” Fallon, were so touching.

Penelope Douglas has a way with words. Even when the characters are flawed, the story is addicting and it’s too hard to resist reading. I loved Rival and I can only hope Falling Away, Jax’s story, will be just as awesome.

About Romantic Moments Book Blog

Lynnie is an avid reader with a soft spot for romance. Her addiction to all things lovey-dovey began when she was introduced to the black-haired, blue-eyed angel named Prince Eric at the age of 4. Once she realized she could never win his heart from Ariel, Lynnie aimed her sight on more realistic options, like Cory Matthews and the members of NSYNC. Now nearing her 30s, Lynnie is living her happily-ever-after in a small New England town. She shares her castle with her very own Prince Charming and their 2 (fur) babies. When she is not reading for pleasure, Lynnie is a freelance editor and writer.
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