ARC Review: Rival by Penelope Douglas

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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ARC Review: Rival by Penelope Douglas
Book Info

Released: August 26, 2014
Genre: New Adult
Pages: 366

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“If you thrive on stories full of angst, and enemies to lovers and the sexual sparks that can usually cause, then RIVAL is for you.  This relationship is combustible in many levels.  And it certainly was scorching hot.” ~ Under the Covers

I picked up this book on a whim really, because I’ve never read this series or this author.  Call me a cover whore!  From the very beginning I was a bit put off by the behavior of the characters.  I’m not big on the love/hate relationship and there was a lot of animosity between everyone it seemed.

Fallon is the typical misunderstood teen.  She wants to go against the grain and be different.  She has piercings and tats and thinks that makes her edgier than the jocks and cheerleaders.  Her mom is a golddigger who married a rich guy and now landed her a hot step brother, Madoc.  Madoc hates his father and the woman he married for destroying his family, and in a way that translates to his hate for Fallon as well.  They’re like oil and water.  They are mean to each other.  Until their hate turns into sex.

This book takes place two years after high school, and two years after the heroine, Fallon, went away (or ran if that’s more like it) to college.  She had been in love, you could say, with her step brother, and they had a sexual relationship up until she left.  So what happened between them?

This book is completely full of angst, a lot of unnecessary in my opinion.  And when the big reveal comes out at the end, it just made me wonder why let immaturity prevent these characters from communicating better?  Couldn’t these people just talk to each other and be clear once in a while?  This might be the perfect example why I often stay away from new adult that has characters that immature.

The story underneath still kept me interested and I enjoyed some things.  Can you say hot sex on top of a sports car in the rain?  But for my personal taste, the hot sex was all I got out of it.  Now I just need a stiff drink.

If you thrive on stories full of angst, and enemies to lovers and the sexual sparks that can usually cause, then RIVAL is for you.  This relationship is combustible in many levels. And it certainly was scorching hot.  Just didn’t show much growth.  I am not interested in going back and reading about the previous characters, I know that.  But I am certainly curious about Jaxon and will be reading that one for sure!

*ARC provided by publisher

BULLYBook 1 UNTILYOUBook 1.5 RivalBook 2 FALLINGAWAYBook 3

BULLY: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads
UNTIL YOU: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads
RIVAL: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads
FALLING AWAY: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads


About Penelope Douglas

Penelope Douglas is a writer living in Las Vegas with her husband and daughter. She is the author of the New York Times and USA Today Bestsellers BULLY and UNTIL YOU. Look for the next book in the series, RIVAL, coming August 26, 2014.


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  1. Thanks for the review. I loved Bully and Until You but I had a hard time connecting to Madoc and Fallon as a couple but I did like the HEA. I agree I can’t wait for Fall Away Jax’s story.

    1. I probably should’ve read those first then, because they didn’t impress me enough as a couple in this one to want to read their story. And yes the last 15% of this book probably saved this book from going down the drain for me. But Jax? Mmmmm waiting for that hunk of manflesh!

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