Blog Tour: Rival by Penelope Douglas - Review, Penelope's Top 5 Rival Faves, Teasers & Giveaway!

Whoohooo! I waited for this book since last year and now I'm finally part of the tour! RIVAL is written by one of my top faves, Penelope Douglas. If you've followed me on Facebook you'll know how much I love her writing. Scroll down after my review for Penelope's TOP 5 Favorite lines/scenes in the book!

Release Date: August 26, 2014
Book 3 of the Fall Away Series


From the New Adult sensation and New York Times bestselling author of Until You

Madoc and Fallon. Two estranged teenagers playing games that push the boundaries between love and war…

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…

I'm back.

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….

4.5 stars!

Another one for the win!!! What had me really excited and itching to read RIVAL was the premise of step-siblings falling in love. Of course, knowing that it's Madoc's book was a huge factor as well. I really liked him in BULLY even if he was a first-rate jerk at the beginning. Then again, Jared was too... LOL, but back to the point. Madoc gave readers the impression of a happy-go-lucky, mischievous guy who is incredibly loyal to the people he considers family. His banter with Tate and Jared was fun to read, so I was looking forward to more of that in RIVAL.

However, we see a different side to Madoc in this book. He is more serious, mainly because readers get first seats into his deepest thoughts and emotions. Apparently, Madoc's outgoing personality is the face he chooses to show to the world. Yes, he is a fun guy. What we didn't know though is that he kept major secrets, and that his attitude towards his immediate family isn't as open and carefree as his relationships with Jared, Tate and Jax. He comes from a broken family. They are wealthy, but he's alone most of the time. His mom now has a new life with her new husband. Although she'll come to his aid the moment he asks for it, she's not always with him. He is closer to Addie, their housekeeper. His dad was pretty much neglectful and stupidly remarried a shallow, vapid and downright awful woman. 

That second marriage brought Fallon into his world.

I loved the initial teasers about Fallon! She's a skater girl, a bit of an emo in my opinion. She's also secretive and doesn't trust easily. That's what you get for living with a mother such as hers. (If it's not yet obvious… I hate that woman!) There's a certain toughness to her though that makes you certain she won't let people beat her to the ground. She was already forced to do things she never wanted to do when she was sixteen, things that still affect her emotionally. She's not letting that happen ever again. 

Aaaaaand after two years she's back because of this favorite word of mine: revenge. Bwahahahah! 

Madoc and Fallon have this wonderful chemistry that jumps off the page. I really love that Penelope Douglas was able to make them very different from Tate and Jared. These two are more subdued and private in dealing with their problems. It definitely wasn't an easy road for them both. They also had to learn to forgive and trust each other, straighten out misunderstandings, be honest about their feelings, and finally be brave enough to fight for their relationship. They are step-siblings, and like it or not, their parents are in the picture.

It's also because of that that we see a lot of subplots in RIVAL. What I love most about this book is that it's full of surprises!!! Honestly! Almost every single character surprised me! Madoc and Fallon, the secondary characters, everyone. Readers will find out that while Madoc and Fallon, and also Jared and Tate, are the main characters in Books 1 & 2, the secondary characters also have their own interesting and compelling stories that are just begging to be told! Fans of the earlier books have grown to love Tate's dad. For sure they'll feel the same about the rest of the parents after this book! (Please, Penelope… even if just a novella??? For each parent?  Madoc's, Fallon's, Tate's and Jared & Jax's…???)

Finally, at a time when things are finally falling into place for Madoc and Fallon, one last problem had to be settled. Things weren't looking too good, but then… BOOM! Jax happens! That boy is shaping up to be the most exciting hero yet of the Fall Away series. I swear I was dazed after that scene. I literally yelled “what?!” several times and had to backtrack after two pages because I was too glassy-eyed to pay attention to what was said and done right after that. It was something so big, it took a long time for my brain to process! 

All in all, I truly enjoyed this book and will love to reread it. There are just some minor details I didn't really like which made me dock 0.5 points off my rating:
  • Madoc having a friend with benefits even after Fallon already returned. They weren't official yet, I know… but the feelings are already there and acknowledged. I just like it more when my heroes don't sleep with another woman once the heroine's already in the picture.
  • I would have loved to see Fallon in the skating rink more. That was one of the things I looked forward to the most.
  • I honestly wanted more scenes of Madoc and Fallon together. Felt like they were apart too many times in the book.
  • Jax made the biggest impression on me, which is a teeny bit disappointing seeing as this isn't his book.
  • As much as I loved the subplots, I felt that they slowed the momentum of Madoc and Fallon's romance narration-wise. With BULLY, it was solely Jared and Tate's book that's why I was really sucked into their angsty romance and looooved every second of it. With RIVAL my attention was divided among everything wonderful that was going on. 

I would recommend that readers read BULLY and UNTIL YOU first before diving into RIVAL. Trust me, you'll appreciate this book ten times more if you do. If you have read the first two, well what are you waiting for?!  =D Get started with RIVAL now! 

Penelope Douglas's
TOP 5 Favorite Lines/Scenes in RIVAL

Top 5
Madoc and Fallon—the mirror scene.
Love that one and how commanding he was. ~ P.D.

Top 4
"You're going to ruin me, Fallon."
No more than you ruined me.
- Madoc and Fallon

Top 3
"He taught me how to tell when a woman is wearing a thong." 
- Lucas

Top 2
"I'm Jaxon Trent, and I'm 17."
Aw, yeah. ~P.D.

Top 1
My all-time favorite scene in the book is Fallon and her father in the hospital bathroom. ~P.D.
And I agree, that was memorable. That was intense.

Now here is My 
TOP 5 Favorite Lines/Scenes in RIVAL!
I'm gonna cheat a little here because honestly, this book has lots of lines and scenes that I love, it's very difficult to choose just five!

Top 5
Scenes with the parents.
Gosh, I want so badly to quote their lines... they're funny, inspiring, shocking. Sadly that would be giving away too much. =)

Top 4
The tattoo and what it truly represents. 

Top 3
"All through high school, I followed people. Followed my dad. Followed Jared. Followed the norm. When you follow, you forget to grow. Days pass, years roll over you, and you're left with little to show for your life... I was done following. Time to lead."
- Madoc

Top 2
"Chase. Harder."
- Jared

Top 1
The party. Where EVERYONE was present. 
Most importantly, where this line was uttered:
"My name is Jaxon Trent, and I'm 17." 
Mind blown!!!! 
And P.D. agrees with me on this!

Penelope Douglas has more goodies in store for everyone, so make sure you follow the blog tour!

Do check out the other books in this series! (all are full-length novels)


Book 1: Bully

Book 1.5: Until You

Falling Away (Fall Away, #3)

Penelope is offering up the following prizes. The giveaways are international and ends at 11:59 PM CST 09/15/2014.
(2) $100 gift cards for either Amazon or B&N winners choice
(2) Signed paperbacks of Rival
(1) Signed set paperbacks of Bully, Until You and Rival

Penelope Douglas is a writer in Las Vegas. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, she is the oldest of five children. Penelope attended the University of Northern Iowa, earning a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration, because her father told her to "just get the degree!" She then earned a Masters of Science in Education at Loyola University in New Orleans, because she hated Public Administration. One night, she got tipsy and told the bouncer at the bar where she worked that his son was hot, and three years later they were married. To the son, not the bouncer. They have spawn, but just one. A daughter named Aydan. Penelope loves sweets, The Originals, and she shops at Target almost daily.



  1. Ivette Wanda PortilloSeptember 8, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    Awesome giveway! Thanks!

    1. Thanks for dropping by! Be sure to follow the entire blog tour week :D

  2. LOVE this series!!! Can't wait for Jax & KC's story!! ��

    1. Me too!!! Jax definitely stole the limelight at the end of the RIVAL! And I missed KC, I can't wait to know what's going on with her now.

  3. I still love Jared and Tate but, I have made room for Madoc and jax.

    1. <3 These boys.... they started out to be little jerks but I love that they're shaping up to be good men.


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