Tuesday, January 6, 2015

*Review* Falling Away by Penelope Douglas

Genre: Erotic Romance
Published: January 6, 2015
Pages: 429
Ages: 18+


Jaxon is the guy she’s supposed to avoid. K.C. is the girl he won’t let get away....

K. C. Carter has always followed the rules—until this year, when a mistake leaves her the talk of her college campus and her carefully arranged life comes crashing to a halt. Now she’s stuck in her small hometown for the summer to complete her court-ordered community service, and to make matters worse, trouble is living right next door.

Jaxon Trent is the worst kind of temptation and exactly what K.C. was supposed to stay away from in high school. But he never forgot her. She was the one girl who wouldn’t give him the time of day and the only one to ever say no. Fate has brought K.C. back into his life—except what he thought was a great twist of luck turns out to be too close for comfort. As they grow closer, he discovers that convincing K.C. to get out from her mother’s shadow is hard, but revealing the darkest parts of his soul is nearly impossible.…


I don't think it's a secret that Penelope Douglas and her debut novel Bully are the reason that I read indie books now. I have been a Penelope Douglas fan since the beginning, so I was really looking forward to Jax's story, and Douglas did not disappoint, mostly. 

Of all the books in the Fall Away series, this one has the most intense character backstories. We first met Jax in Bully as Jared's younger half-brother. In Until You we learned that life with their father was bad, but we don't really get a whole lot of details about it. Prepare yourself for some really gritty details because Douglas does not hold back to spare our feelings. These details were peppered throughout the story, a small piece here, a tiny tidbit there, making me want to skip ahead to get the full story, and if I'd had a paperback version of the book, I would have. The suspense drove me to drink. 

K.C. has always seemed so put together, and in Falling Away we find out why, and boy is it messed up. Honestly, I don't feel like I can talk about K.C.'s background without spoilers, so that is all I'm going to say on the matter. But if you are in the K.C. is a major b*tch camp (which almost everyone that has read Bully is), be advised that she will redeem herself to you in Falling Away. 

In spite of perfectly adequate descriptions to the contrary, I still picture Jax as the scrawny kid that he was in Bully. To be fair though, my 25 year old sister is still 16 in my mind and I see her on FaceTime on a fairly regular basis. So this book made me feel incredibly pervy because holy hell I WANT Jax, at least in bed. I could honestly do without his still juvenile behavior. But that boy knows his way around a female body and it is no wonder he snagged Douglas' first erotica tag. It was well earned.

Like all of Douglas' couples so far, when K.C. and Jax get together, it is explosive. There's fighting, and drama, and painful history. And I realized while reading Falling Away that the basic plot for all three stories is the same. Boy likes girl, boy is mean to girl, girl fights back, boy and girl do the dirty. I thoroughly enjoyed that plot in Bully, and the step-sibling taboo kind of masked it from me in Rival, but some of the interactions between Jax and K.C. just felt way too much like Jared and Tate for me even though they are very different characters. 

Overall I give Falling Away 4 out of 5 stars. The backstory and characterization were superb, the suspense kept me turning the pages, and I had to keep a fan handy to cool things down periodically. If you enjoyed Bully and Rival, you will almost certainly love Falling Away. 

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About the Author

Penelope Douglas is a writer living 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 damn degree!" She then earned a Masters of Science in Education at Loyola University in New Orleans, because she HATED public administration. One night, she told the bouncer at the bar where she worked that his son was hot, and three years later she was married. To the son, not the bouncer. They have spawn, but just one. A daughter named Aydan. Penelope loves sweets, The 100, and she shops at Target almost daily.

Bully (Fall Away #1) is her first book, published June 2013. The companion novel, Until You, was released in December 2013 and Rival in August of 2014. Please look for Falling Away on Jan. 6, 2015 and Aflame April 21, 2015.

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