I am Lover of romance, who indulges in the romantic adventures of literature

My name is Renee, and I am the host of this site. I am a 34 year old woman, on the prowl for her mate, searching out the best of books, exploring the wilds of the imagination and delving into the heart of a beautiful love story.


Double The Romance Book Review-Bully & Rival by Penelope Douglas

by | Apr 3, 2016 | Book Reviews, Double The Romance Reviews | 7 comments

Double The Romance Book Review-Bully & Rival by Penelope Douglas

Double The Romance Book Review-Bully & Rival by Penelope DouglasBully by Penelope Douglas
Also in this series: Falling Away, Aflame
Series: Fall Away #1
Published by InterMix on February 18th 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Narrator: Abby Craden
Length: 9 Hours and 30 Min
Pages: 333
Source: Library
AmazonLibrary ThingLiteral Club

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Penelope Douglas delivers an unforgettable New Adult romance that toes the fine line between love and hate…
My name is Tate. He doesn't call me that, though. He’ll barely refer to me at all, and he’ll hardly ever speak to me.
But he still won't leave me alone.
We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. I've been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got worse as time wore on. I even went to Europe for a year, just to avoid him.
But I'm done hiding from him now, and there's no way I'll allow him to ruin another year. He might not have changed, but I have.
It's time to fight back.
When one brave young woman stands up to her best friend Jared, now tormenter, the consequences go beyond anything either of them ever would have imagined…

My Review Updated

In Bully, we have a story of the true fine line between love and hate, and that not everything is as it seems. Tate and Jared were once best friends when they were young. Lived next door to each other, and did just about everything together. But when they were fourteen years old, Jared left for the summer to spend it with his father and came back with hatred in his eyes for Tate. Tate could never understand what she ever did to Jared. For three years she has struggled to understand where his anger has come from. Tate has had to deal with his taunts, his bulliness, and his pranks on her. But then she leaves for France for a year, and comes back a new woman. Now in her senior year of high school, Tate refuses to be the shy reserved girl she used to be and let Jared walk and hurt her again. She stands on her own and surprises him with a new confidence and fighting attitude. Tate comes into herself even though Jared seems determined to ruin her. But as she stands up to him more and more, little things don’t add up about him. She senses something more than the usual hate she used to always get from him. She sees little moments of the real Jared she used to know and love and she will do everything in her power to get to the truth no matter what!

Now Bully, was a story I probably should have read first. Since reading books 2 and 3, I knew I needed to read Bully before reading the last book in the series “Aflame”. But I also knew from what the later books hinted at, that it wouldn’t be an easy read and boy was it a tough one full of angst and conflict. These two really go at it. I really felt for Tate in this book….she was the center of it and I loved her pizazz. She really fights back against Jared and I wanted to cheer at some of the pranks she actually pulls at him because he deserves it. I knew a bit of Jared’s history so I kneew that he had a tough history. But there were times I just couldn’t understand how he could take out his anger and pain on the only person that ever had his back. Tate was amazing though, despite the way Jared has treated her, he never broke her. He only made her stronger and I liked that even when it seems tough, she offers forgiveness…Eventually. Most of the book is some pretty crazy stuff before Jared actually gets real with Tate. So that aspect wasn’t my favorite part of the story, but Douglas handles these issues so well and in such a realistic point of view I wanted to cheer. The only character I couldn’t like was K.C. Now she is the heroine of the third book. But quite frankly, I did NOT like her in this one. I understand why Penelope wrote her in this way, but seriously, I wanted to throw her in the lake and shake some common sense into her. Tate was way too forgiving when it came to her in my book. But there were many moments in this story that I loved, and once Jared started letting Tate it—that is when it got really good. Now technically this is a YA romance but to be frank it didn’t feel like it. It had a more NA feel to the story and the sexual content is way more heated than YA is anyway. But boy loved these two together and I can’t wait for more.


Double The Romance Book Review-Bully & Rival by Penelope DouglasRival by Penelope Douglas
Also in this series: Falling Away, Aflame
Series: Fall Away #2
Published by Penguin Group (USA) on August 26th 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Narrator: Abby Craden, Nelson Hobbs
Length: 9 Hours and 25 Mins
Pages: 366
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
AmazonLibrary ThingLiteral Club

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 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….

My Review Updated

Madoc and Fallon have been estranged for two years after connecting with each other in a intimate way. Fallon was forced away, and her mother forced her to go through a traumatic experience that changed Fallon forever. Now she is back, and she is after something and she needs Madoc’s help in a way. But Madoc burns with anger at Fallon, for what happened before and never hearing a word from her ever since. But on the one night they happen to reconnect again, Madoc wakes up alone and finds her gone and having betrayed him once again. Fallon did what she had to, and even though she craves Madoc, she also knows that he will never forgive her. But she can’t resist him, but fate has a way of bringing these two together once again, forcing them to reveal the truths of the past and begin anew….together.

Now I had a blast with this story, boy was it good. I am such a fan of Madoc, he is a hoot but we really see hidden depths of his character in this book. He doesn’t handle Fallon leaving him very well….okay quite frankly, he handles it so badly. But it was also amusing at the same time. Even though there is a level of angst in this book, there is still an emotional and fun feels to this story that has you reaching for more. Fallon isn’t perfect, and she makes mistakes, but she also follows through on what she believes in. I really liked seeing more of the other characters too!! The romance is pretty engaging, and these two go back and forth like a ping pong ball but I had such a fantastic time all the while!!! Truly a win of a romance!!

Series Order (2)

About The Author Updated

About Penelope Douglas

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.

You May Also Like…

Book Review-Merciless Saints by Michelle Heard

Book Review-Merciless Saints by Michelle Heard

About The Book At St. Monarch’s Academy, you’re either a predator, a pawn, or prey. It’s the only neutral territory where heirs of the wealthiest rival crime families learn underworld skills. Alliances are made. Loyalty is owned. Love is taken. As the best protector...

Book Review-Sinner by Sierra Simone

Book Review-Sinner by Sierra Simone

About The Book I’m not a good man, and I’ve never pretended to be. I don’t believe in goodness or God or any happy ending that isn’t paid for in advance.What do I believe in? Money. Sex. Macallan 18.They have words for men like me—playboy. Womanizer. Skirt chaser.My...


  1. Braine TS

    See I have a thing about forgiveness in books too. I want the issues drawn out with proper closure because I can’t help but overthink things and like “Oh these two are going to go at it again at some point because there’s no closure”. See? I’m the worst romance reader lol

  2. Anna@herding cats&burning soup

    Okay so basically I need to get my rear in gear and read the Douglas one I have on the review pile, huh? Poor thing was supposed to be read in…November. Ergs!

  3. Blodeuedd

    I guess I should try her one day

  4. Michele H

    I’m definitely going to have to read Rival after your nice review! I’ve read Bully, which like you, had me rooting for Tate and how strong she was, but I (basically) hated Jared until I read his POV in Until You. Madoc was such a cool character in those two books that it will be nice to learn more about him.

  5. Ann Lorz

    Nice review. I’m not a huge fan of NA books but this series sounds good.

  6. Lisa @ Lost in Literature

    I read Bully last year and enjoyed it, yet I never had the desire to continue with the series. NOW I DO!! I love the sound of Rival!!! I’ll for sure be checking it out now. Glad to see you enjoyed it so much! 🙂

  7. Sophia Rose

    I’ve only read Bully and it’s companion novel, but the intense feels and the way the story went affected me deeply. I will eventually get to the other stories. Oh, and I felt the same way about KC.


Leave a Reply