Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Aflame by Penelope Douglas

By 7:49 AM , , , , ,

Aflame (Fall Away #4)
    by: Penelope Douglas

Publication Date: Apr. 21, 2015
Publisher: Penguin Intermix
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC provided via the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 262 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Bully, Until You, Rival, and Falling Away comes the sizzling conclusion to the Fall Away series.

The tables have turned. Now I have the power—and it’s his turn to beg…

Everyone wants to be me.

Maybe it’s the sway of my skirt or the way I flip my hair, but I don’t care. Even though their attention is the last thing I crave, I just can’t stop. I dominate the track, the speed rattles my bones, and the wind and the crowd screams my name.

I’m her. The girl driver. The queen of the race. And I’m surviving—something he thought I’d never do.

They all still talk about him. Did you see Jared Trent on T.V? What did you think of his last race, Tate? When is he coming back to town, Tate?

But I refuse to care too much. Because when Jared does come home, I won’t be here.

Tatum Brandt is gone. I’m someone new.

Upon finishing Fall Away and reading what I did about Jared and Tate I seriously felt my heart shatter. I thought with that book all of our couples would have their happily ever afters, so imagine my surprise upon reading the bomb that Jared dropped on Tate. As steaming mad as I should be at Jared, I just can't be. I understand him. I understand his reasoning for doing what he had to do. Yes, it hurt Tate like hell, but had he not done what he did, I don't think those two would have made it in the long run.
I want to keep this review as spoiler free as possible, but I feel this extension of Tate and Jared's story needed to be told. While certain things never change, I do feel overall these two have grown as individuals and are stronger than ever because of it. Both of them had made the other the center of their world and we really didn't see much of them walking on their own two feet.
Tate is certainly different in this book. It made me sad to see her hurting and her trust in him so completely broken. She has fortified her heart against Jared and while she is trying to move forward with her life, it's certainly not easy with the amount of history they share. When Jared returns to town, she won't let him bait her into fighting with him like she used to. She's colder and works hard to not betray her emotions to him. I am proud of her for continuing on with her dreams and trying to move on with her life.
Jared has always had a temper and has always acted a bit immaturely. He likes getting a rise out of Tate and these two's relationship has been a rollercoaster. I don't doubt their love for one another though. But these two also have some resentment toward one another. Jared can still push Tate's button like none another and there are times where I didn't like his pushing. I wouldn't say it was bullying, but he definitely made comments that probably would have earned him a punch to the stomach or two.
A good blogging friend of mine and I were talking about Penelope Douglas's books and she mentioned they were like crack. I couldn't have said it better myself! I was like a woman possessed reading this book. I read the majority of it in one sitting as there was no way I could put it down. The teasing, the taunting, the TENSION... Sigh. So good. Not to mention, this was realistic. Guess what people? Relationships are hard. They don't always work out like they're meant to. Sometimes people have to fall apart in order to come back together. Tate and Jared have already been put through the ringer, I know, but we get to see them grow up here. They aren't co-dependent on one another. They have their own loves and goals and are pursuing them. I personally don't feel Douglas wrote this just to create more drama. This was never an issue of Tate and Jared not loving one another. It was whether or not that love would be enough in the long run. They are all each other has known for so long that it just felt RIGHT for them to experience new things on their own.
The epilogue in this one was perfection for me. I just couldn't contain my feels and I thought it was awesome. I loved the way Douglas wrapped up Tate, Jared, Fallon, Madoc, Jax, and Juliet's stories. It was just what I needed to read, except I am now desperately hoping she continues this series but in a slightly different capacity. :)

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  1. I really have to get started on this series because it sounds so good and I love it when authors are realistic with their characters! Relationships are hard and sometimes after finishing a book I truly wonder if the couple is going to make it in the long run, so it is nice to see an author address that. Great review!

  2. I'm glad to hear you loved this one, Jess! I love the sound of the crack writing and the tension. I secretly love romantic tension in books. It's why I love second chance romances. I'll be picking this one up soon. Hopefully, I'll like it as much as you did.
    Lovely review!

  3. Loved your review! But I'm so jealous right now!! LOL. I can't wait to read this one. I loved the other books in this series and I can't seem to get enough of these characters. Your review just made me want to read it NOW!! :D:D Great job!

  4. Whoa! I've heard of this series and I thought this couple had their HEA for good. These "second" books are always so hard for me to read, and I usually don't like them.... but I like what you say about it being a realistic course for some relationships, because that's so true. And now their HEA feels even more earned.
    Great review, girl!

  5. I'm flailing around because I cannot wait to get to this one! I adore Tate and Jared; their chemistry makes my toes curl! And I'm nervous as to what Jared did to Tate! Just thinking she got hurt makes me want to cry. I swear, I am really emotionally attached to those two characters. (they are like crack) Ah! I can't wait till I can read it. Hopefully this weekend :)

    AMAZING review :)

  6. This was one of those books I chucked everything else aside for the minute I got it. I'm so glad I did, too. I never doubted the author and I think a lot of the backlash she got for this book was unfair. That said, I was *really* nervous going into this book. It wasn't too far into it that I relaxed and realized this extension of their story really did need to happen. I never doubted how they felt either, but everything seemed so much more realistic at the end. And the epilogue?! There might've been tears. (There totally were tears.) Wonderful review!


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