*In this book review I will give a brief overview and opinion on the text without the deliberate inclusion of any spoilers.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 books 📖
New York Times bestseller Penelope Douglas introduces Quinn, younger sister to Jared, Madoc, and Jaxon, in the latest novella in the series that began with Jared and Tate in Bully….
Quinn Caruthers has several problems.
Her father, Jason, and her three older brothers, Jared, Madoc, and Jaxon.
Under the close watch of the men in her family, Quinn has found it nearly impossible to spread her wings—or even date—without them jumping in to hover. And when a family friend—several years older—from her childhood captures her heart, she knows they’re going to be a problem. Lucas Morrow is a man—experienced, sophisticated, and important. And knowing her brothers, he may as well be forbidden.
But Lucas left town years ago and shows no signs of returning. Quinn knows she shouldn’t wait for him anymore.
But then a package turns up on her doorstep with no return address and its contents reveal family secrets that threaten to turn Quinn’s world upside down. She’s never asked about the tumultuous path of her parents’ romantic history, but she soon learns their happy marriage had a very rocky and passionate start.
As she begins to see things around her with new eyes, Quinn will have to make tough choices about whether she’ll keep waiting…or finally go after what she really wants.
I read this being completely familiar with the Fall Away world, thanks to Penelope Douglas being one of my favourite authors. So reading how Jared, Tate, Madoc etc grew up into adults and how they act as parents was so surreal and interesting.
I was never Madocs’ dad (Jason) and Jared’s mothers (Katherine) biggest fan. I was the reader rooting for the teenage rebellion against the messed up adults. But this book provided a great backstory to how they both came to be and the strength of their connection to each other.
But this wasn’t the entire focus of the book. As I was never rooting for these characters I was unsure how I felt on the thought of reading their daughters book. But now I am so glad I did!
“A strong person realizes that the only love you truly need in this life is the love you have for yourself. If you have that, it’s like armor. No one can stop you. No one else matters.”
Quinn is a completely new character and has a different personality to that of her family. It was refreshing to see a character like this in Douglas’ world. Quinn feels naive, innocent but stubborn and so sure of who she is as a person, despite trying to please her brothers.
We all know how first love feels, if not from experience then from books. And unrequited love is the worst one of all. So reading about Quinn’s love for an older man who also happens to be an honorary part of the family is just another aspect of the book that hooks the reader. But this isn’t a love story (bar the brief throwback into the past). No, it’s more of an introduction to a new generation of the Fall Away family.
I love it when authors do this, start a new chapter whilst still keeping the old characters within the story. That means we don’t have to say goodbye to our favorite characters, at least not fully.
“The only person happy here was Jase, because he got the best of both worlds. And I was only happy when I saw him. Which was next to never. And for so long, I’d accepted it. Because I didn’t think I deserved something more.” – Katherine Caruthers
This definitely worked in preparing me for the next step in Douglas’ world. I am so excited to read all of the new characters books and see how Tate and Jared, Jax and Juliet as well as Madoc and Fallon kids stories turn out. (God that was a mouthful!)
The only thing I wasn’t in love with was how much of the past scenes were integrated into the book. I understand the need for the background and the lesson Quinn needed to learn from it, but I felt like there was too much of it and took the focus off Quinn slightly. This is a character that offers growth and plenty of future potential, there is no question she can hold the book on her own without the dual storyline. Luckily, this is only an introduction to the new story arc and Quinn will have her own book in the future.
So, if you enjoy a good New Adult book series then the Fall Away books are a great place to start. Bully, Rival, Falling Away and Aflame are intense, exciting and emotional reads that you have to read if you love a good high school/college romance like I do!
Would you read this book? If you already have, what did you think?