4 stars · Asshole Alpha Heroes · Contemporary Romance · Kick-ass Heroine · New Adult · Second chance

Aflame (Fall Away #4) by Penelope Douglas

Aflame Book Cover Aflame
Fall Away
Penelope Douglas
New Adult
April 21, 2015

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.

Val’s Review

Some Stars

So I’m gonna kick off this ramble-fest with a bit of verbal diarrhea an aside.

Because that’s just how I fucking roll, people.

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But back to my aside

Just the mere existence of this book leaves me torn, quite frankly.

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Everyone has their own personal likes and dislikes – and none of those likes/dislikes are wrong…

However, mine are just that:

MINE.

And thus simply better than everyone else’s…

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I kid, I kid.

Seriously.

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My point is that each and every one of us have our own personal reading preferences.

And one of my biggest personal reading statutes is…

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Thou shalt not fucketh with the covenant of the HEA-eth.

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Quite simply, don’t go back to the well and jack around with characters for whom you have already established an HEA in a previous book.

PERIOD.

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We all know how tightly we can cling to our own personal reading statutes.

It’s like chocolate the week before your period.

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And when those statutes get broken?

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We feel betrayed.

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So needless to say, my initial reaction to the teaser for this book?

And the fact that my beloved Jared would be leaving his beloved Tatum?

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#sorrynotsorry

And so I took this book and said:

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But as release day got closer…

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My curiosity overcame my previous need for self-preservation.

And I pre-ordered that shit faster than a Paleo-eating Crossfitter binges on “cheat day.”

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And I became what some might refer to as:

A SELLOUT.

But you know what?

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And I’m riding a fucking unicorn.

So, #WINNING.

I’m glad that I trusted Penelope Douglas and read this book, because I definitely enjoyed it.

It was cool to see Jared and Tate come back together as true adults.

Certain things that I wanted to see happen did happen.

And – sometimes more importantly – certain things that I did NOT want to see happen…did NOT happen.

So there’s that.

At the end of day though, does it still inherently bother me that Jared and Tate were broken up in this book to begin with?

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Yes.

Because even though I know they were both young at the end of Bully/Until You…even though, yes I understand that in real life people need to go off and find themselves as complete individuals before they can truly be complete together…

I don’t read WANT realism.

I want the fictional boy and girl who climbed trees to get to each other – the other half to each other’s whole – to live forever in uninterrupted flawlessness in my imagination.

To get a piece of that idealistic perfection that – while we know it can’t exist in the real world – we can revisit it untouched whenever we want, safe within the pages of our favorite romance novels.

But at the end of the day, these are Penelope Douglas’ characters and – despite some of her rabid fan girls attacking myself and some of my friends (which isn’t Douglas’ fault) – I really do have nothing but respect for what she did with those characters in this book.

And, while I definitely don’t regret reading this book, I wholeheartedly respect the reservations others may or may not have about reading it – because they used to be mine too.

In short:

If you don’t want to read this book, rock on. Don’t read it.

And if you are on the fence – like I was – I recommend you give it a shot.

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