Tour Hosted by: As the Pages Turn
Title: Falling Away (Fall Away, #3)
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: NA | Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Rating: 4.5 stars
Jaxon is the guy she’s supposed to avoid. K.C. isthe 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 hercollege campus and her carefully arranged life comes crashing to a halt. Now she’s stuck in hersmall hometown for the summer to complete her court-ordered community service, and to makematters 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 fromin high school. But he never forgot her. She was the one girl who wouldn’t give him the time of dayand the only one to ever say no. Fate has brought K.C. back into his life—except what he thoughtwas a great twist of luck turns out to be too closefor comfort. As the bond between them grows, he discovers that convincing K.C. to get out from hermother’s shadow is hard, but revealing thedarkest parts of his soul is nearly impossible….
Reviewer’s Note: Before starting this book, I glanced at some of the posts on Goodreads. What I saw, surprised me. Several posts mentioned that they didn’t really know who Jax was and why he was getting a story. It took awhile for me to understand why people might think this. And then it occurred to me that those reviewers likely never read Until You, Jared’s POV. It’s true that Jax has a very small part in Bully and Rival, although his role in how Madoc’s book turns out, was pretty huge! But without reading Until You, you may not understand why his story is so important. Do you have to read Until You to read Falling Away? No. Would I recommend you read it first? Yes!
This is Jax and KC’s story. They have always had an interesting dynamic that I couldn’t quite figure out. Especially with this quote from Until You:
“How old are you, anyway?” – KC
“Old enough to unravel you.” – Jax
Color me intrigued.
Like the characters or not, the hate/love relationships the author has created in this series, always feel real. Do they say or do the right things? Usually not. Do they learn from their mistakes? Eventually. These series features books of young adults (but don’t you dare call this YA, per the author), who are still figuring things out. Where mistakes are made and lessons are learned.
In Bully and Until You, the author perfectly captures the hell that some face in high school at the hands of a bully. Personally, I think Tate got it easy compared to some, and she handled it all like a champ. In this series, the author captures the uncertainty many face as they head off to college. This is when you’re supposed to figure everything out. But what happens when you have no sense of direction? No support. And feel like your life is going in reverse, rather than forward. This was KC’s dilemma. Oddly enough, her fucktard of a boyfriend and some hacking skills by Jax, may end up being the best thing to ever happen to her.
Like most people, I wasn’t a fan of KC’s going into this book. What she did to Tate in Bully was completely wrong and selfish. For those reasons, I’m actually really happy that the author gave us her story, because there is so much more to her than those moments of stupidity with Jared.
I was surprised by the sympathy I felt for KC in this book. She has hidden away so much, only sharing her true name, Juliet, and past with Tate. As the story progresses, you can feel the pain she felt growing up. I won’t go into details here, but it seems that she perpetually felt like she didn’t matter to anyone – forced to be someone else. With her douche of an ex, cheating on her multiple times, that feeling of solitude/rejection was only amplified. The moment she sits in a car and quietly whispers to herself what she likes about Jax, was one of the most sweet, unexpected and touching scenes. I felt myself slowly becoming her sideline cheerleader. Hoping she would find someone who would put her first and not repeat the mistakes of others. Sometimes Jax was that guy, other times he was a much of a bad idea as you could get.
For those reasons, my feelings for Jax were all over the board. On the surface, he is EXACTLY the type of guy I would have crushed on in high school/college. The ultimate bad boy. I already have a weakness for lacrosse players, something about the way they handle that stick. *ahem*
For those not familiar with lacrosse, let’s take a review timeout and watch this guy who has eyes on the back of his fucking head!
Ok, back to Jax. Aside from his lacrosse skills, he has long hair, which I love! And then there’s the car racing and hacking skills.
Athletic + sexy + smart = Ginger down
However, Jax is not perfect. He does a good job at pissing me the fuck off at times in this book. But his own past seems to be the reasons for his outbursts.
“You’re gutless and helpless and I’ve never met anyone so desperate to get out of her own skin.”
For Jax, raised in a household where he was abused, there was a feeling of helplessness. No one cared for or about him. Until Jared. Escaping the chains of his abusive father and the horrors he faced in the basement, Jax has become focused on one thing, being in control. While not everything he does is on the up and up, I was surprised at his drive and ambition. Within his new home, he has carefully build himself a better life. However, one person tilts that world on its axis and he begins feeling a loss of control. For those reasons, Jax isn’t always nice to KC/Juliet. In fact, sometimes he is downright cruel. But as I mentioned previously, no one does the hate to love relationship better than this author. Her characters build walls with cruel words and actions, but those walls, when broken down, show a longing, a powerful connection the characters within these stories can’t hide from. And just like the previous books, I loved to see those walls crumble.
Wanting her was an addiction, and that was why I’d never made my move. I wanted her in my head more than I wanted her in my bed. I never wanted the chase to end.
Until I’d had a taste of her in the weight room. Then everything left my control.
When those walls come down in this book, the passion is intense! Jax had me panting with just his words – his explanation on how to drive manual transmission is dripping with innuendos.
But he’s a bit of a tease with Juliet (I’m just going with that name since its the right one) – heating her up and then throwing an insult like a bucket of ice water. Just cruel! But there were moments, such as the funhouse . . . holy hotness!!! *fans self*
Tate and Jared are still my favorite couple in this series, but Jax and Juliet’s are not far behind. Their story was a huge surprise, in a good way. The author has a way of carrying me off into their world filled with pain and sadness, but also with an intense drive to consume one another. I loved reading the dance between Jax and Juliet, their push and pull between anger and lust, between sadness and love. And I cheered for them to make it work, every step of the way.
Parting thoughts: Since this book released back on 1/6, I think it’s ok to discuss the Aflame sneak peak at this point. If you don’t want any spoilers, or don’t want the cliffy like feeling, then skip reading the sneak peak. Personally, I skimmed over it because I was given a heads up about it and wasn’t ready to take it on. But to those attacking the author, I just don’t understand. If you’ve read anything by this author, and love her work like I do, you know that the heart of her books is the character conflict. Did you really think she’d write a book that would be rainbows and unicorns? If so, you might be confusing her with another author. Do I think that my heart will hurt reading Aflame? Probably. But I trust this author to leave me smiling at the end, and you should too!
*Teaser made by Yaya.
**An ARC was received for an honest review.
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00OPZ0IHG
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/falling-away/id887 991347
Q & A with Jaxon Trent
I was lucky enough to get some time with Jax due to his busy schedule. I could have spend hours talking with him, but only got 10 minutes . .
The easy questions
What is your pump up song before you race?
I don’t stick to one song. I get bored easily, but I like Rob Zombie and Disturbed.
All-time favorite book?
What’s a book? Just kidding. Treasure Island. My middle name is Hawkins and I like to think it’s after Jim Hawkins, the main character. Some day if I ever decide to meet my mother, I’ll ask why she gave me that name.
Who is your celebrity crush?
Megan Fox. The hair and eyes remind me of Juliet.
The not-so-easy questions
Craziest place you ever had sex?
The funhouse. I’ve done it in public but never in the middle of the day in such easy view of others. That was definitely a risk and a rush.
A lot has been said about how different you are from Jared. How do you think you two are alike?
We have many of the same interests and same disinterests. Music, clothes, hobbies…and we both are violently protective of those we love.
What are you most afraid of?
Being out of control, I think. When others cage you in–back you into a corner–it feels too real. Like there’s no way out and things are happening TO you that you can’t stop. I don’t like that feeling. I always want to know who everyone is, what to expect on any given day, and what I can and can’t count on. I don’t like surprises.
I also really don’t like clowns.
I know your childhood was far from ideal, but was there anyone you idolized? If so, who and why?
Jared. Plain and simple, I wanted to be my brother. Seeing him fight my father—stand up to him—is what made me finally fight back. Jared acted from the gut, and I envied that. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes that’s gotten him into a lot of trouble, but I also realize that I consider decisions too much when sometimes I should just be like him.
Did you ever think your story would make a good book? Who would you want to write your story?
Everyone’s story is worth telling, because everyone has one. And I’d love for Juliet to write it someday. She’s a great writer.
If you had 1 do-over moment with Juliet, what would it be?
The party where I pushed her away after the camping trip. I’ve always considered it an asset to be able to shut down and go cold. To do what I believe it necessary at the time. That the ends justify the means. I was wrong. I hurt her as much as if I’d hit her, and there are always better ways to handle yourself.
In the romance world, women always look forward to a HEA – Happily Ever After. What would be your HEA?
Marrying Juliet and hopefully having a kid someday. I don’t really care where we end up as long as she’s at my side every single morning when I wake up.
Thanks Jax! XOXO
Penelope Douglas is a writer 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 degree!” She then earned a Masters ofScience in Education at Loyola University in New Orleans, because she hated Public Administration.
One night, she got tipsy and told the bouncer at the bar where she worked that his son was hot, and three years later they were married. To the son, not the bouncer. They have spawn, but just one. A daughter named Aydan. Penelope loves sweets, The Originals, and she shops at Target almost daily.
Author Social links:
Penelope is offering up the following prizes. The giveaways are international and ends at 11:59 PM CST 01/27/2015.
(2) Swag Pack with a signed set of the Fall Away series + other swags (Intl)
(2) $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Cards (Intl)
(1) ARC of AFLAME to be gifted April 1, 2015 (Intl)