Book Review: Next to Never by Penelope Douglas

Title: Next to Never (Fall Away #4.5)
Author: Penelope Douglas
Reviewer: Grace
Genre: New Adult
Length: 200 pages
Rating: 4.25 stars


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.

*Next to Never is a 60,000 word novella from Quinn’s point-of-view. It is not her love story. That will be a full-length novel eventually. This story covers some family history, introduces the new generation, and catches up with the original couples.

Grace Review

This is one of those books that I 1-clicked without reading the synopsis.  Why . . .
It’s by Penelope Douglas, and I have yet to read a book from her that I didn’t love.
The book takes place with the Fall Away crew, who I’ve had a love-hate-love relationship with since Bully.

While this story is narrated by Quinn (little sister to Jared, Madoc, and Jax), it actually centers on another couple.  I don’t want to give away the who’s and what’s of the story, but I loved hearing about this love story, that’s actually quite sad and really helps to fill in some pieces from prior books.

If you read the synopsis, you know that Quinn receives some new information on her family, and this novella centers on her reading that story, with some brief interactions from the Fall Away gang.

As I alluded to, the story within the story is heartbreaking.  There’s an obvious connection between the two characters, but social status and lofty job goals, on one person’s part, kept them from committing beyond the bedroom.  I really felt bad for the woman.  She’s handed the opportunity for a better life for herself and her son, but how it is given to her, I get that she felt like a whore.  Adding to that is her undeniable love for the man providing it, even if he never puts her first.

And I was only happy when I saw him.  Which was next to never.

And speaking of the man, I really wanted to kick him in the nuts.  He has all the power in the relationship and it was sad how much he held that power over the woman.  Although I will say that I do believe he loved her, he never fully acknowledges how his actions are breaking her.  Until it is too late.

While there story had some ups and a lot of downs, I can promise you that this novella has a happy ending.  And the reason for its revelation is intentional, with respect to Quinn.

I loved catching up with the whole gang in this book, and it only made me want more.  There is a hint of a story involving Quinn and a possible love interest.  So I’m hoping we don’t have to wait too long for that one.

– Grace

Book 1, Bully: Amazon USAmazon UK
Book 1.5, Until You: Amazon USAmazon UK
Book 2, Rival: Amazon USAmazon UK
Book 3, Falling Away: Amazon USAmazon UK
Book 4, Aflame: Amazon USAmazon UK
Book 4.5, Next to Never: Amazon USAmazon UK

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