Series: Fall Away #3
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication date: January 6, 2015
Format: ARC, 429 pages
How I got it: From the publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Jaxon is the guy she’s supposed to avoid.
K.C. is the 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 her college campus and her carefully arranged life comes crashing to a halt. Now she’s stuck in her small hometown for the summer to complete her court-ordered community service, and to make matters 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 from in high school. But he never forgot her. She was the one girl who wouldn’t give him the time of day and the only one to ever say no. Fate has brought K.C. back into his life—except what he thought was a great twist of luck turns out to be too close for comfort. As the bond between them grows, he discovers that convincing K.C. to get out from her mother’s shadow is hard, but revealing the darkest parts of his soul is nearly impossible.…
When I first picked up Bully back in 2013, I knew I’d found a new favorite author. There was something so real and raw and honest about Penelope’s writing. I connected immediately with Tate and felt everything she went through in that book. I’ve enjoyed each subsequent book in the series for the same reasons. What happens in the books in the Fall Away series isn’t always pleasant, but it’s real. I’ve loved each of the main characters in the series – though admittedly it took longer for some than others – for those characteristics that are unique to them. There’s something special about this group.
I’ve been waiting for Jax’s story for a long, long time. There was always something mysterious about him that drew me to his character. If there’s one word to use to describe him, I would say it’s “intense.” Now whether you find that a good or bad thing is up to you, but my word. There were times I loved this intensity and other times it bordered on a little disturbing. Of course, I can’t really explain this without giving too much information away, but once you’ve read the book, I think you’ll understand where I’m coming from. I knew enough about Jax’s history to know this wouldn’t be an easy read.
What I didn’t know is that there was a whole lot more to K.C. than met the eye. If I’m being completely honest, I’ve not been the biggest K.C. fan. I hated what she did to Tate in Bully and it’s been difficult for me to move past that. I always thought she was prissy and snobby and, quite frankly, someone I wouldn’t want to be friends with in real life. What I learned during this book is that she was dealing with a pretty messed up childhood too. There was a reason she acted like she did. Of course, the most surprising revelation was the reason behind her “K.C.” nickname. But, I’m not going to get into all that. (I will, however, use “K.C.” from here on out as to neither be spoilery or disrespectful to the character.) I’ll just say this young woman was struggling with a lot. First and foremost was her identity. My heart broke for her as more information was revealed.
“K.C.” and Jax were explosive together. There was tons of heat and a fierceness I didn’t expect to find. There’s no denying the sexual chemistry between these two. I was, however, left wondering at times about their other feelings. Was this love? Was it just about sex? There wasn’t a lot of romance in this book. Hot sex and need? Yes. Sweet, romantic words or gestures? No. It does make sense given the backgrounds of these characters though. Not all love looks the same. “K.C.” and Jax’s was more obsessive and intense than sweet and romantic. It fit them. But I’d be lying if I said it didn’t give me some moments of pause while I was reading.
Falling Away was an emotionally exhausting book. (I mean that in the best way possible!) It was almost too much to read it one sitting, but I did it anyhow. It put me through the ringer. I loved Jax. I hated him. I loved him again. “K.C.” was a doormat. Then she grew some lady balls. I loved her. I wanted to smack sense into her. I wanted them to work things out. I wanted them to go their separate ways. Honestly, I kind of need a nap just thinking back on it. But holy hell, I was invested in this story. I laughed. I blushed. I cried. I cried some more. It definitely kicked me in the feels. A few times. In addition to all those emotions, there were some great times with Fallon and Madoc. I love those two so hard. Tate and Jared are both integral to this story in different ways and I wish I could say I had great times with them, but they were more upsetting than heartwarming. Regardless, I still love both of them. I’m worried about them, but I adore them.
Some might consider my next comment to be spoilery, so avert your eyes if you’re not into that kind of thing. My only complaint about this book is that I never got the warm and fuzzy happily ever after I wanted. Things are so volatile between “K.C.” and Jax that I didn’t get that comfort. But, they’re young and I guess that’s real life. As I approached the end of the book, I found myself looking at how much was left and trying to figure out how it would all wrap up in the little bow I wanted. It didn’t, but I’m ok with it. I guess it would be unfair to say how much I enjoy the raw and real quality of a book, but expect a fairy tale ending, so I’ll say I’m pleased with things … for now. I hope to see more from these two in the future.
As a side note I just can’t help but mention, there’s an excerpt from Penelope’s upcoming release, Aflame, at the end of this book. I was completely gutted. Each of the books in this series has affected me in some way emotionally, but I think this one might just ruin me. It’s going to be a difficult read, but my god, I can’t wait for it.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.