From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Bully, Until You, Rival, and Falling Away comes the sizzling conclusion to the Fall Away series.
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 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.
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About the Author:
Penelope Douglas is a writer and teacher 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 damn degree!" She then earned a Masters of Science 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 (yes, she was drunk at work)that his son was hot, and three years later she was married. To the son, not the bouncer. They have spawn, but just one. A daughter named Aydan. Penelope loves sweets, the show Sons of Anarchy, and she shops at Target almost daily.
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Review by Michelle:
To say that I was anxious to begin reading Aflame by Penelope Douglas, yet also dreading what was to come in this story after experiencing the events that appeared to be unraveling Jared and Tate throughout Falling Away and then the gut-wrenching excerpt included at the end of that book, would be a huge understatement. As a self admitted angst junkie I was, of course, chomping at the bit to get my hands on this one and at the same time warring with myself as to whether I really wanted to put myself through what seemed to be the traumatic demise of one of my favorite fictional couples. The answer, obviously, was yes, but I did have a box of tissues handy, I did shed more than a few tears, and I did feel actual physical pain in my stomach while reading Aflame, but you know what? My wild imagination was so much worse than reality, it was nowhere near as agonizing as I anticipated, and in the end the pain was so very worth it.
We begin in the past reliving Jared and Tate's playful verbal sparring, all the love, all the intensity, and all of the heat of their relationship. We are then ripped from these joyful times only to be smacked in the face with the events that lead to Jared and Tate's painful separation. This alternation between past and present immerses you in the bliss and exhilaration of the passion of the past then rips your heart out when their current reality hits you full force with all the heartache, the grief, and the suffering.
Definitely an emotional roller coaster, but I have to admit that I got a much different impression of the direction of this story and of the "new Tate" from the blurb and have to say that I was immensely relieved to find that although she has undergone some changes, she has grown stronger, and she is much more independent, she really is still the Tate we have all come to know and love. Sure she was much more confident, much more grown up, and even at times seemed a bit cold and calculating, I think it's to be expected under the circumstances and when it really came down to it, Tate was still there beneath all of those defenses.
Overall, although this was, without a doubt more of Jared and Tate's story, Aflame prominently features all of our beloved characters from the series and it is truly a lovely farewell to them all. Full of love, passion, desire, pain, distress, heartbreak, and even glee (because you know you can't feature Madoc and not have at least a bit of hilarity ensue) Aflame has it all. If you were wary about reading this one to avoid inevitable heartbreak and possibly undue angst, as a big fan of Tate and Jared and their story, I would highly encourage you to experience their growth, their new found strength and perseverance, and what really did turn out to be a necessary detour in order to find the road to true happiness for both Jared and Tate.
Rating: 5 Stars
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