by Penelope Douglas
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
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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 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.
My Thoughts: After reading Bully, I was so happy to see Jared and Tate finally together after all the drama and heartache they went through...years of it...so many misunderstandings and so much pain. Because of that, I was a little nervous about Aflame. I mean I knew it would be great, but I also knew there would be more drama, because without it you couldn't really write another book. So, I prepared myself, opened the pages, and read Aflame in one sitting. At the end of Falling Away, which was so awesome by the way, you get a glimpse of what is to come in Aflame. Penelope Douglas has set the stage well, preparing her readers for the next part of Jared and Tate's journey. I was heartbroken at the way things transpired at the beginning of Aflame. Though I understood Jared's reasoning, I still didn't like it. It was, however, something he had to do....and Tate, well my heart ached for her.
The story picks up a couple of years after this event. Time and space have separated Jared and Tate for far too long. Again, misunderstanding dominates, causing Tate to harden as she comes into her own identity separate from Jared. She's tougher, unafraid, and quite the badass - on and off the racetrack. A sort of intervention takes place, orchestrated by their friends, which causes them to have to face each other again. There are things that both have assumed about the other, things that have hurt, and things that have caused mistrust. Jared knows he wants Tate back, but he also finds that the games he once played back in high school were no longer going to work with this new harder and colder Tate, and he has to step up his game. Tate is very reluctant to let Jared back in because of the disappointment and hurt he has caused her in the past, but the heart wants what the heart wants, and the body agrees with the heart, so lets just, staying away proves to be very difficult.
I loved seeing the other characters from the previous books. Jaxon and Juliett, Madoc and Fallon, and let me just say Madoc was so awesome in this book and added so much to it. You even get to see a few people from the past that reappear in Aflame, as well as meet some new people, and Penelope Douglas does an excellent job of fusing the past and the present together. I loved the way the book ended, and the epilogue was wonderful and brought things to a close so beautifully. This is a great series and a great book, one I would most definitely recommend.
At ten years old, Jared was my friend. At fourteen, my enemy; at eighteen, my love; and at twenty, my heartbreak. I’d known him more than half my life, and although the roles had changed, his impact was always all consuming.
“I wanted her to love me again. I wanted her to say she was mine. And I didn’t want to have to bully her about it, either.”
“His text took only a moment. You tell the guy you’re dating that your boyfriend’s back. I let my arms drift back down to the bed as I closed my eyes, sighing. Yeah, that’s what I was thinking, too. My phone beeped again. And he’s gonna be in trouble . . .”