Saturday, February 25, 2017

Review: Next to Never by Penelope Douglas

Next to Never
(Fall Away #4.5)
by Penelope Douglas
Published:  January 17, 2017
Publisher:  Penguin Publishing Group

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New York Times bestseller Penelope Douglas introduces Quinn, younger sister to Jared, Madoc, and Jaxon, in the latest novella in the series that began with Jared and Tate in Bully....

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.

My Review:  The Fall Away Series from Penelope Douglas is one that I've thoroughly enjoyed reading.  Next to Never is a novella told through Quinn Caruthers' eyes.  To understand and appreciate the family dynamic I do recommend reading the series in order, or you really want know who's who, or where and how they fit into the picture.  That said, I can gaurantee you will truly enjoy reading the novels, as well as getting to know the characters that you will find in those novels.  Next to Never occurs a number of years after the original four novels end, and I loved getting to see the original characters as they've grown older and get to know their children as well.  

Quinn is the little sister of Jared and Madoc by blood, and Jaxon, though not actually by blood.  She's been somewhat sheltered by her family, especially her brothers, but she's grown up now and getting ready to graduate and start her own life adventures.   She receives a package that rocks her world, and not in a way that that term typically implies.  Her eyes are opened to all the drama, history, and heartache that occured long before she was in the picture, and that history changes her whole world.  

The story isn't her own love story, but that of her parent's, which was quite heartbreaking, even though they ended up happy and well, revealing a side of her parents she never knew.  Truthfully, I am not nor have I ever been a fan of her father, Jason,  even after reading this novella.  Grant you, he did the right thing in the end and has his family's best interest at heart, but he did not win me over at all despite that fact.  That said, the story is really good and my not liking Jason didn't affect that in the least.  In fact, I think there are readers who will both like and dislike Jason when they read it also.  I enjoyed getting the history. or I guess I should say, the beginning and the events that lead up to the previously written installments in the series.  

Penelope Douglas also lays the groundwork for what will be Quinn's own lovestory and I know it is going to be phenomenal and can't wait to read it.  Overall, Never to Never is a wonderful read that fans of the series will most definitely enjoy.  

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