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.
I’m twenty, and all I know about myself is that I love Tatum Brandt. Two years ago, I thought that was enough.
One thing that Penelope Douglas did right, right off the bat with this book was she gave us Jared’s POV during that pivotal scene at the end of Falling Away. It set the tone for the whole book.
Aflame is about Tate and Jared coming full circle. It’s also about growing up, finding out who you are. It’s about finding your place in the world. It’s about letting go.
It’s no secret that a lot of fans of the series are upset about this book and what they perceive to be a betrayal by breaking up an established couple. To me personally, an author is allowed to write whatever book she wants the same way the reader has every right to refuse reading a book she doesn’t like. End of.
That said, I personally believe this story needed to be told. Yes, Jared and Tate already had their HEA in Bully and Until You but their age and Jared’s restlessness about his career choices made this book necessary for me. Did I want them to break up? Not necessarily but after reading this book, I couldn’t blame Jared. Tate, for the most part had time to grow up and she did. She spent a year in France. She had time to figure out what she wants for her life apart from Jared. Jared on the other hand never had that chance. While Tate was away, he was dealing with his dad, Jax and his deteriorating relationship with his mom. He never really had that. Love him or hate him for his choices, the author did a great job with staying true to Jared’s character ’til the very end.
So what did I like about Aflame?
♥ Jared and Tate’s memories from childhood. We get a glimpse of how their lives are linked together. Same with Madoc and Jax. Theirs is a dynamic friendship and their bond is very apparent in this book.
♥ The way the author handled their time apart. I know a lot of people are scared about this part and I have to say, you shouldn’t be. It was handled very well. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. It all made sense.
♥ Jared’s POV was on point. PD writes the male POV really well. As I mentioned, Jared grew up but he is still Jared. His ways of getting Tate again was very much in keeping with his character.
♥ Tate also has come a long way from the Tate we met in Bully. I loved how she moved on with her life and I didn’t blame her for one moment.
As much as I really liked this one, there were parts that I didn’t particularly care for:
The racing…I get that this is probably their way of communicating and I have no doubt that it’s exciting and many readers will eat it up, but it just wasn’t my cuppa. There was one race in particular that I didn’t really care for. I would have rather they spent it fighting or talking like normal people. But like I said, character wise, it’s very J&T, it just didn’t do anything for me personally.
Jared and the gang meeting Quinn Caruthers the first time. Oh my word. That was one of the most beautiful moments in the book.
Overall, I really liked this one. For all the brouhaha this book has gotten, there was nothing rage inducing about this book at all. I was expecting chest crippling angst but there’s none. The author stayed true to her characters and stayed true to her vision of the story. Plus, there’s a sweet long-ass epilogue that had me grinning like a loon.
ARC provided by Penelope Douglas in exchange for an honest review.
Penelope Douglas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Fall Away series. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master of Science in Education from Loyola University in New Orleans. Penelope lives in Las Vegas with her family.
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The giveaway is international and ends at 11:59 PM CST 04/25/2015.
- (2) Signed set of Bully, Until You, Rival & Falling Away
- (2) $20 gift card (Amazon or B&N)