Title: Until You
Series: A Fall Away Novel, Book #1.5
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 5, 2013
Tour Organized by: As the Pages Turn
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***This novel contains graphic sexual content and harsh language. It is only appropriate for adult readers age 18+.
Have you ever been so angry that hitting things felt good? Or so numb that you actually felt high? The past few years have been like that for me. Traveling between fury and indifference with no stops in between.
Some people hate me for it, while others are scared of me. But none of them can hurt me, because I don't care about anything or anyone.
I love her so much that I hate her. We used to be friends, but I found out that I couldn't trust her or anyone else.
So I hurt her. I pushed her away.
But I still need her. The sight of her centers me, and I can pool all of my anger into her. Engaging her, challenging her, bullying her...they are my food, my air, and the last part of me that feels anything human.
But she left. She went to France for a year, and came back a different girl.
Now, when I push, she pushes back.
Pulling up the window and leaning out, I spied the branch sliding against the panes above me. With him gone, I’d have to take care of that tomorrow.
The rain was coming down in sheets and made everything glisten under the bright glow of the streetlights. I let my gaze wander through the maze of branches, shaking off memories of which ones I’d scraped my leg on or which ones I’d sat on with Tate.
I loved the damn tree, and I wanted it cut down.
And then…I didn’t even see the tree anymore.
My eyes caught sunshine in a midnight sky, and I fucking stilled.
“What the hell?” I whispered, breathless and not blinking.
She was standing in her bedroom, leaning on the doorframe of her open French doors. And she was staring at me.
What the hell am I seeing right now?
She was supposed to be in Germany with her dad, at least until Christmas.
Every muscle in my body tightened as I supported myself on the window sill, but I couldn’t tear my eyes from her. It was like I was in an alternate universe, starving, and she was a fucking buffet.
She was home.
I closed my eyes for a moment and swallowed down my heartbeat that was creeping up my throat. I was sick, excited, and grateful all at the same time.
Jesus, she’s home.
She wore some little pajama shorts and a white tank top. Not really so different from what I’d noticed she wore to bed a year ago, but for some reason, the sight of her was like a raging fire through my chest. I wanted to rip through the fucking tree and peel all the clothes off of her and love her like the past three years had never happened.
Her hair blew around her, and I could feel her eyes, locked in shadow, on me.
My mouth was dry, and the rush of breath and blood through my body felt so damn good.
Until she backed up and closed the doors.
No. I swallowed, not wanting her to go away.
Go on. Go pick a fight, I told myself, but I shook my head.
No. Just leave her alone. She hasn’t been thinking about me, and I needed to get over it.
I was crawling the walls inside my head, knowing for fact that I needed to grow up and let her be. Let her go to school without rumors and pranks hovering over her. Let her be happy. We were nearly adults now, and this petty shit had to end.
I’d just felt more alive in the past ten seconds than I had in a year.
Seeing that face, knowing I’d wake up to her blaring music and seeing her leave the house to jog in the morning…
My phone buzzed with a text, and I walked over to check it.
It was from Tate’s dad.
Change of plans. Tate’s home. On her own until Christmas. Give her back the house key, and be nice. Or else.
I narrowed my eyes, rereading the text over and over again.
I don’t even think I breathed.
She was alone? Until Christmas?
I closed my eyes, and let out a laugh.And all of a sudden I was as thrilled as hell to wake up tomorrow.
Q&A with Jared Trent
At the end of your book, we are left with you and Tate finally together. How are things going now with you and Tate?
Great…when her father leaves us alone. We hit the drive-in, park at the lake, go for drives, park at the lake, work on our rides, park at the lake…
What has been your school's reaction after your declaration during school assembly seeing how you made Tate's life miserable before and now you're together?
Yeah, I’m getting a little shit for it, but I figure Tate’s put up with the same and more, so….
College plans. Tell me about that.
Mr. Brandt is pushing West Point, and I like that it’s not that far from Tate at Columbia, but I’m just not sure yet. Madoc is applying to LSU, so I’ve also applied there. We’ll see.
You and Tate have known each other for a long time but tell me about one thing or things that still surprises you about her?
After so long without her, I got used to people not challenging me. She does. All. The. Time. It makes me happy. It makes me laugh. It turns me on.
Speaking of Tate, I know she's going to be racing at the loop soon. What kind of advice have you been giving her?
As much as I can cram down her throat. Guys out there are’t very PC. I’m nervous they’ll be too afraid of losing to a girl. But Tate doesn’t listen, and it will definitely be an interesting summer seeing what she does with what I’ve taught her.
Where do you see yourself and Tate, five years or so down the line?Hopefully in our own damn apartment with our own damn bed.
My Review & Casting
First off, I have to congratulate Penelope Douglas for truly giving us Jared's story. This book wasn't a rehash of Bully. While there are plenty of things here that we've already seen/read from Bully, we also get a lot, and I mean, A LOT of new scenes about Jared, about his father, his relationship with his mother, Jax and Madoc. And we really get to know what he's thinking during those times where he made Tate's life miserable.
Until You starts off with a 10-year old Jared meeting a 10-year old Tate for the first time. It was very cute and we see a glimpses of their relationship prior to the "Bully" years through Jared's memory. It was through this flashbacks that we found out what pushed Jared to make that life-changing decision to spend his summer with his dad when he was 14 and the falling out with Tate afterwards.
And it ain't pretty.
Poor Tate. She took the brunt of Jared's anger without ever really knowing why. All she can do was cry and suffer in silence until she decided to fight back and give Jared the 'middle finger.'
The I-want-you-but-I-hate-you signal coming from Jared drove me batshit crazy at times. But I really can't complain that much since that's one of the best part of this book. Jared tried so hard so hold on to his hate but found himself falling deeper and deeper in love with Tate instead. When he's not being an ass though, Jared can be sweet, funny and protective.
But what I like best about this book was that despite showing us Jared's atrocious experience at the hands of his father, it was never used as a vehicle to justify Jared's action. In fact, this book shows how illogical Jared's thought process was when it comes to Tate. So if you read this book searching for more answers as to why, you might be disappointed. But that doesn't mean Jared didn't redeem himself. He did. But he redeemed himself by actually admitting it and not because we get a clear cut explanation on why he bullied Tate.
“There are times when we can blame a situation on others, but we own our reactions to them. There comes a point where we are the ones responsible for our choices and excuses don’t carry weight anymore.”
The only thing I didn't like about this book is KC. Yeah. Sorry, but I really didn't buy that making Liam jealous angle. As if she didn't enjoy Jared's attention. *Roll eyes* Okay. So I'm a little jealous of the skank but can you really blame me?
ARC is provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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Read my review for Bully HERE!
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 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 that his son was hot, and three years later they were 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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