Series: A Fall Away Novel, Book #1
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 17, 2013
Tour Organized by: As the Pages Turn
My name is Tate. He doesn't call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all. No, he'll barely even speak to me.
But he still won't leave me alone.
We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. I've been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to stay out of his way. I even went to France for a year, just to avoid him.
But I'm done hiding from him now, and there's no way in hell I'll allow him to ruin my senior year. He might not have changed, but I have. It's time to fight back.
*This novel contains adult/mature young adult situations. It is only suitable for ages 18+ due to language, violence, and sexual situations.
**This book is the first in a series but can be read as a STAND ALONE. The next books will focus on side characters from this story.
Review—Bully by Penelope Douglas
“Jared walked into the kitchen, and I froze. He was exactly the person I’d hoped not to see tonight. His eyes met mine with surprise followed by immediate displeasure. Yep. I’m totally familiar with that look. The I-can’t-stand-the-fucking-sight-of-you-so-get-off-my-planet look.”
What can you do when the one person you used to love, suddenly hates your guts? Tatum Bryant has had enough of the abuse she has put up with at the hands of Jared Trent. After a year spent in France, she has finally decided enough is enough and is fighting back. But how far will she go to prove she isn’t going to take his (or his entourage’s) crap? No matter what has happened between them, Tate feels something for Jared; she can’t decide if it’s love or hate.
“During my year away, I had fought the urge to ask K.C. about him. Even after everything he’d done, part of me still missed that boy that was my waking thought and constant companion as a kid. But that Jared was gone now. In his place was a sour, hateful douchebag that had no regard for me.”
Tate essentially lives on her own. Because it is her Senior year in high school, her father (who is overseas) reluctantly agrees to allow Tate to be at home, alone, with only her estranged next door neighbor and ex-best-friend for company. One problem, Jared cannot stand the sight of Tate and after what he has put her through, she feels the same way. If she can just get through this last year relatively unscathed, Tate can go to college at Columbia and leave Jared, her little town, and sad past behind her.
“’You’ve already made me cry countless times.’ I raised my middle finger to him slowly, and asked, ‘Do you know what this is?’ I took my middle finger and patted the corner of my eye with it. ‘It’s me, wiping away the last tear you’ll ever get.’”
But when is enough, enough? Tate is so fed up with the constant bullying that she, herself, becomes one. This is how bullies are made. Jared unknowingly created a monster; and with every remark, he fed that monster until she snapped and started fighting back. This is how bullies are made. I couldn’t get that quote out of my head because it’s true. Tate became everything she hated about Jared. As much as I sided with her, it also broke my heart. Someone has to be really hurt in order to lash out at everyone they care about in the ways she and he did to one another…oh, how I loved finding the answers to those questions.
“After my disgusting behavior yesterday in class and the way I’d gotten sidetracked from my goals, I decided to give up the tough-girl act. His game was too hard, and I was turning into a person I didn’t like.”
I cannot tell you how the story ends for Jared and Tate. You ABSOLUTELY have to read that for yourself. I promise, you will not be disappointed. If you are, blame me. I truly thought this was a fabulous book and look forward to more. To me, this book speaks volumes more than just the story being told. This is something that happens in everyday life for so many people.
“What was happening in his head? And would I ever find out?”
I hope Bully finds the hands of people who could really benefit from the message delivered. I got the message…loud and clear.
**5+ Tree-climbing in the Rain Stars**
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.
AUTHOR CONTACT INFO
Tate Shows Up At Party #1
Piper had come over to the party, uninvited, but I took what was offered.
Noise, activity, distraction.
Distraction from my father.
Distraction from the pull I felt coming from next door.
I grappled at Piper, looking for the magical body part that would get me zoned in. I peeled down the top of her dress, kneading her breasts, kissing her lips, but none of it brought me the peace I wanted.
I wanted Tate.
There was a fire in my chest, my brain, and every other part of my body for that girl.
But I wanted her to want me, too. And she never would.
I’m hoping Jared has forgotten all about me.
She’d never wanted me, just like my father never wanted me, and these people controlled me. Why? Why the hell did I give them so much power? I almost self-destructed over Tate after she left, and my father was still screwing with my life.
I grabbed Piper and hauled her up into my arms, carrying her to the bed. The peace would come when I was inside of her. Then, I would be happily lost.
I jerked my head st the pounding on the door.
“Go away!” I shouted as Piper unfastened my belt.
“That girl. Tate? She’s downstairs, man. You better get down there.”
And I fucking halted what I was doing and sat up.
“What the hell?” Why was she at my house? I looked at the alarm clock that read after midnight.
“What girl?” Piper still lay back on the pillows. “You’re neighbor that Madoc was talking about last night?”
I climbed off the bed. “Just get dressed,” I bit out. “I’m not feeling this tonight.”
“What?!” she screeched, clearly pissed.
But I didn’t stop to explain. I never did. Piper knew better.
Yanking the door open, my friend Sam waited in the hallway, hands in pockets and looking uncertain.
“Sorry, man.” He held up his hands. “Madoc’s got his hands all over her. Thought I should get you.”
Fucking little shit. I barreled past Sam and down the hallway, ready to stick my best friend’s head the toilet to wake him the fuck up. I was pretty sure he had a thing for Tate, but he was told, years ago, that she was off limits. And what the hell was she doing here anyway?
Coming down the stairs, I rounded the corner and immediately stopped, my stomach caving in as the air left me.
There she was.
She was so beautiful it hurt.
She was lost in thought, otherwise she would’ve seen me, too.
I pressed my hands above my head to either side of the doorframe. It was my way of trying to look casual, like I didn’t care. But honestly, I just needed the support to keep my legs from caving beneath me.
My heart thundered through my chest, and I wished like hell that I could pause this moment, so I could just look at her until the Earth fell apart.
Her hair was brighter, and her skin was darker, from being in the sun this summer I would assume, and her body had gotten more toned. More grown up. The shape to the back of her thighs had my mouth going dry. Her nose was still little, her skin still flawless, and her full lips all made her look like the perfect doll. And I never played with dolls, but I damn sure wanted to play with this one.
Right at that moment, I wanted everything from Tate. Everything. Her anger and passion, her hate and lust, her body and soul.
I wanted control of all of it.
I’m the one that haunts you. Not the other way around. My father invaded my head again. He and Tate were always there.
Neither of them wanted me, and both of them owned me.
But one of them I could control.