Book Review: Next to Never by Penelope Douglas

Next to Never
Fall Away #4.5
Author: Penelope Douglas
Reading Level: New Adult
Genre: Romance
Released: January 17th 2017
Review Source: Berkley

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.

Penelope Douglas became an instant favorite of mine after I devoured Bully and the rest of the Fall Away series. So as soon as Next to Never was offered up to review, I jumped on the chance, I couldn’t wait to get back to some of my favorite characters. While I have read all of the Fall Away series I wasn’t aware of the future plans for writing about the children, so imagine my surprise while starting this book, ten minutes I start googling and get even more excited for future Penelope Douglas books. Next to Never is a catch up novella, a story within a story, a good segue to reintroduce the families, and all the children that are in high school now.

We’re first introduced to Quinn Caruthers, Jared’s mother and Madoc’s father’s daughter. Though this isn’t Quinn’s story she’s the one who receives a mystery book from an unknown sender and no return address. We dive into this mystery book right along with Quinn and get a story I didn’t know I needed until I was hit with it (I’ll let you discover it on your own). Quinn starts to learn more about her family, her brothers, and finally what she wants to do. We also get to meet all of the kids from our Fall Away couples, Douglas provides a family tree (I may have had to check it out a time of two). Furthermore it makes you anticipate the next series even more, there’s definitely a couple of those kids I can’t wait to see what they get into, especially after having Jax, Madoc, and Jared as their fathers.

Any fans of The Fall Away series should pick this up and if you’re not aware of The Fall Away series, what are you waiting for?! Get on it. It’s intense, the feels are there, good and bad, and everything you need in a good angsty romance. I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on Quinn’s story, I don’t know if that was Douglas’ intentions, but it worked. Hook, line, and sinker.

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