First of all I just want to explain how I'm reviewing these books. I have still yet to finish this series and read books 2 & 3 even though they're high on my list to read next. But this post is predominately my reviews and feelings for Tate & Jared and what they went through to get their Happy Ever After, I just love their intensity and love for each other even when it started out as a love/hate relationship. But this NA/NA series is hands down one of my favorites in this genre and Penelope Douglas soon became a Top Favorite author of mine after reading Bully. I reviewed Bully back in 2013 on Goodreads but because I now feel that I lived, breathed and loved this couple I wanted to share my thoughts with you as they are now complete.
Enjoy Katy xo
5 Consuming & Surprisingly Good Stars!!
There's a fine line between LOVE and HATE isn't there??
Jared and Tate have been friends, close friends for a long time, they live next door to each other and they loved each other. Then one summer Jared went to meet his father and he came back a different person.
He became a Bully
He decided to be mean, cruel and isolate Tate....
Definition of a Bully: To use superior strength of influence to intimidate someone, typically to force him or her to do what one wants
And this is what Jared goes onto do for the next few years!!
Tate has decided to take a year out and go to France to study and to also have a breather. In that time she becomes a bit stronger and comes back to have her final year at school, wanting to get on and gain the results she needs move forward with her life.
So she goes onto her final year at school and the bullying continues...
There are many 'Cringe' moments and I was worried how the story was gong to progress at the beginning but as time goes by I loved it more and more and realized this is about two people who are in pain!!
"You're already made me cry countless times." I raised my 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."
I loved Tate I found her to be strong, stubborn and she held her own. She's been through a lot these past few years and she's heard every snide comment before, she's been weak and rose above it all, she's now learning to fight back.
He's HOT, and a bad boy with that comes a past, he's not had the best upbringing and has felt pain, so although I DO NOT condone bullying I can see why he did what he did. When we're in pain we want to hurt the people that we're closest to and we want them to go through it with us. But I hands down loved him throughout this story even though I shouldn't really.
In the end all comes full circle and in pain comes healing and love and friendship and they eventually learn to open-up and heal together.
I found this story to be surprisingly good and is now one of my favourites of 2013. Even though it's classed as a YA I would lean more towards NA as there's a lot of steam and even though Jared was bullying Tate and including his friends to do so there was Chemistry between these characters.
"I want to touch you." His words were against my lips now. "I want to feel what's mine. What's always been mine."
Yesterday lasts forever. Tomorrow comes never. Until you.
This is a very good story and on a personal level I was bullied at high school myself and was slightly nervous to read this. I was bullied because I was quiet and timid so what I'm saying is this author has done a fantastic job at highlighting an issue that needs to be addressed across the globe!! I am for one nervous for my own children's time at high school as it should be one of the best times of our lives but many a time its not.
An emotional story about love, forgiveness and healing which consumed me from Page 1.
"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow had not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin."
Alright this is AMAZING! What I will say is if you've read Bully you definitely need to read this. I will also say I'm not greatly keen on reading the same story but different pov's, in my case too many books too little time. Bully spoke to me in many ways, it will definitely hold a place in my heart and although Jared's story goes over certain points that were in Bully, this is 100% Jared's story. This is not his POV but really his life, his relationship with his father, his brother, his mother and definitely why he hurt Tate. His love for her and why he felt he needed to protect her!!
Go read people 5+++++ Stars for me!
5+++++ AMAZING Stars
Ok first off I adored Bully, I got it for free before I even knew about this author. I just picked it up from the recommendations that got shared at the time and I just went into the unknown. Lets say it blew me away. I was so effected by Bully I stayed up late and it made me think, made me FEEL,
therefore when there are novellas on this couple I would stop anything to read more of Jared and Tate.
At the end of Bully you get a HFN feel and although I was happy to see them happy I'm overjoyed to read this cause in Aflame we get a HEA. Maybe it wasn't all sweet and lovely but that isn't them, this really was the icing on the cake 'for me' it was what was needed. It was a journey they both needed to go through they had to ride the pain out to get their ending. Not sure I'm making sense here but for me this really gave me the complete ending for them to be whole.
Tate knew what she wanted to be and where she was going and Jared didn't, he didn't get that chance growing up the way he did, therefore here in Aflame this is where Jared felt he needed to go and find himself its how he knew he couldn't stay in their hometown and just pretend that everything was ok when it wasn't. You could get annoyed with Penelope for making these characters go through it all over again when we felt that everything was ok but in reality Jared wasn't happy so to me its what was needed.
And that was it. No more talking, no more arguing, no more denying what couldn't be changed..... I only lived in her orbit, and I would die there, too. There was no choice to be made.
What I Enjoyed•I enjoyed them as MEN and WOMEN and not children anymore, mature and stronger, Individually and as a couple.
•I thought that Jared's career helped him to grow as a person and made him a wiser man, made him stand on his own two feet. He as a young man had to be strong for his brother and as a teen learn to live independently concerning his mum but he didn't know who is was and to me this really shone though on the pages he was stronger, wiser and much more put together as a MAN.
•Tate has been through the pain has been hurt and is hurting but there's only one person for Tatum Brant and that's Jared. They are Intense as ever but Tate knows who she is, she is feisty but not over the top, just in that playful way she is when you love someone. Jared just brings it out of her and in turn she fights to be stronger its all she's known yet its her learning to fight for her man, here we see that.
•Jared what a sweetheart he is, in Bully you probably didn't like him that much or maybe you did? Here he fights and works hard to learn who Tate is again, to find out who this new Tate is, a much more mature lady she's become. How he takes his time to gain her TRUST again and in turn to see how Tate remembers how much she loves Jared.
•Tate went oversees to get stronger in school and Jared never had that so I can totally see why the author did what she did, Jared needed this time to find him away from his girl in all honesty he loved her too much to see what he needed for himself now he knows and now he's come to GET HER, even if that's not how it started out.
All in all it was a perfect ending to Jared and Tate, it was fasted paced, intense but loving and romantic too. I will FOREVER keep them close to my heart ALWAYS. If you love friends to lovers YA/NA reads this a definite page turner and I highly recommend it.