Bully (Fall Away #1)
By Penelope Douglas
Originally Published February 18th, 2014
Single POV, First Person
Bully romances are not for everyone. Considering most published have some kind of author's note/warning saying they don't condone the actions in their book etc. That scares people, and worst, others condemn readers who do like a bit of dark to their romances, especially when so many BR and Reverse Harem are usually written featuring high school students (from the outside looking in, that can seem creepy when there is so much smut in this genre, but I swear it's not creepy). Alas, I am not one of those assholes and I say enjoy any book you like, because it is fiction, people! For Bully Romance, anytime a friend or one of you lovely people online asks where to start, I know it can be a daunting thing to step through the Dark Romance door, and I always say start with Bully by Penelope Douglas.
Bully, in my opinion, opened the door for BR to be a publishable thing. Yes, most BR or Reverse Harem these days is indie published, but I believe if Penelope Douglas hadn't mixed the cement, the road would never had been paved. Is it the first BR to ever be written? No. But, without fail, BR readers always include it on their list and hail it as THE original BR.
Bully follows Tate and her journey to overcoming her bully Jared. They used to be best friends, but something happened summers ago, something she's never been able to figure out, and he turned on her, hates her. Well, she hates him back and refuses to let him bully her during their Senior year. What ensues is a sexually charged, tensions filled, angsty, forbidden page-turner that will make you laugh, roll your eyes, and blush. Secrets are revealed, tears are shed, and mayhem ensues.
Bully is an easy read and an excellent gateway book into slightly twisted romances, especially Bully Romance. Penelope Douglas is a fun author who always features badass girls and dark broody boys with issues. The genre, and this book, are about redemption, growth, love, and mutual desires. Bully is light compared to other BR I've read, so if you've ever been curious to see if this genre would be something you'd like, give it a go. Most BR has the same tropes: mean boy, feisty girl, a push-and-pull between them, and most have some kind of dubious consent. Bully does not have that last one, it's all very clear lines, but I simply say this to warn you what you're getting yourself into if you do enjoy the angsty read and want more. Bully is the first in the Fall Away series. You do not have to read the others, they are connected but with different characters or years in the future for these characters. I read Bully as if it is a standalone and am quite content to do so with my rereads even having read the others in the series.
If you're looking for something easy, fun, angsty, and spicy, give Bully a go--give Bully Romance a try!