By: Penelope Douglas
WARNING – SPOILER ALERT!
Aflame was the perfect ending to the intense, passionate and exhilarating love stories of the Fall Away series. As we know Jared leaves Tate in order to figure out what he wants in life, but in order for him to do this, his relationship with Tate is left in tatters and both are left heartbroken.
“I don’t want to hurt you. Just sit down, so we can talk. I can’t leave you like this.”
“And I won’t let you stay. You need to be free? Then go. Get out.”
The book sets the scene at two years later. With Jared as a professional motorbike racer and Tate on her way to becoming a doctor we understand that Jared and Tate have been apart with no contact for two years, we also learn that Jared hasn’t been anywhere near home in this time. It is not until his mum calls him announcing she is having a baby and she wants him there for the delivery, does he even contemplate going home.
Being lured in with the knowledge that Tate is in Italy, Jared finally makes his way to Shelburne Falls. For Jared going home means he needs to patch up his relationships with all the people he was close with, his mother, brother and Madoc. What he isn’t prepared for is seeing Tate and by seeing Tate he realises that somehow everything seems the same, but it is all very different.
“The players might be the same Jared, but the game has changed.”
Now that Jared and Tate are very well aware of each other’s presence, we now witness how two paths become one. Having access to both sides of the story we see how Tate’s mission has been to become an independent woman and figure out who she is without Jared, whereas Jared’s mission has been to never forget about Tate.
“I’d never planned on letting her go. Not really.”
As the story continues, we realise this isn’t a book where we are worried if Jared and Tate will get back together but rather, we want to know when. Riding a roller coaster of emotions, Jared and Tate go to war not only with each other but more than often themselves. The book takes us on a journey of emotional contradictions, heartache, confusion but above all else, passionate, never ending and life altering love.
“As my friend, I liked you. As my enemy, I craved you. As a fighter, I loved you and as my wife, I keep you. Forever.”
“When you left me the first time, I was devastated. And when you left me the second time I was defiant. But both times I regret. I always fought with you instead of fighting for you, and if I commit to doing one thing differently for the rest of our lives, Jared it would be to make sure you always know that I will fight for you. Forever.”
Aflame is not only Jared and Tate’s happily ever after, Penelope Douglas does an amazing job at giving us complete closure, when it comes to our favourite characters. We see the remarkable relationships, friendships and bonds that have been formed throughout this series, continue to get stronger and flourish. Knowing everyone is living life to the fullest and at their happiest, makes it easier to say goodbye.
Aflame reminds us the importance of being your own person but remembering there are people in the world that will be there and love you; always.