Release Blitz/Blog Tour/Giveaways: Misconduct: Penelope Douglas

Penelope Douglas
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Release Date: December 1, 2015
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Former tennis player Easton Bradbury is trying to be the best teacher she can be, trying to reach her bored students and trying to forget her past. What brought her to this stage in her life isn’t important. She can’t let it be. But now one parent-teacher meeting may be her undoing…

Meeting Tyler Marek for the first time makes it easy for Easton to see why his son is having trouble in school. The man knows how to manage businesses and wealth, not a teenage boy. Or a young teacher, for that matter, though he tries to. And yet…there is something about him that draws Easton in—a hint of vulnerability, a flash of attraction, a spark that might burn.

Wanting him is taboo. Needing him is undeniable. And his long-awaited touch will weaken Easton’s resolve—and reveal what should stay hidden… 

Attendees laughed and danced inside, while the two of us, alone in the cold night with only a few other people lounging around the large balcony, carried on with our stolen moment.

“I should really get back, though,” I suggested, pulling away.

My brother was no doubt looking for me.

But he reached out and grabbed my hand, narrowing his eyes. “Not yet,” he urged, looking behind me toward the ballroom.

I stopped, not making a move to take away my hand.

He stood in front of me, his chest nearly touching mine.

“You’re right,” he whispered, his breath falling over me. “I don’t really like a lot of those people, and they don’t really know me.” His voice turned hoarse. “But I like you. I’m not ready to say good night yet.”

I swallowed, hearing the soft trickle of a slow jazz tune drifting out from the ballroom.

“Dance with me,” he commanded.

He didn’t wait for a response.

Sliding a hand around my waist, he guided me in, and I sucked in a sharp breath, my body meeting his for the first time.

Raising my arms, I put my right hand on his shoulder and my left hand in his as I let him lead me in a small circle, remaining in our own small, private space. Chills broke out down my arms, but I didn’t think he noticed.

I let my eyes fall closed for a moment, not understanding what made him feel so good. My hands tingled and my legs felt weak.

There was rarely ever a time when I felt drawn to a man. I’d felt attraction and passion, and I’d enjoyed sex, but I’d never opened myself up to someone long enough to connect.

Now I found myself not wanting this evening to end any way other than in his arms.

That’s where I wanted this to go. I didn’t need his name, what he did for a living, or his family history. I just wanted to be close to someone and feel good, and maybe that would be enough to satisfy me for the next few months until I needed someone again.

Shaking my head slightly, I tried to clear my thoughts.

Enough, Easton. He was good-looking and interesting, but I didn’t see anything in him that I hadn’t seen in any other man.

He wasn’t special.

Looking up, I asked, “You’re not enjoying the party, so what would you rather be doing right now?”

He shot me a small, sexy smile. “I like what I’m doing right now.”

I rolled my eyes, covering up how much I also liked him holding me close. “I mean, if not this?”

He twisted his lips, looking me over like he was thinking. “I’d be working, I guess,” he answered. “I work a lot.”

So he’d rather be doing work than schmoozing and drinking at a Mardi Gras ball? I dipped my head, breaking out in a laugh.

“What?” He pinched his eyebrows together.

I met his eyes, seeing the confusion. “You prefer work,” I stated. “I can relate to that.”

He nodded. “My work challenges me, but it’s also predictable. I like that,” he admitted. “I don’t like surprises.”

I instantly slowed, nearly stopping our dance.

I said the same thing all the time. I never liked surprises.

“Everything else outside of work is unpredictable,” I added for him. “It’s hard to control.”

He cocked his head and brought his hand up to my face, running his thumb along my cheek.

“Yeah,” he mused, leaning in while his hand circled the back of my neck possessively. “But there are times,” he said softly, “when I like to lose control.”

I closed my eyes. Jesus.

“What’s your last name?” he asked.

I opened my eyes, blinking. My last name? I had kind of liked keeping specifics off the table. I didn’t even know his first name yet.

“Easton?” he pressed.

I narrowed my eyes. “Why do you want to know that?”

He stepped forward, charging me slowly and pushing me backward. I had to keep backing up so as not to fall. “Because I intend on getting to know you,” he said. It sounded like a threat.


“Because I like talking to you,” he shot back, his voice thick with a laugh he was holding in.

I hit the wall behind me and stopped, glancing over at the people sitting at the table across the balcony.

He closed the remaining distance between us and dipped down until his face was a couple of inches from mine.

I locked my hands behind my back, instinctively tapping the wall with my fingers and counting in my head. One, two, three—

“Do you like me?” He cut me off, a playful tilt to his lips.

I couldn’t keep the smile off my face. I turned my head, but I knew he saw it anyway.

“I don’t know,” I answered casually. “You might be too much of a gentleman.”

The corner of his lips curled, looking sinister, and he threaded his hand around the back of my neck and through my hair, gripping my waist with the other and pressing his body to mine.

“Which means I’m still a man, only with more skill,” he whispered against my lips, making my breath shake. “And there’s only one place I won’t be careful with you.”

Easton Bradbury and Tyler Marek are two people who are stubborn, outspoken, opinionated, independent minded, and need control. She is his son's high school history teacher and he is a wealthy, successful politically minded business owner.

Easton has lived in the public eye and has issues as a result. She lives a fairly solitary existence, is guarded, and does not do relationships. She is intelligent, quick tempered, sarcastic, and excited about starting her new career.

Tyler is bold, intriguing, controlled, wealthy, and thrives on success. He has political aspirations and lives in the public eye. He is also now acting as a full time father to his fourteen year old son for the first time. 

Their interactions are intriguing, challenging, volatile, and sexually charged. Acting on their attraction constitutes a forbidden romance due to career, political, and family consequences. But it is alluring, dangerous, and addictive.

They tumble into a forbidden frenzy of sexual tension, temptation and addiction. They push and challenge each other. They fight for dominance. They flirt, fuss fight, f***, and then feel regretful and guilty. But these two people who thrive on control, make each other lose it. He helps quiet her tendency to overthink and she shakes his usual controlled dominance and fierceness. But actions have consequences and they are trying to fly under the radar and avoid detection.

Even though I enjoyed their banter, sometimes I  felt the aloofness and distance of the characters. They were both closed off emotionally. He could really be an a$$ and she was equally stubborn. I was frustrated with them, but liked seeing their more vulnerable sides. I really wanted to see more of that with their sharing and opening up versus finding info out from other sources. I wanted to see and feel them crack emotionally more. 

This is not only a complicated story between a man and a woman with the taboo subject of a parent and teacher, and a political minefield, but it is also about Tyler and his son, Christian. They were estranged and now Christian is thrust back into living with him as a teen, so it is also a journey for them to deal with anger, resentment, lack of communication and guilt. I enjoyed Tyler's attempts at figuring out how to be a father and could understand Christian's testing behavior.

It is about building trust, figuring out priorities, finding out what you need versus what you want. Easton has to face her past, her fears, and her learn to open up. Tyler was such a strong, persistent personality that he took her on and pushed through her walls, but then he was left trying to figure out if he could handle it in his life.  There were complications, secrets, drama, and difficult choices. Their worlds were colliding and they were riding the wrong side of the line of inappropriate and appropriate. And  it made it scarier now that they had someone to lose.

It was told in alternating dual points of view. The overall tone was antagonistic, adversarial, illicit and almost overwhelming at times. There was a connection, chemistry and sexy times, but for a lot of the book it was angsty, angry, and full of tension. There were a few things plot wise that I was not sure how I felt about. And sometimes I wanted the negativity to end and just be positive for a while. But all of their challenges just did not seem to allow it.

I enjoyed her teaching methods and felt that it was creative,  but at times it also detracted a bit from the romance during some of the explanations. Her relationships with her students added depth to the story. The political background and her previous history also added layers and drama. There were some surprises. I liked the side characters of his angry son Christian, brother Jay and her brother Jack. Overall it was a compelling, steamy, sarcastic, intense read that ended up with some good messages.

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review. 

I’m so excited for you to meet this couple, especially since I adored the hell out of Easton and Tyler. This couple takes us on a thrilling ride through the tantalizing world of taboo. Their journey provides a unique twist on the student/teacher trope. Misconduct focuses on the off-limits and unethical angle of a teacher dating her student’s parent. The forbidden lies within the consequences and damages their relationship has on their lives. 

*Sigh* Tyler’s commanding presence and dominance will have you throwing your panties to the wind. Seriously, this man was sex on a stick. I LOVED everything about him, even when he was being a d***. 

Easton’s determination, loyalty, and dedication made her a pretty wicked protagonist. Even on her bad days, she radiated a mixture of class and sassiness. She stood head to head with Tyler and held her own. All I can say without spoiling anything is let the sparks fly!! 

Speaking of sparks, I couldn’t get enough of these two. I loved the intricate details with which Douglas wrote their characters; it made it easy to relate to them on multiple levels. Easton and Tyler’s relationship went beyond the forbidden and into the land of want vs need. It soon became more about their love and the trials and tribulations that go with navigating its mine field. 

Tyler and Easton were full of steamy, set your sheets on fire, chemistry. The connection between them lit up the pages; there were moments, I expected my phone to catch on fire. Their intensity and delectable charisma left me absolutely breathless. Between that and the antagonizing, witty banter, and flirtations, I was thoroughly hooked, line and sinker.

In classic Penelope fashion, her writing will have you so engaged and entwined with her characters that you won’t be able to step away from the push and pull unfolding right before your eyes. I was so wrapped up in Douglas’ rich depth and vivid descriptions that I myself between the pages, devouring every word. 

As you can see, I liked Misconduct A LOT, but there were also moments I struggled a bit with it. Part of those struggles had absolutely nothing to do with the author’s writing ability, her writing is no less exquisite, but I had to mention it since it did affect my thoughts and feelings.

One of my hang ups was the small issue I had with certain characters and how their roles played out. At first, each seemed to emanate great promise, but after a while, it didn’t feel as though they were utilized to their full potential causing the resolutions to feel somewhat flat. In turn leaving me wanting, frustrated, and confused. I truly didn’t understand their true purpose or what their character brought to the table. Due to this, it had me wishing they’d been better fleshed out.

My other hang up came directly from reading Corrupt right before hand. Reading these books back to back had its advantage and disadvantage. Two totally different books. Two completely different feels. With that said, there were also similarities. This is where things turned into a double edged sword for me. These similarities sometimes made it hard to differentiate my thoughts and emotions between them individually. 

A certain phrase, scene, or even personality trait would pull me out of Misconduct and throw me right back into Corrupt, and when that happened it would take me a few seconds to switch gears and focus back on Misconduct. At the same time those certain phrases, scenes, and personality traits made me appreciate the hell out of the writing in this book. I think if I read this first I might have thought differently about their indecisiveness. Those quirks made me more tolerant of issues that might normally drive me insane; for instance, my patience lately is very short for long standing internal barriers between my protagonists. On the flip side of being annoyed, I found their antagonism and obstacles enticing and palpable. I viewed it more as a game of mental foreplay.

Misconduct was quite entertaining, well-written, and fast paced. Tyler and Easton will leave you hot and bothered, wanting to smack someone, as well as giggling your ass off and swooning at the same time. 

Definitely a book for my reread shelves!! 

Thank you, PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW, for the complimentary copy of Misconduct.
Penelope Douglas

Penelope Douglas is the author of the New York Times bestselling Fall Away series. She has her Masters of Science in Education from Loyola University in New Orleans and she currently lives in Las Vegas with her family.

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  1. Thanks for the post, and your thoughts I will definitely have to check it out! :)

  2. Great post. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!


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