Release day is finally here! All the excerpts and teasers from Misconduct have ratcheted my excitement level to unbearable as I'm sure yours have been too! I have a new excerpt for you all to read as well as a giveaway you won't want to miss!
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Organized by: As the Pages Turn
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…
(*STANDALONE, NO CLIFFHANGER*)
“Good morning. Tyler Marek’s office,” a woman’s pleasant voice chirped. “How can I help you?”
My heart pounded in my ears, and I could feel the pulse in my neck throb. I held back, almost wishing he wasn’t in his office after all.
I needed time to calm down.
But I swallowed and pushed forward anyway. “Yes, hello,” I rushed out.
“Easton, keep your cool,” I heard my brother warn from my side.
I bit my lip to keep the anger out of my voice. “I’m Easton Bradbury calling for Mr. Marek,” I told her. “I’m sure he’s not in today, but—”
“Just a moment, please,” she interrupted, and disappeared.
I sucked in a breath, realizing that he was in after all.
“Marek?” my brother asked. “Tyler Marek?”
I glanced at him, arching an eyebrow in annoyance.
“Easton, get off the call,” Jack ordered.
His arm shot out, trying to grab the phone, but I slapped his hand away.
“Watch the road!” I barked, pointing at the street ahead.
“Easton, I’m serious,” he growled. “Tyler Marek has a workforce of more than ten thousand people. He may be a senator, for crying out loud. It isn’t your place to argue with him.”
I shot him a look. My place?
My brother was worried about his career, but I didn’t care who Marek was. He was still a man.
Nothing but a man.
I turned my head away from my brother, suddenly hearing Marek’s voice in my ear.
Thick anticipation filled my chest, and I dropped my eyes, disappointed that I was actually excited.
“Mr. Marek,” I replied curtly, remembering why I had called. “I received your e-mail, and I’d love to . . .” I trailed off, wiping the sweat off my hairline. “I’d love to schedule a meeting to sit down and work out a plan for Christian.”
“We’ve already met,” he pointed out, his voice clipped. “And it was not a productive use of my time, Ms. Bradbury.”
I tried reasoning. “Mr. Marek, we both want what’s best for your son. If we work together—”
“Ms. Bradbury.” He cut me off, and I could hear people talking in the background. “Apparently I wasn’t clear enough in my e-mail, so let me save us both some time. My son has no problems with any other teacher, so it goes without saying that you’re the problem.” His stern voice cut me, and I felt like shrinking. “You suffer from an overindulged sense of entitlement, and you forget that your job is on a yearly contract.”
My eyes widened, taking in his threat that my job this year could belong to someone else next year. I fisted the hem of the skirt at my thigh.
“Now, I’m a busy man,” he continued, sounding condescending, “and I don’t have time for silly young women who don’t know their place.”
My skin stung from where my fingernail dug in. His son didn’t have problems with me. Perhaps I graded harder than other teachers, and I might have had unorthodox methods, but most of the students enjoyed my class, including Christian. When he participated. If he ever challenged me, it was because his father wouldn’t allow him the freedom to have the tools to participate like all the other students.
“Now, can I get on with my day and consider this issue settled?” he sniped.
Heat spread over my skin, and I bared my teeth. “You can go to hell,” I shot back, raging. “No wonder he can’t stand you.”
“Easton!” Jack burst out next me.
But it was too late. My eyes widened, and my hand tingled, nearly losing grip on the phone.
What the hell did I just say?
★★★★ 3/4 stars
I don't know what it is about this book that drew me initially. I think it was the combination of the fact it was about a couple who really couldn't be and the fact it was written by an author whose previous series I absolutely adored. Whatever the reason, it ended up being the story and characters that hooked me and kept me enthralled as I read this book. At the end, Misconduct was everything I was hoping it'd be.
Easton Bradbury is one tough woman. She's faced a lot in her 23 years and has decided to undergo a career change and become a teacher. She's ready for the challenges her new job will bring, but underestimated the amount of trouble a parent can cause. I really liked Easton. Like I said she's tough. She says what's on her mind and is definitely not soft spoken. She's confident, intelligent, and beautiful, a lethal combination. Plus she's dedicated to making sure her students are learning and her job as a whole. Her attraction to Tyler is certainly unusual and unsettling, but that's something Tyler has to deal with too. I loved the relationship Easton had with her brother. They were really close and she really cared for him.
Tyler Marek is a self made man. He's looking to get into politics and can't have his attention diverted anywhere else, not even dealing with his son Christian who has to come live him or the problems he's having at school. Of course Tyler wants to make things better with Christian, but he's not comfortable with him. Tyler is a confident man, who knows how to get what he wants. He's used to giving orders and having them followed. Of course it doesn't work with Christian and it doesn't go over well with Easton either. Tyler wants Easton but knows his political aspirations and the fact Easton is his son's teacher aren't conducive to getting what he wants.
In the beginning I didn't really like Tyler. He came off as this guy who got what he wanted and didn't really care about others. He seemed old fashioned and narrow minded. Of course that was when he was sparring with Easton and she was telling the story from her point of view. That all changed when Tyler became the narrator. I was able to see where he was coming from and how he was feeling. I also loved it because it really showed his external appearance were actually a way of hiding his vulnerabilities like his son and Easton. I was able to understand the conflict he had about his undeniable feelings for Easton and his frustration about not being able to do anything about them.
Easton and Tyler have this contentious relationship. They start off as sort of adversaries. Neither one of them is willing to give an inch to the other in any matter. That animosity spills over into their attraction to one another and became this fireball that threatened to consume them both. I don't know what I enjoyed more, seeing Easton surprise Tyler with her refusal to do what he wanted when it came to teaching Christian, or watching the two of them together. I could almost feel the pages sizzling when they were sharing the same space and don't even let me get started on how it got when they started touching each other. Even though the two often butted heads about Christian, any thing that might happen between them, Tyler's political dreams, etc., I loved how they supported each other. I could really feel the connection between them.
There are other aspects to this story, besides Tyler and Easton dealing with their attraction, and Christian and Tyler trying to form a relationship after so many years of not having one, like Easton dealing with a tragedy from the past that is still haunting her. I can't tell you how surprised I was when identity of the culprit was revealed! I was so sure it was someone else. In fact, the way the entire situation was handled once the person responsible came forward is the only part of the book I didn't love. I wish there had been a more definitive punishment or ending to that part of the story. I do sort of feel like this left the story a little open ended, especially since the villain was such an integral part of the story and I certainly would not feel averse to having a novella or another novel featuring Tyler and Easton, or maybe even a book focusing on Christian.
Penelope Douglas really brought the heat in this book. Some of it was because of the forbidden nature between Tyler and Easton, and the rest was just because of the characters their own chemistry. I loved being in both their heads and experiencing everything they did. I loved how the different dynamics of family and friendship were showcased in this book, the importance they were given, and I also loved the way sensitive topics were handled. Sometimes the anticipation for an highly awaited book can let you down. If my laughter and racing heart beat count for anything, I can say with total sincerity this book lived up to all its promises. Penelope Douglas knows how to write passionate romances with angst and a touch of the forbidden, and she brings her gifts to this entertaining tale. I can't wait to see what she writes next!
*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*
About Penelope Douglas
Penelope Douglas is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Fall Away series.
She dresses for autumn year round, loves anything lemon flavored, and believes there is too much blood in her Coca Cola stream. Or too much Coca Cola in her blood stream. Or...
You know what? It doesn't matter. She loves Coke. Now you know.
She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and daughter.
Enter the Giveaway
The following goodies are up for grabs. Good luck.
- (5) Signed copy of Misconduct (Intl)
- (3) $20 Amazon or B&N gift card, winner's choice (Intl)