Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Blog Tour: Excerpt, Author Interview, Review, and Giveaway for Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Penelope Douglas's Corrupt! I have so much to share with you, including an excerpt, teasers, an interview with Penelope herself and more!

Title: Corrupt
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: Dark | Erotica | Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 17, 2015
Tour Hosted by: As the Pages Turn



I was told that dreams were our heart’s desires. My nightmares, however, became my obsession.

His name is Michael Crist.

My boyfriend’s older brother is like that scary movie that you peek through your hand to watch. He is handsome, strong, and completely terrifying. The star of his college’s basketball team and now gone pro, he’s more concerned with the dirt on his shoe than me.

But I noticed him.

I saw him. I heard him. The things that he did, and the deeds that he hid…For years, I bit my nails, unable to look away.

Now, I’ve graduated high school and moved on to college, but I haven’t stopped watching Michael. He’s bad, and the dirt I’ve seen isn’t content to stay in my head anymore.

Because he’s finally noticed me.


Her name is Erika Fane, but everyone calls her Rika.

My brother’s girlfriend grew up hanging around my house and is always at our dinner table. She looks down when I enter a room and stills when I am close. I can always feel the fear rolling off of her, and while I haven’t had her body, I know that I have her mind. That’s all I really want anyway.

Until my brother leaves for the military, and I find Rika alone at college.

In my city.


The opportunity is too good to be true as well as the timing. Because you see, three years ago she put a few of my high school friends in prison, and now they’re out.

We’ve waited. We’ve been patient. And now every last one of her nightmares will come true.

Buy Links → Amazon + Amazon UK + B&N + Kobo + iTunes

• • • Excerpt • • •

I fell back to my feet and crept through my apartment as I listened to the pounding that had now become a steady attack. My feet followed the sound, stepping absently closer to it, and I finally pressed my ear against the wall leading to my hallway, my heart racing as the vibrations touched my skin. 

Resting my cheek against the surface, I swallowed the tight lump in my throat as the thumping against the wall grew faster and faster. 

There was someone over there. In the empty apartment. 

Holding up my phone, I dialed the office downstairs but got no answer. I knew there was a night manager named Simon Something-Or-Other, but I didn’t think many people were on duty at night. He must be away from his desk. 

I continued listening, wondering if I could ignore it and just wait until morning to ask the manager about it, but the further down the hall I travelled, the louder it got until I was standing next to the rear entrance. 

Opening up the door, I peeked my head into the hallway, holding the heavy steel exit open just enough to inspect. 

Glancing to my right, I saw a door just like mine. And then I heard a woman’s high-pitched cry ring out around me, and I started breathing harder. 

And then there was another cry. And another, and another, and…

Was she having sex? My mouth fell open as I tried not to laugh. 
Oh, my God. 

But I thought the place was supposed to be empty.

 I stepped out, knife in hand—just in case—and walked quietly down to the other door, glancing up and seeing small security cameras along the wall, probably installed when the apartments were built. 

Pressing my ear to the door, I listened, still hearing the thump, thump, thump of something hitting the wall, and the girl’s breathy cries over and over again. 

I folded my lips between my teeth, covering my smile with my free hand. 

But then the woman cried out. “No! Ah, oh, God! Please!”

And my face fell, hearing the fear in her voice. The short, shrill screams were now different. Panicked and scared, and her cries sounded struggled. My mouth suddenly went dry as I stood there listening. 

“Ah!” she cried out again. “No, please stop!”

I backed away from the door, not finding it funny anymore. 

But then something hit the door from the other side, making a loud thud, and I scurried backward. “Oh, shit,” I gritted out under my breath. 

I shot my head up to the cameras, now wondering if they fed to Security downstairs or to whoever was inside the apartment. Did they know I was out here? 

I spun around and dashed for my door, grabbing the handle and trying to twist it. 

But it was locked. “Dammit!” I mouthed. Fucking thing must lock automatically. 

Another thud hit the door, mere feet away from me—so close—and I darted my eyes over to it, my breathing turning fast and painful. 

I pulled on the door handle again, twisting and yanking, but it didn’t budge. 

Another thud hit the door, and I jerked upright, dropping the knife. 


I dived down to pick it up, but just then I heard the other door swing open, so I bolted down the stairwell, hiding behind the wall and forgetting about the knife. 


Screw this. Whoever was coming out of the vacant apartment was definitely someone I didn’t want to meet. I dashed down flight after flight, a cry lodged in my throat as fear gripped my chest. 

A pounding echoed above me, and I spared a quick glance upward, seeing a hand sliding down the railings as whoever it was jumped flights of stairs. 

Oh, my God. I raced down, one flight after the other, a drop of sweat gliding down my neck. The pounding was getting closer and closer, my legs about to give out as my exhausted muscles worked as fast as they could. I gasped, seeing the door labeled LOBBY. I yanked it open and burst through, looking behind me once again to see if he—or she—was behind me. 

But then I slammed into a wall, and I let out a small cry as hands gripped my upper arms.

I looked up and exhaled a breath, seeing Michael Crist towering over me, his eyes narrowed.    

“Michael?” I breathed out, frozen in confusion. 

“What the hell are you doing?” He arched a brow and set me back, away from him, and let go of my arm. “It’s after one a.m.”

I opened my mouth, but nothing came out. Why was he here?

He stood in front of an elevator, a different one than I had taken this morning, dressed in a black suit, looking like he’d just been at a club or something. A young brunette stood next to him, beautiful in a tight, navy-blue cocktail dress that fell mid-thigh. 

I suddenly felt exposed, dressed in my silk sleep shorts and black tank top, my hair hanging about, probably in tangles.   

“I…” I looked over my shoulder again, noticing that whoever had followed me down the stairs hadn’t come out the door yet. 

I twisted my head back, looking up at Michael. “I heard something up on my floor,” I told him. 

And then I shook my head, still confused. “What are you doing here?”

“I live here,” he shot back, and I immediately recognized that ever-present intolerant tone that he always used with me.  

“Live here?” I questioned. “I thought you lived in your family’s building.”

He slid a hand into his pocket and cocked his head, looking at me point-blank like I was stupid. 

I closed my eyes, expelling a sigh. “Of course,” I breathed out, realization hitting. “Of course. You’re the one who lives on the twenty-second floor.”

• • • Author Interview• • •

Guess who was really lucky and got to ask Penelope a few questions about the book and her writing? Thank you Penelope for taking the time to answer these questions!

  1. Corrupt is a departure from your famous Falling Away series and your other recent release Misconduct. Was it difficult to write this book after being immersed in two very different settings? 

No, not really. I was excited, and I loved exploring new territory. I wasn’t trying to do something different. It was just the story drawing me.    

  1. Corrupt is a long book, how long did it take you to write it?  
Right? It took a year to plan (while I was writing other books) and another 5-6 months to write. It was very long, and I even cut 15,000 words.   

  1. You have a large following of readers, how has the reaction to Corrupt been? 

From the messages, emails, and tweets, it’s been amazing! I’ve never gotten so much good feedback about a book. Now, on the other hand, I haven’t gone looking for feedback, either, so I can’t say what negative has been out there. But I’m definitely thrilled with what people have reached out to say.  

  1. I've got to say this book is one of the hottest ones you've written. Did you have any difficulty writing any of the more steamy scenes? 

Difficulty? No. I was ready, and those were things that wanted out for a long time. Now scared, on the other hand. YES! I was very scared of what people would say, of all the spoilers I knew would be leaked, and the hate. But I wrote MY book, and the amount of support has been great.  

  1. There are times in this book when characters push their limits morally, mentally, physically, etc. and I found it fascinating. Would you say that was one of the themes in Corrupt 

For the most part, yes. Pushing their limits is about power, and the rare moments in life when we actually feel powerful—like actually feel it—we love ourselves. We feel like everyone sees us, and we feel higher than the sky. Those moments don’t come along very often, and that’s what, I think, drew Rika to the horsemen. She wasn’t going to run, wasn’t going to hide, wasn’t going to bow down or bow out. That high she got standing up to them and spitting their shit back in their face was addictive. She liked it, and she wouldn’t have had it any other way. She wanted to keep that feeling, and Michael didn’t want to lose it.  

  1. Are there any characters or character traits you can identify with in Corrupt? 

Rika and her need to be seen, I guess. That desire makes us want to work harder and try to be better versions of ourselves.  

  1. There are a lot of elements in this book. How would you describe it to new readers? 

I just say dark romance. Some readers think dark equates rape and brutality, but this is more of a head game and power play.   

  1. Which characters in Corrupt had the loudest voices while you were writing?  

Rika and Damon. They were both alluring.  

  1. Were any characters "difficult" when you were writing? As in did any of them hijack your plans for the story and change them? 

Actually, no. Good question. That’s happened in the past, but this was planned out, and the only difficulty I had was not making Kai more of a challenger to Michael. I felt like he and Rika had more of a connection than I let on, but I didn’t want this to be a love triangle, so I had to reel Kai and Rika’s interactions in a bit.  

  1. Were there any scenes you found you had difficulty writing? 

One, but it was deleted during edits. The scene with Alex and Rika in the bedroom went further than in the final cut of the book, but it felt like something I was forcing rather than something Rika would normally do, so I cut it back.  

  1. Any plans in the future for books featuring characters we met in Corrupt? 

No plans. Just ideas for now.  

  1. How much of what you wrote in Corrupt was edited out? Would you be willing to share deleted scenes in the future? 

There will be two deleted scenes released during the blog tour.  

  1. As a fan of all your books and a collector, I know many ask this question. Is there an Aflame paperback in the works? I for one am totally down to sign a petition asking for one! 

No plans yet. The publisher would like to see how Bully and Until You fare during the re-release and then they will address a possible Aflame print.  

  1. You've had a very busy 2015, releasing 4 books this year. Do you have anything scheduled for 2016? 

Nothing scheduled yet!! But I will definitely be writing. Stay tuned! 

• • • Review • • •

★★★★★ stars

Ever read a book and just be stunned when you're finished? As in, "Whoa that was amazing!"? I totally had that feeling once I'd finished reading Corrupt.  It really felt like I read it too quickly, devouring the story, especially after waiting for it for a very long time. However, the wait was worth it, as Penelope Douglas totally delivered on her promise of a fantastic story.

Corrupt really is the tale of Erika "Rika" Fane and her pushing her boundaries. She's always had it all except for the attention of the one thing she wants most, Michael Crist. Until she has it but for all the wrong reasons. I liked Rika. She's a good girl at heart who just wants to be a little adventurous and live a little. I was really surprised and admired how she adapted to the scenarios she found herself in, both as a young teen and then as an older one. I loved how mentally strong she was when faced with the challenges and fear the four horseman caused her. I even loved how determined she was to move on with her life and leave the love she had for Michael behind.

Michael was an enigma when it came to how he felt about Rika. I could totally see why Rika was so infatuated with him. He did have this air of confidence about him that made him really attractive. If it wasn't for chapters told exclusively from his point of view, I think he would've remained a total mystery. And let me tell you, I loved being in his head. I loved the way Michael was with Rika. Not only did he help her figure out what she wanted in a way, he never let up on her. When others coddled her or sheltered her, Michael pulled Rika front and center into the melee. I even loved how he didn't let the fact Rika was supposed to be with his younger brother get in his way. 

Michael and Rika have an explosive chemistry that's almost palpable. I could feel it build between them to the point where I was just waiting for them to go at it. I loved seeing them together. While Michael may have pushed Rika to figure out what she wanted, Rika too tested Michael's control and his need for revenge. I also love Michael's chemistry with his best friends, Kai, Will, and Damon. Those four had it all too and I loved how they had the all for one and one for all mentality. While I didn't like they were trying to get revenge for their own actions, I understood why they thought they needed it. I would absolutely love to read about the other horsemen. They led interesting lives before going to prison and afterwards too. I'd love to see what kind of men they've become and the type of woman they would fall for.

Penelope Douglas has described Corrupt as a dark romance. However I would say this isn't the typical dark romance that can be found on the market today. Corrupt certainly has darker romantic elements than Penelope's other novels, but then again she's always had different and interesting stories. I really loved Corrupt. I loved the format of going between the present and the past to get the whole story from both Rika and Michael's points of view. I loved the fast pace of the story and how I couldn't get enough even when my chest was tight and I was afraid to turn the page. I loved how I couldn't guess what was going to happen next. I was literally just along for the ride. 

There's a lot more to be said about this book than just the romance between Rika and Michael, but doing so would take away from the reading experience. So my suggestion is that you read this book. You can find out for yourself how hot, interesting, and amazing it is. Just know that this book is everything you were hoping for and nothing like you were expecting. Penelope Douglas has given her readers the best story possible. You can see her growth as an author and I hope she continues to write stories like Corrupt and push her own limits as well as those of her readers. 

*Thank you to the publicist for providing a copy 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!
  • (1) Signed copy of Corrupt + $100 Amazon or B&N gift card, winner's choice (Intl)
  • (2) $20 Amazon or B&N gift card, winner's choice (Intl)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This sounds so good! I've never read this author but the sound of this unique dark romance is definitely intriguing. Great Review, adding this to my own TBR list right now!

    1. It is really good! If you like your romance a little different, with a dash of dark I'd strongly recommend you check out Corrupt. Penelope's most popular series is her new adult contemporary Falling Away series that starts with Bully. It's not light per se, but it's not as suspenseful as Corrupt. And thank you so much for your kind words! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! :)



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