Author: Penelope Douglas.
Release Date: AVAILABLE NOW!!
SYNOPSIS: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*)PURCHASE HERE:
Misconduct is the first Penelope Douglas book I've ever read that had me going back and forth on exactly how I felt about it. I'll admit that I didn't fall head over heels in love right away like I did with Bully, Falling Away and Corrupt. This story had to grow on me. It was a little slow going at first, but around the 35% mark, it pulled me in and I was hooked.
Infuriating. That's the first word that comes to mind when I think back on this story. Tyler Marek is arrogant, cocky, and absolutely infuriating. Honestly, I wanted to kick him in the face. Every word out of his mouth, every self-serving tactic had me spitting nails. I needed desperately to see this guy knocked down a peg. It's that love hate turmoil that reminds me again and again why I love this author.
Why am I such a Penelope Douglas fangirl, you ask? Its because I love jerks. The bigger the asshole, the better, as far as I'm concerned. I crave the pleasure pain of watching a leading man behave despicably, cruelly, unapologetically hurtful toward the girl he'll ultimately love beyond measure. I eat that shit right up as long as they grovel and grow, redeeming themselves of the heartache they've inflicted on their leading lady... And on me. Douglas' propensity for creating the jerks of my dreams... The Jared Trents, the Jaxon Trents, the Michael Crists, the Tyler Mareks of my literary fantasies is why she's an auto-read author for me. I AM her audience. I love angst, and pain, and uncertainty and characters I both love to hate and hate to love, all crafted together seamlessly with flawless writing against the backdrop of a refreshingly addictive plot. I know what I want in a sexy, angsty romance and Penelope Douglas delivers every. single. time.
I loved the build in this story, the mystery of Easton's past, the unpredictability of how this unethical relationship would play out, the building attraction between two people who couldn't be more wrong and more right for each other. I think I'm a reader that is simply drawn to uncertainty and taboo and the delicious anticipation in a story like Misconduct. In that respect, this story was stellar. There were, I felt, some things left unsaid in this story, many issues left unresolved, conversations I longed to hear never transpiring. I suppose that's not a bad thing, allowing the reader to formulate their own ideas about what may have happened with certain side characters, allowing the reader to think about this story far after the last page, allowing for further discussion and speculation. For me, it felt a little unsettled, a little rushed. I came away both satisfied and unsatisfied with those untied loose ends. Minor flaws aside, Misconduct was an enjoyable page turner rife with lust and angst, suspense and familial drama, gripping romance and intrigue that had me consumed.
“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?
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.