Published by NAL Misconduct on December 1st 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Fall Away series who never fails to deliver a “powerfully written contemporary love story…”*
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*)
Check out the steamy excerpt (I love how she calls him Mr. Marek!) and giveaway rafflecopter at the end of our review!
Lou: Misconduct felt like a NA romance with a political edge of scandal. I did enjoy this book, which was high on sexual tension that was really believable. I thought for a man in his thirties, Tyler Marek was immature and was on the same younger wavelength as Easton, who I believe was ten years younger than him. So in that regard they suited one another and Tyler wasn’t a perfect person by any means. One of his faults was his selfishness, which resulted in him having a very strained relationship with his son.
Easton and Tyler’s romance was very heavy on the hush hush because of both of their positions. I really liked Easton, who had a tragic past history, but I questioned her ethics as a teacher by becoming involved with a parent of one of her students at the very beginning of her career. She was so careful in other areas of her life–and while I understood that the whole conflict of the book was Easton’s and Tyler’s forbidden romance–it was hard for me to understand why she would risk her entire career for intense sexual chemistry. If Tyler wanted to, he had the means and power to ruin her career. So the power imbalance at first was an issue for me, especially when Tyler had no issues in making things difficult for Easton with her teaching methods.
Has: I thought that was a fantastic conflict along with their chemistry because it created an interesting dichotomy with their relationship and how they had to try to balance their professional and personal worlds from colliding. I also agree that I found Tyler in many ways immature, especially from the beginning of the book, but he was from a very privileged and powerful background so he always had things easy, even though he had learned from his mistakes. I liked that Easton made him work for things, especially for their relationship and in fact despite the power he held over her position as a teacher, she held the reigns in a lot of ways in their relationship. So I thought that evened things between them because he followed her lead sexually and emotionally and I also liked that she also helped him to realise the issues he had with his son, which was a good subplot that I also enjoyed.
Lou: Once I put my issues aside I got lost into the story and found myself once again loving Penelope Douglas’ engaging author voice. Douglas creates characters that are seriously flawed (Bully) but she has a super talent for storytelling. Easton and Tyler’s romance was seriously sexy and flirty. From a naughty scene in the classroom to Easton sneaking into his home, Misconduct really is an apt title for this book! Tyler’s relationship with his son was a big storyline and I found myself just as engaged with Tyler mending and building a relationship with Christian. Tyler screwed up with his son and missed out so much of his life but it wasn’t a perfect ride. It was hard and unforgiving and Tyler took it in his stride.
Easton is also a character that is flawed because she put her entire career in danger for Tyler, despite how hard she worked and how much she loved teaching. Another conflict between Tyler and Easton were her teaching methods, which was based upon using social media. At times I felt as if the social media method of teaching felt like a lecture so I wasn’t entirely keen on how long it went on for.
Has: I also felt there was a bit too much on the teaching methods towards the end but I thought it was an interesting element to Easton’s character and to the conflict she had with Tyler. But I really liked Easton’s character. She was prickly and independent and I really found her engaging. I also loved her scenes she shared with Tyler. She never backed down but faced her fears and problems and I liked that despite the repercussions with embarking on a relationship with Tyler, she never shied away from it. I thought it was an intriguing role reversal because Easton had doubts but she knew they shared something special. I was surprised by Tyler’s actions towards the end, even though he had good reasons behind it. But I liked how both characters learned from each other and developed throughout the book.
The only gripe I have with the book is with the suspense subplot, which was only got momentum in the last third half of the book. I would have liked more development on that because I thought it was a good plot, but it kind of fizzled into an afterthought and I didn’t fully buy into the twist either.
Lou: Yeah Easton was very purposeful in her actions, and despite some of the power balance, you are right that in many ways she was in control of their relationship. Easton had power over Tyler and it was forefront from the beginning of the book. Easton had such a strong personality and I loved that she was so independent after her life for so long in the past had been micro-managed and controlled. She was prone to temper at times but again, this goes back to Douglas creating characters that are relatable in many ways.
I was glad that Tyler did what he did in the end because he put the person who should be the number one priority in his life as number one. While he could have done it more tactfully, I’m glad the short break-up happened because common sense had to come into play at some point because of both of their careers and for Christian’s wellbeing. Yeah, the suspense part of the book was the weakest and it came out of no-where and left me really confused. There was no mention of what happened to this person in the end, which left me irritated. I also thought everything concluded too smoothly with Tyler and Easton’s conflict.
Despite some of my issues with Misconduct I enjoyed the romance a lot and both Easton and Tyler as characters. I hope Douglas returns to their lives so we can find out what happened to other characters, who shall remain unnamed because spoilers. I also thought it pretty smart that the political party Tyler was standing for was never mentioned, especially the state of politics we live in today.
I give Misconduct a B
Has: I thought Misconduct was a sharp, snappy romance with two fully fleshed out characters who had flaws as well as engaging traits that helped to make their romance come alive. I loved the sizzling chemistry and the personal and emotional plots, which I really enjoyed. Although l had a few issues with the suspense element of the story and like Lou, I would have liked some closure about that character because it was kind of left open ended/ Misconduct was a great sizzling romance with the hint of the forbidden.
I give Misconduct a B+
** Excerpt of MISCONDUCT by Penelope Douglas**
“Why you?” he questioned. “Why have I been thinking of you ever since that Mardi Gras ball?”
He pressed his body to mine, and I shook my head slowly.
“Mr. Marek,” I pleaded, but it was useless. My eyes fell to his mouth, and then I glanced to my closed door, knowing that even though the students were gone for the day, there might still be staff around. “Please.”
“There was something that drew us together that night,” he maintained. “Something that got under my skin, something that’s still there.”
His mouth was an inch from mine, and I breathed hard, needing to push him away, but at the same time, that was the last thing I wanted.
“Easton,” he whispered, and reached down behind my thigh, lifting it to press himself closer against me.
I groaned, feeling the ridge of his cock nestle between my legs.
“We can’t do this,” I told him.
My clothes felt like sandpaper on my skin, and I wanted them off. I wanted his shirt open and to know what he felt like under my fingertips.
“I know,” he answered.
But while his left hand held my knee up, his right hand slid between my legs and rubbed my clit through my panties.
I sucked in a sharp breath and clutched his shoulders, letting my eyes fall closed as my head floated away from me.
“Mr. Marek,” I begged.
But his breath fell against my mouth, and he whispered, “I told you there would be no stopping me when we finally ran into each other again.”
And before I could open my eyes, he’d captured my bottom lip between his teeth and then kissed me, sending me reeling until I didn’t know which way was up.
I couldn’t fight it. His tongue dove into my mouth as he pressed me against the whiteboard and kissed me hard. I circled my arms around his neck, knowing I was getting myself into a shit ton of trouble, but I didn’t care at the moment.
My body needed him. That’s all it was.
I wouldn’t get involved emotionally—I never did.
He grabbed me underneath both thighs and swung me around, planting my ass on the desk.
I groaned, his mouth working strong and fast over mine, stealing my breath as pleasure swarmed in my chest. It spiraled downward like a cyclone low in my belly.
I tightened my legs around his waist as his fingers slid under my dress, raking down my thighs.
I grabbed the back of his neck, cocking my head and returning every inch of his kiss. He tasted like coffee with vanilla, and I felt a hint of stubble on his face under my fingertips.
Dropping my hands down his body, I started unbuttoning his black vest. It was too thick, and I couldn’t feel him.
I pulled my mouth back, then dove back in to flick his tongue with mine.
“Jesus Christ,” he groaned, eating me up with quick kisses and nibbles. “Why does it have to be you, huh?”
I fumbled with the last button and finally tore open the vest, running my hands up his stomach and chest, covered only by his fine white dress shirt.
But even through the shirt, I felt the dips of his abs and pecs and of his toned waist and back.
Something screeched to my right, and I twisted my head to see the flailing branches of the tree outside scraping against the windowpane. The leaves blew, and I knew the storm would be here soon.
But I turned back to him, both of us breathing heavily, and I loved the storm in Tyler Marek’s eyes even more.
He slid his hands inside my panties and leaned his forehead into mine. I whimpered and grasped the back of his neck with both hands, my pussy throbbing at the thick ridge of his cock pressing against my leg.
He leaned down, his teeth nipping at my jaw as my eyes fluttered closed.
“Tyler.” I let my head fall back, craning my neck for his lips. “Mr. Marek, please stop,” I begged.
His hot breath fell across my ear, and I shivered.
“I thought about you all weekend,” he whispered. “How do you make me do that?”
I snatched up his lips again. I liked what he was telling me too much.
He grabbed the hair at the back of my head and pulled, exposing my neck again as he dived down and whispered against my skin, “When you walked in, dressed in that short little skirt, my fucking hands wanted these thighs”—he raked his fingers down my legs again—“almost as much as my mouth did,” he admitted.
I squeezed my eyes shut, the need becoming agony. “Mr. Marek,” I quaked. “Oh, God.”
I didn’t want to stop him, but . . .
I bit my bottom lip, feeling his fingers slide up and down my pussy, dipping and bringing out the wetness, spreading it over my clit.
And then whimpered, feeling two long fingers plunge inside of me.
“Shit,” I moaned, squirming against his fingers. “Please stop,” I pleaded. “Tyler, please.”
But he just added another finger, staring down and watching the pleasure of what he was doing spread across my face.
“Say it again,” he ordered.
I blinked, opening my eyes, even though his thumb rubbing circles on my clit was driving me wild.
“Tyler,” I said gently. “Please stop.”
His mouth curled into a smile, and he stole a kiss, nipping at my bottom lip. “You don’t want me to, do you?” he breathed out.
He increased his speed, flicking my clit faster and harder and curling the fingers inside of me, making me suck in air quicker and quicker and making me so needy I damn near gave in and begged to ride his cock.
“Tyler, oh, my God,” I cried, squeezing my eyes shut again and feeling my insides swirl and tighten.
“On second thought, call me Mr. Marek,” he insisted, and I popped my eyes open, seeing the devil in his grin.
I bit my lips between my teeth, groaning as I leaned back on my hands and slid my ass back and forth, fucking his fingers.
“Yes, Mr. Marek,” I breathed out, dropping my head back as the whole fucking world started to spin.
One of my heels dropped to the floor, but I couldn’t care less.
He continued staring down at me, looking like he was completely captivated with my face.
“You going to be nice from now on?” he challenged in a hard voice, rubbing harder.
“Yes, Mr. Marek,” I rushed out.
“You going to keep your temper in check?” His long fingers filled me up again and again.
I nodded frantically, feeling the orgasm coming. “Yes, Mr. Marek.”
“And I’m not done with you yet,” he warned. “Just so you know.”
I breathed in and out quickly, my body tensing and shaking. “Yes,” I cried out.
And then the orgasm exploded, spreading down my thighs and through my belly. I dropped my head all the way back, plastering my hand to my mouth to stifle the cry as I squeezed my eyes shut and let him rub my clit, bringing the orgasm to an end.
My legs, suddenly as shaky as Jell-O, released their grip on his waist and dangled off the side of the desk.
He kissed me, holding my lips for a few moments, and for a just a few moments I felt like I did on Sunday mornings. When I woke up and realized I could stay in bed.
About the author: 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.