Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Blog Tour: Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

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

4 Stars
Review by Lisa Kane

Fear wasn't the enemy. It was the teacher.

Sometimes reviews come easily and the words flow. And sometimes they don't. This is one of the don'ts. There were many things I loved about this story-the sex was hot and had that forbidden feel to it that I love. The intrigue was suspenseful and my heart was racing for a good part of this book. But the things I couldn't connect with-those things invoked strong, intense feelings in me that I just couldn't shake.

Erika "Rika" Fane grew up surrounded by wealth and privilege. Her father died in a car accident (she was with him and has a scar running down her neck that serves as a constant reminder) and her mother is an alcoholic. She has spent most of her time at the Crist's home. The wealthy family that lives right near her; she has her meals with them; she even has her own bedroom and often sleeps there. There are two sons, Michael, the oldest and his younger brother, Trevor. The family has been pushing for a relationship between Rika and Trevor since they were toddlers. Their dream is to have an alliance between their real estate empire and her diamond mine fortune. But Rika has secretly wanted Michael for years. He seems apathetic to her but there was once something there, which proved to be both their downfalls.

He didn't want to know me. He didn't like me. And I wanted that fact to stop hurting. I was so sick of dreaming.

Three years ago, Michael and his three friends, Damon Torrance, son of a media mogul, Kai Mori, son of an influential socialite and banker, and William Grayson III, grandson of a senator, made up the Four Horsemen as the town of Thunder Bay referred to them. They ruled this town and on Mischief night, they raised havoc on what has now become known as The Devil's Kiss night. They were in college and Michael was successfully following his basketball dreams. (he's since gone on the NBA) But they returned for their annual night of mayhem. Rika was determined to break out of her routine and her comfort zone. And she did-she wrangled her way into their night of debauchery-exploring the sex playpen of the catacombs with Michael (who was not as unaffected by her as he pretended to be) and had a whirl wind night that changed her.

"You like to be scared, don't you." I heard his voice behind me. "That's your kink."

Rika eventually gave in to the pressure and became a couple with Trevor, but realized her heart wasn't in it, and broke things off. That didn't go over very well with him, he refuses to believe things are over and is hoping for another chance.

Since that one night Will, Kai and Damon served three years in prison, and have just recently been released. They blame Rika for their imprisonment and Michael has been plotting her demise all this time. She just moved to Meridian City, changed colleges and has a new apartment. But she doesn't realize how most of her new life is being controlled by Michael. He slowly makes sure she is isolated, homeless, and penniless and will be at their sexual mercy, while all the time coming in and out of her life. They've had lots of time to stew about this and their anger and resentment drives them. Damon is a total womanizing psychopath (I don't need a degree to know a nut when I read about one) Kai is the intellectual one who has become an introvert since his release, and Will-he relies on alcohol to help him deal. While his three friends were imprisoned, Michael never went to jail; there wasn't any evidence of wrong doing on his part, but he felt the guilt and resentment and it's festered. Rika will pay and pay dearly.

I'm not going to discuss the events in this book-this is a lengthy read and there are a lot of topics covered. There is the tango going on with Rika and Michael, they are giving into the bubbling caldron of chemistry they have been fighting for years; there are the sinister actions of the Horsemen taking Rika down and there is the aftermath regarding Rika and Trevor's relationship. But this is also the time that Rika explores her sexual desires and wants-it seems fear is her catalyst and there's plenty to fuel her kink fire.

Things nagged at me while reading this book. These guys have the worst of intentions for this girl and what they deem is an appropriate punishment for her. Disgusting things that no woman should ever have to be subjected to-these guys were punished for THEIR actions, regardless of whether she was responsible for that punishment being rendered or not. And to be honest, for all the things they had done-they deserved it. Not going to get any sympathy from this girl. Michael is one complex character and while he may eventually have regretted the plans he set in motion, when all is said and done there is no real remorse on his part.

What if I'd completely corrupted her? What if she'd begun to like playing games too much, and the lust to play-and to win-overpowered her need for me?

Every time Rika showed an actual back bone and vowed to make Michael pay, she took one look into his eyes and tended to give in to her desire. I did go from thinking he was a total vindictive SOB to thinking he turned out half way decently, but no way do I think he ever adequately paid for the things he did to her. At one crucial part of the story, Rika is actually in a dangerous situation, due to Michael's deceiving ways and the four intend to take their pound of flesh. The tables are quickly turned, but that could have easily back fired and it would have been Michael's fault. Rika seemed to think that the dangerous things he did were all a game; this reader doesn't forgive or forget as easily.

The more mistakes he made, the taller he tried to stand, so no one could see over him. So no one could see anything but him.

This is a much darker, adult read than what we have seen from Ms. Douglas in the past. As usual the writing is excellent and for that reason I gave it 4 stars. I highlighted numerous passages that were gems of insightful writing, but it's the characters that most influenced my review. I never warmed up to Rika's character-she was too indecisive and put herself in danger too many times with her poor choices for me. (I would have liked her to have more of a sense of self preservation) She wanted to break away from the control the adults in her life had over her, but she could have taken an interest in the family business that supported her lifestyle. Maybe worked part time (not saying at a Starbucks like most college kids, but she had a whole empire to choose from) and made some effort to connect with new people. As far as the three secondary characters-saying sorry may be the hardest words to say, but saying them doesn't give you a free pass. Michael may be sex on legs, but he's not appearing on my short list of book boyfriends any time soon.

Why her? Why, despite my mother, who always loved me, and my friends, who always had my back, was it Erika Fane who put the air in my lung or made my blood run hot? She always got to me.

• • • Corrupt ~ 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.”

• • • 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 book was really, really good!!! Penelope hits another home-run with me.

  2. Awesome giveaway!! Thank you for the chance!

  3. sounds fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I can't to read this book. Have it, just got to reading it. Excitement is building!

  5. I love this book. Kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what was going to happen next!

  6. I cannot wait to read this one!!! It sounds amazing!!!

  7. I can't wait to start reading this!


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