Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Release Blitz and Review: Misconduct by Penelope Douglas

Title: Misconduct
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…


4 Stars

Review by Lisa Kane

Easton Bradbury lives in New Orleans with her older brother, Jack. They've been there for the last 5 years. Ever since the unimaginable happened to the rest of her family. Easton has worked hard for her teaching degree and is starting at Braddock Autenberry. She's anxious to begin a new career. She was once the darling of the tennis world, until everything came crashing down. 

When you weren't seen, you weren't judged. There was a desirable freedom in that.

Her brother is trying to work the right contacts to further his law career. So that's why she's now at one of the many masked Mardi Gras balls. 

Jack knew that New Orleans' society was like a candy-covered chocolate. You had to break through the shell to get to the good stuff...

She can't help but notice the hot guy who is eyeing her up. They flirt, they each speak naughty innuendos but other than to give her first name, they don't exchange information. She's tempted to go home with him, make him one of her one night stands, but before anything happens, a beautiful woman calls out to him. It's obvious she's with him and Easton figures this is just one more deceitful guy, trying to juggle lots of women's parts at the same time. When she walks out she hears him being introduced as Tyler Marek, the man who will soon be announcing his candidacy for United States senator. They take one fleeting last glance at the other. 

"I don't want to start fires." I assured him. "I just like standing in the middle of burning rooms."

Months later, Easton starts her teaching position. Her teaching methods are unconventional to say the least. She believes technology is all around kids today, so why try to fight the inevitable. She uses Twitter, Facebook, responders and laptops to engage her students. What she doesn't use- text books. She encourages parents to log in and join in the group discussions. She explained her reasoning for her classes so she could alleviate the parents apprehensions regarding her heavy reliance on social media. For the most part, the response has been positive. But for some reason, one of her students, Christian Marek, doesn't participate in the class. He's almost hostile when forced to respond. When Easton is called into the principal's office to meet with his father, Tyler, she is livid. He hasn't bothered to contact her about his concerns and she is being treated like a child. She knows there is unfinished business between them, but he is her student's father-and he needs to remain in that box. 

He kept tapping at my shell like I was an egg he needed to crack. 

The two clash, there are fire works and things between them are just slowly simmering. There are lots of heated arguments, both are stubborn people who are used to having their own way. Eventually, they can't deny what is going on, and they bring new meaning to a parent/teacher conference! Both agree this is temporary and nothing can develop between them. 

I'd love every minute, but I didn't like how she kept me at arm's length. I'd always set the boundaries, not the other way around. 

Tyler has an almost non existent relationship with his son. He waited too long to become involved in his life. He was content to work on his own career and let Christian's mom and her husband raise him. But he does want to try; he just can't get him to open up. 

"I thought it was too late when he was two. I thought it was too late when he was ten. And now that he's fourteen I've finally fucking realized that it's never too late," I told her. 

The sex is hot, the emotions run high and the secrets run deep. Easton is an enigma, she holds so much inside of her-guilt, shame, regret. Tyler senses there are things she can't or won't share, but this is nothing more than great sex right? So how much more does he want to know about her? 

In control, sexy, but with a distance I couldn't put my finger on. It was almost as if she were a reflection in a mirror. There, but not really real. Almost as if she were still wearing that mask. 

If their relationship were to be made public, his hopes for the Senate would be crushed. Not to mention how would Christian and his mother feel about all this? 

What the hell are we doing? I couldn't get involved with a parent, and even if I did, it couldn't be him...I enjoyed him too much...

In the beginning I had a difficult time warming up to Tyler. He made poor choices and sacrificed a relationship with his son by putting his own needs first. That's tough to overlook. He is also arrogant and over bearing at times. But he does sincerely want to change and that softened my attitude towards him. I loved his flirty, clever banter with Easton. A witty man is a hot man! 

A man who endeavored to be better was already superior to the men who claimed to be great. 

Easton always had my loyalty. Even when her heart is broken, she shows unbelievable strength and grace and always puts Tyler and Christian's needs before her own. 

Damaged people were survivors, and they survived because they always put themselves first. Self-preservation demanded it. 

There is one particular part which involved her friend, Kristen.  I'm not sure what the heck was going through Easton's mind, but that part felt a little out of place to the story-both Tyler's actions and Easton's. I'm still shaking my head about that scene. 

He didn't even know I was here. He didn't see me. All he saw was her. 

The only stone left unturned for me concerned Easton's brother, Jack. They were very close and he was a prominent part of the story, but at the end there was no mention of him. I would have liked some closure for his story. 

"It's not that I don't like the woman my sister's become, but since that day, her heart is a machine," he cautioned. "She can start and stop it at will."

There are some beautiful passages in this story. Little gems and words of wisdom. I found myself highlighting whole paragraphs page after page. 

In our hearts, we always know what's right and wrong. That's not the struggle. The struggle is wanting what's wrong for you and gauging whether or not the consequences are worth it. 

This story is different than the Fall Away series, much more mature and adult and raw. I am finding myself liking this writing style of Ms. Douglas'. I knew she could write about angsty high schoolers on the verge of adulthood, but it turns out that she can spin quite the story line about adults finding love and redemption too. 

"You always wait for tomorrow. But let me clue you in. Tomorrow was yesterday."

Misconduct - Excerpt

His three-piece black pin-striped suit looked crisp and dark against his fair skin, and his white shirt and slate-gray tie shimmered in the glow of the light overhead.

I took a few steps forward. “What are you doing here?” I asked.

His eyes shot down to my feet, and I followed his gaze, remembering that I’d forgotten to put my heels back on.

“Always losing your shoes,” he commented, a smile curling his mouth.

I pursed my lips and turned around, snatching my heels off the seat and slipping them back onto my feet. Grabbing the back of the chair, I pulled it behind me and entered my classroom, knowing he’d follow.

“You came to my workplace unannounced,” he stated behind me. “I thought I would return the favor.”

I replaced my chair behind my desk and looked up, seeing that he had closed the door behind him.

“And?” I prompted.

“And I came to apologize,” he admitted, stopping a few feet in front of my desk. “I’ve been unfair, and I’m sorry. Christian has his phone back, so we’ll see how this goes.”

I stilled, my heart galloping in my chest, and I almost smiled.


I opened my mouth but had to swallow the lump before I could speak. “Well, that’s great,” I said, surprised. “Thank you.”

I guess I got through to him at his office. 

He slid one of his hands into a pocket and narrowed his eyes on me, looking a little surprised.

“You seem very knowledgeable and determined.” His voice sounded genuine. “You’re an impressive woman, Ms. Bradbury, and I should’ve taken the time to understand your methods.”

I kept my shoulders squared, but my eyes dropped, embarrassment warming my cheeks.

“Thank you,” I mumbled, turning around to grab a dry-erase marker to start writing the schedule on the board for when then kids came back on Thursday.

“Christian talks about your class,” he said behind me. “I can tell your teaching interests him, even if he would never admit it.”

I uncapped the marker and rested my hand on the board but didn’t write anything.

“He really can’t stand me, can he?”

I dropped my hand to my side and spun around slowly, surprised by his question.

And feeling terrible all over again. I should never have said that.

No matter how much I thought I knew about him, they were nothing more than assumptions. Who was I to insinuate his son didn’t care for him or vice versa? And what gave me the right to say anything at all in the first place?

He breathed deeply, and for the first time since I’d met him, he looked unsure of himself.

“I was twenty when he was born,” he told me. “That’s no excuse, but it’s the only one I have.”


I was twenty-three, and I couldn’t imagine having a child right now.

I watched him and waited, not wanting to say anything or interrupt because I found I kind of liked it when he talked.

“I know what you think of me.” He looked me dead in the eye and then dropped his gaze, speaking in a voice close to a whisper. “And what he thinks of me.”

And then he let out a bitter laugh, shaking his head. “I don’t know why I even care what you think. You don’t give a shit about me, but I guess that’s what’s so intriguing.” He moved forward, his soft eyes turning to steel. “You’re so cold and distant,” he charged. “I guess I wouldn’t think anything of it if I hadn’t seen you so different at one time.”

I inhaled a shaky breath, looking down at his right hand. The same one that had held my waist while we danced.

I licked my lips, barely noticing him advance.

“You were flirty and fun.” His voice turned husky, and I looked up, seeing him round my desk slowly. “And you keep pissing me off, but it feels good,” he whispered, playing with me, drawing me in.

I knew that look in his eyes. I may not know much about him, but I knew that look.

And we were in my classroom.

His son’s classroom.

I may have had little shame, but he had none.


He cut me off. “Why won’t you ever say my name?” 

I shook my head, confused. “Why do you care what I think?”

“I don’t,” he maintained. “I care that you don’t think of me at all.”

I narrowed my eyes on him, clenching my teeth. “That’s not . . .” I trailed off, plastering my back against the whiteboard as he hovered over me.

“That’s not what?” he pressed, his voice sounding strained.

He stood so close that I had only to lift a hand and I could touch him.

“That’s not true,” I finished.

He leaned in. “You look at me like I don’t matter.” His eyes searched mine. “And I don’t like it.”

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)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. i've been reading such positive reviews for this book :) thanks for sharing!

  2. I love Penelope Douglas, I just finished Corrupt about a week ago and I dove right into Misconduct this morning. She is such an intriguing author. I can already tell I am going to love Tyler and Easton's story.

  3. Wow - this book sounds great! I will definitely be reading!


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