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…
(*STANDALONE, NO CLIFFHANGER*)
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.”
Misconduct was such a good book. I will be honest, while I have read a lot of good books lately I have found myself getting bored with reading similar stories. But I have to say this one was different. It grabbed and held my attention right from the beginning.
Easton is fresh out of college and lands a job at a private school. I really liked the way she taught her class, too. As a parent I can see how there would be concerns, but what she does is simply amazing and I can very easily see this becoming something that happens in reality, if it hasn't already. Anyways, the only complication to her job is Tyler Marek, the sexy man she had met briefly six months before.
Tyler Marek has two goals at this point in his life, to become a senator and to be present in his son, Christian's life. He has no time for women unless it's for some quicky no string attached relationship. So meeting Easton Bradbury one night is no big deal, until he sees her again, in his son's classroom as his new teacher.
I loved seeing the interactions between these two. Easton is stubborn and independent and I would say that Tyler is the same. I loved seeing them butt heads and I love that Easton always sticks up for herself. I will admit there were times I got aggravated with both of them but that quickly passed. There is a little suspense mixed in with some things that are a little unexpected and some predictability, but it was still really enjoyable. While there are some sexy scenes, it isn't overly filled with sex and that was a relief right now!
***ARC provided in exchange for my HONEST review. Thank you!***
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)