Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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…
Why haven’t I read a Penelope Douglas book before? I need to get on that train, ASAP. If her others are as effortlessly enjoyable as this one, then I’ve been seriously missing out.
Misconduct wasn’t on my radar but for some reason I ended up reading it. I can’t really pinpoint why I started reading it – it wasn’t the blurb, because I had no clue as to what it was about when I opened the first page; it definitely wasn’t the cover, which I don’t like (awkward pose, much? And yeah, I write off books because of their cover. You know you do too); and it wasn’t any hype, because I haven’t really heard anything about it around the blogosphere. It must’ve just been my curiosity about the author. A lot of my friends have read her and really like her, so she’s always been in the back of my mind. You know how there are just those authors that you intend to get to? Anyway, I received an ARC and I took a peek at the first few pages, then I took a peek at some more pages, and next thing I knew, it was 1 in the morning and I was punching myself because I needed to be up for work 5 hours later.
Misconduct wan’t a gripping, thriller or suspense that usually keeps me on the edge of my seat, or whatever cliché is used to describe being completely engrossed. It wasn’t filled with twists and turns or a bunch of mini cliffhangers that made me keep reading. No, it was butterfly-in-belly inducing, cheesy-grin producing, squirmy-leg-crossing kind of romance that kept me distracted when I had many other things I should’ve been doing.
This story follows Easton Bradbury and Tyler Marek, two strong-willed and hotheaded individuals who are completely combustible together. Easton is a first-year teacher, straight out of grad school who’s finally getting to live her dream. She’s got a vision of how she wants her first year to go, and it’s all going well until one of her students walks in with eyes and a face that’s very familiar. Then his father follows and the curious familiarity turns to embarrassment and dread. The father is Tyler Marek and months before, on a balcony at a masquerade party, she almost gave him everything on a steamy, Mardi Gras night. The night they met was filled with tension and a heat that neither of them forgot, but now circumstances deem they shouldn’t be together.
Dude, all you have to do is mention the phrase ‘forbidden romance’ and I’m all over that. This book was a great balance of erotica and slow burn. That might not make any sense, but it totally worked. From their first scene together, Tyler and Easton had great chemistry, but since they’re not allowed to be together, there’s a good chunk of the book that was filled with exhilarating tension. And then when they got together…woo boy! They were some of the most AMAZING scenes. I don’t know if this is the Penelope Douglas norm, but if it is I want more.
I loved Easton and Tyler as separate characters and I adored them together. Separately, they had a complex mix of faults and strengths, and insecurities as they both tried to realize their futures while overcoming past hardships and mistakes, and together they just meshed perfectly. Their banter was ridiculous. Sparks everywhere.
All in all, I enjoyed the hell out of this book, and I’m definitely reading some more Penelope Douglas. I had some issues with some tennis terminology, and an issue and a half with a minor plot detail that could be potentially problematic, but I’ll hide it as a spoiler since I’m not even sure it’s in the finished copy. View Spoiler »There’s a sex scene when the Easton says “stop,” a couple of times, and Tyler says something along the lines of, “You don’t really want me to, do you?,” which goes unacknowledged, and they continue to have sex. Potentially problematic. « Hide Spoiler I do recommend romance lovers read this. Misconduct isn’t the type of book I’d expect to leave an impact on me, because it’s a lighter, sexier read, but after finishing it, I reread my favorite scenes over and over for about a week, and I still think about it at random times and smile. If Misconduct was a movie, it would be one that I put on when need to feel good, because I know it can deliver.
Excerpt – it’s R-rated!
“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.