I was supposed to review Penelope Douglas's Misconduct today, but my reading schedule got screwed up by all the work and holiday craziness and I'm only 50 pages in currently. However, I will have my review up later this week. I think Misconduct will either be a 4- or a 5-star book, you guys, because I am really, really enjoying it. Right from the first chapter, I was hooked.
Also, Easton is a fellow teacher! Woot! I love reading about main characters who have the same profession as me.
If you haven't had the chance to look into Misconduct here's the synopsis.
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…
If that didn't convince you to pick it up, maybe an excerpt will. This excerpt is rated PG-13 so any young'uns beware.
Attendees laughed and danced inside, while the two of us, alone in the cold night with only a few other people lounging around the large balcony, carried on with our stolen moment.
“I should really get back, though,” I suggested, pulling away.
My brother was no doubt looking for me.
But he reached out and grabbed my hand, narrowing his eyes. “Not yet,” he urged, looking behind me toward the ballroom.
I stopped, not making a move to take away my hand.
He stood in front of me, his chest nearly touching mine.
“You’re right,” he whispered, his breath falling over me. “I don’t really like a lot of those people, and they don’t really know me.” His voice turned hoarse. “But I like you. I’m not ready to say good night yet."
I swallowed, hearing the soft trickle of a slow jazz tune drifting out from the ballroom.
“Dance with me,” he commanded.
He didn’t wait for a response.
Sliding a hand around my waist, he guided me in, and I sucked in a sharp breath, my body meeting his for the first time.
Raising my arms, I put my right hand on his shoulder and my left hand in his as I let him lead me in a small circle, remaining in our own small, private space. Chills broke out down my arms, but I didn’t think he noticed.
I let my eyes fall closed for a moment, not understanding what made him feel so good. My hands tingled and my legs felt weak.
There was rarely ever a time when I felt drawn to a man. I’d felt attraction and passion, and I’d enjoyed sex, but I’d never opened myself up to someone long enough to connect.
Now I found myself not wanting this evening to end any way other than in his arms.
That’s where I wanted this to go. I didn’t need his name, what he did for a living, or his family history. I just wanted to be close to someone and feel good, and maybe that would be enough to satisfy me for the next few months until I needed someone again.
Shaking my head slightly, I tried to clear my thoughts.
Enough, Easton. He was good-looking and interesting, but I didn’t see anything in him that I hadn’t seen in any other man.
He wasn’t special.
Looking up, I asked, “You’re not enjoying the party, so what would you rather be doing right now?”
He shot me a small, sexy smile. “I like what I’m doing right now.”
I rolled my eyes, covering up how much I also liked him holding me close. “I mean, if not this?”
He twisted his lips, looking me over like he was thinking. “I’d be working, I guess,” he answered. “I work a lot.”
So he’d rather be doing work than schmoozing and drinking at a Mardi Gras ball? I dipped my head, breaking out in a laugh.
“What?” He pinched his eyebrows together.
I met his eyes, seeing the confusion. “You prefer work,” I stated. “I can relate to that.”
He nodded. “My work challenges me, but it’s also predictable. I like that,” he admitted. “I don’t like surprises.”
I instantly slowed, nearly stopping our dance.
I said the same thing all the time. I never liked surprises.
“Everything else outside of work is unpredictable,” I added for him. “It’s hard to control.”
He cocked his head and brought his hand up to my face, running his thumb along my cheek.
“Yeah,” he mused, leaning in while his hand circled the back of my neck possessively. “But there are times,” he said softly, “when I like to lose control.”
I closed my eyes. Jesus.
“What’s your last name?” he asked.
I opened my eyes, blinking. My last name? I had kind of liked keeping specifics off the table. I didn’t even know his first name yet.
“Easton?” he pressed.
I narrowed my eyes. “Why do you want to know that?”
He stepped forward, charging me slowly and pushing me backward. I had to keep backing up so as not to fall. “Because I intend on getting to know you,” he said. It sounded like a threat.
“Because I like talking to you,” he shot back, his voice thick with a laugh he was holding in.
I hit the wall behind me and stopped, glancing over at the people sitting at the table across the balcony.
He closed the remaining distance between us and dipped down until his face was a couple of inches from mine.
I locked my hands behind my back, instinctively tapping the wall with my fingers and counting in my head. One, two, three—
“Do you like me?” He cut me off, a playful tilt to his lips.
I couldn’t keep the smile off my face. I turned my head, but I knew he saw it anyway.
“I don’t know,” I answered casually. “You might be too much of a gentleman.”
The corner of his lips curled, looking sinister, and he threaded his hand around the back of my neck and through my hair, gripping my waist with the other and pressing his body to mine.
“Which means I’m still a man, only with more skill,” he whispered against my lips, making my breath shake. “And there’s only one place I won’t be careful with you.”