New Release Review: Misconduct by Penelope Douglas



Title:  Misconduct

Series: Standalone with HEA


Author: Penelope Douglas

Publisher:  Penguin Group

Publication Date: 12/1/2015

Format: eBook, Paperback

Genre:  adult contemporary romance

Pages:  401 pages


Rating:  5/5 stars!!!!


Synopsis:  From the New York Times bestselling author of the Fall Away series who never fails to deliver a “powerfully written contemporary love story…”*

Former tennis player Easton Bradbury is trying to be the best teacher she can be, trying to reach her bored students, 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 living, breathing 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…



Review:    Penelope Douglas is one my favorite authors.  Top five, for sure.  Every time I read one of her books, I declare it my favorite.  However, Misconduct is by far my favorite of her books.


Misconduct is at its core an adult contemporary romance with all the pieces needed to make a great romance – engaging protagonist, swoon-worthy hero, conflict and, of course, hot sex and a happily-ever-after.  I’ve read a hundred of those in the past six months, some I liked better than others.  However, Misconduct stands out from those other hundred or so books because it is truly a smart book.  This book isn’t just a romance, it’s a platform that speaks on some pretty important topics.


Penelope Douglas is not afraid to push the limits of her readers’ imaginations.  Most of her books have alpha males that handle their women with a bit roughly, which is fine because these are books and that’s what makes fiction writing so great.  However, if you are a cynical, overly-critical person such as myself and find it hard to not pick at everything that you would consider an inconsistency in real life, then Douglas’s books can be hard to swallow.  It does not, however, make them any less entertaining or well written.  But, something about Misconduct just clicked for me.


The main characters, Easton and Tyler, are smart and believable and realistic.  Tyler is an alpha male all the way, but he’s self-critical and apologetic and real.  Easton is young and beautiful and driven, but she too has a conscience and she is flawed in a realistic way.  The back and forth between the two of them was honest and, at times, hysterically funny.


The book description describes a taboo romance.  Truthfully, I think taboo is the wrong word.  Ethically-challenged is probably more appropriate, but ethically-challenged probably doesn’t sell books as well as taboo.  If you aren’t into taboo romances, don’t let that word turn you away from this book.  Taboo isn’t really taboo.  (I can’t explain without giving anything away and I don’t spoil.  So, just take my word for it.  J )


In a nutshell, Misconduct is a smart, well-written, sexy romantic read about two fabulous characters and their ethically-challenged romance.  Now go buy it…


Extras:  There is a playlist of songs mentioned in the book so you can go out and purchase them, or there is a Spotify playlist with the songs.  Just search Penelope Douglas on Spotify.  There is a Pintrest board for this book.  I read it the first time without the extras.  The second time I read through it I streamed the playlist and followed the Pintrest board.  That was a nice immersive way to enjoy the book.  Finally, at the end of the book, there are a few discussion questions that are insightful and thought-provoking, making this the perfect book for a book club.

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