December 11, 2015

Blog Tour Book Review: Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

at 12/11/2015 03:31:00 PM


Erika

I was told that dreams were our heart’s desires. My nightmares, however, became my obsession.

His name is Michael Crist.

My boyfriend’s older brother is like that scary movie that you peek through your hand to watch. He is handsome, strong, and completely terrifying. The star of his college’s basketball team and now gone pro, he’s more concerned with the dirt on his shoe than me.

But I noticed him.

I saw him. I heard him. The things that he did, and the deeds that he hid…For years, I bit my nails, unable to look away.

Now, I’ve graduated high school and moved on to college, but I haven’t stopped watching Michael. He’s bad, and the dirt I’ve seen isn’t content to stay in my head anymore.

Because he’s finally noticed me.

Michael

Her name is Erika Fane, but everyone calls her Rika.

My brother’s girlfriend grew up hanging around my house and is always at our dinner table. She looks down when I enter a room and stills when I am close. I can always feel the fear rolling off of her, and while I haven’t had her body, I know that I have her mind. That’s all I really want anyway.

Until my brother leaves for the military, and I find Rika alone at college.

In my city.

Unprotected.

The opportunity is too good to be true as well as the timing. Because you see, three years ago she put a few of my high school friends in prison, and now they’re out.

We’ve waited. We’ve been patient. And now every last one of her nightmares will come true.

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• • • Corrupt ~ Excerpt • • •

I enjoyed the fright of not knowing what was coming and from where.
“When we used to wear the masks,” Michael said, dropping his voice to a near whisper, “you liked it, didn’t you? It scared you, but it turned you on.”
I raised my hesitant eyes and tried not to let out a laugh. What was I supposed to say? That the fact that they’d looked like monsters got me hot?
I shook my head clear and stood up, saying in a quiet voice. “I’m going to bed.”
I grabbed my phone and took a step, but Michael’s voice stopped me.
“Come here,” he said softly. 
I turned my head, narrowing my eyes. Come here?
He sat up, resting his forearms on his knees and waiting, while I shifted on my feet.
He was always playing games. I didn’t trust him. 
But the temptation to engage was too great. He was right. I was getting good at it, and I kind of liked it, too. 
I took slow steps, holding up my chin to steel myself.
When I reached him, he placed a hand on my hip and pulled me in between his legs. I gasped as he fell back against the sofa again, pulling me in with him. I shot my hands out, planting them on both sides of his head on the back of the couch, keeping myself upright as I leaned into him.  
“Say it,” he breathed out, holding my hips with both hands now. “It turned you on.”
I closed my mouth and shook my head, looking down at him with a challenge.
“I know it did,” he maintained, a fire in his eyes. “Did you think I couldn’t see how tense your body would get or how your nipples got hard through your shirt when you saw me wearing it? You’re a little twisted. Admit it.”
I folded my lips between my teeth, turning my head away.
But then he tipped his chin up and caught my nipple between his teeth through my tank top, and I closed my eyes, letting out a small cry.
Oh, God!
The heat of his mouth swooped into my stomach as he released my nipple and then snatched it up again, dragging it out between his teeth. 
“I’ve got the mask upstairs,” he taunted, kissing and nibbling on me through my shirt. “I can get it if you want me to.”
No. No, I wasn’t like that.
I pushed away from him, but he held me firm.
“Michael, let me go.”
But then I felt my phone vibrate in my hand, and I quickly glanced at the screen, seeing no name with the number. Reading the number, though, I noticed that it was his mother’s. That’s strange. I thought I had her number saved in my Contacts.
But I let it go, remembering that my mom was with her. I needed to take this call.
Planting my fists on Michael’s chest, I shoved him away. “Get off me. Your mom’s calling.”
All he did was laugh, though, and my face fell.
He grabbed my arm and threw me down onto my stomach and came down on my back, pinning me to the couch.
I breathed hard and fast, feeling his cock press against my ass as he snatched my phone out of my hand. 
I stared wide-eyed as he placed it a few inches in front of me, his finger hovering over the green Answer button.
“Michael, no,” I rushed out, panic making my lungs ache.
But he swiped the screen anyway. The ringing stopped, and I heard silence as she waited for me to say something.
“Say hi,” he whispered in my ear. 


I am a fan of Penelope’s Fall Away series and I was happy to receive an eARC in exchange for an honest review. I was a little hesitant because the blurb gives off dark vibes and visions of violent bouts of sex involving more than just the regular two people. I started this book at around 11pm and finished it all the way through until 5am; I had to get out of bed to get ready for work. I wasn’t that I didn’t want to sleep, I did, but the suspense of the plot and dominant chemistry between Rika and Michael was hypnotic. This book was a new venture for Ms. Douglas. For those of you who have ready the Fallen Away series, the main characters all start at high school age and steadily progressed to mid-20s and 30s.
Corrupt follows the same idea with present day characters in their 20s with flashbacks to high school. I really enjoyed this book. It hit all of the right notes. The mystery of why Michael is the way he is and how Rika plays a part in a revenge fantasy he has planned, keeps the story going. If my lack of sleep has proven anything, I just had to know what is his motivations were. Why does he see Rika as prey and what was the catalyst for the action that sends three of his best friends to jail. The switching of narrative between Rika and Michael and their past selves was nicely done. We learn about Rika’s character and where her roots come from. She’s from a town where everybody is from influential families and the “Four Horsemen” ruled to social scene. The boys consisted of Michael, Kai, Will and Damon. The boys were popular, charismatic, attractive and deliciously scandalous. Every guy wanted to be a part of their group and girls wanted to get f*cked by them. After an incident that happened when Rika was sixteen, three of the horsemen were carted off to jail when video footage of their criminal acts was blasted all over social media.
Years later, Rika is attending college on her own in Meridian City. After a break up with her longtime boyfriend Trevor (who also happens to be Michael’s younger brother), Rika is ready to stretch her wings and be independent. Unfortunately for her, she happens to land in Michael’s crosshairs. He and his friends from high school are out to make her pay for causing their jail sentences. Slowly they isolate her from the things she loves the most, but Rika isn't a scared little girl and she fights back. 
Overall, it was a good read, but I felt like there could have been details flushed out at the end of the book. The blurb says that it's a cliffy, but I wanted to know if the guys end up with HEAs too; even if they are a little psychotic.

4 STARS!

• • • 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!
  • (1) Signed copy of Corrupt + $100 Amazon or B&N gift card, winner's choice (Intl)
  • (2) $20 Amazon or B&N gift card, winner's choice (Intl)
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