Author: Penelope Douglas
Publisher by: Independent
Published on: November 17, 2015
Genres: Dark Romance, Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense
Page Count: 461
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
Q&A Interview with Penelope D.!
1. How was the transition from being a teacher to writing full time? Do you miss it and what’s your writing schedule like now?
It was actually something I jumped at. I’m quieter—a loner—and I love being home all day, in the quiet with just me and my thoughts. I miss people a little here and there, adult conversations and getting of my butt, but I really like having a flexible schedule. I write from 9am-2pm, take care of my daughter after school and take her to her activities, and then I go write from 8pm-10pm after she’s in bed.
2. Corrupt is a bit darker than your other books, what inspired you to delve into a darker story?
I love scary movies, and I had the idea for the masks, and the story just turned out that way. I love intensity and raw emotion. It’s just where my heart is.
3. Your male leads usually have a bit of an aggressive/bully-ish personality but your female leads are always strong. Is that intentional or does that just come naturally as you write?
Both, I think. In like jerk heroes, so I go into it knowing how they’ll behave, but with my heroines, I may write something and decide I have less respect for her and need to change the scene. Make her stronger. We put ourselves in her shoes—when we write and read—so readers want to read a woman they can see themselves as. Same when we write.
4. What’s your writing ritual? What are must haves (snacks, music, etc.) when you’re in your writing cave?
Like I said, I’m a morning person. I write during the day and usually end by 10 at night. I always have music, playlists, Pinterest boards, and my favorite snacks are gum, gummy candy, and popcorn. I may take breaks to go for a walk, but mostly I stay in my office.
5. If your daughter asked about your books, what would you tell her? And what age would you let her read them?
I tell her that they’re love stories, and they’re for grown-ups. I would probably let her read them when I felt she was mature enough. Age isn’t as big of a deal as that. As long as we can talk about the book, I feel comfortable letting her read them when she’s ready.
6. What are you writing next and will you continue to publish indie books between publisher commitments?
I have no publisher commitments right now, so yes, I’m planning more indie releases. I have outlines I’m starting for more possible Corrupt books, Fall Away books, and a stand-alone high school romance I wasn’t to write. No official announcement yet, though.
7. Is there any chance that we will see more of the guys of Corrupt?
Very possible ☺