Also by this author: Falling Away, Aflame, Misconduct, Next To Never (Fall Away #4.5)
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on November 17th 2015
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.
***Corrupt is a stand-alone dark romance with no Cliffy
Corrupt is a twisted story about revenge, hate, jealousy and betrayal, but, it’s also about friendship, love and redemption; second chances and finding your way. It’s dark kind of story that stays with you after you read it.
When author Penelope Douglas started dropping hints she was writing a darker romance, I was excited but wary. You see, I’m a fan of dark romance. The more fucked up, the better. But there’s a fine line. With the first teasers, I was hooked. Corrupt became one of my most anticipated books of this year. I love Penelope Douglas’ Fall Away series and was intrigued at how she’d go from New Adult to Dark. But let’s be honest, Bully wasn’t an all hearts and flowers story, so I knew she’d give me a great story in Corrupt, and she did.
The characters were complex, especially Michael. I had a love / hate relationship with him throughout the book. He was so frustrating! I wanted to throttle him at times. And don’t get me started on Erika! I wasn’t sure how I felt abut her. however, I ended up liking her. She grew in the story, and wasn’t completely wishy-washy. She started to give back and I liked that. The characters of Kai, Will, and Damon also pushed my buttons. Though, I must admit, I disliked Damon the most, at the same time, his cocky attitude worked for him.
The flashback/forward writing gave you enough background without giving away too much too soon. For me, the last half of the book was where I couldn’t put the story down. I had to know and couldn’t read it fast enough. There were twists I didn’t see coming but they were so good. Some WTF moments had me like, no way. There were some really HOT scenes too….fencing anyone?
Definitely worth the read!! Great standalone!!
Q&A with Penelope Douglas
How do you feel when you read readers’ reactions while reading Corrupt? Do you feel bad for them or laugh evilly at them?
If they’re experiencing any feelings worth posting about, I’m grateful. I want everyone to love it, but I’d rather have people either love or hate it than feel mediocre about it. I don’t go looking for feedback, though. I don’t look at the recent status updates on Goodreads, and I’m not in many book groups.
Some say there were no redeeming qualities in Michael, what do you say to that?
There’s nothing I can say. If that’s how they feel, they’re entitled to that, and if the book didn’t convince them otherwise then neither will I. The story should speak for itself, and if that’s what they took from it, then that’s what they took from it.
How do you explain Erika’s continual need to be in their circle when they treated her so badly?
Three years ago she wanted to be in their circle. Now, I think she wants their respect. She wants to be a force.
Why did you choose not to explore Trevor’s hatred for Michael more? It would’ve been really interesting to delve into that more we think.
I did explore it in the locker room phone call scene and on the boat scene. To explore it further, then I would probably have to get inside Trevor’s head. Since this was Michael and Rika’s story, there wasn’t really room for that.
Rumor has that there is more to come… Is it possible any of the other characters may get a book?
It’s definitely possible! I’m thinking about it, but I have no definite plans. The issue is, Corrupt took a year and a half to plan and write. It’s going to be hard to match how proud I am of that book and give Kai, Will, and Damon the justice they deserve. I can’t rush it.
How was writing Corrupt different for you than the Falling Away series or even Misconduct?
Corrupt had a significant secondary plot to the romance. The mystery and suspense were a huge part of this book, and it took massive planning and story mapping to make sure there were no plot holes and to orchestrate what she knew, what she didn’t know, what they thought she knew, and how everything came to light. It was a lot to puzzle together.
Do you think you’ll write more books that are dark or twisted?
If the story draws me there, sure!
Which is more fun to write? Angsty or twisted?
I’m sure you probably can’t pick, but do you have a favorite character? If so, why him (or her)?
In Corrupt? Damon. I find him so low and awful, that his vulnerability and redemption will be sweeter.
What advice would you give to other authors trying to write outside their comfort zone or something new?
If you like it, there will be others out there that do, too.
Finally, what is up next after putting out two books in December, Misconduct and Corrupt? Any future projects in the works that you can share something about?
Not really. Sorry to disappoint! I have several projects I’m brainstorming, but I haven’t planned anything for sure yet, and I don’t want to tease until I’m certain 😉