The Exception (Exception Series #1) by Adriana Locke
There are exceptions to every rule.
Jada Stanley is starting over, freeing herself from her past. Following the rules she’s given herself is easy enough, until she meets HIM. He’s gorgeous, cocky, and everything she needs to avoid, but that’s easier said than done.
Cane Alexander has his own set of guidelines, a plan to keep his life simple and free of complications. But when he sets his sights on Jada, she proves to be a temptation he just can’t resist.
Walls crumble, resolve fades, and precious rules are bent.
They can’t help but take a chance on each other, but chances come with risk. As the past rears its ugly head in ways they never see coming, will they revert back to protecting themselves? Or will they realize that the other is the exception to every rule they’ve ever made?
Excerpt The Exception (Exception Series #1) by Adriana Locke
Cane shook his head, apparently to rid himself of whatever he was thinking. His eyebrows raised, he turned towards me. “So you will have lunch with him and not me? What am I missing here?”
“It’s business. Pretty simple, I think.” I peered out the door, watching Simon’s black Avalanche pull out of the parking lot.
“I can pretend it’s about business, if that’s what you want.”
“Cane,” I warned, turning my head to look at him.
“Lunch with him will not be about business. When I walked in here, that was not about business.”
“Whether it was or it wasn’t is no business of yours.”
Cane blew out a breath, his forehead marred in frustration. “Do you know Simon Powers? Have you dealt with him before?”
“No, I just met him today. Why?”
He looked relieved. “It doesn’t matter. Look, if he needs to see this property again, I want you to call me first, okay?”
“All right. I won’t bring him here without calling you first.”
“I’m going to give you my phone number. If he wants to see this property or becomes a pain in your ass, I want you to call me. Don’t put up with any shit from him and don’t bring him here unless you actually speak to me. Do you understand?”
“You’re making me nervous. What’s going on?”
“There’s nothing to be nervous about,” he said calmly, trying to dissipate the mood he just created. “I just don’t like that guy. I don’t trust him.”
“Whatever you say.”
“I like it when you just do what I say.” His eyes darkened.
“Noted. I have to go, Cane.”
“What’s your phone number?” He placed his hand on the small of my back. I stilled at his touch. A jolt of energy darted through my body, landing at the apex of my thighs. I closed my eyes and just felt for a minute.
“You can get my number from Max,” I said breathily, throwing his words from the night at the restaurant back at him.
Cane spun me around quickly, my back pressed against the wall. He leaned in, his face almost touching mine. I willed myself not to moan, to not give him any inclination that my willpower was melting away.
“Oh, Jada,” he whispered, the warmth of his breath only adding to the riot inside me. “Why do you fight this so hard?”
“Cane …” I tried to formulate a response but words were not accessible.
He smirked, knowing what he was doing to me. “Yes?”
“I … I need to go.”
“You need to. But do you want to?” He searched my eyes with his own. “I know what you want and what you need, baby. Why won’t you trust me?”
My eyes widened, my pulse pounding. He was so close and I wanted more than anything to reach out and pull him up against me.
But I can’t.
He smiled before leaning in, his lips grazing my ear as he whispered, “Why do you fight this? Just give me one night to get you out of my system.”
I turned my head to respond, to explain that was exactly what he wasn’t getting, and our eyes locked. The air between us, so hot and rife with energy, boiled over.
He captured my lips with his own, tentatively at first. I resisted for a split second before succumbing to his charge. His lips moved over mine, a soft juxtaposition to his hard exterior. The heat of the exchange, of him finally touching me, melted me from the inside out.
I opened my mouth, giving him entry, and he took it without hesitation. He explored my mouth with his own lazily, the softness of his tongue making my knees buckle.
I tried to focus, tried to commit everything to memory, because it would only happen once. That would be the first and last time I allowed my defenses to be obliterated by Cane Alexander.
The sound of blood roaring past my ears and the feel of his body, hot and hard against me, made it impossible to concentrate on anything for long. I hesitantly placed my hands on his back, feeling his muscles ripple beneath them.
The sensations were overwhelming and I was on the cusp of bursting at the seams.
Cane pulled back slowly and kissed me lightly on the lips, before retreating far enough away to look into my eyes. There were a hundred emotions playing across his gorgeous face, his eyes a dozen colors of blue.
I looked away, trying to catch my breath. I wasn’t able to figure out my own emotions—I had no business trying to figure out his.
“One night.” He lifted my chin so that my eyes met his. His tongue flicked across his lips.
He only wants one night …
My wits were scattered across the room and I gathered as many of them as I could before responding, “I need to go.”
A look flashed across his face that I couldn’t read. He raised his eyebrows. “That’s all you’re going to say?”
“I don’t know what else you want me to say.” I sidestepped him and made my way to the door. I looked over my shoulder one last time and he changed before my eyes.
The confused, vulnerable look gave way to an impassive, cool veneer. He sat his hands on top of his head and turned away, heading towards the office.
Seeing everything I needed to see, more than enough to convince myself I was doing the right thing, I pushed through the door and didn’t look back.