I am the exception to the rule.
In a world full of willing women, I’m a challenge to the roguish and achingly handsome Colton Donavan. A man used to getting exactly what he wants in all aspects of life. He’s the reckless bad boy constantly skating that razor thin edge toward out of control, on and off of the track.
Colton crashes into my life like a tornado: sapping my control, testing my vulnerabilities beyond their limits, and unintentionally penetrating the protective wall around my healing heart. Tearing apart the world I rebuilt so carefully with structure, predictability, and discipline.
I can’t give him what he wants and he can’t give me what I need. But after a glimpse beneath his refined exterior into the dark secrets of his damaged soul, can I bring myself
to walk away?
Our sexual chemistry is undeniable. Our individual need for complete control is irrefutable. But when our worlds collide, is the chemistry enough to bring us together or will our untold secrets and battle of wills force us apart?
“Jealous, sweetheart?” He raises his eyebrows as his grin flashes arrogantly. “We can always finish what we started, and you can mark me any way you’d like.”
I gently shove my hand against his chest, pushing him back. I’d love to wipe that smirk off if his face. Leave my mark that way. “Sorry, I don’t waste my time on misogynist jerks like you. Go find someone—”
“Careful, Rylee,” he warns as he grips my wrist, looking every bit as dangerous as his voice threatens. “I don’t take kindly to insults.”
I try to yank my wrist away, but his hold remains. To anyone in the room, it looks as if I’m laying my hand on his heart in affection. They can’t feel the steel strength of his grip.
“Then hear this,” I snap, tired of this game and the warring emotions and sensations within me. Anger takes hold. “You only want me because I’m the first female who’s said no to your gorgeous face and come-fuck-me body. You’re so used to every female falling at your feet, pun intended, that you see a challenge—someone immune to your charm—and you’re unsure how to react.”
Despite his nonchalant shrug, I can see his underlying irritation as he releases my wrist. “When I like what I see, I go after it,” he states unapologetically.
Shaking my head, I roll my eyes. “No, you need to prove to yourself that you can, in fact, get any girl who crosses your path. Your ego’s bruised. I understand,” I patronize patting his arm. “Well, don’t sweat it, Ace, I forfeit this race.”
He raises an eyebrow, a ghost of a smile on his lips as he finds something humorous in my comment. The muscle in his clenched jaw tics as he regards me momentarily. “Let’s get something straight,” he leans in, inches from my mouth, the gleam in his eyes warning me I’ve gone too far. “If I want you, I can and will have you, at anytime and in anyplace, sweetheart.”
I snort in the most unladylike way, astonished at his audacity, yet trying to ignore the quickening of my pulse at the thought. “Don’t bet on it,” I sneer as I hastily try to skirt past.
His hand whips out and grabs hold of my arm again, spinning me back toward him, so that I’m standing intimately close. I can see his pulse beat in the line beneath his jaw. Can feel the fabric of his jacket hit my arm as his chest rises and falls. I glance down at his hand on my arm and glare back at him in warning, yet his hold still remains. He leans his face in to mine so that I can feel his breath feather across my cheek. I angle my head up to his, not sure if I’m raising my chin in defiance or in anticipation of his kiss.
“Lucky you, I’m a gambling man, Rylee,” his resonating voice is just a whisper of sound. “I do, in fact, like a good challenge now and again,” he provokes, a mischievous smile playing at the corners of his mouth. He releases my arm, but runs his finger lazily down the rest of it. The soft scrape of his finger on my exposed skin sends shivers down my back.
“So let’s make a bet.” He stops and nods at a passing acquaintance, bringing me to the here and now as I’ve forgotten that we’re in a room full of people.
“Didn’t your mother teach you when a lady says no, she really means no, Ace?” I raise my eyebrow, a look of disdain on my face.
That smarmy smirk of his is back in full force as he nods in acknowledgement at my comment. “She also taught me that when I want something, I need to keep after it until I get it.”
Great, so now I’ve acquired a stalker. A handsome, sexy, very annoying stalker.
He reaches out and toys with a loose curl on the side of my neck. I try to remain impassive despite my urge to close my eyes and sink into the whisper of his fingers across my skin. His smirk tells me that he knows exactly what his effect is on me. “So, like I said, Ryles, a bet?
I bristle at his proposition. Or maybe it is at his effect on me. “This is asinine—”
“I bet by the end of the night,” he cuts me off holding a hand up to stop me, “I have a date with you.”
I laugh out loud stepping back from him. “Not a chance in hell, Ace!”
He takes a long swallow of his drink, his expression guarded. “What are you scared of then? That you can’t resist me?” He flashes a wicked grin when I roll my eyes. “Agree then. What do you have to lose?”
“So you get a date with me and your bruised ego is restored,” I shrug indifferently, wanting no part of this contest. “What will I get out if it?”
“If you win—”
“You mean if I can resist your dazzling charm,” I retort, my voice laced with sarcasm.
“Let me rephrase. If you can resist my dazzling charm by the end of the night, then I’ll donate,” he flickers his fingers through the air in a gesture of irrelevance, “let’s say, twenty thousand dollars to your cause.”
I catch my breath and look at him in bewilderment, for this I can agree to. I know that there’s no way in hell that I’ll succumb to Donavan or his captivating wiles, the arrogant bastard. Agreed, I was caught in his tantalizing web for a few moments, but it was just because it’s been so long since I’ve felt like that. Since I’ve been kissed like that. Been touched like that.
Full Name: Colton ___________ Donavan-Westin
Hair: Dark Brown/Black
Born: Los Angeles, CA
Currently Resides: Broadbeach Road, Malibu, CA
Occupation: Owner of CD Enterprises, Indy Car Driver
Likes: a certain violet-eyed woman, anything with an adrenaline rush, drinking beer from a bottle(glasses are for p*ssies), surfing, hanging out with the boys, dogs, my Aston, cotton candy 🙂
Dislikes: structure, vegemite (sorry it’s gross), rules, when Ry’s mad at me, the fact that I can’t figure out what A.C.E. stands for, crashing, bullies, presumptions
Full Name: Rylee Jade Thomas
Hair: Chestnut Brown
Weight: no way
Birthday: June 2nd
Born: Carlsbad, CA
Currently Resides: Santa Monica, CA
Occupation: Manager at Corporate Cares
Likes: my boys, openness, honesty, a certain racecar driver, baseball (and baseball players for that matter – that one’s just for Colton), making a difference, Hershey kisses, the beach, music, schedules, cotton candy 🙂
Dislikes: chaos, bullies, when people don’t let you in, black licorice, arrangements, pretention, Tawny, lack of control
**Tour Wide Giveaway-(5) $20 Amazon Gift Cards and (5) e-books of Driven**
K. Bromberg remains in Southern California with her husband and their three young children. When not writing or working her day job, she can be found playing ninjas or power rangers with her son, fixing the hair of her oldest daughter’s American girl doll, trying to potty train her youngest daughter, or listening to any or all of them fight/whine at once. When she needs a break from the daily chaos, you can almost always find her with Kindle in hand, devouring the pages of a good book.