There is no greater burden than a secret, and Kari Stanley has been carrying one alone for a long time. But fate intervenes in the form of a broken down car and the kind offer of assistance from a handsome stranger with a sweet, southern drawl. In exchange, all she has to do is go to dinner with him. Temptation was never so sweet.
Max Quinn has secrets of his own. His good deeds aren’t just a product of his southern upbringing; they’re his atonement. As one dinner turns into two, he realizes that Kari just might be his salvation.
As they struggle to find their path together, their secrets weigh heavier on them. Will they be able to trust one another with the truth, or will their secrets keep them apart forever?
Ignoring me, he said, “Would it do me any good at all to point out the ridiculousness that you don’t live here?”
“Nope,” I said, grabbing his hair and pulling his head back so I could see into his eyes. They were so easy to get lost in. I had found myself on the verge of agreeing to things I knew better than to agree to when gazing into them.
He grabbed my thighs, pressing his fingertips into my bare skin. His touch, coupled with the earlier unobstructed view of his body, made me ache with want.
“It wouldn’t do you any good at all to go there,” I continued, “but it might do you some good to go here.” I grabbed his right hand and placed it between my legs. He rubbed his thumb over my opening, the fabric of my panties pressing into my wetness. I pushed my body against his hand, needing the friction to ease the buildup that was beginning to grow out of control.
Max withdrew his hand and placed both of them on the backs of my legs, pulling me closer to him.
“What are you doing? I want you. Now,” I all but begged.
“I know you do, sweetheart. But I want to slow down a minute.”
I looked at him in disbelief. “I don’t want to slow down. I want you inside me.”
“And I want to be inside you,” he said, his voice deep and husky. I could hear the need in his tone, mirroring mine. He ran his hands up the backs of my legs, setting my skin on fire, until he reached my backside. He cupped both cheeks in his hands. “I always want to be inside you. But I want to enjoy your body. This,” he said, squeezing my ass, “should be appreciated. Let me love on you a minute.”
I felt myself tear into two jagged, painful pieces. The first one wanted to do just that and let him “love on me,” but the other knew good and well that I couldn’t let sex and love bleed together.
Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, she has created her own.
The Exception was Adriana’s debut novel and released late last year. The Perception is a stand-alone that follows two secondary characters from The Exception. Her third novel, Sacrifice, will be released Summer 2015.
Adriana lives in the Midwest with her family. She spends copious amounts of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. Her favorite things include sunshine, candy, and random quotes.
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