Exception to the Rule

Charlotte Symonds
Exception to the Rule
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Release Date
March 2016
Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy

Delilah Bennet had never fallen in love. As a writer, she had written thousands of scenes depicting it, but love was something that always eluded her. Secure with anonymity behind her laptop as a ghost-writer, Delilah was in total control to freely manipulate the male characters she created. The men in her stories were well scripted, and she was comfortable being the marionette in total control of every move they made. In her relationships with men, Delilah preferred one-night stands to the devious mind games men played while dating.
With an unexpected chance meeting, Jake Hastings entered Delilah's life uninvited, yet as fate would have it, seemingly beyond her control. With his lightning blue eyes, sultry deep voice and rugged sexual energy, this heartthrob was more than Delilah could resist. Jake was shattering all the stereotyped notions of men that Delilah had become accustom to. But, was he merely saying what she wanted to hear, or was he truly sincere?
Would Delilah finally be able to find love, or would Jake merely be an additional notch on her bedpost and her first heartbreak?

Book Review by Avonna Loves Genres (reviewer)
Sep 04, 2019   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
13 people found the following review helpful
EXCEPTION TO THE RULE by Charlotte Symonds is a contemporary romance by a new-to-me author. This is a well-written romance with fun and witty dialogue, a hero that every girl dreams of and a wounded heroine who avoids dealing with her emotional past by avoiding relationships.

Delilah Bennet can write a sex scene so well, she has been hired to be a ghostwriter by a well-known romance author. She loves her job because she gets to freely manipulate all of the heroes. She is in total control. In her personal dating life she has rules and keeps the control, always. She must be the one to approach and she uses the men for sex. No relationships.

Delilah lives with her best-friend Rhen and has always been the shield that Rhen uses to hide his true sexuality from his ultra-conservative family. Rhen is the only person who knows the real Delilah and why she is the way she is with men. When she tells Rhen about the fantastic mystery man she spies on while he exercises through the window of their apartment, he believes this may be the one to get Delilah to give real dating a shot, but she never sees his face.

Jake Hastings is the plus-one to Rhen's cousin at a family wedding. When he sees Delilah dancing, something seems familiar about her, but he does not know from where. With his blue eyes, hard-body and sultry voice, Delilah cannot resist, even though he came up to her. Jake has trouble keeping Delilah from running away each time they get close, but he also cannot stop thinking about her and wanting more.

Is Jake truly sincere and an honorable man? Will Delilah make an exception to her rules and end up possibly having her heart broken for the first time or believe in Jake?

I am in love with Jake! Here is a romance hero who did not do anything, but be a nice guy. (OK. He is gorgeous and rich, too, which never hurts.) Delilah is the wounded heroine, instead of the wounded hero as in most romances. She proves she is capable of love and friendship with Rhen, but Rhen is safe. Her reasons for her rules are believable and give her a reason for always doing a runner when things get personal with Jake. Ms. Symonds has written realistic, funny and witty dialogue throughout the story. The sex scenes are fun, hot and explicit. The characters in this romance are interesting, entertaining and I feel could walk right off the page.

I highly recommend this romance!
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Book Review by vera (reviewer)
Apr 07, 2017
75 people found the following review helpful
I was blown away by Symonds grittier story-line and intense sexual situations; containing drama, human relationships, and raw emotions, get ready for a wild ride.


Exception To The Rule, a fast paced funny romance filled with emotion and drama, will captivate the reader from the first paragraphs to the last sentence. Delilah ghost writes for a famous romance writer creating love scenes which scorch her computer screen; she has complete control of the men in her stories. She's a voyeur watching her very hunky neighbor thru her window and hides in the apartment, living her sex life thru her characters. Delilah refuses to become involved in romantic relationships or dating; she uses men for one night stands before they can use her.

Sharing living arrangements with her best friend Rhen, Delilah's safe from real romantic relationships as she's sequestered away from men in her make-believe world. Delilah is Rhen's cover for family and business functions as he's still in the closet; safely tucked away from exposure with the beautiful Delilah on his arm. Delilah's safe from emotional entanglements and relationships as Rhen's make-believe girlfriend. Both are hiding from issues which have followed them from childhood as they cover for each other.

Delilah lives by a strict set of rules, however she finds that rules are made to be broken. As fate steps in, Delilah finds there's an exception to every rule. Will Jake will become Delilah's exception? He enters Delilah's life unexpectedly, breaks all of Delilah's preconceived ideas about men and romance, and firmly seats himself in her imagination; and just possibly her heart.

Will Jake find he can find his way into Delilah's heart? Is Rhen destined to stay in the closet? Come with Delilah, Rhen, and Jake on the adventure of a lifetime. My reviews of romance novel, Exception To The Rule, follows.


First I must say, Exception To The Rule is much more edgy than any of Symonds earlier novels. With the same depth of character development, prose, and clear writing, Symonds included more sexual innuendo in this book. Also, the language is rougher, yet still the story's so very enjoyable. As a writer of heart grabbing, done to earth novels, filled with emotion, drama, and realism, Symonds added an edgy concept to her story-line. Filled with humor and insight, I enjoyed coming to know Delilah, Rhen, and Jake.

Symonds boldly faces head-on issues relevant to us today; individual sexuality and choices. Written with grace and finesse, the reader watches as two outsiders join together to survive in the world as they came to know it. Delilah hides in her writing, avoiding facing the trauma and insecurity of her childhood; yet she's strong and independent while Rhen hides from his true self. Symonds spotlights what people are willing to do to conform to societies concepts as well as what we will do to protect our inter-self from hurt. This story makes the reader think and ponder the question: when will society realize a person's sexuality has nothing to do with their heart and soul. It also reinforces the extent our childhood and teenage years have on the rest of our life.

Although a romance, I also found myself laughing out loud as Delilah, Rhen, and Jake banter. Delilah has a mouth on her which quite surprised me, yet I could not help but like her. Jake's character's wonderful. Seen as a good guy, strong, able, dependable, yet sure enough of his own male sexuality to be sensitive to Delilah and her needs. With the heart of a romantic and a sensuality that we all would love our men to have, he's funny, strong, giving, and has a Bible in his nightstand; a true gentlemen yet, a consummate lover who is a bad boy in the bedroom (or wherever the need arises). Jake is every woman's dream man.

Finally, in concluding my reviews of romance novel, Exception To The Rule, Symonds imagination ran wild in this novel and what an imagination she possesses. I learned a few things from this book; interesting and informative things; that's all I will say, you will have to read the book to see if you learn anything new. The pace was smooth and steady without starts and stops as the scenes flow seamless. The story concept was refreshing and the writing fluid. Different from Symonds earlier novels, I found the prose grittier and more down to earth; a real slice of humanity.


I would not hesitate to buy this book for myself or a friend. Symonds ability shines as she changed up her style in this one with grittier language and more intense and descriptive love scenes. As the gritter language and love scenes/innuendos may not be for everyone, I recommend this book to young adults and adults.


Additionally, I purchased this book and chose to voluntarily review the book with an honest reviews for romance novel, Exception To The Rule. Lastly, book reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author's opinion. Consequently, all book reviews on-line and on my blog, are my opinions. In addition, no one influenced my voluntary reviews for romance novel, Exception To The Rule.

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