Breaking His Rules

Breaking His Rules

by Aliza Mann

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Overview

An international playboy finds true love in a sexy new standalone contemporary romance from Aliza Mann.
 
Ashton Lyle is a man in control. His rules are simple:
Discipline.
Hard work.
No deviation.
And lucky for him no one is able to resist his mega-watt smile, dazzling wit, sexy British accent, and ability to manipulate any situation in business . . . and in bed.
That is, until he meets a woman with rules of her own.
 
Terra Ellis is a self-made woman who knows what she wants.
A successful entrepreneur, she has worked hard to cultivate an impeccable image.
A tumultuous relationship with her ex-husband has reinforced her drive but it has also made her question serious relationships.
After all, a busy woman has no time for romance.
That is, until Terra meets a man who sees through her façade.
 
Ashton and Terra are about to discover that some rules were made to be broken. . . .
 
This ebook includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Advance praise for Breaking His Rules

“Captivating and charming . . . blond Brit Ashton Lyle [encounters] Terra, a street-smart black woman. . . . [Aliza] Mann blends comedic elements and tight emotional drama with the delicate developing romance. . . . A solid and enjoyable story.”Publishers Weekly

Breaking His Rules is a sexy, modern romance full of humor, charm, and heart.”—Roni Loren, New York Times bestselling author of The One You Fight For

“A sexy read with plenty of snappy banter and steamy scenes to keep you turning the pages. Aliza Mann’s Breaking His Rules is a heartwarming debut with laugh-out-loud moments and a twist I didn’t see coming.”—Juno Rushdan, author of Every Last Breath

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781984800152
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/02/2019
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 276
Sales rank: 184,065
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Ever since she was a small child, Aliza Mann loved to tell stories. It started in the backyard of her family’s home where she shared them with the neighborhood kids. Through the years she read anything she could get her hands on. In high school she found her love for romance. From the moment she opened the cover of a romantic historical page-turner, she found herself hooked.
 
Actively employed, she balances her love of writing a great story between two pseudo-adult children, a fabulous son-in-law, and the man of her dreams. A true book nerd, she is almost always reading and writing the world in a way that shows its true beauty, served with a heaping side of happily ever after. Aliza is also active in RWA and Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America organizations.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Ashton

Amateurs rarely follow the rules. It’s the number-one reason they always get stuck. Call it a playbook, if you will—the very necessary guidelines to finding women who normally wouldn’t give you the time of day, yet discover themselves inexplicably drawn to you.

I keep mine fairly simple, and never, ever deviate. There are traps and pitfalls in diverting from the rules. I’m not some Yoda. Just extremely dedicated to maintaining a respectable bachelor status.

1.   Never pick the prettiest women. They’re usually merely a pretty face, have no real power, and are high-maintenance or looking for more than what one has to give. No, the pretty girls will ruin your chances at playing the field. The less attractive friends always want attention and will be far more appreciative in the long run.

2.   Don’t think of her as a one-night stand. Think of her as a new friend you can call at 3 a.m. asking to come round her place.

3.   No discussing family history.

4.   No deep conversations that linger into the wee hours. Keep things light. Airy. Like fresh laundry on a clothesline in the spring.

5.   Never treat women poorly. Be distant instead. Not too distant, though. It’s a fine line after all.

6.   Whatever you do, don’t hang out until the next morning. It gives the wrong impression. No need to contradict the aloof vibe you’ve perfected.

7.   No actual dates on Friday or Saturday, as these are universally known as couples’ nights.

8.   No consecutive days of seeing each other, either.

9.   No sharing of clothing items.

10. No taking personal items to each other’s homes.

Those are the rules for the modern-day playboy. There are probably more than that, but these are enough to get you started. Being a player is a highly unpopular position to be in, by the way. What with all the tossers in the world acting aggressively toward women and Glide-ing until their fingers won’t swipe anymore. None of that was my game.

My rules were in place to protect them as much as they were for my own protection. No one needed to get hurt, and being honest was by far the safer way to go. They’d probably be better off without someone like me anyway. I wasn’t the marrying type, and women deserve more than that. Most do, anyway.

I never picked up women in a club. I’d usually troll upscale dinner spots. I also avoided younger women. I like them at least five years my senior, thirty-eight being the sweet spot. Since I’m thirty-three, they don’t feel too weird about the age difference. They’re usually tired and ready to settle down. Since I’m a semi-nice, marginally attractive, financially stable bloke, I can slip in on the unsuspecting singletons—that’s what they call themselves nowadays according to my limited chick flick experience—and find some mutually enjoyable, no-strings-attached fun.

And my Brit accent doesn’t hurt, either. Never mind that I haven’t been back to London in twenty-five years and have no legitimate ties to the country, since I’m an American citizen, although women rarely ask me that. I wouldn’t out-and-out lie about it. I just throw in a few highly inaccurate references, most likely, and no one is the wiser. A teatime here and an arse there will do the trick.

So there I was. Soar Brasserie fit the bill as much as any other restaurant in downtown Detroit. The French décor, impeccable food, and inflated costs brought out women in droves. Contrary to popular belief, there are many individuals in the city with old money and high profiles, and there’s a disproportionate divorce rate.

The interior was awash with peaches, pinks, and purples, and perfectly blended with slate-gray wooden flooring. Quite proper, really. It was a white-tablecloth type of place where wearing your fine clothes wasn’t frowned upon. The sunlight came in through floor-to-ceiling windows, and over the bar was a television set into the wall that showed news programs. Every week two businessmen sat at the opposite end of the bar from where I sat and amicably argued over current news events. No matter how long I sat each week, they always seemed to still be there when I was leaving. Then there were the women. It was like my own personal playground. Fortunately, I never ran into the same women in the four times I’d been there. Lucky boy.

I’d been there only about twenty minutes on a fine Sunday afternoon before I identified a tableful of prospects, their Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana scents perfuming the air, acting as a beacon. All sported faded wedding-band lines, face lines that told of some sadness and laughter, and purses that could fund a month’s pay for the average American household. Just my type.

“What can I get you today?” I’d been standing at the bar for a while waiting to be served. No biggie, since it wasn’t entirely drink-thirty yet. I could have sat at a table, but the unmanned bar was perfect for me since the proximity to the tastefully done dining area was optimal. I turned to face the poor overweight sloth of a bartender, who hadn’t quite figured out that he was on a fast track to a heart attack. He had the face of a bulldog, which probably translated to someone who could beat my ass. Best not tempt him, for while he was clearly on his best work behavior, he may have been hanging on to his temper by a very thin thread.

“I’ll take a bourbon, neat.”

“Coming up,” he said with a knowing smirk I didn’t like.

Most men regarded me in that way. I could see how they would have a touch of disdain, since I resembled what was commonly called metrosexual. It’s better than what my father called me, more along the lines of a softy, anytime he sobered up enough to realize I was in the room with him. Appearance-wise, I took my looks after my British mum after all, and she was a fair blond lady with a model-like appearance and soulful blue eyes. She’d thought the world of my father before she passed. Cancer took her when I was ten. Our move to the US when I was eight was supposed to save her. For a while, it did. She had surgery that was radical for the time, I remembered them saying. There were times when it almost seemed easy for her to take care of us.

Those days were better than most. We’d take walks in Central Park after riding on the subway all the way from Brooklyn. My mother would window-shop and I’d people watch. There were so many people to see. Meanwhile, my father worked at factory jobs and driving cabs to pay for all the medical bills. It wasn’t nearly enough. He was out working more than he was home. But the treatments were working.

Until they weren’t. Mum took a turn for the worse. The treatments lost their effectiveness. In the end, we lost her. She left me there to take care of my father through no fault of her own, bless her. Yeah, I know that should have been the other way around, but it nearly killed him, and what was left of him after her death wasn’t fit to see after a dog, let alone an impressionable young lad. I don’t think he ever forgave himself for not being able to afford more—more treatments, more medicine, an in-home nurse. As an adult, I can see how that goal was nearly impossible to achieve. Probably why I work in pharmaceutical sales. Not exactly the most noble profession these days, but it did provide insight into the monster that is healthcare.

She was only thirty-five. An absolutely beautiful and kind woman who left the world poorer for her passing. We moved to Detroit before my eleventh birthday. New York, a city my mother loved, proved too cruel a place for dear old withering Dad.

Instead of watching the portly bartender, I returned my attention to the ladies in the center of the room, in all their Dior splendor. Light laughter and low murmurs carried over from their table across the room. It was the type of conversation that wealthy but sad people had—tight mouths and smiles that never made it to their eyes. Even as the restaurant filled with brunchgoers, I didn’t take my eyes off their table for longer than it took to take a sip of my drink. Every movement, every action was a part of the allure. I tried anyway. Being an international man of mystery and intrigue was the furthest thing from my reality—I mean, finding socks that matched from the dryer was an amazing feat, but as long as you had confidence, you could pull it off. Most men didn’t truly believe their bullshit. I had a lot of them beat because I was able to talk myself into almost anything. The other missing element for most amateurs was their lack of basic human understanding. It’s not enough to show attention. A man’s body should be completely in tune with someone he’s attracted to. It’s not that I thought myself insanely attractive. I was just someone who paid attention. If the rest of the men in the world learned to do just that, I’d have had plenty of competition. Especially in Soar. Either the guys there paid no attention, or they were such arse-hats I won out easily. So all I had to do was focus and I’d achieve my objective.

Yet I wasn’t focused. Just off to the left I noticed a pair of furious whisperers at the first table near the bar. Easy enough to figure out. The girl, rather pretty—not my type, though, since she was too gorgeous to be on the same planet with mere earthlings—was pushing the hands of a hobbit impersonating a human away from her.

Right. I needed to ignore that. Besides, I had something else to do. Someone else to do. We would have a long night of our own fun ahead of us. Best not ruin it.

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Breaking His Rules 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Recommend+this+book%2C++it+was+a+different+take+on+man+meets+woman.+++mjw
MalkaShayna 4 months ago
Ashton Lyle was eight when his mother was diagnosed with cancer. They moved from London to New York for special treatment, but then it came back. After his mother died, his father mentally check out. Eventually they moved to Detroit. Subconsciously, he fears finding and loosing that kind of love, so now grown up and a pharmaceutical salesman, he has a lists of rules to keep him as a playboy, concentrating on older women. However, those rules are broken, after he rescues Terra, from a very aggressive blind date. She owns a club but is not free of her ex-husband and because of him, no longer trusts men or wants a relationship with them. But, there is something about the other ... that keeps luring them back together. The characters are well developed, but for some reason I was not able to connect with them, and I can't figure out why. The steamy love scenes got to be too much, almost half the book and I found myself skimming quite a bit in order to finish. I received a free advanced copy of this book from NetGalley.com. This was my unbiased and voluntary review.
ShakBlak 4 months ago
Ashton lived his dating life by a set of rules: 1.) Never date the prettiest girl in the room. 2.) No dates on Friday or Saturday night. 3.) No discussing family history… you get the gist. His mind is completely blown when he meets Terra, who makes him challenge every one of those rules. Terra has her own set of drama, in the name of an ex-husband. As they get to know each other a little better, the drama unfolds. Can Ashton get past her walls? Can Terra make him forget all of his rules? I initially wanted to read this because I love interracial romance, and it had a great synopsis. LoveSwept hasn’t produced a book I didn’t like. Upon reading it I will say I was a bit nervous. Could this be the first book that doesn’t live up to my expectation? I have to say, it did live up to my expectations. I did have to get past a chapter or two, but it was totally worth it. While it does start off a bit slow, getting to know the characters, watching them interact with each other, watching the development… it gave the story so much depth and kept me enthralled. I am new to Aliza Mann’s work, but I would enjoy reading more of her work.
ThreesmomDC 4 months ago
In exchange for an ARC, I am happily giving my open and honest review. This is the first book of Ms. Mann's that I have read. It began with Ashton listing his rules oh how he dates women and then he finds the one woman who makes him start breaking said rules. Enter Tarra, a lady who knows how to take care of herself, but only just recently learned to do so thanks to her abusive ex-husband. The relationship between these two is long and full of stops and starts and pitfalls. My main problem with this book was how much time each of them spent inside their own heads and this is the main reason for my less than 5 star review.
TerryL56 4 months ago
An okay read for me. Ashton was a playboy who loved his ladies a few years older than himself. One Sunday he meets Terra and is immediately smitten. Terra is a strong woman who has a club she has worked hard for. After she meets Ashton, she tries to to forget him because she believes that he’s not the type of guy to commit to a relationship. The storyline is good and I liked the characters ... but I didn’t love them. Even though Ashton was a hottie and Terra was a strong beauty ... I just found the banter between them awkward sometimes. There was one really good twist in the story, but otherwise I found it predictable. I received an early copy courtesy of Random House-Loveswept through NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.
Anonymous 4 months ago
This book has some sizzling sexy scenes, a heroine we can all identify with, a vulnerable playboy hero I'd like to...play with. And Mann's descriptions make you feel like your on a custom tour of the great city of Detroit! Plus, what's not to love about that cover?
DebiDG 4 months ago
A fantastic story filled with love and life revelations. Ash and Terra are established with their own lives but will perfect timing bring them together? Can the breakdown their own barriers for a piece of happiness? Lots of sexy time and humor made this a fun read.
arlenadean 4 months ago
Title: Breaking His Rules Author: Aliza Mann Publisher: Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept Reviewed By: Aliza Mann Rating: Four Review: "Breaking His Rules" by Aliza Mann My Rationalization... I loved this beautiful sweet story of Ashton and Terra with him being eleven years younger. It was really nice how this author was able to give us a story that really balanced out so very well together giving the reader one well-written storyline along with a sexy romance. I loved how with each having their own personal issues were able to at the end get it all worked out. *I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!*
nelriv 4 months ago
I am not a fan of older woman younger man situations, but that is me to each its own. I found this book ok, not the best but I guess you could pass the time, me I would have read something else. So we meet Ashton a self proclaimed playboy and then he meets Terra and all of sudden he is head over heels and in love so he apparently changed his way fairly quickly, yeah that did not convince me. But it is what it is, so then we have Terra a divorcee and little leary of getting hurt again but Ashton and his charming ways convinces her and then we have a whole lot of sexy times...That was basically it.. Rcvd an ARC atno cost to author..(netgalley) Voluntarily reviewed with my own thoughts and opinions.
bookaholicAD 4 months ago
Ashton had a full-proof set of rules when it came to dating, then Terra came along and re-wrote the script. I loved this couple they were both genuine and upfront about what they wanted. There were no games and lots of hot hot sexy times. I cheered for them to make it the whole way. Great story from start to finish.
Jolie 4 months ago
When I started reading Breaking His Rules, I was a little put off by Ashton’s rules. I will give everyone a breakdown of his rules to dating. I thought that they were ridiculous. I also want to remind everyone that I am taking the rules from an ARC. The wording might change. Can you see why I thought they were ridiculous? But, at the same time, I did see the humor and truth in them. I dated (and remained friends) with a few guys who had different versions of Ashton’s Playbook. I did like Ashton. I loved seeing his character evolved throughout the book. He went from being an emotionless lady killer to someone who broke all his own rules to be with Terra. What I liked, even more, was that he was able to move past his horrible childhood and make peace with it. I loved Terra. Like Ashton, I liked seeing her character’s growth in the book. I did understand why she stayed to herself, why she was afraid to let people get to her. Baggage like she had can do that to people. I loved that Breaking His Rules was an interracial cougar romance. I have read interracial romances (one of my favorite subgenres to read). I have read a couple of cougar romances. But them together, nope. This book was my first one, and I want more!! The author did a fantastic job of building up the sexual tension between Terra and Ashton. She kept stroking the flames so when they had sex, it was terrific. But, what impressed me even more, was that she kept sexual tension up the entire book. What I also liked is that she had Terra be sexually adventurous. Light bondage and public sex were a theme in Breaking His Rules. The only thing that I didn’t like about Breaking His Rules was Marcus. He made my skin crawl. I know the author kept true to what happens in the real world. It still didn’t lessen my shock and horror about what he did. I wished he hadn’t been in the story. But I do understand why the author chose to have him there. She wanted to show us what Terra was up against and what she came from. I had the same feelings about Ashton and his father. I did think that Terra overstepped her bounds. But, if something like that happened to one of my kids, I would want to know. Her doing that did open a line of communication between Ashton and his father. The end of Breaking His Rules was perfect. The author did a great job of wrapping up all the storylines. I loved the HEA!!! It made me happy to read that.
Bette313 4 months ago
This was a very well done book although I did find the story itself very predictable. The author did a good job developing the characters and their relationship as the story unfolded. The chemistry between Ashton and Terra was great. Ashton is a self proclaimed ladies man. He knows how to give them what they need without all the ugly entanglements of a relationship. Terra is a busy divorcee who has given up on love and relationships. These two seem perfect for each other. Turns out that is exactly the problem, they work too well and before long they are breaking all the rules. Overall a very enjoyable read and I'd definitely recommend it.
Lori-Gonzo 4 months ago
For being a player and wanting no strings relationships, Ashton sure did fall hard. It was quite a fun decline to read as he fell for Terra. She gave all his normal banter with women right back to him and he did not know how to handle it. It was quite refreshing and a little funny. But I did love how he reflexively protected her. That was pretty awesome. And helped Terra realize her feelings for him and see she could trust him. This was my first story by Aliza Mann, but will not be my last. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
ShellyWasserman 4 months ago
Filled with sexy banter, steamy loves scenes, and a British hero, this own voices contemporary romance is a wickedly hot romance that gave me all the feels. 10 Stars! I adored Ashton and Terra and I know you will too! I highly recommend this feel-good romance.