Thursday, December 19, 2013

Happy One Year Anniversary: The Exception to the Rule by Beth Rinyu

A year ago today The Exception to the Rule by Beth Rinyu was published and we are celebrating.  We have an alternate POV scene for Dr. Julian Kiron, our review and a giveaway.  


When Katrina “Kat” Vallia, an idealistic if somewhat naive 20-something American pediatrician travels halfway across the globe to volunteer in a poor African village, she looks at it as a means of closure. Following a bitter breakup with her unfaithful boyfriend, she decides to throw herself into her work without any distractions from a man. That’s until she encounters Dr. Julian Kiron, a handsome, career driven pediatric oncologist. Even though she tries to fight it, Kat finds herself falling deeply for him; until she painfully realizes that they both want totally different things from life. Not willing to compromise for the other, they sadly say goodbye, cutting all ties.

Five years later, Kat’s happy world is turned upside down when she is given devastating news. She must now confront her past and the secret she’s harbored for years. But will saving the one she loves most also rekindle the love she let slip away?

4 star review by Jen Skewes

Kat lost her mother at an early age and growing up it was just her and her father.  Even now as an adult she still lives with her dad who she has a very close relationship with.  She is a pediatrician who has been with her boyfriend for 5 years.  She has a successful career and wonderful boyfriend that she loves, so life seems to be great.  But not everything is always what it seems.  Kat finds her boyfriend with another woman.  Kat then decides to go away for 9 months on a humanitarian mission to Africa.  While she is there she meets Dr. Julian Kiron, the man who would forever change her life.

Julian is a very successful and well known doctor and he also happens to be completely gorgeous.  There is no denying that Kat is physically attracted to Julian, but she knows that someone like him should be off limits.  Julian doesn't do relationships. His career comes first and basically has no time to be in a relationship.  Kat knows this going in but she can't deny the feelings and the pull she feels towards him.  So she decides to just take the time that they have together and run with it.  Unfortunate circumstances cause Kat to have to go home earlier than she had expected.  Kat has family issues that she needs to deal with on her own, leaving Julian behind.  

Julian enjoyed the time that he spent with Kat and when he leaves Africa he decides to go see her before he is off on his next medical mission.  Kat and Julian formed a bond while they were together.  And for the first time Julian considers breaking his rules and giving a relationship with her a try.  While they both have feelings for each other, there is a bigger issue that is holding them back.  They both see their future differently, both wanting different things, which neither one of them is willing to compromise.  This in turn causes them to go their separate ways.

It is now five years later and Kat is faced with devastating news.  This is a time in her life where she needs Julian in more ways than one.  But Kat has been keeping a secret from Julian for the past 5 years.  A secret that she knows she has to tell , but at the same time too afraid of what Julian will do.  How he will look at her and how will he react.  If there was any chance of these two rekindling what they once had, this secret could destroy all of that.

I loved this story.  Julian was hot and sexy and gorgeous but he is also a very loving and caring person.  You can see how much he cares for Kat and how much he was starting to fall for her.  Despite his rule of not relationships I think a part of him was willing to break that rule and give it a try.  He is an amazing doctor who cares for his patients  and even after Kat's secret is revealed you still can't help but love him.  He tried to deal with the situation the best way he knew how.  He was angry for a while which was completely understandable.  

I really loved Kat as the heroine.  All though I may not have agreed with some of her decisions but the truth is she has been through a lot of pain, loss and suffering in her life that you couldn't help fell bad for her.  I mean how much pain can one person endure.  But she fought through it and moved on.

Julian and Kat were so good together.  Their story had some heart breaking moments, but they also had a lot of good moments as well.  You will root for them to find their way back to each other and get the HEA that they both deserve.  This book deals with real issues, which is something that I love about Beth Rinyu's writing.  It's real life in the world of fiction, if that makes sense.  She knows how to make you feel what the characters are feeling, because it is something that we can all relate to.  The Exception to the Rule is about love, loss, forgiveness and second chances.  Sometimes there are things in life that are worth breaking the rules for, especially when it comes to love.  Excellent by Ms. Rinyu.  

Chapter 25 - Julian's POV

I was headed into the hospital for just a few hours. I had a great time with my sister and niece but it put me so far behind with work. I tried to sneak into my office being unseen but was stopped by Dr. Moore as soon as I stepped into the elevator. “Hey Dr. Kiron you got a minute?” she said stepping into the elevator with me.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“Would you mind looking at a report for me? I’d really like to know if you concur with my opinion on this case.”
“Yeah, no problem.” Right after I get done with the million other things that I need to do.
“I really appreciate you taking the time to do this,” she said as the elevator finally reached the fourth floor and we stepped out.
“Not a prob –” I stopped myself mid-sentence when I heard a voice that I would remember for the rest of my life calling my name. My eye’s widened when I lifted my head and was staring into the eyes of the girl that I hadn’t been able to get out of my head for the past five years, Kat Vallia. For the very first time in my life I was speechless.
“Dr. Kiron, are you okay?” Dr. Moore asked.
"I'm fine, I'll have the report for you later."
 I finally got over my shock and approached her. She was even more beautiful than I remembered. "How are you, Kat?" I gently placed my hand on her arm, and I could feel her trembling.
"I'm well, thank you." Her voice quivered as she focused intently on my eyes.
What are you doing here—are you here on business?"
"No, not really.” She had me totally confused, if she wasn’t here on business then why did she show up out of the blue after all of these years? "Julian I need to talk to you, somewhere private." 
 "Okay, I should be done here in an hour. There's a coffee shop right at the end of the street, do you want to meet me there at noon?" I asked as I looked down at my watch.
"Okay," she said very meekly.
“I’ll see you then.” I said as I gave her one last smile before I walked away.
I went into my office, closing the door behind me. I sat down at my desk, trying my best to concentrate on the reports that needed to be read over and the charts that needed to be updated, without much success. I finally put the report down after reading it about a dozen times and not comprehending a thing. Kat Vallia, the girl that crushed my heart, the reason that I had countless one nighter’s with women, trying to escape the memory of her. The girl that I was willing to rethink everything for had just showed up out of nowhere. I just didn’t get it. I took a deep breath, trying my best to get something accomplished. I finally focused on the work that I needed to complete and was so deep in thought that I didn’t realize that it was almost noon. I looked over the report one last time, signed off on it and grabbed my car keys.

I got out of my car and spotted Kat immediately. She threw her phone in her purse and stood up.  "I really appreciate you taking the time to meet me."
 "No problem, Kat; actually it was a really nice surprise seeing you. You want to go in?"  I opened the door and entered behind her.

 “Sorry for making you wait,” I said as we sat down. “I just had some catching up to do. I had just taken a few days off to spend with my sister and niece who were here visiting.” Her dark brown eyes widened and she looked like she was deep in thought. “So what have you been up to?” I asked.
 “Nothing special,” she responded very timidly.
I finally asked the question that I was dying to know after all of these years. “Did you ever get married? She shook my head no, giving me a slight smile.
“What about you?” she asked,.
 Was she kidding me? Did she not remember our whole reason for parting ways? “I barely have time to sleep, let alone maintain a relationship.” I leaned back in my chair and couldn’t stop myself from staring at her. She was still that same adorable girl that liked to eat chocolate cake for dinner.” “You look great, Kat.”
“Thanks,” she whispered.
 I could see that she was nervous as she fidgeted around with the napkin and bounced her leg up and down.
“So how’s work?”
I nodded and couldn’t help but think how cute she looked twirling her hair around her finger. “How’s James doing?” I asked in an effort to break up the tension.
“He’s doing well. He and Tricia are engaged now.”
“Yes, I knew that. I haven’t talked to him in a while. I owe him a phone call.”
“So you’re Chief of Oncology now?”
I nodded.
“Well congratulations, I always knew you were destined for great things.”
 “So what did you need to talk to me about?”
"Bone marrow transplants.” Her response was quick and sharp.
 “What?” I laughed at her abruptness.
“What do you know about bone marrow transplants?” None of this was making sense. Kat was a doctor she knew enough about bone marrow transplants that didn’t warrant a trip to Chicago to ask me.  I played along and explained to her the basics of bone marrow transplants. She listened, acting like she was clueless. “This is pretty common knowledge that you learn in medical school.”
 "Yes, I know, I just wanted to get your advice, since you are one of the top doctors in your field."
 "So you came almost one thousand miles just to ask me that? I’m sure you have doctors just as versed as me and a lot closer. That must be some special patient."
All of the color drained from her face. "It is," she said, biting her bottom lip. She took a deep breath and paused for a moment. "It's my son.” My heart immediately went out to her. "It’s our son.”
I was totally taken off guard; obviously I didn’t hear her correctly. "What?" I stared at her, waiting for her to explain what I thought I had just heard. She looked at me with tear filled eyes and it was finally sinking in. The shock that I was feeling just moments ago was quickly being replaced with anger. "Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Because you made it clear to me what you wanted out of life and that didn’t include a child.”
The waitress came over to take our order. "Not now!" I shouted.
I was dumbfounded. I had a son. A five year old son that I never knew existed. How the hell could she have done this to me?  
She placed a picture down in front of me. “His name is Matty, he’s five-years-old, he’s a great kid, and he has leukemia.” Her voice cracked with emotion.  I lifted the picture and examined it closely. It was all so surreal to me. But reality was slowly seeping in as I stared at that picture. It was if I was looking at myself thirty some years ago. “Almost like looking in the mirror, isn’t it?” she asked as if she was reading my mind. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I couldn’t take my eyes off the picture. A million questions raced through my mind. What had she told him about me? Did he know that I never knew about him or did he think that I just didn’t care? But I was too pissed off to ask her any of them.
"I know that I was wrong to have kept this from you, but what would you have done if I told you back then?"
“I would have taken responsibility for my son.”
“I’m sorry, but I did the wrong thing for the right reasons.”  .
“What were those reasons?
I couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of her mouth. Nothing justified keeping this from me and at the particular moment I hated her so much for it. “Can you please tell me what your reasons were for keeping my son from me for the past five years?”
“You left and we never spoke again because you didn’t want kids, do you remember that?
Now, she was seriously pissing me off.  There was no way in hell that she was going to place this on me. “Really? So you felt that gave you the right to do this?” he asked. “What, were you trying to punish me for not wanting what you wanted?”
“No, that’s not at all what I was trying to do!”
I shook my head in disbelief. I couldn’t even look at her and I wasn’t sure if it was out disgust or because it hurt so badly to know that she would have kept something so crucial from me without even giving me a choice. “I can’t believe that you just assumed I wouldn’t want to be in his life.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t want you to feel trapped into something you didn’t want.”
“I missed out on five years of my son’s life because you actually thought that’s what I wanted. Why didn’t it ever occur to you to ask me what I wanted?  Would I have ever known if he hadn’t gotten sick?”
She looked away and was silent. My stomach clenched, knowing the answer to that question already.
“Right before I found out I was pregnant I was planning on calling you to tell you that I would go to Germany. I was willing to uproot my whole life, forgo everything that I wanted just to be with you. Once I found out that I was pregnant that changed everything. There were days that I had wished that you would have called to tell me that you would be willing to rethink your plan for me, but you didn’t.”
“You told me not to.”
“Exactly. I thought I knew what you wanted and you thought you knew what I wanted,” she said very gently.
I had to get out of here. I had to just walk away from her and register all of this. I wasn’t sure what I was more upset about, the fact that I had a son that I didn’t know about or the fact that Kat, the girl that I held on a pedestal for all these years totally destroyed my image of her by doing this. “You had no right to just assume what I wanted.”
“I know that I was wrong and you can hate me if you want to.” The tears rolled down her face. “But Matty needs you now. Please, Julian, I’m begging you.”
I looked at her and all I could feel was resentment and anger. “I came here to ask you if you would be willing to be tested to see if you’re a match and to oversee his medical treatment.” She paused for a minute, grabbed a napkin and wiped her eyes. “I want you to be part of his life; to be his father. I want you to fall in love with him the same way I have.”  I couldn’t respond. I knew I wanted to be there for my son but I was so repulsed by her actions that I couldn’t even look at her.
She reached into her wallet and held out a business card. I snatched it from her hand and stared at the girl sitting across from me. She wasn’t the same girl that I knew all those years ago. There were so many things I wanted to say to her and none of which were fitting to say to a woman.  I needed to get as far away from her as possible. I quickly stood up and walked out the door, still grasping tightly to the photograph.

I sat in my car and stared at the picture of this little boy who was a part of me and a complete stranger. I ran my hand though my hair and shook my head I was so pissed at Kat and even more pissed at myself.  So many times I had contemplated calling her. I was even thinking of paying her a surprise visit when I got home from Germany. Why didn’t I try harder with her? Why did I listen to her when she told me not to call? For once in my life why didn’t I break the damn rules and listen to my heart? I was entering uncharted territory and I was terrified. Strangely it wasn’t over the fact that he had cancer. It was because I was actually someone’s father, a thought that scared me half to death.

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