Exception to the Rule

Garnet Madigan decides that playing by the rules can only get you so far. She’ll do it her way. The man she loves resents her intrusion in his life. Her business competitor is more interested than her lover. Her enemies threaten the daughter she’ll protect with her life, and her ex-husband is his usual ass-hole self. Somewhere, there should be an exception to the rule that she must have a man to succeed, and she’ll fight them all to find it.


Published: 05/2013
Length: Mid Novel
Word Count: 60,204
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)



Zelma Orr


© Copyright by Zelma Orr, May 2013
© Cover Art by Mariah LaMott, May 2013
ISBN 978-1-60394-794-7
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636


This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.


Donald Baskins leaned back in the padded executive chair, a benevolent smile curving a perfectly shaped mouth over even white teeth. In truth, he was a handsome man....on the outside.

“There’s a show in New York I’ve been wanting to see, and a friend sent tickets and offered the use of his apartment for the weekend.” The diamond winked as he brushed an imaginary piece of lint from his lapel. His voice was softly compelling. “We could discuss the loan while we enjoy the good things of life.”

“Thanks, Mr. Baskins, but ....”

“We’ve known each other long enough, Garnet, that you can call me Donald.” He leaned forward, folding his hands to show off the ring. “Think about it. The loan will be difficult to approve as it is, so if we have this extra time to plan, it will help matters along.”

“Mr. Baskins, my credit rating with your bank is tops. Since that first year, I’ve doubled my payments on the loan, and this request is for a much smaller amount, but I do need this new truck. I realize my cash flow is negligible, but my collateral is outstanding.”

“Ah, yes, collateral. But cash flow is high on the list as marketable assets, and you do owe on the first loan”

“Isn’t that a standard business arrangement?”

“We aren’t speaking of standards, Garnet,” he said. The sexiness of his husky voice slid through his words. “As I’ve said, you have no one backing you, no man to co-sign.” He spread his hands.

“I haven’t had a man backing me for years, Mr. Baskins. You reluctantly gave me my first loan because it meant you could stand up at the Equal Opportunity meetings and stress the fact you’d helped a minority, a female minority, get started in business. I was your first, and it boosted your tremendous ego and your standing in the business community. Well, that was five years ago, and I need another chivalrous gesture on your part. And no, I cannot go to New York for a fun weekend.”

He smiled, that too-perfect smile. “Then I guess this discussion is finished, Garnet. I don’t see how I can, in all fairness to this banking institution, give....”

There’s an unwritten law against what I’m going to do, but I’m going to do it anyway. Garnet stood.

“Very well, Mr. Baskins. Should your wife inquire about the phone calls saying you spent several hours at the Sweetwater Motel with different women, including me, you’ll know who instigated them.” She turned towards the door.

“Ms. Madigan!” The voice was no longer gently persuasive. “Sit down, please.”