The Rules Regarding Gray is written by Elizabeth Finn and was released September 15th of this year. I just finished reading it and holy guacamole guys this book it soo addicting. Its funny and sassy, while also filled with heart touching moments and demons from the past. The love triangle, which really isn’t one at all, kept me guessing and I highly recommend that y’all at least check it out. Super good read!
Gracelynn is drowning in an existence that fails to fulfill her. A ballerina by trade, she’s devoted her life to the stage, sacrificing adventure for discipline. When her boyfriend gives her permission to want what she’s not supposed to want, can she walk away? Or will she leap?
Jasper isn’t a man with many boundaries, and “sharing” a woman with his best friend is hardly a new endeavor. But the moment he meets Gracelynn he realizes she’s different. She leaves him feeling alive in a way he’s not used to, and for the first time in his life, he understands what it means to be wanted… Cherished… And he needs more…
But there are rules—rules that forbid Jasper from truly having her. As forbidden desire spirals out of control, Jasper has to decide if he’s willing to fight for something that doesn’t truly belong to him. His best friend doesn’t deserve her, but is Jasper strong enough to believe he does?
He sat down then as the waiter entered with a couple bottles of red wine. Ian glanced at her. “I know it’s red, but I couldn’t remember what—”
“Malbec you dick,” Jasper commented, but his eyes were on her, and she smiled.
“Well, fuck both of you. You’re both going to have to live with a Cab and a Pinot.”
Dinner was great, the conversation was even better. They laughed and joked around, and she listened intently as they rehashed their youth for her. Ian was clearly a latchkey kid with little supervision, and that didn’t surprise her in the least. Jas was the outsider who most kids were more fearful of than genuinely interested in knowing, and even though that came with a number of amusing stories related to school pranks and fights, it was still sad to hear in a way. But she soaked it up.
“You remember that day your dad showed up at school and pulled you out in the middle of football practice?” Ian glanced at Jas, but Jas remained silent, nodding subtly. “He rolls up in this old Ford Mustang. It was rough, but it was so cool.” Ian chuckled. “He was a big man, your dad. Comes strolling up with that cool-cat swagger of his, and you just took off with him.”
Jasper’s eyes met hers, but he looked away quickly. She wasn’t sure what to make of his disposition at the moment.
“We took bets whether we’d ever see you again.” Ian was silent then.
She looked between them, feeling more tension than anything else. Jasper was staring at the table, but it wasn’t irritation. He just seemed to be somewhere else.
“Well, clearly he came back,” she tried for no other reason than to cut through the thick air that hung around them.
Ian glanced at her. “Yeah, he did. A week later, black eye, scuffs all over his face and limping. He looked cool as hell actually.”
Her eyes snapped to Jas as he looked up to her. His brow flinched, and all she could seem to manage was to stare wide eyed back at him.
“We didn’t get along so well that week,” Jasper commented with little inflection.
Ian chimed in quickly though. “You were a big kid. I bet you left him looking just as bad.” In Ian’s own way, he was trying to support his friend.
Jasper shook his head subtly. “No.” He said nothing else, and he stared at the table for a moment before blowing out a deep breath of air. When he looked back up to Ian, he smirked. “Way to suck the life out of the party, Ian.” He clapped his hand on Ian’s shoulder, smiling and laughing, and then his focus shifted to Gray, and he studied her for a moment as she took a drink of wine.
“How about you, Gray?” Jasper lifted his own glass to his lips.
She shrugged. “I danced. Not much more to say.” She knew she sounded lame.
“There’s always more to say,” he responded.
“No, in her case there really isn’t,” Ian tossed out. “If you can believe it, I’m only the second man she’s ever slept with. Still can’t believe all the shit she’s let me do to her,” he commented as an aside.
Jasper’s eyes remained on her, but she glanced down at the table, feeling the hot tendrils of embarrassment coursing through her.
“To take a note from Gray’s book, I’m sure she would have told me that herself if she’d wanted me to know.” Jasper’s voice was warm, and when she glanced up, he was looking directly at her rather than Ian. “That doesn’t mean I don’t think there’s more to say. So spill it, Gray.” He demanded with a gentle smile.
She smiled. “Okay. I came from a great family with loving parents who supported me perfectly. I started dance when I was young, and … I was good at it.” She thought about what she wanted to say then. “It was all I did. I knew early on that I wanted to make a career of it, and you don’t do that without giving yourself over to it completely. It was my life. I didn’t go out, have fun, do all those normal kid things. I was in a studio practicing.” She shrugged. Yeah, it was more than lame.
“Nothing wrong with being disciplined,” Jas offered.
“No…” She thought about that for a moment. “But I missed out on life. While other people were out having adventures—”
“And fucking,” Ian threw out.
She rolled her eyes. “I was keeping a strict rehearsal schedule.” Her lips pursed, and her brow flinched as she stared at the table.
But Jaspers warm voice pulled her back to him. “You’re young. You have plenty of time for adventures.”
She glanced at him. “Do I?”
Ian was looking between the two of them but not interrupting.
“I don’t know,” she mused. “Even at my age I feel like I’ve lost part of my life to my career. It’s funny how life feels like it slips away from you without you even knowing it sometimes.” She watched Jasper’s eyes as she spoke.
“Yeah.” He nodded focusing on her intently.
The waiter suddenly appeared in the doorway with their check in his hand. Ian took it, and as the waiter left, it was silent. No one said a word, and her brain swam with a sea of possibilities that were so much bigger than her small little boring world. It was a heady feeling, and she took a deep breath, soaking in the intoxication of it. And then she said it. It wasn’t her desire nor her intention when she walked in, but… She said it.
“I’ve changed my mind.”
He stared at her, stunned into silence. His groin was throbbing, his skin was flushing, and breathing had become a nonessential afterthought.
“Well, that settles that,” quipped Ian from beside him.
But Gray’s face remained impassive—much as it had been when she made the comment.
“No, it doesn’t,” Jasper cut in quickly. He turned his focus to Ian. “I need to speak with Gray alone for a moment.” He stared at Ian, refusing to look away.
Ian held the check up. “Why don’t I take care of this, and I’ll meet you both in the parking lot. Perhaps a nightcap at my place?”
Jasper didn’t respond to him, and he waited for Ian to leave before he bothered trying to speak again. But the moment the door closed and he was alone with Gray, he opened his mouth. “Why are you doing this?”
She watched him for a moment, and she swallowed harshly over a lump in her throat. “I guess… I want to do something I’m not supposed to do. I want to want something I’m not supposed to want. I want to make the mistake I’m not supposed to make.” She took a deep breath again.
He nodded but said nothing.
“Are you agreeing?” she asked quietly.
“Yes,” he said quietly.
Every muscle in his body tightened into hardened strands of tension. “Because I want to fuck the hell out of the mistake until I can get her out of my system.”