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OMG! Rescuing Mary – Delta Force Heroes Book 9 By Susan Stoker



Rescuing Mary
Delta Force Heroes Book 9
By
NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
Susan Stoker


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Ford “Truck” Laughlin and Mary Weston have weathered their share of storms over the last couple years. Truck’s job, Mary’s health. His bossiness, her bitchiness. All while dancing around their intense attraction. Mary’s tried to push him away for his own good but Truck won’t let her give up…on herself or on them. Just when she decides they deserve a fair shot, disaster strikes.

Truck has wanted Mary since the moment he saw her. The prickly woman pushes all his buttons and looks beyond his scarred exterior, something few women have managed. His plan to take their relationship to the next level is stalled when he’s injured on a mission. And he’s barely feeling like his old self again before the couple is dealt another blow, one that could permanently end their chances…and their lives.

**Author Note**
Rescuing Mary is the 9th book in the Delta Force Heroes Series. Usually my books are stand-alones, but in this case, I feel you would get more enjoyment out of the story if you read the other books first, since Mary and Truck’s relationship evolves throughout the series. If nothing else, I recommend reading the first book in the series, Rescuing Rayne, where their relationship began.

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If you haven’t read Rescuing Rayne, go read it first. It will help you understand this book better. I have read the entire series from the beginning so this is the story I’ve long awaited.

Truck and Mary’s secret wedding has been exposed. Everyone was angry but Rayne was more than that she feels totally betrayed. The guys have already had it out, the women have taken sides and everything is a mess.

We learn Mary’s backstory in this book, have the tissues ready, keep them at your side, you will need them for this and so much more.

If you’ve been following this story you know that Mary has now battled breast cancer twice. This second time is when she and Truck got married. He insisted on it so she would have his insurance for the battle. For Truck, it was also because he loves her and whether she will admit it or not Mary loves him too. We’ve all seen it and felt it in the previous books. Now it’s time to learn everything about these two.

The thing is, while they have slept together there has been nothing physical happening. Truck is ready to take this relationship to the next level, but Mary needs to make that decision.

Mary is missing her best friend, so when Rayne comes into the bank with Emily and Casey she takes the opportunity to start the conversation they need to have.

Then all hell breaks loose while they are in the break room.

This is a favorite scene.

Holding her hand up to the other women, she stuck her head out of the break room and looked over the heads of the tellers at the windows.

What she saw had Mary moving before she’d really even thought about it. She grabbed Rayne’s hand and gestured for Emily and Casey to follow her. “Don’t say a word!” she whispered urgently. “Follow me.”

Without waiting for them to respond, she tugged Rayne out the door and headed for the safety-deposit vault. The safest place for them was there. Even though Mary hated the room, it was absolutely impenetrable.

Not only that, but if the two men with guns in the lobby decided they wanted more money than what was in the tellers’ drawers, they’d ask to be let into the money vault, not the one with the safety-deposit boxes.

“Holy shit,” Rayne exclaimed softly as Mary pulled her inside. “Is this really happening?”

Without answering, Mary gestured for Emily and Casey to hurry and the second they cleared the door, she shut it as quietly as she could, even though she didn’t think the robbers could hear the door shutting over the sounds of the screams and crying now coming from the packed lobby.

Mary did what she’d been trained to do in a situation like this. She secured the door, trying not to shiver when it felt like the lid to a coffin shutting, and went straight to the phone on the wall. It was a separate line from the rest of the bank, for safety reasons. No one would see the red light on the desk phones indicating someone was using it. She dialed 9-1-1 and quickly explained the situation to the operator.

She didn’t have a lot of details, but told the lady where she was, who she was with, approximately how many customers there were in the lobby as far as she knew, how many robbers she saw, and how many bank employees there were. The operator wanted her to stay on the line, but Mary hung up and immediately dialed another number.

Rayne, Emily, and Casey were murmuring behind her, but Mary ignored them for the time being. “Come on, come on,” she chanted as the phone rang in her ear.

“Hello?”

The sound of Truck’s voice immediately calmed her. “Truck, it’s Mary. I need you.”

“What’s wrong?” His voice was hard, but composed. It kept her from losing her shit.

“I’m at the bank and there’s a robbery in progress. Rayne, Emily, and Casey are with me, and I locked us in the safety-deposit vault. We can’t hear what’s going on out there, but the guys had guns.”

“Are you all right?”

At his question, Mary’s eyes filled with tears. How like Truck to worry about her first. “Yeah.”

“And the others?”

Mary turned to look at her friends. They were huddled together and looked completely terrified. “They’re good. We’re all good,” she told Truck, lying. She didn’t think he needed to know they were on the verge of freaking out.

“Okay. I’m on the way. The guys are all here…and I’m gonna bring another Delta team with me. We’ve got this. Hear me?”

“Yeah. I called 9-1-1.”

“Good. Mary…we got this,” Truck said again, more urgently. “All you gotta do is stay safe. Can they get in?”

“Maybe. I’ve hit the panic button from inside the vault, which locks it down, but my boss has the override code. I’m hoping if they want money, they won’t bother with this vault, they’ll want the one with the money. My boss should steer them toward that one.”

“Stay away from the door,” Truck ordered. She could hear him moving in the background and hoped like hell he really was on his way right that second. “Can you barricade it in any way?”

“No. There’s a table in here, but it’s bolted to the floor, and it would be too heavy for us to move even if it wasn’t.”

“Fuck. Okay, that’s okay. I bet those guys are already gone. They’ll take what money they can and get the fuck out. We’re comin’ for you, Mare. You tell the others their men are comin’ too. Okay?”

“Yeah.”

“Don’t do anything rash,” Truck warned. “I love you.”

Mary’s stomach tightened at his words. He’d never come out and said it before. Oh, she knew he loved her, but she hadn’t heard the words. Hearing them now was almost painful. “Be careful,” she whispered, wanting to return his words, but not able to make herself say them.
Stoker, Susan. Rescuing Mary (Delta Force Heroes Book 9) (Kindle Locations 475-510). Stoker Aces Production, LLC. Kindle Edition.

Now you would think a bank robbery would be enough excitement for one book, but no. Susan takes us on a rollercoaster ride of emotions as the guys head off for a mission and return.

I really can’t say much without revealing things better read. Just know that Truck’s past and Mary’s, combined with the telling of her treatments, detailed in a way that only Susan can, will pull on your heartstrings.

Even though I had to put this book down several times for tears invoked, there’s plenty of laughter and love in this book too.

The epilogue takes us into the future for each of the couples, a truly fitting end to this wonderful series. Thank you for this journey.

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

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Susan Stoker - Photo Susan Stoker

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She’s married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.

She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.

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Re-Read of Sleeper SEALs! Protecting Dakota – Sleeper SEALs Book 1 by Susan Stoker



The Sleeper SEALs, are former U.S. Navy SEALs recruited by a new CIA counter-terror division to handle solo dark ops missions to combat terrorism on U.S. soil.

Each book in this multi-author branded series is a standalone novel, and the series does not have to be read in order. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.

Protecting Dakota
Sleeper SEALs Book 1
SEALs of Protection Book 10
By
NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
Susan Stoker

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Dakota James’s life has become the stuff of nightmares. The leader of the Ansar al-Shari’a terrorist group has become obsessed with her, determined to take her as his wife. On the run, she’ll have to pin her hopes on the retired SEAL charged with finding and stopping Aziz Fourati before he can carry out plans to bomb more US airports.

Recently recruited to join a sleeper SEAL team tasked with fighting terrorism on US soil, Slade “Cutter” Cutsinger, with the help of some Special Forces friends, has located the one woman who can identify the deadly Ansar al-Shari’a leader. That was the easy part. Keeping her safe proves more difficult than anyone ever imagined.

When she and her new friend, Caroline, are kidnapped by the terrorist group, Dakota can only pray Cutter and the SEALs will reach them before they’re taken out of the country–and away from Cutter forever.

** Protecting Dakota is a part of the SEAL of Protection Series. It is also in the “Sleeper SEAL” connected series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.

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Susan Stoker has joined up with many of my favorite authors to bring the Sleeper SEALs to life. I totally got distracted by reading this awesome series. So much so that I didn’t stop to review them all. With Silver Seals coming in the not so distant future, I thought I’d re-read and finish reviewing these now.

This first book brings to light a fear many of us have. That of domestic terrorists.

Dakota survives a domestic terror attack because the leader is attracted to her. She manages to escape him but is now on the run.

Recruited by the CIA to be a sleeper SEAL, Cutter’s first assignment is to find Dakota, get a description of the terrorist and protect her while they flush him out. His first stop on this journey is to her father. Skeptical as to his intent her father puts him through quite the test before revealing what he knows. Which isn’t very much at all.

With the aid of the postcards from her dad and some from Tex Slade finally locates her.

This is a favorite scene as he tries to convince her he’s not a bad guy.

Dakota nodded and cursed under her breath. She didn’t want to take her eyes from Slade’s, but she couldn’t find the stupid handle.

“I told you last night, but my name is Slade Cutsinger. I’m a retired Navy SEAL and I’m here to keep you safe.”

“Uh huh,” Dakota murmured, only partly listening. She found the handle, finally, and pulled, planning on getting the hell away from the huge man currently glaring at her.

“I talked to your dad the other day. I saw the postcards. It’s how I found you.”

Dakota froze with one foot on the hard dirt outside her vehicle and spun back around to face Slade. “He has nothing to do with this. Leave him alone,” she whispered shakily.

“I know he doesn’t,” Slade reassured her. “The postcards were a good idea, by the way. Your dad was sure you were doing okay, as was your intention. Unfortunately, a few people you gave them to got lazy and instead of waiting until they got home, mailed them from Vegas.”

“Darn,” Dakota said. She figured she might as well listen to what Slade had to say. Since he knew about the postcards, he most likely had seen her dad. She might be stupid, but she wasn’t getting scary vibes from Slade, so hopefully her dad was in his house secure in the knowledge his daughter was okay… even if she was on the run from a terrorist.

“I know all about the bombing in the airport, Dakota,” Slade said softly, bringing her out of her musings.

Dakota’s stomach cramped. He’d used her real name.

Of course he had. If he’d seen her dad, he had to know who she really was.

“I know you were the only survivor. I know that you saw Aziz Fourati, and I also know that you’re the only one in the world right now who can identify him. He also knows this, and not only wants to make sure you keep that information to yourself, but wants you for his own. To be his wife.”

Dakota shut her car door and shivered. Damn, it was cold. She tried to clear her foggy morning brain. She never functioned well before she’d had a cup of coffee. “His name is Aziz?”

She’d surprised him. Slade’s eyebrows went up and he tilted his head as he asked, “You didn’t know his name?”

“No. He never said it. What’s his last name again?” She was trying really hard not to freak out. Oh, she was leaving today for sure, but she needed to know what Slade knew before she bolted. Information was power.

“Fourati.”

“That sounds foreign,” Dakota observed, proud of herself for how calm she sounded.

“It is. Best guess is that he’s Tunisian.”

“Tunisian?” she asked, really confused now.

“Yeah, Tunisian. The country between Algeria and Libya in Northern Africa.”

“I know where Tunisia is,” Dakota answered grumpily. “I just…” She paused for a moment, realizing that she should definitely not be talking to Slade about anything. She didn’t know him. He could be one of Aziz Fourati’s goons. She was happy to have a name for the guy who was making her life a living hell, but she needed to be smart… no matter how much her intuition was screaming that she could trust the man next to her.

Slade leaned over and grabbed something off the floor at his feet. It was a metal travel cup. He offered it to her without a word.

Dakota stared at the cup, then back at him. If he thought she was going to drink something he gave her, he was insane. “No thank you,” she said politely.

“You don’t know what it is,” Slade said evenly.

“I don’t know who you are,” she returned a bit snarkily. “The only reason I’m still sitting in here right now is because it’s cold outside, and there’s nowhere for me to go. I’m sure if you wanted to, you could catch me in two-point-three seconds and slit my throat. Call me a glutton for punishment, but I’d like to get as much information as I can about why my life is in the crapper before I die.”

“You don’t swear.”

“What?”

“You don’t swear,” he repeated patiently.

Dakota shrugged. “I’m an elementary school principal. Or I was. I can’t exactly go around saying fuck, shit, and damn all the time.”

“True. I like it.”

“I can die happy,” Dakota grumped.

His voice lowered further, if that was even possible, and as much as she hated it, goosebumps broke out on her arms at his tone. “I’m one of the good guys, Dakota,” he told her. “The short story is that the government knows Fourati is behind the airport bombing and they want to make sure he’s punished for what he did. But now he’s gathering soldiers online. Trying to convert them to his cause. He wants to do it again, but on a grander scale this time.”

“I’m aware,” Dakota whispered, and she was. Aziz had bragged about his plans while she and the other hostages had huddled together, scared out of their minds in the airport.

“Then you know how important it is to stop him.”

“I almost died that day.” Dakota told him something he probably already knew.

He confirmed it by saying simply, “I know.”

“You can’t just show up out of the blue, tell me you’ve been looking for me, and expect me to trust you are who you say you are.”

“Why not?”

“What do you mean, why not?” Dakota asked, confused.

He continued to hold the cup out to her, but said, “I told you that I’d been to see your dad. I saw the postcards. I am a retired Navy SEAL. I’m not Tunisian and couldn’t pass for an Arabic terrorist on a good day. If I had cell reception, I’d call one of my best friends in the world and let him vouch for me. But that will have to wait until we’re back in civilization. I’m one of the good guys, Dakota. Swear to God.”

“That’s what a terrorist would say,” she informed him, not swayed in the least. “Besides, calling someone in order to vouch for your trustworthiness isn’t going to make me believe them.”

“Take the cup,” Slade ordered gently.

Without thought, Dakota obeyed his urgent words. She reached out and took the stainless-steel travel mug from him. Her fingers brushed his, and she swore she could feel the heat from his fingers shoot up her arm.

But no, it wasn’t his fingers that caused the heat, it was the mug. It was warm. She looked up in question.

“I stopped by the restaurant before coming here and asked Pat to warm up the contents for me.” He looked sheepish for a moment before saying, “I’m sure it doesn’t taste the best after two days, but your dad told me what you liked. He said you’d know I was telling the truth about talking to him if I brought this.”

Dakota slowly and carefully turned the plastic lid— and immediately the smell of peppermint wafted up to her nose. She closed her eyes in ecstasy and brought the mug closer to her face. She inhaled the delicious scent of her absolute favorite coffee in the world, and thought about all the times she and her dad had shared a cup of coffee like this while sitting in his small living room. She fought the tears that sprang to her eyes.

“And this,” Slade said softly, interrupting the memory.

Dakota opened her eyes and saw he was holding out a small white paper bag. She knew what was inside without having to look.

“A maple-iced donut,” she said.

“That’s right. Although I’m afraid it’s probably a bit worse for wear after being in my saddlebag on the back of my bike.”

Dakota reached out and snagged the bag from his fingertips, being careful not to touch him this time, and peered inside. Sure enough, the donut was mushed on one side and the maple icing was mostly stuck to the bag rather than on the pastry itself, but again, the memories that assailed her were almost overwhelming.

“You really did go see my dad.”

“I did.”

“And you swear you didn’t hurt him?”

Slade made a weird sound and Dakota’s gaze went to his. He looked pissed now. “No, I didn’t hurt him,” Slade growled. “I’m exactly who I’ve told you I am.”
Stoker, Susan; Sisters, Suspense. Protecting Dakota (Sleeper SEALs Book 1) (Kindle Locations 814-891). Kindle Edition.

In spite of all that Slade still had a ways go to gain her trust.

From here it is attraction, action and so much more. I love Dakota’s strength and persistence brought forth even more by her friendship with Caroline.

Don’t miss this book, it’s a new favorite. I can’t wait to re-read what the other authors contributed.

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

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Lambert’s Lady is Free at these venues!

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Susan Stoker - Photo Susan Stoker

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She’s married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.

She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

 

Justice for Hope – Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Book 12 by Susan Stoker



Justice for Hope
Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Book 12
By
Susan Stoker

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Hiding from her ex is exhausting enough, but for Hope Drayden, putting her seven-year-old son through a life on the run and living on the streets has been mentally torturous. When a kind diner owner offers her a job, Hope begins to claw her way toward a new beginning for herself and Billy, one tip at a time. But since her son’s recent abduction, and with threats from her ex still fresh in her mind, she’s constantly looking over her shoulder. Then a surprising, and lucky, tip from a diner regular puts yet another target on their backs.

At the request of a friend, medical examiner Calder Stonewall has been looking for Hope and Billy for weeks. When they unexpectedly show up at the scene of a crime, his interest soon becomes personal. He’s amazed by the beautiful, brave woman and her resilient son. He’s also surprised by his growing need to take care of them both, although winning Hope’s trust won’t be easy. But when a tragedy thrusts the couple together, Calder quickly proves he’s a man Hope can rely on.

Which is a good thing…because she’ll need all his support, and love, to get through a threat they never saw coming.

** Justice for Hope is the 12th book in the Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.

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While all Susan’s female characters are put through a lot of harrowing situations, Hope’s is different in many ways. She was homeless with her son and after the incident in Justice for Milena, she left the area she where once sought shelter. The area she’s moved to has fewer shelters, but she got lucky. The owner of a diner, Joseph hired her, checked her and Billy into a motel and even let Billy stay in his office while she worked her shifts.

Calder has promised Blythe (Shelter for Blythe) to keep his eyes open for Hope and Billy. He’d been unsuccessful until he was called on an investigation. As one of the Coroners he was frequently called to the scene of a crime. When he saw the woman and child who’d made the call huddled together, he knew he’d found her and the reason he hadn’t before. She’d found a job and was off the streets. Now Calder has what I would call perpetual foot in mouth disease. The poor guy just can’t seem to have anything he says come out the way he really means it to.

This is a favorite scene when he gives Billy his badge for pointing out some evidence.

Billy bit his lip and looked up at his mother uncertainly.

Hope sighed and tried one more time to reject the gift. “It really is too much…uh…I didn’t catch your name.”

“Shoot. Sorry. I’m Calder. Calder Stonewall. One of five medical examiners in Bexar County. Friend of Blythe’s. Totally harmless, run-of-the-mill, forty-year-old guy who only wants to make sure the woman I’ve been searching for is safe, and to show her son that not everyone who carries a badge is a bad guy.”

She stared at him for a long moment before looking back down at Billy. “It’s okay, son.”

Billy reacted so quickly, Calder hardly even saw him moving. He snatched the badge from his hand and was looking down at it with curiosity, turning it over to see that it didn’t have a pin on the back, but rather a clip so it could be attached to a belt or a waistband and worn that way.

“What do you say?” Hope asked her son.

Billy looked up at Calder and nodded at him. Smiling,

Calder said, “You’re welcome.”

Moving slowly, so he didn’t startle mother or son, he stood, making sure to keep his distance.

“Can we go?” Hope asked. “It’s late and I have to work early in the morning.”

Calder nodded immediately. “I’ll need your contact information in case we have any more questions.”

She bit her lip and looked behind herself nervously. “Oh, well…”

“I swear that while I often say things that are odd, I’m a good guy. I just don’t seem to have the gene that allows me not to mess up casual conversations. I don’t mean anything by it. The state of Texas trusts me…don’t you think you can too?”

Calder winced as soon as the words were out of his mouth. Jesus, he was an idiot. He reached into his pocket even as he was shaking his head. He pulled out a business card and a folded piece of paper he’d been carrying around for months, just in case.

“That’s my business card,” he said, holding it out for her. “It has my office number and my cell written on the back. Call me. Anytime—for anything. I mean it. The other is a note from Blythe. I’ve been carrying it around for when I found you.”

“How’d she know you would?” Hope asked quietly, as she took both the card and the note from him.

“She didn’t. But she was hoping,” Calder told her. “Look, I really do need to get your contact info for the report. I’ll get my butt chewed out if I don’t. But I swear, after my investigation is over, I won’t include it in my official report. I know, Hope, why you’re reluctant to share it—but he’s not going to hurt you or your son again. I swear it.”
Stoker, Susan. Justice For Hope (Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Book 12) (Kindle Locations 156-178). Stoker Aces Production, LLC. Kindle Edition.

Calder continues to pursue Hope by having breakfast at the diner where she works. A somewhat stressful environment for Hope, where the waitresses are mostly snippy and a patron leaves lottery tickets as tips.

Things take an interesting turn in many ways when Eli gives Billy the lottery ticket and cash to his waitress. That ticket, a million dollar winner, begins a cycle of events that will have you turning the pages to see what happens next.

I love the way Susan portrays the life changing factors, the slow build of Hope and Calder’s relationship and the twist that brings them closer than ever.

It was great to see all the Badge of Honor crew as they gather to congratulate Hope. I shed more than a few tears over this book. I really can’t wait for the next book in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

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Coming Up in this Series
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Susan Stoker - Photo Susan Stoker

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She’s married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.

She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

 

Justice for Gwen – Police and Fire: Operation Alpha – Guardian Elite Book 2



Justice for Gwen
Police and Fire: Operation Alpha
Guardian Elite Book 2
By
Kalyn Cooper

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She’s not what she seems. Neither is he. But the terrorist threat is real. So is the desire that smolders between them.

Gwen Shaw overhears refugee teenagers discussing a plot to rival 9/11, but her Arabic is rusty. Besides, who is going to believe the sketchy information from an apron-wearing newcomer, even though she’d recently left the Army as a seasoned officer?

Jonathan O’Neil, new to the Dallas Guardian Security Center, knows a terrorist plot when he sees one on the tempting waitress’ computer. To find out the details of the plan and to stop them, he sets out to seduce her, only to find that nothing is what it seems.

Originally published as Smoke and Mirrors in a Kindle world, Justice for Gwen has been rewritten to blend the hot men from Susan Stoker’s Badge of Honor series with the sexy men from KaLyn Cooper’s Guardian Elite series into a heart-pounding romantic suspense.

When I started reading this I knew it was going to be something different. Especially with Jonathan’s encounter with a couple of older ladies leaving the diner as he is entering. Giggling right from the start.

Quin and Jonathan were having their first meeting since Jonathan had joined him from the Miami Guardian office. However this was not to be a normal meeting in any sense of the word. Interrupted by a distraught well dressed woman full of accusations and venom as their waitress Gwen delivers their order, this is a favorite scene. It does have adult language but it is definitely necessary.

Quin looked clueless, and Jonathan had no idea who any of these people were or what the hell she was talking about.

Gwen appeared with their food and hip checked the woman out of the way. She set the plates on the table and called out to everyone, “Show’s over folks. Go back to your food and drinks.”

She turned to the woman and Gwen fisted her hands in her hips. “Bitsy, what the hell? You know better than to bring your dirty laundry into my restaurant.”

“Well, I tried to get into their office, but it’s like Fort Knox.” Bitsy opened the gigantic yellow purse and started to dig. “Besides, this isn’t your restaurant. Suze and James will be back soon.”

Gwen cocked her head. “It is mine right now, since they left me in charge.” Under her breath, she added, “Damn it all.”

Jonathan flipped the leather tab that secured his handgun in the holster at his side. If she pulled a gun out of there, he’d be ready. A glance toward the standing cops revealed they’d done the same.

Bitsy lifted her head and wagged a single key on a ring. “This fucking thing doesn’t work anymore.” The irate woman vibrated. “Because if had it worked, I would have killed that husband-fucking secretary of theirs.” She glared lasers at Quin and Jonathan.

Then Bitsy pulled a pink Glock 26 from the outside pocket of her purse.
Cooper, KaLyn. Justice for Gwen : (Police and Fire: Operation Alpha) (Guardian Elite Series Book 2) (Kindle Locations 199-210). Aces Press, LLC. Kindle Edition.

There is an immediate attraction between Jonathan and Gwen but he doesn’t act on it right away. He instead becomes a nightly regular for breakfast.

Gwen keeps a close eye on everything in her restaurant. When she overhears some teenage boys speaking Arabic she transcribes what becomes a catalyst for Jonathan to take action. Unfortunately for him that action also leads to what she interprets as betrayal of trust.

A complicated state of affairs as they try to figure out the target of the boys’ relatives. Even as their attraction for each other increases.

We see Alex and Griffin in this one and Cruz from Susan Stoker’s Justice for Mickie. Oh, and lots of Police, Fire and EMTs. Then there’s Kane, a character I hope we see more of in future Guardian Elite books.

A page turner with plenty of twists, turns and action. With a sizzling romance that add some heat to this fiery tale.

5 Contented Purrs for Kalyn!

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Read Alex and Katlin’s Story

KaLyn Cooper KaLyn Cooper

KaLyn Cooper’s romances blend fact and fiction with blazing heat and heart-pounding suspense.

Twenty-two years as a military wife has shown KaLyn the world, and thirty years in PR taught her that fact can be stranger than fiction. She leaves it up to the reader to separate truth from imagination.

She, her husband, and Little Bear (Alaskan Malamute) live in Tennessee on a micro-plantation filled with gardens, cattle, and quail. When she’s not writing, she’s at the shooting range or on the river.

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Black Swan Ladies Book Club

 

A New Series From Susan Stoker! Defending Allye – Mountain Mercenaries Book 1



Six ex-soldiers. Six perfect strangers.
Bound by the things they’ve done,
the things they’ve seen,
and the turmoil they’ve suffered.
Until fate gives them another purpose…

When several soldiers find themselves frequenting the same pool hall, it’s more than coincidence. The world sees them as broken, but their singular skills make them perfectly suited for jobs outside the law, beyond it, hunting down criminals with the aid of a mysterious “handler.” Time and again, they’ve proven they have each other’s backs. Loyalty that will be necessary when, one by one, each man must call on his brothers in arms to save the woman he loves.


Defending Allye
Mountain Mercenaries Book 1
By
Susan Stoker

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Love is a life-and-death risk for the Mountain Mercenaries in New York Times bestselling author Susan Stoker’s explosive series of alpha heroes, hot action, and hard passion…

Ever since his rescue op off the Pacific Coast, Mountain Mercenary Gray Rogers hasn’t been able to forget his latest “job”—Allye Martin. Any other woman would have panicked during a rescue, but the wily dancer kept her cool—even after being kidnapped by an elusive human trafficker. And Gray couldn’t be happier when a grateful Allye follows him home to Colorado Springs…

For Allye, finding sanctuary in the arms—and bed—of the former Navy SEAL is only temporary. People are disappearing off the streets of San Francisco, victims of the same underground trade that targeted her, and Allye could be the key to dismantling the entire operation. She’s willing to do anything to bring them down. Gray isn’t—for good reason. But you don’t say no to a tough girl like Allye who refuses to play it safe.

Now Gray is risking more than ever before. The Mountain Mercenaries have his back. But is it enough to keep the woman he loves out of harm’s way?

I have to say when Susan Stoker starts off a new series she does it with hold your breath action. Now I’ve read just about everything she’s written so I know she’s going to be mean to her heroine. I somehow just wasn’t prepared for this opening in the Pacific Ocean.

Gray and Black are alone on this mission, the others having headed to Mexico on another. It should have been simple, but Gray got the surprise of his life when instead of just information he finds ‘the package’ that was to be delivered. One Allye Martin.

One of my favorite scenes is after they get out of the icy Pacific but still have a distance to go to land.

It was Gray’s turn to chuckle. “I think you have a pretty narrow view of accountants, kitten. I’m not sure what height or muscular makeup have to do with being able to put numbers together.”

“It’s just . . . you were going to swim like a million miles back to shore . . . towing me. I can’t picture you as an accountant. No way.”

“You know that I also used to be in the Navy,” Gray told her, not sure why he was overexplaining, just that he wanted her to know. “And that I was a SEAL. So was Black, although we never worked together when we were on active duty. I got out, and now I help keep books for a few businesses in Colorado. It’s not a big deal.”

“Not a big deal?” Allye asked incredulously. “It’s a huge deal! And I have to say . . . if there were more boys who looked like you in my high school who were into math, I might’ve had a new appreciation for algebra. I might even have skipped the class less.”

Both Gray and Black chuckled.

“I’m relieved you guys are some sort of supersoldiers, all things considered.”

“Sailors,” Black corrected.

“What?”

“Sailors, not soldiers,” he repeated.

“You never call a SEAL a soldier.”

“Oh, so sorry,” she teased. “Super-SEALs . . . is that better?”

“Much,” Black said with a grin.

“You need to be really careful when you get home,” Gray said, bringing the conversation back around.

“I will,” she told him.

“I don’t want to hear that you’ve disappeared again. I’ll be awfully disappointed if I have to come rescue you a second time.”

She rolled her eyes, and Gray’s lips twitched. She was adorable when she did that, although he’d never admit it.

“You won’t,” she said. “I figure if whoever this is gets his hands on me again, he’ll have learned his lesson, and he won’t be as lax next time. I’ll be one of those ninety thousand missing people you told me about earlier.”

She was joking, Gray could tell, but her words didn’t sit well with him. Not at all.
Stoker, Susan. Defending Allye (Mountain Mercenaries Book 1) (p. 48). Montlake Romance. Kindle Edition.

As with all missions once they had Allye safe they had to leave. Somehow Gray didn’t feel right about leaving, there was something about the feisty dancer that called to him.

The last thing he expected was to see her at The Pit with something that could be key in their investigation. She expected to meet with Rex so she was hesitant, then Gray reminds her about his ‘interview’.

The stakes keep going up as Allye stays safe with Gray and the other Mountain Mercenaries working to figure out the data she brought them.

Plenty of sparks fly between Gray and Allye and not just the sexual ones.

I loved meeting the Mountain Mercenaries, each one with a specialty that enhances their efforts and with flexible daytime jobs. I am definitely curious about Rex, their mysterious boss. It should be interesting when we finally meet him.

Human trafficking is appalling and I applaud Susan for taking on this difficult subject.

This book snagged me on the first page and kept me enthralled until the end. I look forward to the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

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Coming December 4th, 2018

Summer About the Author

Susan Stoker - Photo Susan Stoker

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She’s married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.

She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.

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Summer Author LInks

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Available Again with a New Cover! Protecting Julie – SEAL of Protection Book 6.5 By Susan Stoker



Protecting Julie
SEAL of Protection Book 6.5
By
Susan Stoker


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This book was previously published in the Kindle Worlds program. The cover has changed, but the book itself has not changed in any significant way.

Julie Lytle is working hard to turn her life around. Being kidnapped by sex traffickers changed her drastically, but having grown up the spoiled daughter of a senator, Julie wishes she could’ve changed just a little sooner. Shamed by her behavior toward the woman rescued alongside her, and further embarrassed and guilt-racked over the way she treated the SEALs who risked their lives on her behalf, Julie is desperate to make amends.

With help from a D.C. acquaintance who’d endured her own harrowing experience, Julie connects with Patrick Hurt, Commander of the SEALs who’d saved her life. If she can prove she’s not the same person who mistreated his team, he’ll grant her request to meet them—but not before the protective, sexy man makes a surprising request of his own.

**Protecting Julie is a part of the SEAL of Protection Series. It’s book 6.5 in the series. It can be read as a stand-alone, but it’s recommended you read the books in order to get maximum enjoyment out of the series.

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We met Julie in Protecting Fiona, and quite frankly, I didn’t like her one bit. Seeing her in this new environment was enlightening.

Patrick Hurt isn’t going to let her meet Cooper without knowing if she’s sincere. He sets up a meeting at the beach to evaluate her story.

This is a favorite scene from the end of that meeting.

The more he thought about it, the more Patrick knew the team needed to hear from her. They needed to know everything she’d just told him, but it was her story to tell, not his.

He’d give her the chance she needed to thank the guys and he’d warn them ahead of time to give her a shot. But watching her fight to tell him her story, watching her work her way through it, made him respect her.

Patrick was a hard man. Over twenty years in the Navy, most of those as a SEAL, had made him that way. But he’d never been so moved by a story as he’d been by Julie’s. It would be up to Cookie if he wanted to let Fiona meet Julie as well, so he wasn’t going to let either woman know of the other’s existence until the guys had met with her.

“A date?”

“Yeah. You know…dinner…maybe another walk on a beach…a date.”

She looked at him in confusion for a beat. “So you can find out more about what happened down there? Why I was a bitch?”

Patrick stepped in front of her and put his hands on the rough bark of the tree at her hips, realizing he was probably overstepping his bounds after she’d just poured her heart out to him and knowing he was still practically a stranger to her. He leaned forward, trying to make sure she really heard him and saw he was serious. “No. Because despite the difference in our ages, I’m attracted to you.”

“To me?”

Patrick chuckled and looked her in the eyes. “You.”

He watched as she struggled to come to terms with what he said. When she did respond, it wasn’t what he thought she’d say. “You aren’t that much older than me.”

He pulled back. “How old do you think I am?” “Um…” She wrinkled her nose as she contemplated him. “Thirty-five?”

He burst out laughing. When he had himself under control, he told her, “I appreciate that, but no, I’m not thirty-five.”

When he didn’t say anything else, she asked, “Then how old are you?”

“I don’t think I’m going to tell you.”

“What? Why? I thought only women were sensitive about their ages.”

“I’m not sensitive about it, but I don’t want to give you any reason to say no.”

The laughter died on her face and she gazed at him for a beat. “If I say no, does that really mean that you won’t help me make it right with your SEALs?”

“No. I might be a dick, but I’d never force you to go out with me. I know I said I’d set up a meeting on one condition, but I lied. I’ll do it if you agree to see me again or not.”

“Okay.”

“Okay to the fact that I lied about the condition, or okay to going out on a date with me?”

“Both.”

Patrick nodded and moved back a fraction, holding out his hand. “Come on, I’ll walk you back to your car.”
Stoker, Susan. Hot SEALs: Protecting Julie (Kindle Worlds) (SEAL of Protection Book 0) (Kindle Locations 459-489). Kindle Worlds. Kindle Edition.

Alas that date doesn’t happen, because of an unexpected visitor to the Julie’s shop.

Caroline and the other wives came back to see the new arrivals and Fiona is one of them.

While I wasn’t surprised by the reaction of the women, I found myself feeling a bit sorry for Julie. She had no way of knowing who they were and Fiona couldn’t have known Julie owned the shop either.

A decision not to meet with the SEAL team after seeing Fiona, could break the possible relationship with Patrick.

This book had as many sad moments as happy ones, and Julie gets first hand experience as to why SEALs don’t need the thanks.

Once again I couldn’t stop reading until the final page was done.

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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Summer About the Author

Susan Stoker - Photo Susan Stoker

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She’s married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.

She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.

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Summer Author LInks

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It’s Back with a New Cover and Available Everywhere! Protecting Kiera – SEAL of Protection Book 9 by Susan Stoker



Protecting Kiera
SEAL of Protection Book 9
By
Susan Stoker

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Summer Blurb

This book was previously published in Kindle Worlds and even though it has a new cover, has not changed significantly.

Cooper Nelson’s SEAL career was cut drastically short when an explosion left him almost completely deaf. With so much of his pride and self-worth tied to the profession he loved above all else, Coop struggles in his nearly silent new world, his future seemingly bleak…until Commander Hurt badgers him into volunteering at the Riverton School for the Deaf. There, he meets teacher Kiera Hamilton, who opens his eyes—and his heart—to a love more fulfilling than any job could be.

Ten years his senior, Kiera can’t believe Coop would ever be interested in anything long term, but he patiently proves her wrong. And she’s not the only one enamored with the sexy former-SEAL—her impressionable first-grade students are enthralled with the man, especially Frankie. The troubled young boy flourishes with each of Cooper’s visits, which only makes Kiera fall harder.

As he learns ASL, connects with the students, and gets closer to Kiera, Coop’s happier than he’s ever been…until an attempted abduction at the school threatens to take away everything that makes his new life worth living.

Summer Buy Links

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Summer My Review

Cooper like all the SEALs has been devoted to protecting his country. Forced to retire when an explosion takes out his hearing he is struggling. At first he isn’t happy to volunteer at the School for the Deaf, but that quickly changes. He meets Kiera a first grade teacher, and his interest is peaked in a romantic way.

This is one of my favorite scenes when Cooper visits Kiera’s classroom for the first time.

Just when Kiera was about to tell the children to get back to work, a little boy sitting in the back of the classroom slowly raised his hand. She hid her surprise. Frankie was small for his age and wasn’t making much progress. He was very reluctant to sign and hadn’t made any friends in the class since he’d been there. He frequently resorted to pushing the kids in his class when he couldn’t understand them or when he wanted his way.

Kiera knew his attitude was a result of his tumultuous home life and starting in a new school and her heart hurt for him. Frankie’s father was excited about the chance for his son to be in the special school. They’d moved down to Riverton from Los Angeles for a fresh start after a contentious divorce. His ex-wife was a drug addict who was deemed unfit to have custody of their son. Until recently, she’d been allowed to have supervised visitations with Frankie, but after slipping away from the court-ordered supervisor and taking Frankie to the mall to a drug drop, she’d had all parental rights stripped from her.

Kiera understood that the little boy was probably having issues dealing with all the upheaval in his life, but it had been two months since he’d started school and he wasn’t getting any better. The fact that he’d engaged enough to raise his hand and ask a question was almost a miracle at this point.

She pointed at the skinny boy and signed, “Yes, Frankie?”

He mostly used the alphabet to spell out his question, but it was understandable, if not painful to wait for him to get through.

Kiera swallowed and flicked her eyes to Cooper before repeating the question for the rest of the class. “Frankie asked what his tough military friends thought of Cooper using his hands to speak in such a sissy way.”

A few of the kids gasped and whipped their heads around to gaze at Frankie with wide eyes. Kiera hadn’t realized that was what Frankie thought of sign language. It was as heartbreaking as it was shocking.

Bless Cooper, he didn’t even blink at the question. He got up and went over to where Frankie was sitting. When he got there, he sat on his butt and awkwardly crossed his legs. Then he proceeded to blow Kiera’s mind.

He used mostly finger spelling, as Frankie had, and not once did he look to Kiera for a sign. “My friends are jealous that I have my own secret language. Believe it or not, Frankie, my team had our own hand signals for stuff. This,” he made a movement with his hands that Kiera didn’t recognize, “meant danger. And this,” he did it again, making another sign that clearly wasn’t American Sign Language, “meant bad guy ahead. I don’t know who told you that sign language was sissy, but it absolutely isn’t. It’s cool. The coolest thing I’ve ever tried to learn. I can talk to you, your classmates, or Ms. Hamilton, and people who aren’t deaf can’t understand me. It’s like being an undercover spy right under people’s noses. I love knowing a secret language, even if I’m not very good at it yet.”

If Kiera hadn’t been watching Frankie carefully, she would’ve missed it, but his eyes got big and she could literally see the knowledge that a big, strong man like Cooper thought sign language was cool sinking into his psyche.

She’d tried for months to get Frankie to show an ounce of interest in anything she did or said, to no avail. But with one painstakingly finger-spelled answer, Cooper had somehow bonded with the young boy in a way she’d rarely seen before.
Swallowing hard so she wouldn’t burst into tears, Kiera waved her hand in the air to get the children’s attention. She sighed, “Now that we have all met Cooper, time to get back to your lessons.”

The kids all nodded and shuffled back to various places around the room with their tablets. There were beanbags strewn around the classroom, as well as small couches, and big fluffy rugs… more than enough choices for the children to settle in comfortably somewhere.

She looked over at Frankie and Cooper and caught the tail end of Cooper’s question to the little boy. “…me sit with you while you read?”

Frankie nodded his head and Kiera watched in awe as Cooper and her troublemaker student shifted so they were sitting facing each other, knees touching, with the tablet off to their right. Frankie reached out and turned it on, activating the story he’d been reading before the interruption.
Stoker, Susan. Brotherhood Protectors: Protecting Kiera (Kindle Worlds Novella) (SEAL of Protection Book 10) (Kindle Locations 485-521). Kindle Worlds. Kindle Edition.

While Kiera had struggled not to cry I didn’t have the same luck. Get your tissues you’re going to need them. Now none of these SEALS have had an easy time with love and Coop’s no different. Hold onto your kindle and get swept away into this story.

Once again Susan has hit on problems in today’s world and done it with finesse and tact.

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

protecting-alabamas-kids

Summer About the Author

Susan Stoker - Photo Susan Stoker

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She’s married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.

She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.

newsletter - for blog

Summer Author LInks

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page