Message from Susan Stoker and Exclusive Excerpt from CLAIMING GRACE
Claiming Grace is book one in the Ace Security Series. Logan Anderson and his brothers start a security company to help abused men and women. Logan runs into his high school crush and realizes there’s a lot more to the reason why he never heard from her after he left his hometown. The abuse Logan suffered in his childhood has nearly blinded him in regards to other kinds of abuse…like emotional abuse. Grace Mason’s life has been one of emotional abuse by her parents, and she mourns the boy she loved in high school and the life they might’ve had if he had only kept in touch with her when he left.
Now that he’s back in town, and he sees Grace again, he falls hard. The feelings he had when he was eighteen have increased tenfold and when he finds out the circumstances behind Grace’s current situation, he vows to make her his…and to protect her at all costs.
Some people have said that they thought Grace was weak after reading this, but that is definitely not the case. She’s been emotionally manipulated by her parents her entire life, so it’s not surprising she can’t move on without some help. That’s where Logan comes in. He allows her to act on the strength she’s had inside her entire life. Grace is probably one of my strongest heroines yet, because of what she’s been through. I love Logan for her. He brings out the best in her, and vice versa.
For Logan Anderson, moving on from a traumatic past means moving back to his hometown of Castle Rock, Colorado, to start a personal-security business with his brothers. But it’s not long before Logan runs into Grace Mason, his best friend from high school…and the woman who never answered his letters during his Army years.
Grace was pleasantly surprised to see Logan return to Castle Rock, despite their falling-out ten years ago. Everyone always assumed they would end up together, including Grace, who had eyes only for him. But as Logan eventually escaped their town, Grace got pulled further into her family’s controlling grasp—and farther away from the man she loved.
Now, united by scars both visible and not, the two must fight to free Grace from the suffocating hold of her family. But the Masons won’t let go easily—and they’ll do whatever it takes to keep the couple apart.
“You should know that the feelings I had for you back then haven’t died, Smarty. I was upset when I never heard from you, I admit it, but it was because I knew I’d lost something precious.” He brought his hand up and traced her eyebrow, then ran the backs of his fingers down her cheek. “We’ve lost so much, but Grace, we’ve also gotten a second chance. I’m not going to let anyone come between us again. If we decide we don’t suit, then that’s on us. No one else.”
Grace understood and liked what he’d said. A lot. And told him so. “I like that.” Her heart sped up when Logan leaned down to her. He brushed his lips over hers in a too-short caress before sitting up again.
“Good night, Grace. I’ll see you in the morning. Sleep as long as you need.”
“I’ll be up early. My mother likes to be up and get her day started. She trained me well.”
“She’s not here now. You can sleep in,” Logan said seriously.
Grace smiled at him. “I’ll try, but don’t be surprised if I’m up at five thirty. My body is used to it.”
Logan mock-groaned and raised his eyes to the ceiling as if looking for divine intervention. “A morning person. Lord help me. That’s the one thing I really don’t miss about the Army.” He brought his eyes back to hers and leaned down again, kissing her forehead this time.
“Thank you for coming to get me, Logan,” Grace whispered.
“You’re welcome, Smarty. Sleep well.”
She hadn’t thought she’d be able to sleep, but she’d underestimated her body’s need to rejuvenate itself. Grace was asleep in minutes.
She never heard Logan push open the door an hour later.
She never knew he stood watching her sleep for several minutes.
She didn’t hear him come over to the side of her bed or feel his hand brush over her head in a soft caress.
She didn’t hear him place something on the bedside table next to her.
She especially never heard his soft whispered words as he bent over her.
“I’m sorry, Grace. Letters be damned, I should’ve come for you.”
Susan Stoker is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author whose series include Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes, SEAL of Protection, and Delta Force Heroes. Married to a retired Army noncommissioned officer, Stoker has lived all over the country—from Missouri to California to Colorado—and currently lives under the big skies of Texas. A true believer in happily ever after, Stoker enjoys writing novels in which romance turns to love. To learn more about the author and her work, visit her website, www.stokeraces.com, or find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authorsusanstoker.