Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway ~ CLAIMING ALEXIS by Susan Stoker

Claiming Alexis (Ace Security, #2)
by: Susan Stoker
Series: Ace Security
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: July 4, 2017
Publisher: Montlake Romance

Sometimes love is right in front of your face.

Nothing is more important to Blake Anderson than the work he does with his brothers at Ace Security. At least that’s what he thinks until he meets the fiercely independent Alexis Grant. The security firm’s new intern pushes all his buttons—and makes his temperature rise. But giving in to temptation might be risky business.

Alexis can tell that Blake has his doubts about her ability to commit. But while most people look at her and see only a flighty rich girl, she knows he sees much more. Determined to prove herself to Blake, Alexis jumps at the chance to work undercover. And when her case takes a dangerous turn, she puts her trust—and her heart—in his hands.

Now, as Alexis digs into the deadly secrets of a local gang, Blake will lay everything on the line to protect the woman he’s come to love.

Hi Susan. Welcome to Read Your Writes Book Reviews. How are you?
I am great!  Thank you for having me here!

You’re welcome.  How’s the Texas weather treating you?
Ugh.  It’s hot.  I hate being hot, and that’s not a good thing when you live in Texas.  I know people complain about the snow and cold, but I would much rather be cold than hot.  You can always bundle up in a blanket or put more clothes on if you’re cold, but if you’re hot there’s only so much you can take off!  Lol Good thing we have a good air conditioner!

I hear you.  I’m definitely longing for my days in So Cal right now.  Let’s talk about your Ace Security series.  First of all, what can you tell me about the company?  How and why was it founded?
Ace Security was founded by three brothers.  They came back to their hometown ten years after leaving for their father’s funeral.  Their mother had killed him.  They’d grown up being abused by their mom and decided that enough was enough.  They wanted to help other men, and women, who were being abused.  They named it after their father, Ace, who had been abused by his wife his entire life.  There aren’t a lot of books that talk about domestic violence against men, but it’s out there and happens more than we know!

Ace Security is made up of the Anderson brothers.  What can you tell me about these men?
Logan, Blake, and Nathan are triplets who have dealt with the abuse by their mother in different ways.  Logan and Blake joined the Army and Nathan lost himself in numbers.  They had lost touch over the last decade, but are finding out just how much they’ve missed each other and the feeling of family.

When it came time for the guys to fall in love how did you choose their heroines?
I wanted to pick women who complimented each of the brothers.  Logan’s woman is unsure of herself and he loves watching her grow wings.  Blake’s woman is younger and full of spirit and Nathan’s woman is his complete opposite.

Characters are always full of surprises.  How did these men and women surprise you?
I’m constantly surprised by my characters.  I am not a plotter, so I just start writing and see what happens.  Most of the time the depth to my characters are a surprise.  They are seen as one thing on the surface, but like most of us, they have so much more to them deep down.  I love watching each couple dig those surprising traits out of each other and learn to love them.

What do you love about Blake and Alexis as a couple?
I love them!  I love that Alexis knew from the very start that she wanted to be with Blake, but for him it was more of a slow burn.  He underestimates her and she shows him exactly how strong she is.  He learns to respect her, then like her, then finally, to love her.  I adore writing male characters who think they know everything there is to know about a woman, only to be surprised down the line.

Sounds good.  What do you think they would say is the perfect way to spend an evening?
Together. (smile)

I love that!  Susan, thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for me.
I appreciate you letting me talk about my characters a bit more.  Like most authors, the Anderson family stuck with me long after the words on the page were written.

“I’ve been wanting to do that for a while now,” he told her honestly.

“Do what?”

“Kiss you.”


He liked this befuddled Alexis.

“Why didn’t you?” she asked, shyly.

“Because I wasn’t sure you wanted me to.”

“But you are now?” She sounded completely confused.

“I wasn’t one hundred percent sure before I actually kissed you, no.”

“Then why did you?”

“Because you walked toward me in those heels, looking like you did, smiling. In case you haven’t noticed, Lex . . . I like you.”

“Oh. Wow. Um, well, I’m glad. I . . . like you too.”

“Why didn’t you tell me? We’ve wasted a lot of time. Time we could’ve had together.”

“Well . . . because. You seemed to be the kind of guy who likes to do the chasing. And we work together. And you’re . . . you.” She waved her hand then, as if she were encompassing everything he was with the gesture.

“What does that mean?” Blake was honestly confused.

“Women throw themselves at you. Beautiful women. And you haven’t shown one lick of interest. I figured if they didn’t interest you, there was no way I would.”

“First of all, you’re beautiful, Lex.” At her obvious look of disbelief, he hurried on. “I’m not saying you’ll ever be a model . . . you’re too short, for one thing.” He smiled at her to let her know he was teasing before continuing. “I could list all the things that make you attractive, but I don’t think you’d believe me. I’ll show you exactly what it is about you that makes you beautiful in my eyes. I haven’t even noticed any other women in months. Not since I finally saw what was right in front of my eyes . . . you.

“And Lex, you’re right. I like making the first move. But from here on out, all you have to do is ask, and I’ll give you anything you want. Yeah?”

Blake expected her to look coy and say something like “Anything?” but all she did was blush again, and nod. Her eyes looked over his shoulder, then down at the front of his shirt . . . anywhere but at him.

He kinda liked this uncertain Lex. He’d gotten so used to her saying whatever she thought that the fact that she was shy and not sure how to act in his arms made him realize how much of her personality was bravado. Her shyness communicated that she wasn’t all that experienced, and he liked that.

Her thumbs were softly brushing back and forth over the skin on the inside of his arm. He didn’t think she had any idea she was doing that. Wishing he could take her fully into his arms, Blake reluctantly let her go.

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The Ace Security Series:

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.

Places to find Susan Stoker:

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