Tuesday, May 17, 2016

review || SHELTER FOR ELIZABETH { blog tour } by Susan Stoker

Self-Published | May 17, 2016 | Romantic Suspense
Badge of Honor, book 5


Elizabeth Parkins lived through a nightmare come true—getting kidnapped by a serial killer. Seeking a fresh start, she moves to Texas, but escaping her demons proves impossible when she’s too terrified to leave her own apartment. A small, accidental fire sparks a coping method she’d never expected, and brings an amazing man to her door. 

Firefighter Cade “Sledge” Turner’s idyllic life ended the day his sister was kidnapped. Now he knows firsthand that tragedy can befall anyone, at any time. Meeting Elizabeth on the job was a gift. Cade can envision spending his life with this woman. He understands what she’s been through, is willing to help her heal…though even Cade is unaware of Beth’s new secret obsession. 

As Beth takes steps to help herself heal, and Cade attempts to earn her trust and prove his own, they’re both about to be tested—in a way that could see everything they’ve worked for go up in flames.
amazon | bn | itunes

{ about 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.

{ interview with susan } .

Tell us about your first book. What would readers find different about the first one and your most recent published work?
Outback Hearts was my first book published. I actually wrote it fifteen to twenty years ago…and beefed it up when I first put it out there for public consumption. It’s more of a “sweet” story compared to my more suspenseful books now. The series revolves around reality shows and what would happen if a “normal” woman was on one of the shows (as compared to a model/actress wannabe). There’s no (or not much) sex in them, although readers have told me they can see “my voice” clearly in them.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?  
Absolutely not. :) I want my romance books to be an escape for people. There is a lot of stuff that happens that isn’t very fun or nice in the world. So my goal is for someone to be able to pick up one of my books and see themselves in the pages…to lose themselves in a world where the men will do anything, drop everything, and be a knight in shining armor for their woman. Even if in real life, we don’t need someone to rescue us, it’s nice to get lost in a story where there are no bills to be paid, no pets who use the bathroom on the new rug, and where there are orgasms a plenty.

{ review } .

I cannot say that I read the book that readers were first introduced to Elizabeth in, but the woman and her responses to that kidnapping were simply heartbreaking. She was kidnapped only for an empathetic piece where the kidnapping of Summer was concerned, and to hear Beth say, again and again, that she was only found because Summer had someone looking for her... oh my gosh, my heart continued to break for her.

When Beth meets Cade, he's one of the firefighters to show up to her house when she has a stove fire. Her fears of going outside, and the flames in front of her, have her stuck in place. Another firefighter wants to get Beth outside, nearly forcing her, but Cade knows better after discussions with his sister -- and from training as a whole.

I enjoyed Cade's character. He was a great brother to Penelope (with the eyes she and Moose make, I sure hope they have a story someday), a great listener for both Pen and Beth, and never once made Beth feel like she was less than. As much as Beth is embarrassed by her needs and her fears, Cade helps her through them like's it no big deal.

Like Quint and Corrie, I loved the understanding of our male lead. I at times felt that the deep feelings were a bit quick, but it was so incredibly easy to overlook. Beth's coping mechanisms aren't the best, we'll learn, but Cade's understanding, his need to help her (and scold her from a protective stance only)... There's a scene where Cade battles his training and what Beth needs, and it's a scene that is very defining for them as individuals. Cade is a stand-up guy, and as scared as Beth could be, she tried to do what was right. The following panic attack was also incredibly well written -- from both Beth and Cade's stand points.

This couple was incredibly endearing and I loved every moment of their story!

...and let's not forget the heartbreakingness that is Hayden at the end.

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