Thursday, December 6, 2018

Review, Q&A, and Giveaway - - Defending Chloe

Defending Chloe
By Susan Stoker
Mountain Mercenaries - Book 2
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release Date: December 4, 2018
Reviewed by PJ

Gorgeous women don’t just stumble onto Ronan Cross’s remote property. But this one—vulnerable, victimized, and needing the kind of help only Ronan can offer—tells a story that makes his blood boil almost as hot as his need to protect her.
Since her father’s death, Chloe Harris has become a prisoner. Her own brother, a flesh peddler and low-level player in the Denver Mafia, is forcing her to sell her body for an endgame Chloe never saw coming: control over a vast fortune. Her only way out is to run—straight into the arms of the one hard-bodied man she can trust.
Defending Chloe could rain punishment down on the Mountain Mercenaries. Her brother has Mob connections and the local police in his pocket. But Ronan still has an edge—the unshakable loyalty of his deadly teammates. As well as an unquenchable thirst for retribution…and Chloe.

My thoughts:

I only recently discovered Susan Stoker - this is my second book by her - but I'm really enjoying her writing. Like the first book in her Mountain Mercenaries series (Defending Allye), Defending Chloe is a fast-paced story filled with action, suspense, slow-burning romance, and enough twists and turns to keep me wondering how it would all turn out. 

Ronan is a hero who checks my boxes. He's definitely an alpha male who won't hesitate to use force to protect a woman being mistreated but he's also kind, steady, and tender with the woman who instantly piques his interest and is gradually capturing his heart. His British accent doesn't hurt either. ;-)

Chloe is an intelligent woman who has slowly and insidiously been entrapped by someone she loved and trusted. Learning to trust someone new won't be easy. She's a relatable, sympathetic character who gradually takes back control of her life with me cheering her on every step of the way. 

If you enjoy contemporary romantic suspense with engaging characters, edge-of-your-seat suspense, plenty of action, and heart-tugging romance, give this book a try. I'm already looking forward to the next Mountain Mercenaries story, Defending Morgan, due out in March 2019. 


Author Interview: Susan Stoker

1) Rowan Cross is the second of your ‘Mountain Mercenaries’ to get his story told. What is it about Ro that makes him the perfect hero?

Ro is a great Hero because he’s a little moody, and he likes things to be black and white. Of course Chloe’s situation is anything but black and white. Not only that but he has to work very hard to earn her trust…which is a new thing for him. He’s also British…and imagining his sexy accent is a bonus!

2) His background is a little different from the rest of the Mercenaries since he is from another country. How is he settling down as a civilian in Colorado?

Ro loves Colorado! Loves the sun, loves the mountains. He has a house up in Black Forest (north of Colorado Springs) where he has some space to breathe and where he can work in his mechanic’s garage without interruption. He’ll always be the ‘foreigner”, but as he doesn’t “people” much, he’s okay with that. 

3) What is Ro’s role in the Mountain Mercenaries?  

Ro is one of the six men (plus their mysterious handler, Rex, who make up the Mountain Mercenaries. He used to be a British SAS (special forces) and uses what he learned in the military to help rescue women and children who are in peril. 

4) When you were creating a heroine for Ro, what were some of the attributes you knew you wanted her to have?

Chloe has been through hell in her life, but she hasn’t let that make her bitter. She’s still even a little na├»ve, but with an inner core that is strong as hell. She bends, but doesn’t break. All she wants is to love and be loved. Trust doesn’t come easily to her anymore, not after all she’s been through, but deep down, she wants to be able to trust Ro.

5) Ro has such a big personality, how does Chloe stand up to him?

I think she recognizes a kindred spirit in Ro. He’s lost someone close to him just as she has and that creates a bond between them. And because Chloe is a fighter, she won’t let Ro just walk all over her either. The two of them together are explosive. 

6) The romance between this couple is a little unusual. They don’t have a typical courtship since Chloe is hiding out at Ro’s house. So instead of dinners and dates, they do laundry and play cards. What is your favorite part(s) of their romance?

Exactly what you mentioned. I think relationships would be so much better off if they started like Ro and Chloe’s did. She got the chance to see what he was really like, not just what he wanted her to. And while going out is nice, staying at home, under a blanket, with fat pants and a sweatshirt on sounds so much more relaxing. My favorite part of their romance is the way Ro doesn’t push Chloe. He shows her that she can trust him rather than forcing her into a situation where she has to. Chloe knows she’s in trouble, but instead of taking the “out” that Ro offers, she lets her shields down just a smidge…enough for Ro to get in there and prove that he’s the kind of man she can rely on. 

7) What is up next for the Mercenaries?

As is my way, the end of Defending Chloe includes a small glimpse into the next book, Defending Morgan. Archer “Arrow” Kane and the rest of the Mountain Mercenaries are on an op to rescue a child taken out of the country by her non-custodial father. When they find the little girl they are surprised to find a very well known missing woman named Morgan Byrd. 

She’s been missing for a year and her name and picture have been plastered all over the news for months. Of course they can’t leave her behind, but the story about why she was kidnapped, how she ended up in the Dominican Republic, and who wanted her gone, but not dead, is a whole roller coaster of a story. Of course Arrow is definitely able, and willing, to keep her safe until they figure it all out. :) Defending Morgan is slated for release in March 2019.

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Susan Stoker is a New York TimesUSA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author whose series include Ace Security, Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes, SEAL of Protection, Unsung Heroes: Delta Force, and Mountain Mercenaries. Married to a retired army noncommissioned officer, Stoker has lived all over the country—from Missouri to California to Colorado to Texas—and currently lives under the big skies of Tennessee. 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,, or find her on Facebook at

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  1. PJ, you have been exposing us to a string of really exciting and appealing reads. Am glad that Christmas is coming and I can pass my wishlist to my family.

    Susan, Defending Chloe sounds wonderfully diverting, as does your Mountain Mercenaries series. Suspense and action with my romance reading sounds like just the ticket to distract me from the stresses of holiday prep. Or at least that is my excuse and I am sticking with it.

  2. Thanks for introducing me to a new author.

    Laurie G

    johns lake at usa dot com

  3. One more time - a book I would really like to are killin' me here.

  4. I enjoy reading her books. It is in my kindle waiting to be read.