About the Book
Series: SEAL of Protection #1
Author: Susan Stoker
Published: September 8th, 2014
Word Count: 62,000
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Content Warning: Violence
Age Recommendation: 18+
Synopsis: **Protecting Caroline is a stand-alone love story. It is Book 1 in the SEAL of Protection Series**
Matthew “Wolf” Steel hated flying commercial. Luckily his job as a Navy SEAL meant he didn’t have to do it very often. He’d been unlucky enough to be assigned a middle seat on the cramped jet, but fortunately for him, the woman next to him was willing to switch seats with him. Hoping for a relaxing flight, Wolf was pleasantly surprised at the good conversation and sense of humor the woman had as they flew 36,000 feet over the countryside.
When Caroline boarded the plane to Virginia to move across the country for her new job she never expected to be seated next to the hottest guy she’d ever seen. She also never expected he’d be so easy to talk to. She knew he’d never be interested in talking to her if he hadn’t been trapped in the seat next to her, but it was a nice way to spend a long plane ride.
Neither Wolf nor Caroline were prepared for a terrorist hijacking of their plane, but if Caroline thought that would be the last time she’d see, or need, Wolf, she’d be sorely mistaken.
Start the SEAL of Protection Series with Caroline and Wolf’s story.
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Wolf didn’t say anything, just did what he’d desired to do the first time he saw her in the room. He reached over and gathered her into his arms. She was stiff at first, then she melted into him. She smelled of some sort of flowers. Maybe it was her shampoo, maybe it was a lotion she used, but it went straight to his head. He tightened his arms around her and Caroline lost it. She cried. She cried for being scared on the plane, she cried for being hurt, she cried remembering how alone and scared she felt in her apartment when only a thin piece of plastic kept a killer from knowing she was in the bathroom, she cried in relief that Matthew was back from his mission. Matthew rocked her and held her tight. He wasn’t used to a woman’s tears, but there was no way he was letting her go.
Finally her tears dried up and she only sniffed here and there. Wolf drew back a bit and looked at her face. She wasn’t a “cute crier”—her face was red and blotchy. She refused to raise her eyes. Wolf rubbed her cheeks with his thumbs and then lifted her chin up so Caroline had to look at him. He didn’t say anything just leaned down and touched her lips with his. It wasn’t a passionate kiss, but it felt right. It was a comforting kiss. It was exactly what she needed from him at that moment.
He pulled back and looked into her eyes. “You’re safe now. I’ll do everything in my power to make sure you stay that way.”
Caroline believed him. He was an honest to God hero. And for the moment, he was her hero. She tipped her chin up, reaching again for his lips with hers.
The second she moved, he was there. Wolf had tried to hold back with her. She was feeling vulnerable and he didn’t want to take advantage of her. But with the first touch of her lips against him, he was lost.
About the 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 is quite the romantic and even met the love of her life on “Hotmail classified” before online dating and sites like match.com even existed!
Susan has been reading romance novels since middle school and once crossed out the names of the main characters in a book and changed them to her own and to the name of her crush. She’s been writing scenes for years, developing her unique writing style.
Susan loves writing but her true passion is adopting dogs from rescue groups and shelters. Susan and her husband have had a total of nine “rescued” dogs since 2000 including a variety of basset hounds and bloodhounds. She has recently branched out and adopted a basset/terrier mix who acts more like a terrier than a basset (i.e. digging, eating a couch and being hyper).
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- For a book that deals with terrorist hijackings, was it emotional for you to write it - especially with it being published so close to 9/11?
I fly a lot for both my job and for pleasure, and every time I board I plane I think, “what if.” My husband is former military and always sees “that” side of things in the world around him. I remember on Sept 11, 2001 my husband took one look at the new footage and said, “That’s terrorism.” I just shook my head at him for being a pessimist, but he was proven right when that second plane hit.
One thing I thought of as I wrote the airplane scenes in this book was Sept 11th and what the people on the planes might have been going through. The passengers on that plane that crashed in Pennsylvania were heroes and they certainly were worthy of the SEALs in my book. Of course in Protecting Caroline, everyone was saved and it turned out all right, but unfortunately, as our country learned, that isn’t always the case.
Since airport and airplane security has been tightened in our country I tried to think of a way that a terrorist organization might be able to take over a plane full of people. I think because of 9/11 more people would be willing to go out on a limb and “fight back,” so it was important to take that away from the majority of the passengers in the book.
Writing the scene itself wasn’t emotional, but thinking about what others who are trapped in a plane and know it’s going to crash, IS emotional. I just can’t imagine the feeling of helplessness and terror those people must think. I’ve seen some documentaries, not only about 9/11, but about other plane crashes and it’s just horrifying.
I know every time I step onto a plane I say a little prayer that my flight will be one of the thousands of routine flights that happen around this country and world every day. I imagine Caroline might have thought the same thing.
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