Series: Ace Security #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Also in this series: Claiming Grace, Claiming Alexis, Claiming Felicity, Claiming Sarah
Also by this author: Protecting Cheyenne (SEAL of Protection #5), Justice for Mackenzie (Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes #1), Protecting the Future, Rescuing Rayne, Justice for Corrie, Shelter for Elizabeth, Rescuing Emily, Justice for Boone, Rescuing Harley, Shelter for Adeline, Marrying Emily, Claiming Grace, Rescuing Kassie, Protecting Kiera, Claiming Alexis, Shelter for Sophie, Rescuing Bryn, Justice for Erin, Rescuing Casey, Claiming Felicity, Justice for Milena, Rescuing Sadie , Rescuing Wendy, Shelter for Blythe, Defending Allye, Defending Chloe, Securing Caite, Defending Morgan, Rescuing Macie, Defending Harlow, Claiming Sarah, Shelter for Koren, Securing Piper, Defending Everly, Securing Zoey
Opposites attract in the third Ace Security novel from New York Times bestselling author Susan Stoker.
Bailey Hampton will do whatever it takes to keep both herself and her little brother safe from the vicious Inca Boyz gang. Hiding out in Castle Rock, Colorado, is only a temporary solution until she can earn enough money to get out of the state altogether. But when she meets handsome security nerd Nathan Anderson, she discovers a reason to stay and fight for what she wants.
Ace Security's Nathan Anderson has always been the "numbers guy," not the man any of the firm's clients look to when their safety is threatened. But from the first time he ran into Bailey, she never made him feel like less of a protector than his brothers. Nathan was attracted to the petite, black-haired pixie with wild tattoos from the start, and by some miracle, she seems to return his interest.
But danger stalks Bailey and her brother, so it's up to Nathan to channel his inner alpha and find a way to end the threat to their lives once and for all - and he's not giving up Bailey without a fight.
A nerdy, sexually less experienced man and a former gang whore collide in Claiming Bailey. Nathan is the geekier Anderson brother, more content to stay at the office and crunch numbers and do tech things. Bailey got swept up into the gang life at 14, but when she saw the effect it was having on her young brother, she ran. Bailey’s life with the gang is difficult to read about-she was, for all intents and purposes, raped and physically abused. Nathan’s childhood wasn’t a picnic, but nothing compared to what Bailey endured.
Nathan falls for Bailey almost instantly and is determined to save her from the gang. Its sweet and so unlike anything Bailey has ever experienced. Bailey has had a rough life, having been involved in the gang from a young age, but she was callous to Nathan frequently. I understand her distrust, but Nathan had not given her any reason to treat him poorly. It kind of got on my nerves. Also, and this is more of a social commentary on our world today and only tangentially related to this book, why is it when a woman has slept with LOTS of guys it is shameful but when its the guy who has slept with LOTS of girls, he never expresses shame? WTF is up with that and why do we still promulgate this view? Bailey’s shame is not just about the number of guys so this isn’t exactly a commentary on her, but she is ashamed of the number of men she has been with (not even counting the ones she was forced to sleep with). However, you never read about a man being anything more than slightly uncomfortable with the number of women he has been with. This bothers me a great deal because I think it sends a really disjointed message, much like the confusing messages Joel gets from the gang members. And speaking of Joel…
I think my favorite ship of this book was Nathan and Joel! Joel is a seriously messed up 10 year old. He spent a lot of time with the gang leader before Bailey ran and it has seriously confused him and warped his thoughts. And he has been overexposed to so many mature things like sex and violence. Nathan has this way of talking to Joel that treats him like a mature adult while addressing the misbehaviors Joel exhibits due to his time with the gang. He never makes Joel feel bad and always encourages him to think about what he knows as opposed to what Donovan (the gang leader) said. He guides Joel to rediscovering things without forcing opinions on him. I would have loved the book to just be about Nathan and Joel!
There is a little ‘easter egg’ type shout out to Stoker’s other series, Delta Force Heroes. There is a game Joel loves called ‘This is War’ and he describes the new mission about this team of Deltas who have to save another Delta from dying after he loses his arm! Loved that little nugget!
While this series hasn’t been my favorite of Stoker’s, I can appreciate different things about it. The Anderson boys are different, even in a trope that could be trite. Bailey is very different than any character Stoker has written. While personally I struggled with her character, I think that many people will love the kind of anti-heroine vibe Bailey has in the story.
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: no
- Trope: nerdy guy
- Triggers: View Spoiler »some of Bailey’s rape/abuse at the hands of the gang is described but it isn’t gratuitous « Hide Spoiler
- Series/Standalone: stand alone within an interconnected series
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes « Hide Spoiler