Series: Ace Security #1
Source: ARC, NetGalley
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
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For Logan Anderson, moving on from a traumatic past means moving back to his hometown of Castle Rock, Colorado, to start a personal-security business with his brothers. But it’s not long before Logan runs into Grace Mason, his best friend from high school…and the woman who never answered his letters during his Army years.
Grace was pleasantly surprised to see Logan return to Castle Rock, despite their falling-out ten years ago. Everyone always assumed they would end up together, including Grace, who had eyes only for him. But as Logan eventually escaped their town, Grace got pulled further into her family’s controlling grasp—and farther away from the man she loved.
Now, united by scars both visible and not, the two must fight to free Grace from the suffocating hold of her family. But the Masons won’t let go easily—and they’ll do whatever it takes to keep the couple apart.
Claiming Grace is a second chance love story. Grace and Logan had been best friends in high school. Logan’s mom was abusive and Grace’s parents were controlling. Logan joined the army as soon as he graduated in order to get away. Grace stayed and did everything her parents told her to. I am going to do this review a little differently. Within the first few pages, I was already dying to dialogue about this book. These are my thoughts as I am reading!
I am struggling to have any respect or sympathy for Grace. Logan left even though his mom was abusive. Grace went to college and then came back. Her parents are certainly emotionally abusive, but I feel there is a great deal more Grace could do to break their hold over her. She’s 30 years old for crying out loud. I also understand the desire to please your parents…but again, Grace is just making me irritated.
My least favorite plot trope? The miscommunication. Logan sent letters. Grace never got letters. Yet, now that he is back, they refuse to speak. A simple “Hey, why didn’t you write” could have cleared up a lot.
Ok, miscommunication cleared up. Glad that didn’t go on long. But Logan is kind of giving me whiplash. “I don’t believe in emotional abuse”. 2 seconds later “Yeah, somethings wrong. I’m gonna talk to her”. Dude? Seriously? You run an agency that helps men and women in abusive situations. While I may find Grace’s behavior irritating, I do believe she is being emotionally abused.
Felicity, Grace’s only friend, does a fantastic job of really explaining emotional abuse and why it is effective. I am still struggling with Grace as a character because she seems so naive that its difficult to believe, but I can at least see why she has allowed this abuse to continue and hasn’t stood up to her parents sooner.
Ok, Grace is starting to get a backbone with Logan’s help and she is a bit more relatable now. The letters….those made me tear up a bit!
Grace’s parents are almost comically bad. You know those old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons? Her parents are like Natasha and Boris…The story is told in 3rd person so I think it would have helped if the reader got a little insight into their motives. But, without that insight, they just feel static.
Final verdict: Not my favorite Susan Stoker book. I think because I have loved so many of her books that I might be a bit more judgmental than your average reader. While I have pointed out all the things that bothered me, there is a lot more to the book. Grace opened up to her friends and it was powerful to see how the abuse had impacted her. One thing Stoker always does well is abuse survivors. While Claiming Grace wasn’t a total hit for me, it still is a good book that I think will appeal to readers who like emotional stories of people overcoming abuse that no one sees. As Felicity pointed out, everyone would jump to help a person who had bruises and obvious signs of abuse, but not having a black eye doesn’t mean you aren’t being abused.
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: no
- Trope: second chance; friends to lovers
- Triggers: View Spoiler »Emotional abuse occurs frequently between Grace and her parents. « Hide Spoiler
- Series/Standalone: standalone
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes, with a nice epilogue « Hide Spoiler