Justice for Erin
Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes
Release Date Nov. 14, 2017
Part-time bartender Erin Gardner is friendly to everyone who bellies up to her bar, including the local law enforcement and firefighters who keep her city safe. That’s where she meets game warden Conor Paxton, a regular who asks to join a canoeing trip she’s leading for her university day job. When the trip leads to something more, Erin couldn’t be happier. Conor adores Erin, more than enough to help her continue to get over lingering self-esteem issues from her childhood. He’s thrilled he’s found someone who enjoys spending time in nature as much as he does. Just when the couple thinks they’re on their way to a happily ever after, Erin finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. But there’s no way she’ll just lay down and die. She’s woman enough to save herself―and lead her man to her when she’s done. Justice for Erin is the 9th book in the Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.
Agreeing to go on the canoe trip was the best idea ever. Conor happily stood by the gas pumps and filled the van while Erin went inside to use the restroom.
She was such an enigma. There were times she seemed so strong and with it, then he’d get a glimpse of the unsure and vulnerable woman lurking underneath the surface. It was that woman he wanted to get to know. Oh, he liked the take-charge bartender and professor, but Conor could tell there was so much more to Erin. She had such expressive eyes, and when she’d looked at him and admitted that she didn’t “do” holidays, he wanted to take her in his arms and tell her everything would be all right, that she could lean on him and he wouldn’t let her down.
He’d been attracted to her from the first moment he’d seen her. But the more he got to know her, the more he realized it wasn’t her physical features that turned him on, it was who she was as a person.
Oh, she was good looking, there was no doubt. She was tall—he’d always liked tall women. Her light brown hair was medium length, long enough to leave down and frame her face, but she usually had it up in some sort of ponytail. Her unique green eyes shone with laughter when she joked around with Sophie or some of the other women in his group of friends. She was slender, especially for her height, but she went out of her way to hide her assets.
Conor knew it was insane, but he wanted Erin Gardner more than he’d ever wanted anything in his entire life. He’d watched her at The Sloppy Cow for months now. She was generous and intuitive. She knew how to diffuse situations that had the potential to get out of control. She could handle bullies, handsy men, patrons who had drunk too much, and still had the compassion to bring a plate of food to the homeless man who occasionally hung around the back of the bar.
But when he tried to flirt with her, tried to let her know he wanted to get to know her better, she acted as if no one had ever told her how pretty she was before. Like she had no idea how to respond. It had taken him a month or so to realize she wasn’t rebuffing him, but honestly had no clue how to flirt. The more he paid attention, the more he realized when it came to male-female interaction, she was as innocent as a teenager just entering the dating fray.
And that made him feel protective toward her. No, more than that. It made him want to beat the shit out of anyone who said or did anything out of line when it came to her. Erin was a breath of fresh air. Innocent. She was a rarity in his world, and he wanted to cherish her, show her that he could be the kind of man who would treat her like a queen.
He had no idea what her story was, but it was more than obvious she had one.
So when she’d taken a deep breath and invited him to go on the canoe trip with her one night at the bar, he’d immediately agreed, knowing he’d do whatever it took to get the time off work to go. It had taken a bit of wrangling, but he didn’t regret it. The three hours they’d been together so far had been enlightening, and he’d learned more about her than he’d found out in months of talking to her at the bar.
“If you want to go inside, I can finish that,” she said from beside him.
Conor turned to see Erin standing next to him. She was shorter than he was, but not by a lot. He figured she was probably around five-nine or so. A perfect complement to his six-one. Her hair was lying down around her shoulders for once. It was slightly curly, and his fingers itched to reach up and let one of her curls wrap around his hand. Her unique jade-green eyes looked at him with sincerity.
About the Author:
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.