Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Deserving Alaska by Susan Stoker Release Blitz

A brand new series by New York Times bestselling author, Susan Stoker.

The Refuge is a place to heal. Where those who have experienced traumatic events can go to heal. It’s run by seven former military men who’ve seen more than their fair share of the ugliness in the world.

Friend-zoned since childhood by the most amazing man she’s ever known, that doesn’t stop Alaska Stein from doing whatever’s necessary—including lying to the military—to be by his side when Drake ends up in a German hospital after a mission gone wrong. The broken man in the bed is not the boy she once knew. Despite that, and despite years apart, when Drake turns his gaze to Alaska, he sees her. Looks beyond the plain-Jane exterior to his childhood friend beneath. He may never be anything more than a friend, but putting her needs aside to see him whole is a sacrifice she’s willing to make.

Drake “Brick” Vandine walks away from the SEALs after his recovery, building a life around helping others struggling with PTSD. But he can’t walk away from Alaska. She was there for him in his darkest moment and her spine of steel saw him through one of the biggest challenges of his career. And now, although she lives half a world away, she’s still his anchor, his daily dose of support as he and several friends build The Refuge. A place of peace, a place of healing. But, for Drake, also a place of loneliness.

When the unthinkable befalls Alaska during a trip to Russia, it’s Drake’s turn to drop everything and race to her aid. Safely back at The Refuge, he just as quickly realizes what he’s failed to see for two decades—his oldest, dearest friend is the love of his life.

A revelation that may be too little, too late. Because Drake’s brought the enemy right to their door.

**Deserving Alaska is the first book in The Refuge Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.**


Add to Goodreads.


Deserving Alaska by Susan Stoker

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Apple Books  ~  B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Audiobook (US)  ~  Hardcover (US)  ~  Paperback (US)





Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆☆
M/F Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

First off, I love most Stoker books. Stoker is a favorite author of mine, and I was very excited to get to read this story.

Alaska is a shy, somewhat plain girl who befriends a more popular boy when she first moves to the trailer park. Growing up, she had to deal with a mother who was absent or too drunk to be helpful. When the chance to leave all of that behind comes along, Alaska jumps at the job. However, she never forgot her crush, Drake (Brick). She always knew that he was going to do amazing things and even though she knew that her feelings probably weren't reciprocated, she was content to know that Drake was in the world that she lived in. When Drake is hurt during a mission, Alaska bullies and lies her way into his room just to make sure that he's okay.

Drake has been through the wringer. After losing his whole squad to a bombing, Drake isn't sure if he can move past the guilt. Sitting in his hospital room, listening to the doctors say how lucky he was isn't helping. But when he hears that his "fiancée" is waiting for him, his interest is piqued for the first time. When he sees his long-time friend, Alaska, he is instantly comforted.

As Drake and Alaska part ways again, Drake and Alaska vowed that they would keep in touch more frequently. When Alaska finds herself in a dangerous situation, the first and only person she thinks to call is Drake. When Drake realizes the situation, he mobilizes everyone he knows. He isn't going to lose Alaska again.

In the twists and turns of this romance and mystery, you get to see Drake and Alaska's relationship blossom from friends to lovers. In the beautiful setting of The Refuge, these two find solace in each other and their surroundings.

You won't be disappointed in Deserving Alaska. Stoker weaves a fantastic tale where love conquers all and the strong alpha males don't disappoint.

This is the first book in a new series – and anyone who is a Susan Stoker fan will be delighted that we also get to meet some old friends along the way. The Refuge is a place created and run by a band of guys who have suffered through their service and having overcome the worst of their guilt and PTSD, now they provide a refuge for others in the same situation.

In this book we learn about Drake, who we learn through the early chapters has good reason to be a founding member of The Refuge, having lost many of his team in an explosion. We also find out that he has a childhood friend called Alaska. She had a rough home life and often came round and played video games with him, silently crushing on him, but sure he was not interested. When he enlisted, she started to work overseas, and then when he was injured, she rushed to come and support him in hospital in Germany. Whilst they have not spent further time together, they have stayed in touch – and he is pretty concerned about her holiday in Russia.

A call from her asking for a ransom to be paid or she will be sold and shipped out to China, and he immediately calls in some huge favours and travels to Russia to save her. This was dramatic enough, but that is not where the tension ends. I did find the idea that someone would travel round the world to claim a human possession surprising, but his obsession was well described.

Alaska is an interesting character as she considers herself to be almost invisible, and yet she has travelled around Europe working in admin roles, which is pretty unusual, and Drake recognises it as brave. I liked that he was quick to point out her skills and value – and that comes to see her not as a friend, but as someone who he desires. He doesn't consider that he has enough to offer her, but between them they come to understand that they may have been wrong about having a future together.

There is quite a lot of world building in this book, and the other guys who run The Refuge are definitely going to give us interesting romances in the future – even Tonka!




Author Bio

New York Times, USA Today, #1 Amazon bestseller, and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author, SUSAN STOKER has a heart as big as the state of Tennessee where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last eighteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, Indiana, and Texas. She's married to a retired Army man (and current firefighter/EMT) 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.

Connect with Susan Stoker

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  TikTok  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Susan Stoker's Stalkers




Hosted by

Valentine PR & Literary Management.

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Deserving Alaska (The Refuge #1) by Susan Stoker to read and review.

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