Title: Stripping Her Defenses (Ex Ops, #2)
Author: Jessie Lane
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Released Date: October 31, 2014
He can’t change the scars on her body…
but fate will give him a second chance to mend the scars he put on her heart.
Riley Sullivan and the Ex Ops Team are headed to Miami undercover… as bikers. Following up a lead, the men will perform their investigation acting as members of the Regulators Motorcycle Club with the club’s permission. Surrounded by hardcore bikers and investigating missing strippers, Riley finds the last person he ever expected to see again—his ex-wife.
Kara Sullivan left the man she loved after a tragic accident cost them their unborn son. After years of therapy, she’s come to grips with the loss and has re-emerged from the pain a brand new person. That doesn’t mean she’s ready to face the man who inadvertently broke her heart, and who she’s hurt in return.
Riley has never stopped loving her and he never will. He’s ready to fix their marriage and move on with their lives, however Kara’s reluctance to renew their relationship isn’t their only problem. Danger lurks just around the corner… and there’s a chance she could disappear permanently.
Stripping Her Defenses is book two in Jessie Lane’s Ex Ops series. This is a romantic suspense series that highlights a team of ex-military men who are have been recruited and are now working for on organization secretly headed up by the CIA, the Ex Ops Team. The team gets their hands dirty and does the jobs under the radar. These men are highly trained and experts in what they do. However, nothing has really prepared in them in the fight for love.
Riley Sullivan was once married to his high school sweetheart and the woman who owns his soul. Being young and in love did not stop Riley from making mistakes. Riley became a SEAL and as his professional career took off, things at home changed for the worse. His wife became someone he barely recognized so far removed from the free-spirited girl he feel in love with and instead of staying with her and getting to the root of the problem, Riley took on more missions that kept him away from home and his fragile wife. One tragic incident occurred and it was enough for his wife to finally walk away from their crumbling marriage and filing for divorce.
Eight years have since passed since Riley came back from one of his missions to an empty home and no wife. Time has slowly slipped away but that does not mean that Riley has moved on and stopped loving his wife. She is still at the forefront of all his thoughts and he is unable to completely move forward with his life. He has attempted to find her but his wife disappeared without a trace. When Riley and the Ex-Ops Team go to Miami undercover as members of the Regulators MC, he never expects to come face to face with the woman who walked away from him years ago. His ex-wife.
Kara Sullivan made a painful decision when she decided to leave her husband. She had to do it though, for her sake and his. Years of therapy have helped Kara deal with the pain and she is no longer the delicate and breakable woman she one was. She is strong and free. When her ex-husband suddenly shows up at the club she works at, Kara has no idea how she is going to face him. She may be more resilient and tough than she once was but that does not mean she is ready to face the man who broke her heart and who she hurt in return.
Riley soon discovers that he barely knows the woman his ex-wife has become. His shy and innocent wife is now a confident, adventurous and sexy vixen. Riley has never stopped loving the sweet girl that he was once married to, but this new Kara definitely stirs something deep within him. There is no way Riley is going to walk away from Kara again. He just has to make her realize that they still belong to one another and he is determined to do this even if he has to go through a few muscled and dangerous bikers.
Riley and Kara are both responsible for hurting one another and they have a few hurdles to overcome; however, they never stopped loving one another. It was heart-warming to see just how much they affected each other when they were together. Kara does not stand a chance against the steely determination of her ex-husband. Is the love they still share enough to overcome the pain from the past? Are they strong enough to move forward and renew their relationship?
Stripping Her Defenses was a sweet second chance at love story with a little suspense thrown in. It was definitely an enjoyable read. I found that I liked the hero and heroine in this book a little more than in the previous book. Although, at first Kara did rub me the wrong way as I did not really understand the choices she made in her life since leaving Riley. All in all, a great addition to this entertaining series. We get to meet a few sexy bikers from the Regulators MC who will form part of a spin off series that will be co-written by Jessie Lane and Chelsea Camaron. Something to most certainly watch out for.
Available to purchase at
Stripping Her Defenses (Ex Ops, #2)
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Secret Maneuvers (Ex Ops, #1)
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1. In 5 words, please describe your ‘Romance Writing Style’
Humorous, suspenseful, emotional, sexy, real.
2. Do your leading men come from any place in particular? Dreams? Movie stars? Your partner? Past partners?
I’ve never used a past partner and never will. It would be too weird for me to write about them. However, I do put some aspects of my husband into some of my leading men. The majority of my inspiration for them comes from dreams or movie stars though. Hugh Jackman? YUMMMM.
3. What do you do in your down time?
I’m a Mom… so please explain this concept of down time to me? Just kidding! When I do have some free time, I like to either read or watch a movie with my kids. I know, I’m boring. I’m pretty sure everyone would have preferred to hear something much more exciting such as taking off on a motorcycle with a hot guy. Alas, I married a man that I’m pretty sure is a latent bear shifter, so we hibernate.
4. When you walk into a book store, where do you head first?
The romance section. Then I commence what my local Barnes & Noble clerks probably consider my weird stalkery type behavior by “petting the pretties”. Can’t I just take them all home?! I must have them! After my husband pulls me away we head to the kids section where my daughter then starts her book stalkery type behavior. Apparently, that’s genetic. And yes, my husband thinks my daughter and I are weird, but thankfully he loves us anyway. Hee.
5. Why did you decide to write romance novels?
My first book, The Burning Star, is a YA Fantasy. There are some romance elements to it, but the book is predominantly fantasy. It was while writing that book that I felt inhibited because I was writing for a teenage market. I had to be careful about what I wrote so some irate parent wouldn’t show up at my door to throttle me. So, my next book, Big Bad Bite, I let my inhibitions fly out the window and I wrote my first romance novel. Now, I’m like a junkie. I’m hooked.
6. Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?
Wow, there are SO MANY authors that I love. Many of whom have influenced me one way or the other. My favorite author is Karen Marie Moning and I adore her. They broke the mold when they made her. Other authors I would call influences would be Lora Leigh, Shelly Laurenston, Kresley Cole, Jeaniene Frost, Melissa Marr, Maya Banks, Shayla Black and the Great “KA”, Kristen Ashley. Seriously, I want to be Kristen Ashley when I grow up. She’s the ultimate Rock Chick.
7. What research did you have to perform to back up your story? Any research which really opened your eyes or gave you new respect for a topic or profession?
I’ve done a great deal of research for my various series. I’ve researched the Fae and mythology for my young adult series. I enjoyed that a great deal because I’ve always loved folk tales and mythology.
But the most disturbing research I did was probably for Secret Maneuvers, the first Ex Ops Series book. When I researched Mexican cartels it brought up an insane amount of headless bodies. Yeah… I think I’ll skip that trip to Mexico that I used to want to take.
I tell my husband all the time that one day the FBI will show up on our doorstep because of all the different things I research, lol.
8. What is your method for writing a book? A certain amount of hours every day? A certain routine? Are you character/story builder or an outliner or some other method?
9. How do you get past writers block or distractions like Facebook?
I don’t. I call Chelsea Camaron and let her yell at me for the distractions. Then she talks through my plot lines with me until I’m through my writer’s block. She’s like an author drill sergeant I tell ya! I’m so lucky to have her as a friend. Love her to pieces.
10. Favorite book from childhood.
The Chronicles of Narnia
11. What’s on your desk? Can you see your desk? Describe what you see when you look around.
I clean my desk two to three times a week and it still piles up with stuff! Ideally, I like a clean, zen like desk. This does not happen often. I do have a small, old, purple glass bowl that was my Nana’s on my desk. She was one of my biggest supporters when I started writing and I like to have a reminder of her here while I work.
12. What's the weirdest thing you've Googled?
13. What is your favorite line from any of your books?
“The next person who tells me to hurry up before I finish my cup of coffee gets a bullet in the ass.” ~ Jenna from Big Bad Bite
The quote was written, and inspired, by me in the morning. One might say I’m a wee bit grumpy before caffeine.
14. Do you believe in love at first sight?
Yes, but I don’t think it happens very often. For instance, it wasn’t love at first sight with my husband. He was immediately attracted to me, and I to him, but we grew to love each other by having a friendship first. Those that do have love at first sight though - *le sigh*. How unbelievably romantic is that?
15. What do you do when you are not writing?
Spending time with my family or reading. I know, I’m boring.
16. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
17. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
18. Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
Sex scenes. Although I love them, I also equally hate them. I usually get stuck and they generally take me two to three days to write. I love writing romance, but writing a sex scene that matches with who the characters are, and what emotions they’re going through, can sometimes be tough. This is why I’m pretty sure my readers will never see an erotica book from me. That would be one giant writer’s block, lol.
19. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
Names are extremely important in my books. Often, I will pick a name with a certain meaning or definition that fits the character. I’m also very partial to Irish names. I love the way they sound. Take Riley from Stripping Her Defenses. I chose his name because Riley is Irish which fit the character’s profile for his family, and the name means “valiant”. Look up the definition of valiant and you see that it means “possessing or showing courage or determination”. I knew from the moment I dreamed up Riley Sullivan they he would have an ex-wife who he was determined to get back. That he would have to show courage to work through his personal demons to win her back. So I felt the name fit him perfectly.
Every now and then I pick a name because it’s just too cool not to use. For instance, Gage, in Walk On The Striped Side. I’ve always loved that name.
20. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Stripping Her Defenses has a couple of very sensitive issues. One being the loss of a child. I’ve witnessed the aftermath of this first hand as my parents have lost a child. I grew up seeing their pain. So, with Riley and Kara’s loss, I wanted to do justice to the soul deep sort of pain that is.
Which leads me to the second sensitive topic, depression. I suffer from depression. Needless to say, that makes it a very sensitive subject for me. But I believe in spreading the word about mental illness so that others may understand it to support those around them who suffer from it.
My hope is that I gave both topics the light and attention they deserve while giving readers a peek at what it is like to endure those two trials.
21. What did you want to be when you grow up?
A comic book artist or a fighter jet pilot. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough natural talent to become the comic book artist, no matter how much I loved to draw. And the world is probably safer if I never see the inside of a cockpit, lol.
22. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
23. What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
I had this crazy dream a few years ago. It was so vivid, so fantastic, that I woke up at the butt crack of dawn and started writing it all down. My husband blamed the whole thing on the Mexican food we had eaten the night before. If that’s the case, I should eat Mexican more often. That dream turned out to be my first book, The Burning Star.
24. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
25. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
A little bit of both actually. I write a very vague outline with only a few specific plot points. Then I start writing and see what happens in between the given plot points. Sometimes, writing by the seat of my pants like that has led to plot line changes, but in the end I usually like the changes better anyways.
26. For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
Ebooks. I’ve totally run out of space on my bookshelf, lol. Once I get more room and more bookshelves I shall work on filling those. Just don’t tell my husband. Ha!
27. What book/s are you reading at present?
At the moment I am re-reading Lora Leigh’s Breed Series. I love those books like my kids love cake. I’ve also recently read Chelsea Camaron’s Merciless Ride, Lani Lynn Vale’s Lights To My Sirens and Jamie Begley’s Riot. Love all of those ladies to pieces!
28. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
29. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t stop dreaming. One day, those dreams will come true.
About the Author
Jessie Lane is the best selling author of The Star Series, Big Bad Bite Series and the Ex Ops Series.
She lives in Kentucky with her two little Rock Chicks in the making and her over protective alpha husband. She has a passionate love for reading and writing naughty romance, cliff hanging suspense, and out-of-this-world characters that demand your attention, or threaten to slap you around until you do pay attention to them.
Jessie writes Adult Paranormal and Contemporary Romance & Upper YA Fantasy/Paranormal Romance.
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Coming Soon from Jessie Lane and Chelsea Camaron
Photographer: Golden Czermak/Furious Fotog
Cover Designer: Mina Carter
Loosely attached to Chelsea Camaron's Hellions Series and Jessie Lane's Ex Ops Series.
She's an investment banker.
He's an outlaw biker.
A little bit of heaven is about to meet a whole lot of hell.
Morgan Powell was raised to be perfect, to set an example for her sisters to follow. Her life has been dedicated to making something of her career, so she wouldn’t know what to do with a man even if you gave her an instruction manual.
Brett 'Ice' Grady spends his days trying to keep up with his teenage daughter, his nights consumed in Regulators’ MC business. He has no time for anything more than a casual hookup.
Two worlds collide when the dangers of his life crash into the calm of hers.
Can she go beyond her own boundaries and chip her way through to the man known to be as cold as ice?