by J.C. Valentine
Spartan Riders, #2
Publication Date: July 26, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, MC Romance
Synopsis: Talia McKinnon said goodbye to love the day she signed the divorce papers and moved across the country looking for a fresh start. With work occupying her days and nights, a relationship is the last thing on her mind, until a run-in with a hot-as-Hades, leather clad biker changes her mind. He’s everything she shouldn’t want but has to have. The problem is, he’s not that easy to catch.
Tucker “Country” Abrams believes in two things: brotherhood and women. He takes his job seriously and his women hard, but at the end of the day, the only loyalty he has is to his club. So when a night with a beautiful stranger threatens to change everything, he’s quick to apply the brakes. But when a little detective work reveals that Talia may be much more than a one-night stand, Tucker is tasked with an impossible decision. Will he push her away, or go against every instinct he has and pull her closer?
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
In Mettle, we return to J.C. Valentine’s Spartan Riders MC world. This time, it’s “Country” who is taking us for a ride.
Tucker “Country” Abrams is a love ’em and leave ’em type of guy. He’s always known the whole marriage and kids thing wasn’t for him. He doesn’t even like the bunnies to stay the night. Tucker’s loyalty has always been and always will be to the Spartan Riders. Or it was until a sultry, little blonde walked into the bar.
The last thing Talia McKinnon was looking for when transfer jobs across country was love. Any chances Talia had at that were ruined by her ex-husband. But when her new job presents the chance to get down and dirty with a sexy-as-sin biker, Talia jumps at the chance. Why not mix work with pleasure, if doing so will satisfy all of her needs?
While Tucker and his brother’s are trying to get a step ahead in a dangerous game, Talia is searching for answers to a mystery she needs to uncover. Can their new relationship survive the jobs they’re determined to do?
Just like the first book in the Spartan Riders series, Mettle was an intense, sexy ride. The suspense kept me on edge almost the entire time. I knew that once Tucker found out the truth behind Talia’s job, things were going to get tense. I never imagine the entire story would have me in a state of anticipation! There were other twist and turns I didn’t see coming. I was completely surprised a couple of times while reading.
Mettle wasn’t just all suspense, though. There was another kind of tension at play, too. Sexual tension. The sexual connection between Talia and Tucker was very carnal and a little bit kinky. I was definitely fanning myself! There was also a sweet side to their relationship. Both had feelings for each other quickly that went deeper. Neither of them was willing to admit that their relationship went anything beyond the physical for a while, but I loved the way they both were secretly falling for each other. I enjoyed the comfortable way they were with each other.
I would highly recommend Mettle to readers who enjoy MC romances or the Romantic Suspense genre. It was definitely filled with several steamy scenes and a whole lot of action. I would suggest reading the first Spartan Riders novel, GRIT, before reading Mettle, though; it sets up a major part of this story.
**I received an ARC from IndieSage Promotions in exchange for an unbiased review.
Tucker was frowning. “So you don’t want to…”
“No! No, I do. I definitely do.” She patted the air. Realized she looked like a crazy person and pressed herself against him instead. Up close, she could see the golden flecks in his caramel colored eyes, along with shots of pale green, like a starburst. “What I meant to say was let’s get things started.”
“So eager.” Looping his arm around her waist, Tucker pulled her in tighter, allowing her to feel his erection pressing against her navel. “I like it. Where’s the bedroom? Unless you prefer the couch? Or maybe the counter? I’m totally flexible.”
So many options. Unfortunately, the only place Talia could be certain the cameras weren’t watching was the bedroom. She pointed in its direction. “Through there.”
Grinning like a cat with a bowl of milk, Tucker carried the water bottles in one hand and held hers in the other.
Her room was just as expensively outfitted as the rest of the apartment when it came to the cost of materials and the level of quality of the furniture, but when it came to style, it was much more subdued than the rest of the place.
The difference was that it was Talia’s personal space and the one place she could retreat to truly relax. She’d read somewhere that the bedroom should be treated as a sanctuary in order to foster a calm mind and help reduce everyday stressors, which would lead to good sleep and all around better frame of mind.
Since she always got a full eight hours and could honestly say that her tension eased the minute her toes sunk into the carpet, she had to believe there was something to it.
A Ficus stood proud between three bay windows, surrounded by two club chairs that she alternated between using for reading and to prop her feet on. The bed was a standard queen with an antique iron frame that’d been painted white and then destressed in places to expose the ironwork underneath. The predominate color in the room was Robin’s egg blue with spots of yellow and touches of red sprinkled here and there to create pops of color.
It was a no-fuss space that always made her feel at home in a place that was far from it. Just another way that her job was different from everyone else’s: whereas most people worked an eight-hour shift and called it a day, she literally lived her job most days, so she rarely got to leave work behind at the end of the day. It was a reality that rarely bothered her, but when the occasion did arise, it was a struggle to remind herself why she’d chosen the profession and how much she enjoyed it.
“I like your style,” Tuck praised as he took the lead, heading straight for the bed with her in tow. “It’s surprisingly masculine.”
He was referring to the choice of furniture: bulky dark grain woods mixed with metalwork and plain beige fabrics. Very basic, very streamline. No doubt, the women he usually spent his time with were all about the usual pink and floral with ruffles routine girls were taught to like. Bleh. She had never been the type to conform to societal norms.
“Thanks.” She wished she could say that she’d decorated it herself, but that would be a lie, and given the way he seemed to look straight through her most of the time, she wasn’t even going to go there.
“Okay, so how do you want to do this?” he asked. Setting the bottles down on the side table, taking care to use the coasters she kept in every room, he turned to face her.
“I’m not sure what you mean.” How to do what? Whatever it was, she knew he couldn’t be talking about sex, because he definitely knew his way around that.
“Sex,” he said, shooting that theory down. “It’s your place, so you have first dibs. Top, bottom, side, or standing. Or, if you really want to get crazy, Cricket told me about this one time where he had one of the bunnies stand on her head and put her legs on his shoulders while he—”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” Talia yelled over top of him. “This is so not something I want to hear.”
“Sorry, yeah. I said the same thing, but some things you can’t unhear, and that? That was pretty damn interesting, so I’ll admit that I filed some of it away for later use. So if you’re feeling adventurous, just let me know, and I’ll be happy to hook you up.”
He winked. She may have swooned a little. “Yeah, sure, okay, I’ll definitely do that.” She rolled her eyes, hoping her disinterested huff was convincing. Sex while standing on your head? How did that work?
There was so much she didn’t know, so much she had yet to learn. It seemed that Tucker was determined to see to it that he fixed that problem posthaste. It was a good feeling, being wanted. Desired. During the last months of her marriage, Brock had made it a point to beat her confidence down, drilling it in that she wasn’t a good wife. She never cooked or cleaned to his standards, didn’t dress sexy enough or maintain herself as he wanted. In his eyes, she had never been woman enough for him, too independent, too focused on work and not enough on him. In hindsight, she wasn’t even sure why she’d married him in the first place. With her job, they were often separated for weeks at a time, and when they were together, they were always butting heads. Eventually, though, she’d come to her senses and realized that, despite what she did for a living, she wasn’t the problem. He knew what he was getting into when he married her and no matter what, she didn’t deserve the abuse. So, after telling him that he wasn’t man enough for her, she left without a backward glance.
Just because she was the one who left didn’t mean that it didn’t still hurt, though. Sometimes, like now, when she thought on it too long, it struck a chord deep in her that seemed to hum through her every fiber, leaving her feeling the lowest of the low.
But now she had Tucker, who made her feel like every woman in those romance books he read about. Did he learn a thing or two from them? Hell yes. She’d experienced it at his place, and now she was about to experience it again.
Stepping into his personal space, she slid her arms around his shoulders and smiled up into his face. “I’d like to start out on top, and then we’ll go from there.”
“Handstand sex?” he asked hopefully.
Her head fell back, the hangover now reduced to a dull ache, and she laughed. “Maybe.”
“I’ll take it.”
Absorbing the light in his eyes, the pure joy in his smile, and the euphoric feeling he gave her every time he looked at her like that, Talia thanked her lucky stars that she’d been assigned to the case she had…then wondered what she’d do with herself once it was all over.
But she didn’t want to think about all that now. Right now, all she wanted to do was get lost in the man in front of her and the untold pleasures he would bring.
Rising onto her toes, she whispered against his lips, “Thank you.”
“For being you. The last guy in my life wasn’t so nice.”
Tucker’s jaw clenched. “Then it’ll be my pleasure to erase him from your memory.”
HAVE YOU MET THE PREZ OF THE #SPARTANRIDERS MC? GET LOST IN #GRIT, BLAKE AND GABBY’S STORY NOW!
Synopsis: Gabby Morgan isn’t looking for love. Not even a little romance. Following a rocky past that she’d just as soon forget, she’s determined to focus on the future. One that most certainly doesn’t involve the tough-as-nails, short-on-words, hot-as-hell biker…or his kid.
Blake Mahone may not be done with women, but he’s finished with relationships. Then Gabby Morgan enters the picture. She’s flawless, refined, and as his kid’s teacher, way out of his league. She acts like she hates him, but her eyes tell a different story. Before he knows it, Blake finds himself hot for teacher, and he’s more than ready to learn all her secrets. Now all he has to do is convince her to give him a shot…without getting them both killed in the process.
ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE
J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Series. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.
J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.
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