Monday, August 1, 2016

review || METTLE { blog tour } by J.C. Valentine

J.C. Valentine | July 26, 2016 | MC Romance
Spartan Riders, book 2


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?
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{ 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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{ excerpt } .

It didn’t take long for Tucker to hunt down what he needed. All the hallmarks were there in the investigator’s report: abnormal heat markers present at multiple points, evidence of tampering with the electrical box, and the presence of an accelerant. Add that to the windows and doors all having been left open when the crew’s statements claimed they were always kept closed, and it was the fucking trifecta.

Unfortunately, there was nothing to point to a possible motive or the person or persons involved in setting the fire, but all Tucker had to do was look at what was used to make a connection: a combination of acetone and lighter fluid, two main ingredients in your common meth lab.

So the answer to their little mystery had to be Ricky fucking Cruiz. He was the only person who had motive and means, which made him guilty as sin in Tucker’s book.

“The bastard is going to pay.”

Standing on Blake’s front porch, picking his teeth with a toothpick, he stared out over the lawn and nodded. “That he is, my friend. That he is.”

“No one messes with my property and gets away with it.”

“No, they don’t.”

“You do realize this means Cruiz is in town, right?”

“Either that or he has his lackeys doing his dirty work while he sits off someplace cushy eating Bon-Bons and watching Married with Children reruns.”

“I love that show,” Blake commented. “They never should have canceled it.”

“Fucking crime,” Tucker agreed, shaking his head.

They stood in comfortable silence for a minute before getting back to business. “You think Jodi has anything to do with it?”

Tucker paused in his picking and looked up at his president. Eyes shot through with worry and tension stared back at him. “She’d be fucking stupid if she was.”

Blake’s head bobbed slowly on his shoulders in agreement. “So that’s a yes.”

“Likely, yeah.”

“Stupid bitch. I should have listened when everyone said to stay away from her.”

“You were a kid,” Tucker offered, hoping to ease his guilty conscience somewhat. “None of us thought with the big brain back then.”

“That’s some truth right there.”

“How’s Gabby taking all this?”

“I haven’t told her.”

Tucker shot him a look that clearly conveyed he thought his friend was crazy for leaving her in the dark. It was always better to be prepared than to find yourself in the middle of the jungle without a weapon and one hand tied behind your back.

“Can you blame me? She’s a runner. One word about this, and she’d freak out. She’d start blaming herself again and then making excuses why she should leave and save us all the trouble.”

“Hmm, yeah, woman logic. Gotta love it.” Tucker pitched the frayed toothpick into the lawn. “Have you reminded her that Cruiz is coming whether she’s here or not? That this beef goes back to when we were all just a twinkle in our father’s eyes? He’s just using her and that money as an excuse to ignite a war between the clubs.”

“I’ve told her a thousand times. Trust me, she’s got a knack for twisting everything around in her head and believing it’s her fault. Shit, Ash got his finger slammed in the trunk while helping put away groceries the other day and she was convinced it was a sign that she wasn’t meant to be a mother.”

Tucker’s eyes widened. “Seriously?”

One of Blake’s dark brows winged up. “Seriously.”

And he thought something was wrong with him for avoiding relationships? “Tell me you set her straight.”

A sly grin crept across his president’s face. “Several times.”

“That’s what I’m talkin’ about!” They laughed and pounded fists. “You still workin’ on that new addition, man?”

“Like it’s my job.”

“Man, if you’re comparing sex with a job, then you’re not doing it right,” Tucker chided. “Sex with a woman is a privilege. Anyone who skims the details and doesn’t fully appreciate what she’s givin’ them doesn’t deserve the invite.”

“Spoken like a man in love,” Blake muttered, but Tucker had exceptional hearing, and he caught every word. The bastard.

“Fuck you very much. You know where I stand on this topic, and I’m done repeating myself. One of these days, you’re going to see how wrong you are, and then we’ll see who’s laughing.”

“It’ll be me.” Blake lifted his chin, a clear challenge. “Anyway, I should get inside before Gabby decides to come lookin’ for me. She hates when I leave a job unfinished.”

Tucker chuckled and shook his head. “Yeah, you definitely don’t want to get fired from that job.”

“A wise man once told me that it’s not a job if you do it right.”

With a wink and a wave, Blake turned to head back inside. “And hey, Gabby said to remind you about dinner. You’re supposed to bring your girlfriend. Guess they hit it off at the party.”

Tucker’s head dropped back on his shoulders, and he groaned. Again with the girlfriend bullshit. It was starting to feel like a losing battle, always correcting everyone. Whatever, it didn’t affect his personal life in any way. Let them think what they wanted. It had absolutely no bearing on whether or not he’d settle down. Which, for the record, would never happen.

“Text me the time and we’ll be there.”

“You got it, bro.” Blake disappeared inside, leaving Tucker to stand there and wonder what the hell his life was turning into, and more importantly, how he was going to stop it from happening.

{ review } .

Ah, Talia and Tucker... such a fun, fun ride we go on with their story, Mettle. Tucker is a woman-lover, something that isn't surprising in the world we are in, and I loved watching him fall for sassy, tough as nails, Talia.

Talia ends up at the club with an undercover assignment when the previous agent sent in 'went rogue'; Talia isn't told who that other agent was, but is told to keep her nose clean, more or less. Well, enter Tucker "Country" Abrams. Talia isn't looking for a relationship, most certainly not when undercover, but regardless--after her divorce, a relationship is extremely far off her radar.

I enjoyed Ms. Valentine's plotline for these two. Undercover female agent, human trafficking, good girl cop falling for bad boy biker... Definitely was incredibly fun. Ms. Valentine came out with Grit, full colors, and she continues to impress with Mettle.

{ giveaway } .

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