by J.C. Valentine
Publication Date: April 18, 2017
Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, Romance, Standalone, Novella
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Love is blind… Especially when you’ve been abducted.
Caught in the dredges of life, Elise had come to the grudging conclusion that mediocrity was all she’d ever have. Until a routine shopping trip turns into a deadly affair.
Taken. Two men, one a brute and the other an enigma. A cabin in the woods. One dangerous agenda.
Blindfolded and held captive, Elise’s mundane existence just got a whole lot more interesting. Thrust into the unknown, held prisoner by a man with rough hands and a gentle voice, she’s faced with her own demise while struggling against a growing desire for the unacceptable—her captor.
Will Elise make out with her life—and heart—intact?
Elise ignored Manhandler’s surprisingly astute observation, considering he was pond scum. With her shoes still on, she laid down on the bed and curled onto her side. She had been perfectly silent all day, playing the perfect hostage while formulating every possible escape plan she could come up with. So far, the only real opportunity she thought she had would fall to pure chance. Specifically, if she got the chance to run, she was going to have to think later and take it.
The bedsprings squawked like an injured crow, and the mattress sucked her into its center like a vortex, pulling Elise toward her captor’s warm, hard body.
She grabbed the edge of the frame and hauled herself back into position, refusing any and all contact with the creep. Stockholm’s could suck it. She wasn’t falling into that trap. No way, no how.
That didn’t mean she was unaware or unaffected by the male presence lying beside her, though. He wasn’t something she could easily ignore, especially since her body was hyper alert whenever he was nearby, which was all the time. She couldn’t escape his presence any more than she could escape the effect he had on her.
But it didn’t mean she had to give in.
“Is this you giving me the silent treatment, buttercup?”
Elise’s response was to scoot closer to the edge of the bed until her knees overlapped the side and she felt a chill along her back. “You should know that silence doesn’t work on men. We like a woman who knows her place.”
“You mean on her back?” Elise sniped, incensed. She wasn’t normally a violent person, but she wanted to gouge his eyes out.
“I thought that might have pissed you off.” Manhandler rolled toward her, pressing his chest against her back and leaving her nowhere to go. His fingertips trailed down her arm, and goose bumps rose in their wake. It was as if that bit of physical contact in the bathroom gave him the notion that he had license to touch her now. “You know I only said that to throw him off, right? He was too close to the truth.”
She had suspected that, but at the same time, that’s exactly what he would say if he thought it might get him a free pass into her panties. Elise wasn’t about to fall for that little trick. She wasn’t born yesterday.
“Come on. Don’t be mad. Not after we shared that moment in the bathroom.”
Which confirmed her suspicions. “You mean when you groped me?” Elise shrugged his hand off, but he wasn’t deterred. Instead, he turned his attention to her hair, petting it back off her shoulder.
“Do you really think calling me by a pet name is going to loosen me up? Because I’m not one to be taken advantage of.”
“I’m not trying to take advantage,” he insisted. “I just don’t know your name.”
Elise…hesitated. Pondering the merit of his words, she knew he was probably telling the truth. Or at least part of it. In an effort not to get to know one another, not to blur the lines of captor and captee, he’d resorted to calling her something sweet, whereas she’d gone with something else. “Well, I don’t know yours either, so I’ve assigned you a nickname too.”
His fingers, which had been combing through her hair, paused. “I can only imagine what you settled on,” he mused.
“Manhandler.” She almost laughed, saying it out loud. If only she was permitted to see his face. Damn blindfold.
“That’s…original. Is that what you really think of me?”
“Yes. You have a tendency to manhandle things. Namely, me.”
He took a moment to think that over. “Do you have one for my partner too?”
“Drop dead sexy is what I’ve been going with,” she fibbed, enjoying the weighted silence that proceeded.
“And how did you come up with that? You haven’t even seen him.” The tightness in his voice told Elise all she needed to know: She’d bruised his poor, fragile ego. Aw, poor baby. Served him right.
“No, but I’ve heard him.”
“So you like his voice?”
She gave a noncommittal shrug. He could take it however he wanted.
“So you liked getting smacked around then? Is that foreplay to you or something?” Now he sounded both perturbed and disgusted. The next thing Elise knew, he was up and out of bed. At least it got her what she wanted, which was away from him. “What is wrong with you women? It’s like you can’t help but be stupid.”
“Hey! I have a masters in biology!” Sitting up, Elise ripped off her blindfold and found him pacing the foot of the bed.
“Then you should be fully aware of what an idiot you are. Attracted to the worst kind of man? That’s textbook, buttercup.”
“You call me that again, and I will punch you in the face,” she threatened, pointing a finger at him.
“So that is how you like it, eh?” Manhandler marched up to her, his sheer size and the dark, menacing look in his eyes scaring the wits out of her. “Maybe I should give you a good smack too, then, if that’s what gets you off.”
“Try it. See what happens,” Elise seethed. If he thought for a second that she would let him lay a finger on her and not fight back, he was in for a shock. Elise might be laid-back and she might avoid conflict in favor of keeping the peace and she might let cooler heads prevail on most days, but this was not most days. If she was going down, it was going to be fighting.
“What are you gonna do, buttercup? Claw my eyes out?”
No, because she had a bad habit of biting her nails off, but Elise would take a chunk out of his hide, one way or another. Lips peeling back, she bared her teeth. “I told you not to call me that.”
He never saw it coming. One moment, Elise was on the bed, and the next, she had launched herself at him. He’d barely had time to brace himself before she impacted his chest with her full weight. Stumbling backward, Manhandler fought to keep her from battering his face while simultaneously attempting to find his footing so they both didn’t crash to the floor.
But he was failing, and Elise had lost her mind. Blinded by her fury, she unleashed her anger, fear, and age’s worth of resentment toward the male population on him. The words that came out of her mouth were unintelligible, even to her own ears. But the gist of it was that he was a piece of crap, and she was going to wipe the floor with him.
“Just calm the fuck down,” Manhandler told her as he fought off her attack. But she’d wrapped her legs good and tight around his hips, so she wasn’t going anywhere.
“Don’t tell me what to do!”
“You’re fucking psycho!”
“You’re a dickhead!” She slapped his face, leaving an instant handprint in his five ‘o clock shadow.
She slapped him again, and he cursed again. The room swirled around them as they struggled for power and exchanged names that would make even the most foul-mouthed neighborhood gangbanger blush. The room spun once more, and then Elise’s back slammed up against the wall, rattling an old, yellowed-by-time painting.
Manhandler put them nose to nose, those blue eyes penetrating hers with a fire that Elise wasn’t sure how to respond to. She was both spitting mad and turned on.
“Don’t ever hit me again.”
Elise’s breath rushed out of her in sharp gasps, matching his. “Let me go, and I will. I guarantee it.”
He glared. “You want to die?”
“Better than being stuck with you another minute.”
There was no thought process involved. One second they were staring each other down, seething mad and deciding how best to kill one another, and the next they were crushed together, mouths and bodies fused as they engaged in a new battle.
Tongues dueled and fingers grasped and tore at clothes, hair, and body parts in an effort to touch and feel every inch of each other’s body. Elise’s wrapped herself around him tighter, and he pressed her against the wall so hard she was surprised the plaster didn’t crack. Kissing him was like waging a war between opposing nations, teeth biting lips while fisting each other’s hair to the point of pain.
The dam had broken, unleashing passion, intrigue, and pent-up anger and frustration, all culminating in what Elise knew would be one hell of a hate fuck.
But was it hate? She didn’t think so. If anything, it was pure, unadulterated lust that demanded satiation. Denying her attraction and the clawing need to act on it was, at this point, futile. Knowing it wasn’t a good idea wasn’t going to stop her, because Elise also knew that she had never felt this alive before. And if his partner made good on his threats to put her in a shallow grave, then she was going to milk what time she had left on earth for everything it had.
“If this is how you handle your anger,” Manhandler said as he began kissing and licking a path down her jaw to her neck, “then we’re going to fight more often.”
Dance for Me
by J.C. Valentine Forbidden, #1
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Genres: Adult, Erotic, Romance
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What if the person who stole your heart wasn’t who you thought they were?
When my parents passed away, I grew up fast. Learning to stand on my own two feet has been a challenge, but I’m making it… my way. I make no apologies for the path I’ve chosen. My choices have served me well, but no one knows the real me.
Except one man.
He’s a mystery to me. He’s controlling, demanding, and he has me wrapped around his little finger. Anything he wants, I’ll give it to him. The hours we share together aren’t about love. It’s just sex. Hot, dirty, passionate sex. It was never supposed to be anything more than that.
Until everything changed.
Now, I’m more confused than ever. The more I learn about him, the less I seem to understand. What I do know is that I’m falling, and I have the feeling when I land, it’s going to hurt.
Those midnight orbs lift, and I swear I see the same pain and confliction in them that I feel inside of me. Could it be that he doesn’t want this any more than I do? That he, too, longs for our time together. “Nothing happened, and that’s the way it needs to stay.”
I hear the growl in his voice and even though I know it’s wrong, my body responds. I feel the flames of desire licking between my legs, making my nipples grow tight. Does he have any idea what he does to me?
I’m not sure how to take his words. Is he just saying that because it’s the right thing, the only way to cover his ass, or is it because he really believes that what we have shared together amounts to nothing?
Both possibilities are difficult to face, because there can be no good outcome either way, but I still want it, even if he doesn’t. “So where does this leave us?” I ask, using my books as a shield against my feelings for him. Ransom is the only man who has ever affected me this way—he can strip me bare with a single look. He can reduce me from a strong, intelligent, educated woman into a puddle of wanton desire with the stroke of a finger.
Pushing his hands into his pockets as he comes to stand before me, I realize, with a mix of horror and intrigue, that this man is the only one that has ever held the power to hurt me.
He holds my gaze as he stares down at me, and I see the muscle in his jaw tick in time with my heartbeat. We’re connected in a way that neither of us fully realizes, and I feel the draw to him growing stronger. “This leaves us right where we stand, with me as your professor and you as my student.”
The deep rasp of his voice triggers something deep inside of me, and I feel myself lean closer. The allure of those full lips is nearly impossible to deny. You can tell so much from a simple kiss. I want his on me—on the most intimate parts of my body—and I want him to know that.
His gaze drops to my mouth, and even though I know I shouldn’t, I need to kiss him. If this is it between us, then I need this last connection, this final goodbye.
“Miss Hart.” My name is a low warning as it whispers past his lips, but I ignore it.
“Please, call me Josephine,” I whisper just before my mouth closes over his. I don’t know who moans first. If Ransom meant for us to go our separate ways, then I probably shouldn’t have kissed him, because the way he is kissing me back definitely isn’t a goodbye.
by J.C. Valentine Wayward Fighter, #1
Publication Date: April 6, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, MMA Fighter
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From the wrong side of the tracks…
Alyson Blake had learned early on that the only one she could depend on was herself. The only light in her life was a boy whom everyone agreed was destined for prison; but with his first kiss, he had set her soul on fire. Since the day the police dragged him away in handcuffs, she had managed to lead a quiet life, but when she attends an event fraught with mayhem, trouble resurfaces.
The one person she can’t forget…
Jamison Weston is the kind of guy dads load their shotguns for; endowed with a hot temper and a rap sheet as long as both tattooed arms. Known as “The Judge,” Jami’s hot temper, lethal fists, and cocky attitude have earned him respect and admiration both in and out of the ring. But just when he thinks he’s pummeled his past to death, Alyson Blake reenters his life.
Two paths collide…
After years of separation, Alyson is eager to reexplore the man who’s never left her thoughts, but for Jamison, she’s both the distraction he wants, but doesn’t need. As the two embark on a relationship that neither of them expected or bargained for, an outside threat closes in. When Alyson crosses the line of professionalism and takes her work home with her, her life is put in danger, leaving Jamison with no choice but to once again step in and become her protector.
Her eyes warmed as she studied him. Touching his face, she traced the line of his jaw from ear to chin. Then her fingers found his lips. He opened his mouth and licked the tips as she skimmed his bottom lip, and he committed the sultry look that flashed in her eyes to memory. “You don’t lie to me, do you?”
Jami held her head in his hands and looked into her eyes. “No, and I never will.” Jami couldn’t tear his eyes away. She smiled up at him, her expression soft, welcoming. Completely open to him. No one had ever looked at him quite like she did. As if she trusted him, and she did. He knew that. It wasn’t even a question.
He could fall in love with this girl. With this woman. This person who was his friend, and the only one who knew everything about his past—everything—and didn’t judge him for it. Even Coach didn’t know what he had done before they crossed paths. He knew he had a history with the cops and a bad home life, and that was the extent of it. Was she what people thought about when they thought of soul mates? The type of person they dreamed of when combing the world for The One?
How was a guy to know?
“If you keep looking at me like that, you’re face is going to freeze. All the guys at the gym will laugh at you, and then I’ll be forced to fight for your honor.”
Jami smirked, peeled her shirt up to expose her abdomen, and lowered his head. He glanced up at her. “You have a sassy mouth, Ally. I aim to fix that.”
“What—Jami!” Ally wheezed and squirmed beneath him in a futile attempt to escape his teasing tongue. Again and again, he swirled his tongue across her stomach, chuckling with each clench of her muscles, each lost breath, and squeal of delighted torture. When she grabbed two fistfuls of his hair and pulled, he decided to have mercy on her before she ripped a chunk of it from his scalp.
Somehow, he just didn’t think bald or patchy would be a good look for a guy his age.
“All right, okay,” he said, pulling her hands away gently. “Truce.”
Her laughter abated. When he let go of her hands, her arms fell out to the side. “You’re such an ass,” she panted. “My abs will hurt tomorrow, thanks to you.”
“No, thanks to you,” he corrected her. “It’s that sassy mouth getting you into trouble.” He was grinning, amusement, and true joy filling him up to the brink of overflowing. “You make me happy,” he blurted out.
Ally’s smile faltered and Jami wanted to punch himself. Why did he say that? Touching his face, Ally angled her head, studying him. “I’m glad. You’re always so serious. You need to smile more.”
“I smile all the time,” he protested.
She rolled her eyes. “Yes, you’re right. What was I thinking? You smile every day when you get to beat on poor Mike and whatshisname. You’re a very happy man then.”
“Hey, you gotta take it where you can get it.” Jami shrugged.
Silence fell between them, and they stared into each other’s eyes. This close, there was never any room for escape. It felt like he could see into her soul, and she into his. All the layers of bullshit were stripped away, cutting right to the heart. He’d never felt this way before. As a sliver of truth sat on his tongue, he opened his mouth to say what he knew she was waiting to hear. “Ally, I—” His throat closed up and no words came out.
Placing her finger over his lips, Ally hushed him. “Shh, you don’t have to say anything. I can see it every time I look at you.” She kissed him lightly on the mouth. “I feel it whenever you touch me.”
“But you want—”
She cut him off. “It doesn’t matter. I can wait. I don’t want you to say it unless you feel it in here.” She flattened her palm over his heart. “I don’t want you to choke on the words. I want you to say them because you can’t not say them. Okay?”
He stared down at her. Who was this girl? Hundreds of women would be lined up outside his door just to hear those words, and she was telling him to wait? Unbelievable.
“I see those wheels turning,” she teased, then grew serious again. “Jami, let me ask you a question. Out of all the women you’ve had sex with, how many of them have you stuck around for?” Zero. She saw the answer in his eyes right away. “That’s what I thought, and that right there is why I am okay with waiting. Your heart already knows what it wants. Now we just have to wait for your brain to catch up.”
by J.C. Valentine Spartan Riders, #1
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Genres: Adult, MC Romance, Contemporary, Romance, Biker
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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.
“Getting comfortable. Now, what did you want to talk about?”
“We’re getting into this already?”
“I like to have things out on the table. It makes moving forward a helluva lot easier. So do you want to start, or should I?”
Well, with him looming over her like he was, she was disinclined to say much of anything really. Her stomach was twisting with so many nerves, she was lightheaded. The last time anyone had made her feel anything like it, she was in the tenth grade and facing down a yearlong crush.
That was a tickle compared to what Blake made her feel.
Taking her silence as answer, Blake jumped right in. “Okay, my reason for being here then.” He turned to face her, his jacket creaking as he stretched his arm across the back of the sofa. “I did some thinking, and I was wrong. I like having a woman in my bed more than a night. Hell, I like having a woman in my bed, period. And it’s been a while since that happened.”
A thrill bubbled in her chest as Gabby took this in. “Are you saying you changed your mind?”
“About you being in my bed? Absolutely.”
“I don’t know what to say. What changed your mind?”
A dark smile played about his lips and his hand came up to play with her hair. “That kiss. I haven’t gotten a single good night’s sleep since. It’s all I think about.”
“Me too,” she confessed.
“Good, then we’re in agreement?”
“Ah…about what, exactly.”
“About you being in my bed. Not every night of course. And when I say you’re in my bed, I mean my bed, Gabby, no one else’s. I don’t share.”
“Of course not,” she said automatically, then frowned. “I haven’t even agreed to anything yet, and you’re talking like it’s a done deal.”
Moving closer, Blake slipped his fingers into her hair, cupping the back of her head and demanding her undivided attention. “You’ve been thinking about me. About our kiss.”
Her tongue dragged over her bottom lip in answer, and his gaze latched onto the movement.
“I assume you want more?”
She nodded, her answer coming in the form of a rapidly increasing heart rate and the inability to breathe without opening her mouth. Which only invited his delectable mouth closer.
“Because I want more, and, Gabby?”
He leaned in, his mouth hovering over hers. “I get what I want. Always.”
An invitation to his bed and an excuse to touch and be touched by him any time she wanted? Who was she to argue?
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 Trilogy. 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.
Living in the Northwest, she has three amazing children and far too many pets. 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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