Being granted a second chance at life and a first time at love was every mans dream, but for Ace it came with a price.
Ace By all rights, he should be dead. Serving ten years in prison for a crime he didnt commit had affected him in ways he couldnt begin to understand. Hed rolled out of the slammer and into a revenge plot that almost got him killed. By the grace of God, when hed hit rock bottom, one person reached out a helping hand.
A beautiful redhead with a penchant for mischief took a shine to him and then disappeared, leaving behind only her number scribbled recklessly on his arm. Assuming he can make out all the numbers, he just might have a chance at something amazing.
Barbara Finally divorcing her narcissistic husband was the best choice Barbara ever made. After living under his control for seven long years, she might have gone a little wild for a minute, what with jumping the hot biker and all. None of that mattered, though, because today was the day she got herself back on track.
After being given the opportunity to excavate a small cache of fossils in a remote area, Barbara is horrified to discover shes inadvertently led a small team of her archeology students into danger. When they stumble on a secret dumping site of a vicious serial killer, Ace, the big, handsome biker takes charge. But she may have gotten herself and her students into more danger than even he can handle.
*NOTE*Although a part of the Blind Jacks MC series, ACE OF HEARTS can be read as a STANDALONE and features a new couple!
Climbing into bed behind his lovely professor seemed different. At the clubhouse, neither of them felt particularly at home. It was clear that Barbara felt totally comfortable in her own home, though. The strange part was that Ace felt very much at home there, too.
This is all kinds of weird for me.
My house must seem like a tiny doll house to you.
It feels more like a warm, safe nest thats been made enticing by the addition of a beautiful and accommodating woman. Im feeling a bit like the worlds last dodo bird or something.
In that case, we had better start making babies before you go extinct.
The last time you said something like that it triggered a little episode of self-loathing. Pulling the blanket up around them, he murmured reassuringly, Dont worry, this time I have my head screwed on straight. Im intentionally not using a condom and will be trying my best to make ugly little dodo babies with you.
Youre so funny.
Ace frowned. Why do you want to get pregnant?
Fertility stays relatively stable until around age thirty in women. After that, it begins to drop off slightly. Since I gave my marriage a dirt nap, I suppose Ive been worried about missing my window. Eyeing him with heated admiration, she continued, Youre a big, strapping biker. You look like you could get the job done with some swimmers to spare.
Moving closer, he grinned. This is like a whole new side of your personality that Ive never seen.
Running her hand over his chest, she laughed. Its the neurotic and slightly panicking side.
Jerking his chin for her to give him a kiss, he murmured, It looks good on you.
Rather than following his nonverbal communication, she asked softly, So do you have baby-related secrets to share?
Reaching out, he wrapped one arm around her and dragged her close. Sure, but I dont think you wanna hear them.
I do, so cough it up.
Spanning her stomach with his hand, he said, Ive thought about how nice it would be to see my child growing inside you. Youd look really sexy with a baby bump. Id be one of those obsessed dads who listened to your stomach and told our little princess stories so shed get used to my voice. Since I dont know any stories fit to tell a baby, wed have to go to one of those fancy bookstores and buy some. Maybe wed get one of those fancy coffees you like so much.
Her eyes damn near sparkled. Thats about the sweetest baby secret I ever heard.
Looking down at his hand on her stomach, he whispered, Id have to be really careful, cause I wouldnt want her to be scared when she saw me for the first time.
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 isnt 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 Bachelors in English and when she isnt writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.
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by J.C. Valentine Blind Jacks MC, #2 Publication Date: February 22, 2018 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, MC Romance, Biker
PREORDER LINKS: COMING SOON!
What happens when an outlaw biker’s obsession puts him between a beautiful nurse and her vicious stalker?
When a brutal attack sent him rolling into a beautiful nurse’s life on a gurney, the chance encounter seemed like a dream come true. She patched him up and gave him a reason to believe in love again, shining light into his dark and dangerous world.
There’s only one problem… She’s on the run from a violent past that’s about to catch up with her in the form of an ex-husband who’s used to getting what he wants, no matter what stands in his way. It might get him killed, but Ryder’s never backed down from a fight, and this is one he’s determined to win.
Starting over isn’t easy. Years of learning new towns, new people, and new jobs have left Tiffany tired, lonely, and ready to give up. Until a hot, sexy, bad-boy biker barreled into her life and she fell…hard. Latching onto the over-protective biker seemed like a good way to escape her daunting past, but life is never that simple.
Club life isn’t what Tiffany imagined it to be, and she soon realizes that her hot new man has a long and wild history that may be more than she bargained for. Between the women and rumors of violence, she finds herself caught between a psychotic ex bent on her destruction and the man who isn’t what she thought him to be. When things quickly begin to unravel, Tiffany doesn’t know who to trust or where to turn.
EXCERPT: READ CHAPTER ONE BELOW!
Hearing a gunshot, Tiffany ran to her vehicle and grabbed her medical bag from the back. Racing back in the direction the sound originated from, she was intercepted by one of the brothers and hustled into the MC clubhouse instead. Clutching her soft-sided first-aid bag, she came to a staggering stop inside the back room.
The sight unfolding in front of her was nothing short of alarming. Ace was lying on his back across a pool table, and Ryder was standing over him, plugging a hole in his thigh with a pool stick. The table was covered copious amounts of blood, and if that wasn’t bad enough, black bats and Halloween streamers hung down around the arguing pair, like a not-so-funny comic backdrop.
Stumbling over a hay bale, she ignored the pumpkin that went rolling off to the side and slid to a stop beside the pool table. “This is not proper compression procedures for a wound, babe,” she chided Ryder.
Jerking open her bag, Tiffany snapped on a pair of rubber gloves before shooting the love of her life another disapproving glare. “Why in the hell did you take the first-aid class, if you weren’t going to take it seriously?”
Jerking back, Ryder stared at her indignantly. “Don’t look at me like that, doll. I tried to push on it with both hands, but the blood wouldn’t stop gushing out all over the damn place. The stupid fucker’s got abnormal goblin blood or some shit. I swear, it was fightin’ to get out of his body. What the hell am I supposed to do with that? Pluggin’ the damn hole up is the only thing that worked.”
Tiffany shook her head and mumbled, “Yea, you’re a freaking hero, babe.”
Quickly pulling out a sterile pad and some clamps, she climbed onto the table to have a look for herself. Pulling slightly at the skin around the pool stick caused blood to pool again, and Ace groaned in pain.
“It sounds like the bullet may have nicked a secondary artery. You’re simply compressing the artery at the injury site. Plug it with your finger next time.”
“No fuckin’ way.”
Unsure exactly what was up with the stubborn set of Ryder’s jaw, Tiffany insisted again, “I’m serious. It’s less likely to damage the artery and soft tissue.”
His face contorted into an expression of absolute disgust. Jesus, what was his problem?
“You gotta be kidding me, doll. I ain’t about to stick my finger in some dude I don’t even like.” Her big, beautiful biker was looking at her as if she was ten kinds of crazy.
Ace’s furious voice filled the air as his hands white-knuckled the sides of the pool table. “Fuck you, man. I don’t even think of you as a brother.”
Ryder smacked him roughly on the side of the head and bent down to look him in the eye. “Of course, you don’t. You ain’t a brother until you earn your bottom rocker. ‘Til then, you’re just a snot-nosed prospect.”
“I’m the only snot-nosed prospect around here who’s done a dime, so fuck off.”
Climbing up to get a better look, Tiffany scolded the squabbling men. “Knock it off, both of you.” Cutting her eyes up to Ryder, she gentled her voice. “Ease up on the pool stick, baby. I’m going to try and clamp off the artery. This is so far beyond my ability, I don’t even have words…”
The moment he pulled back, a tiny arc of blood squirted from the wound. Using forceps, Tiffany quickly clamped off the artery and got to work stabilizing him for transport to the local emergency room. Her time as an ER nurse came in handy hanging around with this wild bunch of bikers.
Glancing up at Ace’s handsome face, she saw he had three dots tattooed beside one eye and a tiny teardrop inked on his cheek. She vaguely remembered Ryder saying that meant he’d killed someone in prison and led a crazy life. Then again, that statement could pretty much describe every man in the club, including her beloved Ryder.
She frowned as she continued to work on his wound. “I thought you two were finished shooting each other up.”
Ace darted a quick glance from Ryder back to her. Licking his lips, he admitted softly. “I..uh… kind of shot myself.”
Tiffany noticed the little drops of sweat beading up on Ace’s forehead and the tightness around his mouth when he spoke. His gaze slid away she tried to catch his eye.
“Let me guess. You were cleaning your gun, and it accidentally went off.” That was always the story when someone got shot and nobody wanted to give up the details.
Ace’s eyes jerked back up to hers. “Hell no. I pulled the trigger and there was a delayed discharge. I thought it was a misfire. When I brought the gun down to open it up, a bullet came out and hit me in the leg.”
“I see.” Tiffany could almost see imagine like that in her mind’s eye. Since there was a ring of truth to his tone, she let it go and continued cleaning and packing the wound.
“It burns like a bitch.”
Ace’s exasperated words tugged at her heart strings. Since they’d do a drug screen when he hit the emergency room, however, it would not be in his best interest to have illegal pain killers in his system. That meant all she had to offer was empathy and fast transport to a doctor.
“There can be particles of burning and unburned powder embedded in your skin. Gunpowder residue can feel like burning. Because the gun was so close to your body when it discharged, you caught a little more of it than usual this time.”
“Are you gonna stitch me up?”
“Your artery is damaged beyond my ability to repair. You really do need a good surgeon.”
Smiling up at her, Ace’s expression was more like a grimace. “I’d rather you do it. You have a nice touch.”
Ryder cuffed the injured man on the side of his head yet again. “I already told you not to get friendly with my old lady, you stupid fucker.”
Shooting Ryder a frown, Tiffany turned her attention back to Ace. “I’m a registered nurse, not a physician. Now, I know you wouldn’t want the artery to collapse at some point in the future when you’re running for your life, now would you?”
He groaned pitifully when she taped the wound closed over a stack of gauze. “No, ma’am, I sure wouldn’t.”
“Want me to drive you to the hospital?”
Ryder grunted as he jumped down off the table and turned to offer her a hand. “You ain’t driving him anywhere, ‘cause I don’t trust this stupid fucker any farther than I can throw him. I already called for an ambulance.”
Letting Ryder help her back down off the pool table, she didn’t object when he pulled her in for a light peck on the lips. Looking up at him, she smiled. “You two have practically been joined at the hip lately, so I’m not buying all that BS about hating him for a minute.”
Shoving a strand of hair back out of her face, he looked into her eyes. “Don’t act like you know me, baby girl. I’m a dark, mysterious fucker. No woman knows what’s going on inside my head.”
Rolling her eyes, she pulled back. “Keep telling yourself that, handsome. Meanwhile, I’ll just keep learning all your secrets.”
“Ain’t no good can come of that, babe.”
Ace’s exasperated voice cut through their conversation. “Hey, there’s a dying man right over here. Any plan for how to deal with that problem, lovebirds?”
Stepping back, Tiffany gestured toward the door. “Go look out for the ambulance and get them in here as soon as possible. I don’t feel comfortable moving him.”
“Sure thing, babe.” Turning to face Ace, Ryder pointed at the man. “Do not touch my pretty little nurse, you filthy fucker.”
Ace immediately reached out and touched her arm with one bloody finger.
Punching the palm of one hand with his fist, Ryder turned to leave, muttering under his breath, “Can’t wait for a certain stupid fucker to get patched up so I can pound him into sawdust.”
Shooting Ace a dark look, Tiffany began tossing the bloodied bandages and ripped packages into a nearby trash can. “You sure do love to keep my man perpetually pissed off at you. Mind if I ask why you do that?”
Easing to a sitting position, he kind of shrugged. “If it weren’t for arguing with the dumb fuck, I’d have no one to talk to.”
Moving to his side and helping him to stand on his good leg, she replied, “That’s not true. I see the other club members talking to you all the time.”
“They talk at me, not to me. I’m the stupid, pathetic fucker wearing the face of a child rapist. Ryder is the only man in this club willing to look me in the face when talks to me. How’s that for fucked up?”
Grabbing her bag, she frowned at him. “You and your brother were twins? I didn’t know that. For some reason, I thought you were older.”
Glancing away, he grunted. “Three and half minutes older and whole fucking lot less of a demented freak. Not that it matters to anyone around these parts.”
A small, timid voice sounded off from the doorway. “It matters to me.”
Turning, Tiffany saw Ryder’s teenage sister standing there in her Halloween outfit. She had dyed her hair black and was wearing a cute, black shirt with long, flowing sleeves, and black jeans. The black witch’s hat sitting proudly on top her head and the wooden, hand-carved wand were the only indicators that she was supposed to be a witch. Tiffany panicked.
“Rose, your parents will not be happy that you came into the clubhouse. You know the rules. Amscray before they find you in here with him.”
Ace rumbled, “Forget her parents. Ryder will lose what little is left of his mind if word gets back to him that his little sister was in here. Turn yourself around, young lady, and head on back out to the barbecue.”
Planting her hands on her hips, Rose stared the huge man down. “Don’t talk to me like I’m a child. I’m sixteen now.”
“You’ll be a grown up when you’re twenty one. Now get the hell outta here, kid.”
Regardless of the words he chose, Ace’s voice took on a soft quality when he spoke to the teen, and Tiffany realized he was afraid of hurting the her feelings. He refused to look at her as silence spun out between the two of them.
Tiffany didn’t know what to do, and things were already getting absurdly awkward. “Rose, will you see if the ambulance has arrived? They don’t always come in with sirens blaring.”
Nodding, the young teen turned on her heel and walked out the door, her long, brown hair catching the wind and floating behind her like a cape. The sunlight rushed through the door, casting strange, creepy shadows of the Halloween decorations on the floor that slowly diminished as it drifted closed.
Whirling around to look at Ace, Tiffany demanded, “What was that all about?”
Ace huffed. “Who the hell knows. After the shit my brother pulled on her, she needs goddamn therapy, if you ask me. Of course, no one ever asks me shit. Why in the hell do I feel like I could run circles around this building?”
“When the human body sustains serious damage, it releases adrenaline and endorphins to dull the pain and give the person the strength to fight or flee. It’ll wear off before long, and you better pray you are in front of a doctor when it happens, because that’s when the pain kicks in full force.”
“Jesus, you sound like a walking medical encyclopedia.”
Their conversation was interrupted by several volunteers from the local ambulance service barreling through to the door. After checking Ace over, and hearing Tiffany’s rundown on what was beneath those bandages, they elected not to tear them off. Loading him carefully onto a stretcher, they eased him into the back of a waiting ambulance. It all happened so quickly, Tiffany didn’t have time to ask to go, leaving her behind with worry niggling at the back of her mind that the clamp would fail, and he’d bleed out if the EMS workers weren’t real careful.
Watching the oversized vehicle kick up dust as it made its way up the long, dirt road, Tiffany wondered if they were taking him to a hospital or some local doctor. If he went to the hospital, law enforcement would automatically be called because it was a gunshot wound. She didn’t think the club would welcome getting questioned by the police. Private physicians were more discriminating, and the more rural ones usually only called if they suspected foul play. It didn’t really matter, though, since he hadn’t nicked the femoral artery. As long as he got treatment by an actual physician, she suspected he’d be just fine.
READ HOW RYDER AND TIFFANY MET IN MARKED FOR DEATH, BOOK #1 IN THE BLIND JACKS MC SERIES!
Leading a nomadic life, I’ve been on the run from my rich ex-husband for years. I’ve learned every trick in the book, staying one step ahead of him and his trackers. He’s taken everything from me, and despite everything, I’ve managed to carve out a life. But he’s getting close again. It’s time to hit the road, to start over…but it looks like the universe has other plans.
As Sargent at Arms, stalking the crazy man trying to kill my MC brothers is part of my job description. Protecting the club is what I live for. Unfortunately, today I’m the loser in our never ending game of cat and mouse. The last thing I remember before waking up in the emergency room is staring up at the sky while bleeding out onto the cold, hard pavement. Then the pretty nurse walks in and turns my world sideways, and those soft hands know just how to handle a big, angry biker like me. With a psycho on my tail, the stakes couldn’t be higher. I know I should walk away, but self-preservation has never been much of a strong suit. As my enemy closes in, I’ve got no gun, three bullet holes, and absolutely zero patience left. The question is, who will be the one to sign my death warrant—the crazy-ass biker who’s gunning for me…or the sexy-as-sin nurse I’ve got a hard-on for?
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.