Title: Ricochet: Locked and Loaded
Author: Heather C. Leigh
Released: March 30, 2015
Rick "Ricochet" Brennan served eight years as an elite Marine special ops Force Recon soldier. After an injury, and the terrible memories from that night, he retires and goes to work for his former Command Officer, Howard "Mack" McEvoy, at his training center in Atlanta.
Sanctum MMA appears on the surface to be a normal gym, training elite fighters to be the best. Except each trainer, hand-picked by Mack, possesses a special background that allows Mack to run one of the best-kept secrets in the country.
When twenty-four year old Quinn Wallace finally escapes her abusive husband, she turns to her father’s old Marine Corps buddy, Mack, for help. Broken and skittish, Quinn finds herself surrounded by large, intimidating men— men who could easily overpower her. She avoids them the best she can, but when Rick turns out to be more than just a rough fighter with bruised knuckles, she finds herself wondering if she can allow herself to trust again.
Ricochet is a full-length novel to be released as three parts.
***This book contains hot sweaty men, sexy scenes for those over 18, and uncomfortable, sometimes violent scenes.***
RICK SMILED AS he stood on the small landing just outside of the tiny apartment above Sanctum. He could hear loud music playing inside, some top forty crap. What was Quinn doing— dancing, singing, cleaning while dancing and singing?
The locks disengaged and the door swung wide open. Rick nearly choked on his tongue at the sight in front of him. Quinn was standing on the threshold with a light sheen of sweat on her body, her hair pulled into a high ponytail, and wearing only a tiny blue sports bra and a pair of shorts so small they couldn’t possibly be legal to wear out in public.
Holy hell, I’m going to croak right here on her doorstep.
“Rick. What are you doing here?” Quinn’s amber eyes shone, but her face looked confused.
“Ummmm,” Jesus. He couldn’t think with her half naked and within arms length, it was too damn distracting. Her pale thighs were smooth and toned. All he could imagine was having them wrapped around his waist. “I uh, I mean… shit. I was going to bring you to the store again. If… if you wanted, I mean.”
Damn, I sound like a complete and total idiot.
Quinn’s already flushed cheeks turned an even darker shade of crimson as he stammered in her doorway. Her eyes cast downward until she was staring at her own feet. Rick marveled over how long and thick her eyelashes were against her pale skin. Her lush pink mouth captivated him as she licked her lips nervously.
This was a bad idea. His dick had a mind of it’s own whenever he was around Quinn and it was beginning to throb inside his jeans. He hadn’t gotten off since the pathetically unsatisfying experience on Sunday night and jerking in the shower at work and his cock was taking notice.
“You came here just to see if I needed another ride?”
Once again, when Quinn’s shy but pleased gaze lifted to Rick’s face, it hit him like a punch to the gut. He’d seen his share of beautiful women, hell, he’d had his share of beautiful women. But nothing he’d seen in his twenty-eight years would ever compare to the absolute perfection of Quinn Wallace.
Mesmerized, Rick could only nod.
The small smile she rewarded him with made his discomfort totally worth it. Like another hit of an addict’s favorite drug, Rick would probably give anything to see her smile more often. Quinn always looked sad, weary. Giving her a little bit of happiness, if only for something as simple as grocery shopping, seemed like a fair trade for a constant, aching hard-on, the inability to enjoy his usual no strings sex, and never ending mental torture.
“Yeah, I came to see if you needed another ride. Is that alright with you, doll?”
Quinn’s gorgeous face relaxed, her smile becoming wider. There were those adorable crinkles around her eyes again. “Yes, it’s fine. Let me just throw on a shirt. Uh, come in and just… wait here.”
He was pleased that she finally stopped telling him not to call her doll. She was a doll, his doll. Rick watched her tight ass as she scurried off to what he assumed was her bedroom. He groaned at the thought of her and her ass anywhere near a bed. As surreptitiously as possible, he adjusted his painful hard on.
Get your shit together, Brennan.
Minutes later, Quinn emerged with a small pink shirt pulled over her sports bra. She was still wearing the tiny, cheek hugging shorts. As he followed her out of the apartment, her delectable back end swaying with each step, Rick wondered if he had lost his fucking mind.
First off, thanks to Between the Sheets Promotions and Heather Leigh for allowing a copy of Ricochet: Locked and Loaded in exchange for an honest review. Heather is a new author, meaning I have not read any of her works before.. and after reading this little gem I WILL be reading more. This book was… oh God so many things. It had my full attention from page one. Mixing in the military aspect and MMA I mean.. just Jesus what’s not to like. (laughs) I am very, very glad I had this opportunity.
*** small spoiler alert***
What do you get when you mix black ops, MMA and a girl on the run? One intense story of mystery and lust. Quinn Wallace, a girl with a past that is not one any woman should have to deal with. Her husband treated her like she was a doormat for him to slam around and man handle, taking from her what he wanted, when he wanted. Finally, she had enough of it and she ran. A year later she shows back up in her home state of Georgia, calling on her late father’s fellow Marine core buddy, Howard “Mack” McEvoy for help. Mack asked no questions but took her in. Giving her a job, an apartment behind the gym and protection whether she knew that or not. Because, she had no idea what he was doing from the back room of the gym. Each of the black opts men trained in the gym, working with people that come in during the times they are not out on ops. Means they actually work for their money then spend weeks at a time just being men, fighting and playing around in the gym.
Its there, sitting at the reception desk that she meets Rick, “Ricochet” Brennan. Tall, dark and very handsome. To say they have an insta-attraction is to put it lightly but with her past she is not interested in starting something. She can’t. Rick on the other hand has to remind himself of what Mack told him the first day she was there. “She is off limits.” Which to Rick means… he just has to try harder. (laughs) Though he actually makes an effort with Quinn. Because there is just something (not sure what) about her.. something that has him all but captivated. It starts slow. Rick being a gentleman, carting her around town to the grocery store. Spending time with her. He is still a douche at times but he is a man, you could expect nothing other than that.
The feelings grow more and more. What started as him taking her to the mall to get a dress… ends with him sporting a hard on and her leaving with a dress for a date with someone else. The next evening, an hour before the date Quinn got a shock, a fright really. Someone was angrily banging on her door. Had her ex found her? Was he here for her? Finally, she heard him. It was Rick. He had been there for a few minutes, knocking and got no answer. So he panicked. Thinking she was hurt or.. worse even. She went from scared to pissed. Talk about a mood swing. Ha. After yelling at him for scaring her and telling him to get out she was getting ready for a date she saw something cross his face. And he left.
Or so she thinks. he stays across the street and waits. Watchin. Waiting for her to leave. And when her date shows up he follows them until they are back at the apartment. The jealousy bubbling up in him over takes her. Finally, the temptation is too much. As the man that took her on a date is leaving he is pulling up. And when she opens the door things go from… pissy to calm to lips meeting lips. But when the sun rose the next morning Rick laid in bed alone… she was gone.
Again, this story is ten shades of awesome! I really love the balance of character play. The story is interesting, demands your attention and in a few hours you will be done. It was a quick read. I swear I couldn’t put it down.
Also Available from the author
Ricochet: Friendly Fire
First, let me thank Between the sheets promotions for allowing me a copy of this installment of the Ricochet series in exchange for an honest review and secondly.. LOVED IT!
***small spoiler alert***
Six weeks after Quinn left Atlanta she has finished cleaning out her dads place on the lake. It was going up for sale, she had now decided it was time to use the inheritance that he left her and to file for divorce. She was starting over, it was the only way to be with Rick. The right way to be with him, a clean slate. No secrets, no hidden anything. She was going to try this and hopefully it wasn’t all ruined.
When Quinn left Rick without a word something inside him broke. He hasn’t been himself the last six weeks. Unfocused. Enough so that he almosts gets hurt on a mission. Mack is not taking that lightly. He needs to get his shit together but the fact that Mack tells him Quinn will be back to work on Monday… only makes him spiral more. To the point that he gets in a ring and gets his ass beat. Because again, he isn't focused. Their first meeting doesn’t go well. The anger inside him for what she did overruns him and he snaps at her. Quinn was expecting it.. but it still hurt like hell.
Over the next week she avoided him, he avoided her. Neither of them were sure what to do with the feelings building up in them. He is pissed and hurt. She is scared and worried about everything going on in her life. Especially after her lawyer had the divorce papers delivered to her soon to be ex. He would know where she was but Atlanta is a big place, thank God. He’s not know where to find her. Quinns world comes to a terrifying halt when Rick just stopped showing up at work. What she doesn't know is he is out on a mission. Then he comes back wounded. He is in the hospital but of course she can’t know any of it. She even gets up the nerve to go to his condo to talk.. she never finds him. After a dinner with Mara, her new best friend and wife of Clint, also one of Mack’s men, she learns that Rick is at Dane’s house. She gives her the address and again it’s a choice. Go to him or not.
Thankfully she goes to him and they talk. Or try to at least. Things get worse instead of better. More awkwardness. But thanks to Mara and Clint they have a chance ot really talk after dinner at their friend's house. And one step at a time… they will start with a lunch ‘date’ that isn’t a date. The lunch starts off awkward but when Quinn tries to open up more it.. helps Rick get his own shit together. He is in love with this girl. The one that took his heart, broke it and is the only one that can put it back together. They have a moment of passion once back at her place that turns into much more. The weekend is spent exploring what they have. Quinn is still hiding something and Rick is determined to figure it out… so when the unthinkable happens he is left to try and piece together what in the hell is going on now.
First off, again, I thank Between the Sheets promotions for providing me with an ARC of this installment of the Ricochet series. Secondly, Holy Sweat Balls Batman… (rapidly blinks) I think I am in love. This story has so many emotions, twists and turns that I not only have a book hangover but the best kind of whiplash you can imagine. I think my heart is still racing. Gah. It was really good.
***small spoiler alert***
A couple of weeks after Quinn’s released from the hospital -after her ordeal with that douchebag cokhead of a soon-to-be ex-husband of hers- she is feeling caged in. Rick has been at her side every waking and sleeping moment since that night they found her. He is going to do any and everything he can to keep her safe. Come hell or high water. Or bullets and rifles but I digress. The search for Travis is growing but the fucker has disappeared. It’s like he just poofed. The problem with this is… the longer they search goes the more freaked out everyone gets. And poor Rick is like a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. He is looking for a fight with anyone he can so that he can work out the tension and pissiness he has building inside him. Just when things seem to be… stuck in a rut… a curve ball is thrown at her. At them all.
Travis shows up at the gym catching Quinn when she is walking back to the front door from her apartment. But since she isn’t playing any attention she is taken by surprise. But then Travis got a surprise when she fought back. And almost got away from him. Thanks to needing to keep busy, Rick was in the command room and spotted the fight on the screen. He grabbed a gun and hauled ass outside. As soon as she spotted him she yelled and Travis -having gotten a good look at the big ass angry man with a gun- he jumped in his car and took off. Ricks focus was on Quinn so Travis got away.
It was after he carried her into the gym and into the boardroom that Mack came in along with everyone else staring at her that Mack let Quinn in on the secret of what they actually did in the gym. The fact that they were all undercover Mercs was a lot to take in at first. It overwhelms her to say the least. I can’t blame her. But like with anything else she gets used to the idea of what is going on and the fact that they would all kill for her is overwhelming as well. When she gets tired of the interrogations, the back and forth of hunting this ass down she needs a new scene… so Rick shows her the control room.. and his closet geek is in love. Once things start to chill again as they search Quinn makes Rick promise to not kill Travis. She can’t love a murderer.. work is one thing but this is just not what she wants.
So that later comes back to bite her in the ass. When Travis surfaces, again, Rick has the killshot but can’t take it so he gets away again. To say the man gets ten shades of pissed off… well that is a slight -not so good- description. (laughs) Men and their tempers. But something in Rick snaps and it gets to the point that he walks away. And its a week before anyone sees or hears from him again. While he was gone, Tucker -tired of seeing her mope around the gym- brings her to the control room. Letting her put he mad skills to use. When Rick comes back -after spending the week with his brother- he knows that no matter what nothing is worth losing Quinn. He was in the right but still stupid. Ya know, he is a man after all so its a big deal to admit this.
Things do change for them down the road… papers come from Texas… but what happened may shock you. Sure shocked me. But you will have to read to see what that is.
About the Author
I grew up in New England and currently live outside Atlanta, GA with my husband, two kids, a French Bulldog and a pug. I'm a full-time procrastinator and a part-time everything else. I love the Red Sox, chocolate, and traveling. When I'm not writing, I'm dealing drugs legally as a pharmacist.