Ricochet: Locked & Loaded
Published: March 29th 2015
Published by: Shelbyville
****Caution! This book contains graphic scenes of domestic violence that may be a trigger for sensitive individuals***
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 and Quinn meet for the first time.
The phone rang as Quinn booted up and logged onto her computer.
Taking a deep breath, she answered her very first phone call, saying exactly what Tucker drilled into her—three times. “Sanctum MMA, this is Quinn, can I help you?”
“Quinn? Who the hell are you?” a gruff voice asked rudely.
“I’m the new receptionist. Can I help you?” Great, she was already making enemies.
“Put me to Tucker,” he barked.
Quinn stared at the phone as if it might tell her what this guy’s problem was. Irritated, she picked the handset back up and transferred the call to Tucker’s line, stabbing the button harder than necessary.
“Jerk,” she muttered.
“That’s not a very nice way to greet guests.”
Quinn jumped in her seat, clutching her chest in surprise. She spun the chair around to face the lobby, ready to chastise whoever snuck up on her. Her mouth literally fell open when she got a good look at the beautiful man leaning over the counter in front of her desk smiling, looking more like a magazine ad for designer jeans or expensive cologne than someone who would be hanging out in a sweaty gym in Atlanta.
“I-I wasn’t talking to you.” The gorgeous man lifted an eyebrow. Whoops! “I mean, when I said jerk. Oh my gosh, sorry. I didn’t mean to say it again. Crud.” Quinn sank into her chair, her face burning with embarrassment.
“It’s alright.” He grinned, showing off two perfect rows of straight, white teeth. “I’m Rick. You must be Quinn. Mack mentioned something about a new employee. Have to tell you, with a name like Quinn, I was expecting a man.”
Quinn bristled at Rick’s assumption, straightening up so she would look more professional. “Well, obviously, I’m not a man.”
Rick’s eyes gleamed, his mouth quirking up in a smirk. “Obviously not, doll,” he drawled as his piercing blue eyes raked over her body.
Quinn didn’t know if she should be flattered or angry at the way Rick devoured her with his gaze or his little nickname. He was striking— tall, dark, and handsome — with a hint of danger surrounding him. And his eyes! They were the brightest, most unbelievable shade of aquamarine that Quinn had ever seen. They matched the Caribbean blue of the T-shirt that stretched over his well-defined chest. She didn’t think she’d ever seen anyone with eyes like that before. Primitive lust coiled inside her, making her heat up from the inside out.
Still, even with the looks and the hormonal reaction she had to him, Rick was kind of irritating, all flirty and good-looking, eyeing Quinn as if she were naked. Definitely a stereotypical bad boy, one Quinn would make sure to stay far away from. She decided to nip this one in the bud before it started.
“Well, if you know Mack, I’m assuming you know your way around so you don’t need me. If you don’t mind.” Quinn forced herself to tear away from the stunning man, turning back to her computer.
“Nice to meet you… Quinn. Be good, doll,” Rick said, a smile evident in his deep voice.
Rick swiped a card through a keypad mounted on the wall, unlocking the sealed door that led further into the facility. She heard the soft click of the door relocking when it closed behind him.
“Jesus,” Quinn whispered to herself. Were there really men walking around looking like that? She blinked hard a few times to clear her mind of Rick and his gorgeous eyes, and chest, and biceps, and ass… shit. Inhaling deep to slow down her racing heart, Quinn focused on the figures Mack asked her to enter into the financial spreadsheets.
Throughout the day, her mind inadvertently kept drifting back to Rick. No, she scolded herself. He was bad news, and bad was not what she needed right now— or ever. Resigned to keeping him firmly in the category of “look but don’t touch”, she continued to work. Her little pep talk seemed to have done the trick. She was proud that she managed to forget about Rick for a whole five minutes.
Character Interview with Rick and Quinn:
Rick (Ricochet) Brennan- Is a former Marine, 2nd Recon Battalion, staff sergeant. He was honorably discharged due to injury. Muay Thai expert at Sanctum MMA. Avoids relationships like the plague because his mother abandoned his family when he was young.
Annette Quinn (Wallace) Hardy- She ran from her abusive husband. Father, deceased, was in the Marines with Howard "Mack" McEvoy, director and owner of Sanctum MMA. Quinn works as the receptionist at Sanctum. She is gun-shy around men, especially the big, intimidating men at Sanctum.
Quinn, when you met Rick, what was your first impression?
Quinn: (laughs) I thought he was gorgeous, obviously. Then, he spoke.
Rick: (acting offended) Hey now! I wasn’t that bad.
Quinn: You were.
Rick: (throws up his hands in mock defeat) I guess I was a little bit of a jerk.
Rick, what is your ideal for a perfect evening with Quinn?
Rick: (raises an eyebrow)
Quinn: Besides that! (laughs)
Rick: Okay, okay. Hmmm, Quinn would slip into something tight and sexy, we’d go down to Mission Control at Sanctum, and I’d watch her hack into some of the world’s most secure computer systems.
Quinn: You are so weird.
Rick: You love it. (grins)
How would you each describe the other in three words or less?
Rick: That’s easy. Sexy, sweet, and mine.
Quinn: (rolls her eyes) Of course.
Rick: Well, what are your words?
Quinn: (looks at Rick) Brave, protective, loving.
Rick: That’s nice, doll.
Do either of you have anything you want readers to know or take away from your story?
Quinn: Don’t give up. Oh, and don’t marry an asshole.
Rick: Hmmm, love is possible. Even for jerks like me.
Quinn: You’re not a jerk.
Rick: (shrugs) Sometimes I am.
Quinn: Not to me you aren’t.
Rick: That’s because I love you.
Quinn: (Pecks Rick on the mouth) I love you too.
Who sleeps later? Quinn
Bed hog? Quinn
Better at remembering things? Rick
Better cook? Quinn
Worst temper? Rick
Thanks! Rick & Quinn
Barb’s 5* Review for Locked & Loaded; Friendly Fire and Extraction Point
Originally posted 4/2/15
About the Author:
I'm the author of the Amazon best selling Famous series. I like to write about the 'dark' side of fame. The part that the public doesn't get to see, how difficult it is to live in a fishbowl and how that affects relationships.
I was born and raised in New England and currently live outside Atlanta, GA.
I love the Red Sox, procrastinating, and anything made of chocolate (but not white chocolate, that doesn't count).
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