Series: Ricochet #1
Published by Self-Published on March 30th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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.
I have been meaning to read a story written by this author forever and I choose the perfect book to start because “Ricochet” was outstanding! After reading this first installment of her new series I would have to say that Heather C. Leigh definitely gained a new fan.
Let’s face it, you would be insane if you couldn’t enjoy a story where the hero was not only a gorgeous alpha-male but a military man AND a MMA fighter too. Rick “Ricochet” Brennan was all these things plus so much more. Sure he was a known player (that’s how he ends up with his nickname after all) but in his defense it was as if he was waiting for that perfect woman to come along.
He found that woman in Quinn Wallace. At first it was just her beauty that appealed to him but as he got to know her better he felt this deeper pull. A pull that he never experienced with anyone ever before. For a man who was in all ways disciplined he wanted to lose all control with this woman. After seeing that vulnerable side of her, he realized that he didn’t just want her physically but he wanted her in every manner. He wanted to possess her, protect her and make her his forever.
“Why do I feel like I’m about to lose everything? I’m a trained killer, a fucking badass mercenary who parachutes into enemy camps in the dark of the night, and this tiny girl can bring me to my knees with a single look…”
Quinn knew from the start that letting Rick in could potentially lead to trouble. She told herself repeatedly that she shouldn’t get involved. Their chemistry was so intense however that for a moment she was willing to turn a blind eye for this man. When her feelings towards him start to progress however she didn’t have a choice but to do one regretful thing…
Obviously, this story does end in a cliffhanger but I have to say that I am not the least disappointed since the next installment is scheduled to be released within the same week and the conclusion within a week after that. I thought that the break between each part provides me with an ample amount of time to process the story and its characters. What I’ve read so far is a well-balanced and solid story with very much likable characters.
With everything that Quinn has been through in her past relationship you can’t help but want her to get what she deserves and to me Rick was IT. Let’s just hope that he could convince her in the next installment. I enjoyed this one and I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Feeling ridiculous, Quinn ducked her head, turned, and practically ran down the hall to the break room. She shut the door behind her and sagged into it, leaning her forehead against the hard surface. “Shit,” she whispered to herself.
“You do that a lot.”
“Oh my God!” Quinn spun around to see the man with the striking aquamarine eyes, staring at her from his seat at the break room table. She choked, which made her cough, making it difficult to catch her breath.
Rick, his name is Rick.
The dark haired Adonis reclined in his chair, hands clasped behind his head as he smirked at Quinn. “You okay there?” She nodded, still unable to speak. “You scare too easily, doll.”
“What?” Quinn rasped as she dug her fingernails into her palms to stop her hands from trembling. She was still recovering from surprise he gave her, otherwise she would have scolded him for the doll comment… maybe. If she weren’t so frightened of the man.
“Every time I see you, you’re cursing under your breath.” Rick lifted an enormous bottle of water to his mouth and chugged down a third of it, never taking his sharp gaze off of Quinn’s. She noticed the large hand he had wrapped around the drink, knuckles scarred and bruised from fighting. That’s what all of these men did for a living, they fought or trained other men to fight. Those hands could hit… hard.
Danger! Her mind told her again. Quinn’s heart was racing frantically, feeling as if it may explode in her chest.
She shivered in response, but not from the fear she should be feeling from being so close to such a dangerous man. No, Quinn shivered because he was so damn hot she couldn’t stop imagining those large, rough hands running all over her skin. The way his lips surrounded the bottle and his throat working to swallow… she felt it in a way that made her uncomfortable. The fear mingling with desire had her flat-out confused.
Quinn unintentionally let her eyes roam over his broad chest, which was covered by only a thin, tight T-shirt that had the sleeves cut off and was damp with sweat. His sinewy arms were on full display, each muscle cut perfectly. The only mark on his beautiful tan skin was a black tattoo of a skull inside a circle with wings coming off of it and a knife or weapon behind. For a minute, she thought she recognized the tattoo, but she wasn’t close enough to know for sure.
I would love to lick that tattoo. Oh my god, where did that come from?
Feeling her neck and cheeks flame up from her deviant thoughts, Quinn quickly gathered herself, remembering that this cocky man was poking fun at her. Dangerous or not, that made her mad. She narrowed her eyes at his annoyingly gorgeous face.
“Well, you like to sneak up on people. It’s not nice. And, I’m not your doll.” She crossed her arms over her chest, trying to look confident when all she really wanted to do was run out of here and hide, or maybe run across the room and straddle his lap. She was equally torn between the two. So what did she do? Nothing. Her feet were rooted to the spot.
“Sneak up on people? You came in here, remember?” Rick pushed his chair back and got to his feet in one surprisingly nimble move for such a big man. Quinn swallowed when she got a good look at how tall he was, having to tilt her head back to see his face. The last time they spoke, she had been sitting while he leaned over her desk, his muscular body hidden behind the half wall that separated her from the lobby. Now that they were both standing, she could see that he was much, much taller than her petite five foot four inch frame. Her subconscious kept screaming at her.
Quinn instinctively backed up, not stopping until she felt the kitchenette’s countertop dig into her lower back. Rick continued forward, only halting when there were just inches separating his large body from hers. He put his hands on the cabinets behind her, one on either side of her head caging her in. A small whimper fell from her lips and her breath stuttered. Quinn balled up her hands, running a fingertip over the ridge on her right palm. She shuddered from the thought of that scar, but when she remembered how she got it, she felt somewhat stronger. It was her badge of courage.
“And,” he said, close enough that she could smell him, a faint mixture of aftershave and sweat. It was potent enough to make her bite her lip so she wouldn’t try to lick his neck or bury her face in his chest and inhale that masculine scent. “Lots of people think I’m nice… doll.” Then he smirked.
Quinn’s mouth fell open at his arrogance.
Attraction or not, frightened or not, his slick overconfidence grated on her nerves. Braver than she’d felt for the first time in a long time, Quinn smiled at the egotistical man with the hypnotizing eyes. She refused to be another one of Rick’s groupies, and she was quite sure he had plenty of them falling for his easy charm and rugged perfection. “Yeah, well, those people that think you’re nice? I’m not one of them.”
Trembling, she ducked under Rick’s arm, unable to keep herself from noticing how hard his abs were as she nudged by. Pretending to be fearless, Quinn snatched her purse out of her locker, and left without saying another word.