Heather C. Leigh
Ricochet: Locked & Loaded (Part 1)
Ricochet: Friendly Fire (Part 2)
Ricochet: Extraction Point (Part 3)
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-three 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.
Quinn spent two years trapped in a very abusive marriage while being cut-off from the world. Knowing that one day she was going to end up dead at Travis’s hands, she plots and executes her escape. Spending a year on the run living in women’s shelters, she finally makes her way to her father’s Marine buddy, Mack. No questions asked, he gives her a secretary/receptionist job at his MMA training facility. Surrounding herself with big men who fight each other for a living was probably not her smartest move, but in the end the job helps her to heal, showing her that not all men are abusive or are out to harm women.
She meets Rick on her first day and her attraction to him is alarming. Rick is also surprised with his attraction to her. Being ordered to leave her alone because of his manwhoring ways, Rick knows that’s one order he’ll never be able to follow. Despite everything that’s happened to her, Quinn is more than ready to move on. She will not let Travis dictate her future or live in fear of all men. But she comes with some serious baggage that she needs to get rid of before she can consider the idea of a relationship with another man. And Travis is determined to get Quinn back and will stop at nothing to make sure it happens.
I’ve not read many books where abuse is prevalent and I can imagine it’s a very hard topic to write about. Having never been a victim of spousal abuse, what I’m about to say could be completely wrong, but I didn’t understand how Quinn was able to give herself to Rick so quickly. While she held back from him emotionally, she very quickly gave him her body. After what Travis did to her, I would assume that an abused woman would really want to take things slow. Other than that, I think the story could have used a bit more time just to tidy up a few things. Nothing major, but I found a few things that I thought were odd or that didn’t make sense: If Quinn had access to this, why didn’t she do that?; Why didn’t anyone ever question that person after that happened?; Why didn’t anyone at Sanctum investigate her past; and Why didn’t anyone ever come to question Quinn when Travis was found? Like I said, these aren’t major issues, but I think if most of these little questions had been answered, I probably would have given this book 5 Hearts.
Overall I thought this serial novella was pretty good. The writing style was easy to read and I found I was able to read all three novellas quickly as the story held my attention and had me wanting to know what was going to happen next. I liked that Rick helped Quinn to become the strong woman she wanted to be, while she gave him a reason to show a softer side of himself.
Please note, Quinn suffers some horrific abuse at the hands of her husband and her flashbacks and interactions with Travis were disturbing to read. I strongly recommend that anyone who has suffered domestic abuse to take caution if they decide to read this series.
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