4 Silken Sheets
Add 1 sexy battle-scarred soldier, 1 feisty girl and 1 movie set ready for some controlled explosions, and you get an explosive – and hot – romance.
After a tragic incident in Afghanistan leaves Master Sergeant Nathan Ryker the only man standing in his tight-knit team, he spirals into an alcohol-and-sex induced escape. A call from his lifelong buddy pulls Ryker from the shadows with a request for help with his stunt company’s latest blockbuster. If Ryker can survive the next three weeks of leave and get back to his remaining men, he might just be all right. But a sexy woman who can take his mind off his trauma is too hard to resist, and when he hooks up with Renegades’ sultry, snarky office manager, his sanity takes a backseat to his first glimpse of a future he isn’t sure he deserves.
Still reeling from a bitter romantic betrayal, Rachel Hart wants nothing more than an uncomplicated hookup. So when the mysterious Nathan seduces her with a little dirty talk and one delicious kiss, Rachel drowns all her good sense in a Mandarin and soda and gives herself over to a night of sexual bliss. But her memories tarnish in the morning light when Rachel discovers his real identity and his link to Renegades. Her job and her friends are the only thing holding her life together, and she won’t be ruined by one sultry night with this damaged and dangerously sexy man.
While I usually like to start series from the beginning, sometimes it’s tempting to jump in part way through, and that’s what I did with Ricochet. This is the third in the Renegades series, based around a movies special effects / stunts team, and it was a lot of fun. I picked up quickly and easily on the existing characters and was intrigued enough by what I saw, to go back and buy the first in series, to read later.
Okay, back to the review.
Rachel has an image to live up to. As the admin assistant / office manager / gofer for Renegades, she has to be organised and efficient. She’s not supposed to be a hot blooded woman in search of a one-night stand. Actually, it’s the first time she’s ever done this, and so she’s not quite sure how to proceed.
You’re in an airport bar, for God’s sake.
He’s a total stranger. No different from the guy at the corner gas station.
Are you really this desperate?
Ryker, however, is no stranger to the casual hook-up. He’s something of an expert on them, and uses them to blot out his memories and pain. The cardinal rule of casual sex is that it’s with a stranger, but right from the start, he knows who she is. She’s the girl sent to give him a ride from the airport, the same girl he’s been bantering with over the phone for the past week.
“Hey.” He wrapped an arm over her shoulders and pulled her close, nudged a strand of hair off her forehead with the other hand. “I should tell you—”
Her fingers pressed against his lips. The van doors closed, and the vehicle started moving.
“The only thing I want to know now,” she said, voice soft, “is, one: if you’re married.” He shook his head. “Two : if you have a disease you could share.” His lips curled beneath her fingers, and he shook his head again. “Three: if you don’t have condoms.” He chuckled, shook his head, and covered her hand with his. “Four: if you’re wanted for violent crimes.”
He lifted her hand and kissed her palm. “No.”
“Or five,” she said, “if you’ve changed your mind about the hotel.”
He’s got a pretty good idea how Rachel will feel when she knows who he is.
A flash of how furious she might have been at seeing his full name on the tags snaked a river of dread through him. He pulled his tags off over his head and stuffed them into his pants pocket. Only now, he felt naked. No, worse— he felt vulnerable. Which was epically stupid. Taking off a few tin tags couldn’t shed his life in the military.
Still, it was just a casual hook-up. Right? No different to any other women?
There’s something about Rachel that makes him want more, and this is where the complications kick in. She works with Troy, his best friend and woman-magnet.
Now, in light of how easy it had been to hook up with her and what an awesome fuck she was, he had to wonder— who else was she hooking up with?
Ryker’s eyes closed in dread. God, he prayed she wasn’t also having sex with some other member— or members— of Renegades. Worst of all Troy.
On one hand, Ryker really, really, really hoped he hadn’t just screwed his buddy’s girl. On the other hand, he really, really, really wanted to do it again.
The other Renegades were lovely! Troy in particular (note to the author – please make the next book in the series by about Troy). I loved the way they all looked out for Rachel.
His gut took a hit, and acid leaked in. “Why’s that?”
“Because she’s not fuck-and-dump material. She’s as much family to me as you are. Got it?” Without waiting for a reply, Troy jogged up the trailer steps.
Ryker took a deep breath and searched for a strategy to handle the situation. And as the leader of a strategic team who handled life-and-death conditions on the fly every day under the worst possible conditions…
He came up completely blank.
I had to feel sorry for Rachel when she learned the truth. That the man she’d fucked the night before, was the new explosives expert on the movie set.
Shame crawled through every cell in her body. The whole reason she’d chosen a stranger to fuck with abandon was so she wouldn’t have to see him again. Wouldn’t have to face the reality of all the nasty things she’d done to him, with him, let him do to her. Wouldn’t be tempted to do it all again. Wouldn’t develop a desire for even more.
Because she wasn’t doing more, dammit.
The scene is set. Ryker and Rachel are going to be spending the next few weeks working closely together, whether she likes it or not. To add an extra level of complication, another guy is sniffing around Rachel. Josh Marx.
“Marx is a pain in the ass, but he’s good. So good the insurance company trusts him implicitly. If he signs off on a stunt, we get a ridiculously low rate. And, you saw that.” He gestured to where they’d just been standing, “Rachel makes the man melt. She crosses all the T’s and dots all the I’s just the way he likes, they get along great, and he’s been trying to snag her for months.”
Ryker was great. Enough wartime baggage to give him depth, and very well written as a character. I felt for him. Skye Jordan doesn’t shy away from his demons, and his push-pull with Rachel was both thrilling and heartbreaking.
She may be attracted to him. But she didn’t want him. He didn’t blame her. When you took mind-wracking animal sex out of the equation, Ryker came up empty on offerings for a woman.
Conflict surrounds them. The other Renegades wanting to keep them apart. Marx wanting to have Rachel for himself. The knowledge that once this job was over, Ryker would be heading back to Afghanistan for another six month tour of duty, and Rachel’s own baggage.
“I don’t want you pulled into that web, because here’s the truth about you, Rach. You may not be interested in serious, but you care. You care about everyone and everything. It’s in your genetic makeup. And even if you were to hookup with a guy for a night, or two, or whatever, you’d still care.”
Ryker was capable of breaking Rachel’s heart….
“I’m offering you exactly what you want. No-strings, no-shame, no-limits, no-complications, wicked-good sex. Complete with an agreed-upon end date, a vow of secrecy, and an eight-thousand-mile anti-stalking guarantee when it’s over.”
… especially when he pulls tricks like this – a private beach picnic.
Then she recognized a blanket spread out. A bottle of wine, a white pastry box… “Someone’s here.” She grabbed Nathan’s forearm and pulled him back, glancing around the beach again. The sunset cast a pink reflection on the wet sand, and she realized they’d stumbled upon someone’s romantic evening. Her heart squeezed and softened at the effort involved in the setup. “We should go before—”
“We’re here,” he said. “No one else is coming.”
Her gaze jumped to his. “What? What are you…?” She glanced back at the setup, and her heart did a horribly uncomfortable gymnastics routine in her chest. Rachel dropped his arm and stepped away. “Nathan… you didn’t… you didn’t do this.”
Actually, I’m not sure if I want the next book to be about Troy, or Marx. Josh Marx didn’t get as much page time as the others, but he stole the scene every time.
“Then I realized that in two weeks, you’ll be gone. Halfway around the world. Putting yourself at risk.” He turned to look at Ryker again. “But I’ll still be here. Every day. Every night. And when the memory of your affair fades from Rachel’s mind…” His voice lowered with a steely determination that felt eerily familiar. “I’ll be ready to step in. Give her everything you didn’t. Everything you couldn’t. Everything she deserves.”
It was an exciting and hot read, and I’ll definitely be going back for more.
4 Silken Sheets
4 Sexy Lips
Plot – great
Characters – great
Warnings – an addiction to another series
Genre: Contemporary erotic romance
Published: July 2014; $2.99 (Amazon)
Publisher: Cygnet Books