Friday, June 26, 2015

Up in Smoke (Crossing the Line #2) by Tessa Bailey: Blog Tour Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


Blurb:

Never start a fire you can’t control…

Connor Bannon is supposed to be dead. Dishonorably discharged from the Navy SEALs, he's spent the last two years working as a street enforcer in Brooklyn for his cousin's crime ring. Through a twist of fate, he's now in Chicago, working undercover to bust criminals. But when a cute little arsonist joins the team—all combat boots, tiny jean shorts, and hot-pink hair—Connor’s notorious iron control slips.

Erin "she's getting away" O'Dea knows two things. She hates authority. And… Nope, that's it. When she's forced to operate on the “right” side of the law, her fear of being confined and controlled blazes to the surface. The last thing she expects is a control freak like Connor to soothe her when she needs it most. Worse, something behind the sexy ex-soldier's eyes ignites a dangerous inferno of desire. One that invites Erin to play with fire. And one that could get them both killed…


Click to Buy the Crossing the Line Series on Amazon:

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Excerpt:

As if her thoughts had made him appear, Connor strode into the courthouse. Her pulse started beating double time, her stomach muscles tightening. Good Lord, the man was a fucking panty dropper. She’d only been away from him for a few hours and it felt like years since she’d experienced his presence. In jeans and a fitted gray T-shirt that molded to his muscles like her hands itched to do, he personified confidence and authority. Hot, rugged male. His gaze connected with hers immediately and darkened. She thought back to that morning when he’d dressed in the early morning light, his abs flexing as he pulled the shirt over his head. His erection barely contained by his boxers. She’d never been one to beg for anything, but she’d been seconds from offering him her mouth. Pleading for the privilege of sucking him off.

Conner shook his head at her with a sexy half smile on his face, as if he could read her thoughts across the room. He stopped at the metal detector and walked through after the security guard beckoned him forward. When the woman grabbed her wand and instructed him to raise his hands in the air, something ugly reared its head deep inside her. The detector hadn’t even beeped. There was no reason for the personal service. When the woman smiled at Connor and ran a hand down her ponytail, Erin propelled herself forward, boots echoing on the polished marble.

Erin hissed as she drew even with the guard. “If you’re done feeling up my boyfriend, I’d love a turn. We were in a rush this morning.”

The guard dropped the wand, letting it dangle near her thigh. “Did you just hiss at me?”

Erin hissed again.

“Okay.” Connor stepped between them, winking down at her. “We should go. Don’t want to keep the clerk waiting.”

Appreciation spread in her belly like honey. He hadn’t chided her for her behavior or apologized to the woman on her behalf. Instead he’d given the impression they were on their way to get married, appeasing her jealousy in one fell swoop. “That’s right.” She sauntered toward the elevator. “There’s vows to be exchanged. Rings to put on fingers. Shit like that.”

She glanced behind her to find Connor staring at her ass as she walked, so she put a little swing in her hips and savored his groan. Damn. She’d definitely never had this much fun at a courthouse.

A moment later, she and Connor stepped into an empty elevator. She hit the button for the top floor even though the clerk was on the first, and leaned back against the wall, looking up at him through her eyelashes. “How was your morning, baby? Was it worth leaving me in bed, all hot and bothered for you?”

“Fuck no, it wasn’t.” He crooked a big finger at her. “Climb on up here.”

About the Author:

Thank you for your interest in my books! I'm Tessa and I live in the crazy, loud, overcrowded borough of Brooklyn, New York. I love it here. This city is a constant source of inspiration, which is why I've decided to set my most recent books in the Line of Duty Series here.

I moved to New York when I was eighteen, the day after I graduated high school. Threw my suitcase in the back of a Chevrolet Cavalier and drove across the country to find my adventure. I'm still finding it, little by little.

Thank you for being a part of it.


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Review by Yvette:

You know when you read a book by an author and you think it’s the absolute greatest thing they’ve ever written? Well, that’s pretty much how I feel every single time I read a book by Tessa Bailey. After reading the first book in her Crossing the Line series, Risking It All, I honestly didn’t think she could top Bowen Driscoll’s brooding bad boy persona and sheer sex appeal…until I met Connor Bannon in Up in Smoke. The dishonorably discharged former Navy SEAL exuded raw masculinity and more than a hint of danger, yet he was no match for the pink-haired, combat boot-wearing spitfire working alongside of him. At first glance, Connor and Erin are polar opposites, yet they had an instantaneous spark of chemistry, which, when paired with a complex emotional connection, made for an undeniably captivating story. Up in Smoke is an insanely sexy, suspenseful, entertaining read with characters that will make you fall in love with them before the end of the first chapter.

With their past run-ins with the law and an ongoing battle between right and wrong, Connor and Erin are the textbook definition of anti-heroes. The two had rap sheets that could rival the criminals they were recruited to bust for the Chicago PD, yet a different, more vulnerable side to each of them was revealed as they bared themselves to each other emotionally and physically. The banter between Connor and Erin was playful and flirtatious, rife with sexual tension and a primal attraction that begged to be explored. The underlying darkness within each of them, however, was like an invisible force, urging them to proceed with caution. For all the demons haunting Connor's past, they were nothing compared to the heartbreakingly brutal horrors Erin experienced, which is why it came as an unexpected surprise that a tough, hardened man like Connor could proceed with the careful fragility required of Erin’s traumatic situation. It was undeniably sexy imagining this take-charge, powerful male putting himself at the mercy of a woman, tempering his explicit fantasies and overwhelming desire for Erin by giving up some of his much-needed control.

While the romantic relationship developing between Connor and Erin is the heart of Up in Smoke, the narrative is equal parts romance and suspense, the latter courtesy of their undercover job working with the Chicago PD. The two are part of a motley crew of former criminals, the result of which is a fun, entertaining mix between White Collar and The Breakfast Club. Up in Smoke follows Connor and Erin as they get the chance to reinvent themselves in all aspects of their lives, and part of that was surrounding themselves with characters that could relate to them. The fact that these characters were bursting with energy and personality brought a lighthearted feel that provided a welcome contrast to the narrative’s heavier issues. Up in Smoke is undoubtedly Tessa Bailey’s most emotionally compelling book to date but it was also her steamiest, most suspenseful, and most entertaining book to date. I enjoyed every second of Up in Smoke from start to finish and I'm more than a little excited by the prospect of getting at least one book more in the series.

*complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 5 Stars

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