Saturday, January 24, 2015

Risking it All (Crossing the Line #1) by Tessa Bailey: ARC Review


NYPD detective Seraphia Newsom will avenge her brother’s death at any cost. Even if it means insinuating herself into a rough, Brooklyn street gang and going so far undercover, she’s not sure she’ll be able to get out. Every minute she spends in their midst means the clock ticking down on her life, especially when she overhears something that could get her killed.

Bowen Driscol is the heir to a crime enterprise. He never asked for the job, but with his father behind bars, he has no choice but to step in and keep the operation running. But when the NYPD blackmails him with a piece of damning information in exchange for aiding an undercover cop, he finds himself on the other side of the law for the first time in his life.

Bowen knows the danger Sera is in, and keeping her safe trumps saving his own ass. The problem? She can’t know he’s on her side. And there's the matter of the seriously inconvenient heat sparking between them that's incinerating his resistance. But Sera only sees Bowen's past, and men like him are the reason her brother is dead. If they're to get out alive, he'll have to risk exposing the man beneath, and hope to hell he doesn't blow the whole operation in the process.

Click to Buy the Crossing the Line Series on Amazon:

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:

Tessa Bailey's Line of Duty series is populated by heroes working in law enforcement, doing their part to protect and serve. The Crossing the Line series, however, deviates from this formula by straddling the divide between right and wrong as the main characters are faced with the decision of choosing between obligation and desire. The familiar trope combining the naive virgin and the experienced bad boy is turned on its head in Risking it All, as undercover cop, Seraphina Newsom, and seasoned criminal, Bowen Driscol, find that their palpable mutual attraction threatens to derail the jobs each has been sent to do. Pairing a cop and a criminal is potentially disastrous but, as protagonists Sera and Bowen prove in Risking it All, the reward is more than worth the risk.

Those familiar with Ruby and Troy’s story will recognize Bowen as the heir apparent to a criminal enterprise. Shady past and questionable morals aside, Bowen is coarse and crude and oh-so-sexy. He can turn on the charm as easily as he can inspire fear, switching gears from sexy and smoldering to badass and intimidating in the blink of an eye. He has been groomed to view the world not in terms of black and white, but in shades of gray, unlike Sera, who has a very cut-and-dry perspective of wright versus wrong. It’s a struggle finding a balance between their two vastly different worlds, especially when complications are placed in their path as reminders of whom and what they are.

Out of all the couples Tessa Bailey has created to date, Bowen and Sera are my favorite because, despite their differences, they work perfectly together, each challenging the other to step out of their comfort zone. The connection between them is evidenced by the depth of their insatiable lust and obvious affection for each other. These characters are so fascinating because of their contradictory natures. Bowen is a hardened criminal yet his obvious soft spot for those he cares about sets him apart from his peers. Sera is initially presented as this pure and innocent young girl, but her daring and sensual side blossoms under Bowen's attention, which, I must say is the highlight of the book. I thought Tessa Bailey’s previous heroes had ample experience in the dirty-talking department, but those guys don’t hold a candle to Bowen.

As with all of Tessa Bailey's books, Risking it All has two important components: a captivating narrative that demands your unwavering attention and characters that draw you in to their lives so thoroughly that you are just as invested in the outcome of their journey as they are. The narrative is fast-paced and suspenseful, making your heart pound from both the danger lurking around every turn and from the crackling sexual tension between Bowen and Sera. With Bowen and Sera's narrative, Risking it All takes the Crossing the Line series into a new and unexpected direction and I'm impatient to discover how Connor measures up against the author's long line of irresistible Alpha male heroes.

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

Rating: 5 Stars

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