Release Day Reviews: Risking It All: Tessa Bailey

Risking It all (Crossing the Line #1)
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Expected January 27, 2014

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.

Two sides of the same coin. Good and Evil. Which one was he?

Bowen Driscol had no choice but to take over his father's legacy of the crime boss of South Brooklyn while his father is incarcerated. We have seen him in previous books as he has always been Ruby's protector. But since she is now involved with Troy, A NYPD detective, she is pretty well taken care of.

But now another woman needs him, even if she does not know it. His NYPD connection has strongly requested his assistance in an extrication of a rogue undercover rookie cop named Seraphena who is entrenched in the the criminal world of North Brooklyn and Bowen ends up agreeing to help under duress. 

"This is your chance to make up for the shit you've done. A chance to do something good. Ruby sees the good in you Are you going to prove her wrong?"
Seraphena just wants to avenge her brother's death. And she is willing to take chances in order to do so. She took on her own undercover assignment without support and soon got in more deeply than she bargained for. 

Sera's initial reactions to Bowen are mixed. He is cocky, arrogant, and pushy. But it does not take long to realize that she has his attention and he might be bad news. But he also confuses her with his his sudden  possessiveness and erratic behavior of advancement and retreat.

Bowen is a confidant, bossy, dirty talker alpha. But then he is also broken, vulnerable, needy and has feelings of low self worth.  But he has a strong need to protect those he cares about. A man torn between right and wrong and never really given a chance to stay on the right side due to circumstances. He is undergoing an internal battle of good vs. evil and does not see a way out for him, no matter how much he wants it. He welcomes physical pain to help take away his guilt and emotional pain.

Had he been born with a soul? He'd often wondered if it were possible to walk upright, communicating and living life with just the idea of where his soul should be. Worse, did people see that lack in him? Is that why everyone left in the end?
She is more innocent, religious, and he thinks she is too good for him. She is also tough, impulsive, and brave. There is Temptation, frustration, desperation, and secrets between them. He wants Sera so bad it is painful, but tries to protect her and do the right thing at the same time being forced to keep secrets from her. There are multiple people out to get her. She is on her own agenda trying to get information and he is trying to keep it all from blowing up in their faces. 

Sera had kind of lost herself, and did not have many personal connections in her life. So it was ironic that when posing as another identity, Bowen actually helped her find herself again. And she believes he is worthy and wants to protect him and fix things. No one ever really had much faith in either of them or believed in them. But they can see that potential in each other. They are two lost souls looking for acceptance and a true home, but in one big mess with criminals, cops, dirty deals, and threats. It is hard to know who to trust.

Could she save him as she'd resolved to do, or was she a victim of her circumstances, same as him? Were they doomed to part ways as enemies once this ended?

Together they had chemistry and this intense connection and need, but he kept trying to hold back. And by the time he couldn't restrain himself anymore, everything seemed to go to hell around them. The secrets, lies, and hidden agendas also took an emotional toll on both of them. And eventually the whole situation was bound to come to volatile climax.

Could he bring her into his world to stay? If a  miracle happened and she stuck around after the just settled, could he rest a single second? Sera would be his vulnerability. A way to get to him. Not safe. Never safe. He'd have to change for her. Ch ange into what, though? He didn't know how to be anyone else. 

It was suspenseful, dangerous and full of interesting plot twists. It was told in both points of view. I especially loved being in Bowen's head and seeing his vulnerabilities and intensity. I enjoyed getting a bit more with Troy and Ruby (His Risk to Take and Riskier Business) and Derek Tyler (Protecting What's His). We were introduced to the next group of character in this series and I love the premise. Conner was a big part of this story and we got a bit of his background. He will be the subject of the next book Up in Smoke

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

I loved this deeper look at Bowen and his world. When he was introduced in Protecting What’s His and again in Riskier Business, I couldn’t help but be curious about what exactly he was doing in the background and why he was so connected to Ruby. Riskier Business answered that last question, but Risking It All took Bowen even further.

Seraphina Newsome has gone rogue to avenge her brother. As an undercover NYPD detective, she knows what she’s attempting is dangerous, but feels the outcome is well worth the risk.

Bowen Driscol has stepped into his father’s role running an underground crime ring. Things are unsettled with the power shift, and he finds himself working twice as hard to keep control. But the distraction offered by the waitress who stands out with her effort at blending in catches his eye. When the police come to Bowen asking him to get her out of danger, he realizes the only way to do that safely (for all parties involved) is to make her his.

Bowen’s protective streak is kicked into high gear in Risking It All. Now that Ruby no longer needs him watching her back, his eye moves to Sera. And while he has incentive from the police to keep her safe, he begins to realize that she is incentive enough.

The attraction that sparks between these two is hot. And as readers, knowing what is going on in each of their heads makes it even better. They had great chemistry together, and their individual convictions kept things even more interesting as they navigated the underbelly of Brooklyn together.

The back and forth narration gives bits and pieces in such a way that I couldn’t help but keep turning pages. As the first in this spin-off series, some of the established characters make appearances and several new characters for this series are introduced. I will be waiting to find out more about Connor, as his influence in Risking It All surprised me and immediately intrigued me. This is the perfect combination of strong alpha that I've come to expect from Tessa's Line of Duty series, crossed with the danger and tension that comes with the other side of the law.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Bowen was first introduced in His Risk to Take in the Line of Duty Series. The Crossing the Line Series is a spin off and Riskier Business transitions the two series. 

His Risk to Take (Line of Duty #2)
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A sexy category romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint...

The greater the risk, the hotter the reward…

Homicide cop Troy Bennett had a reputation on the Chicago PD for being fearless and in control—until the night his daredevil partner is killed during a raid. From that moment on, he swears he’ll never again be responsible for the loss of a loved one. To escape his demons, Troy transfers to the NYPD, bringing him up close and personal with Ruby Elliott, a beautiful, street-savvy pool hustler.

Reckless and stubbornly independent, Ruby embodies everything Troy’s avoiding, but when she walks into O’Hanlon’s Pub and blows his carefully laid plans to hell, Troy knows he has to have her—risks be damned. But there’s a connection between Ruby’s shadowed past and a case Troy’s working involving a notorious Brooklyn felon, throwing her safety into jeopardy. Confronted with his biggest fear, will Troy push Ruby away to keep her safe or fight to keep her in his arms where she belongs?

Tessa Bailey 
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Expected January 5, 2015

One more game. And this time, there are no rules…

After a life of pool hustling and living on the wrong side of the law, Ruby Elliott is living on the straight and narrow with sexy-as-all-hell NYPD detective, Troy Bennett. Now the only trouble Ruby has with the law is the naughty kind, pinned against the wall by Troy's strict and spectacularly hard body. Obeying his every command. Both of them losing themselves in a lust that borders on obsession...

But then her father returns with an offer she can’t refuse: one last hustle in exchange for information. Information she’d die to have. As the pieces and the players of the game reveal themselves, Troy feels the fine edges of his control slipping—control he can’t channel without hurting Ruby. The stakes are high, and the risk higher. Because losing this final game could cost more than Ruby’s heart…it might cost her life.

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Expected June 23, 2015

Connor Bannon is supposed to be dead. Dishonorably discharged from the Navy SEALs when his past exploded in his face, he's spent the last two years working as a street enforcer in Brooklyn, New York, for his cousin's crime ring. But thanks to a twist of fate, he's been given a fresh start in Chicago, going undercover to bust criminals. Just like himself.

Erin "she's getting away" O'Dea knows two things. She hates authority. And...nope, that's it. She hates authority. When this beautiful escape artist is forced to operate on the other side of the law, her fear of being confined and controlled roars to the surface. The last thing she expects is Connor, a man who becomes her adversary on sight, to soothe her when she needs it most. 

When danger threatens their team from every side, Connor and Erin are thrust into a perilous situation that places one of them in the line of fire. They're forced to admit their feelings, feelings that run true and deep. But will it be too late? 

Tessa Bailey Website/Twitter/Facebook
Bailey's Babes Facebook Group
Tessa lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and young daughter. When she isn't writing or reading romance, Tessa enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipes.

Entangled Publishing Website/Facebook/Twitter


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