Title: Risking it All
Series: Crossing the Line #1
Author: Tessa Bailey
Format: eBook/Paperback, 400 pages
Published: January 27th 2015 by Entangled: Select
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 5 out of 5 Wine Glasses!
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.
Risking it All is hand's down, Tessa Bailey's best work yet!
Line of Duty readers might remember Bowen Driscol from His Risk to Take, and more recently the Crossing the Line prequel, Riskier Business. Bowen is not only ex-pool hustler, Ruby's, notorious half brother but a Brooklyn crime boss. Whether he wants the title or not. When he is forced to walk on the right side of the law for once and shadow an under cover officer, Bowen not only risks his life in the process, but also his heart. But Bowen knows that someone who is as beautiful and wholesome as Seraphia Newsom could never love a dirty criminal. No matter how tough she plays in Brooklyn's seedy underground. Can Bowen convince Sera that he is nothing like her brother's killer, or will he blow both their covers by exposing his heart?
Woowee! I. Loved. This. Book! The fascinating characters, the urban world Tessa Bailey built under them, and the riveting plot she weaved around them created a mesmerizing story that I could not get enough of.
First, the characters... Sera and Bowen may seem like polar opposites on the outside, but on the inside they couldn't be more harmonized. The talking and flirting that passed between these two was just plain hot. Sera is a virgin with a religious upbringing, she says a hail mary if she even looks at someone the wrong way. But Bowen brings out the women in this Catholic school girl and I was seriously lady crushing on her along with Bowen. Bowen himself is a complex character with a multitude of layers. From abused boy to reluctant criminal and hidden artist, he makes a captivating hero with a heart of gold. But Sera was no different. At first glance you think naive, empty-headed virgin but she is far from any of those stereotypes.
As the story progresses and Bowen and Sera are forced to spend more and more time together the attraction between them ignites. But Bowen wants to do at least one good thing in his life and he thinks that if he takes that final step with Sera he will tarnish her with his ugliness. However Sera doesn't see it that way and the more she gets to know Bowen, the bigger her conviction is that he is more then just a brutal criminal. I really enjoyed the build up between Sera and Bowen in their relationship. There was chemistry sparking between the two from the beginning but it was a gradual build to the sex with some wonderful character development along the way. And when Sera finally pushed Bowen past the breaking point - hold on to your knickers ladies! Bowen and Sera getting down and dirty is a frackin inferno! I'm talking have a secluded spot to read-BOB-change of panties-and ice cold drink handy- inferno! You will need some relief after these sizzling scenes, no lie.
As for the rest... Sera wants to avenge her brothers death. It's a nice change up in protagonists and gave a clear purpose to the story that grabbed me as a reader. Action and romance was perfectly balanced in the plot with a flux of intrigue. There was also a deluge of depth and emotion that kept my ingrained in the story at all times.
I am really excited about where this series is headed and the return to the Chicago PD. If you love dirty-talking alpha bad boys and strong heroines with a captivating story line then you won't to miss Risking it All! It is a must-read for 2015!