Tessa Bailey is one of the most reliable authors I know. If you are in to sexy, brooding, bossy, alpha male heroes with super dirty mouths, you have to pick up some Tessa Bailey books.
This book is the fourth (I think) book in the Crossing The Line series. I read one other book in the series and while I plan to read the others, you are free to read these in any order you want. In the book you are introduced to a group of questionable characters with questionable past who are part of an underground, undercover police operation. All of the characters use their connections to their sketchy past to assist the police in taking down people doing things similar to what they may have done in the past.
Polly is on the task force because she is a hacker who got caught. Austin is on the task force because he was a renowned con artist who got caught. While on the task force Polly is on her own sub-mission to take down a con artist who destroyed her family. Austin happens to have a connection to that con-artist and makes a deal to help Polly with her mission. Right from the beginning there is an intense connection between Austin and Polly. It plays out as hostility but underneath the barbs, there is real sexual tension. In her quest to accomplish her mission of taking down the man who destroyed her family, Polly finds herself in a number of dangerous situations but Austin is always there protecting her, even when she doesn't realize it.
I really liked how this book was about not hiding and about how true love recognizes the truth even when it's in disguise. I loved it that Polly was the perfect mix of strength and vulnerability. I even enjoyed the fact that Austin made mistakes left and right. Polly was really Austin's first attempt at authentic intimacy. As bad as he wanted Polly he was plagued by insecurities about the things he had done in the past and whether he was good enough for Polly. I liked that, it made Austin more real to me. The other thing I was happy to see in this book was the supporting cast of characters. I had read the story of one of the other couples and had been introduced to another member of the group in another book. I thought the interactions between the supporting characters added to the story.
There were only two things about this book that I did not love. The first might contain a spoiler so I won't go into too much detail. All I will tell you is that there is a reason that Austin is in Chicago and the way he handled that reason really didn't sit well with me. I thought something would change by the end of the book but it didn't. The story ends and just nothing. That did not leave a good impression on me. The second issue is less significant and more nit picky. I like a lot of intensity in my character relationships but at a certain point things with Austin and Polly were like super duper intense out of just no where. It's like one second they hate each other and the next they can't take a breath without the other person. The language towards the end was just really dramatic and kept making me roll my eyes.
Beyond my two minor criticisms, I have to say that Tessa Bailey delivers all the time and she does it again with this book. This is definitely on my recommended reading list.
**ARC provided by Publisher**