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Monday, May 20, 2013

ARC Review: His Risk to Take by Tessa Bailey

HIS RISK TO TAKE, book 2 of Tessa Bailey’s ├╝ber-hot ‘Line of Duty’ series, manages to pack a surprising amount of punch for such a short story. It reads very much like PROTECTING WHAT’S HIS, book 1 in the series (though the two are only very loosely connected)—which is a good thing because we get more of what made the first book such an enjoyable read. Sexy brooding cop with a protective streak a mile wide? Smart-mouthed heroine with a penchant for trouble? Scorching chemistry that leaps off the page and sexy dirty talk? Check, check, and check, all delivered with that trademark wit and snappy dialogue that will have you laughing even as you fan your e-reader.

Detective Troy Bennett has relocated to New York after a raid gone bad results in the death of his partner in Chicago, for which he blames himself (cue delicious tortured-hero angst and extreme protectiveness of those he loves). Ruby Elliott is a professional pool hustler with some dodgy connections trying to walk the straight and narrow path. From the moment the two meet by chance at a bar (and Troy watches Ruby repeatedly bend over the pool table whilst hustling some guy), the chemistry between them leaps off the page and the sexual tension is palpable. That scorching chemistry continues throughout the novella—sexy times occur quickly and frequently, and they are HOT. I’m never going to look at a pool cue the same way again! I really enjoyed how Troy is alpha and overprotective and likes to be in control—particularly in the bedroom—but has a sweet side and isn’t as autocratic as Derek was in PROTECTING WHAT’S HIS (my biggest problem with that book). Ruby is tough, and sassy, and independent, and watching her submit to Troy in the bedroom and cave like a cheap suitcase whenever he gets his hands on her is great fun. The two of them are a great couple, with her dodgy past and abandonment issues and his job and overwhelming protectiveness stemming from his partner’s death providing great tension and drama.

As a novella, HIS RISK TO TAKE suffers from some of the issues typical of the short length. The story’s time frame means the hero and heroine fall in love ridiculously fast and their issues are resolved too easily. We get only a superficial glimpse of the motivations driving them, but even with this limitation, Tessa Bailey creates two thoroughly enjoyable and relatable characters—even when I was tempted to slap him upside the head for his push-you-away-to-protect-you idiocy and her for her too-stupid-to-live moment near the end.

If you enjoyed PROTECTING WHAT’S HIS and/or like your cops with a penchant for talking dirty, HIS RISK TO TAKE is the perfect quick, fun, and sizzling read. Tessa Bailey is definitely an author to keep an eye on if you like your contemporaries hot without veering into erotica, and I can’t wait to see what’s next!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |


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