Publication date: January 27, 2015
Format: eARC, 400 pages
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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.
I love love loved this book so freaking hard. You all know Tessa Bailey is one of my favorite authors, but OMG this book. It was on a whole new level.
I’ll admit that, before Tessa started putting out teasers for this book, I wasn’t entirely sure I was interested in a Bowen book. I mean, I would read the dictionary if she rewrote it, but Bowen, while interesting in Troy and Ruby’s book, wasn’t someone I yearned to know more about. I don’t read a lot of antihero books, but when I do, I tend to enjoy them. Once the teasers started and a new side of Bowen began to be revealed, however, I knew I had to read this book. And guess what? I have a new favorite book boyfriend. His name is Bowen Driscol. Despite his hard exterior and the mistakes he’s made, he’s all heart and completely amazing.
Sera was such a great heroine. I can’t help but admire a naïve, rookie cop who is willing to go deep undercover with the street thugs who were responsible for her brother’s death to try to avenge his death. It takes a strong woman to do that. She wasn’t exactly street smart, but she wasn’t a bumbling idiot either. I found it easy to relate to her and even easier to wish for her to get what she was looking for.
Sera couldn’t be more different than Bowen, but something about their pairing was absolutely magical. The heat was there from the start. They were so very passionate and connected. She definitely brought out the softer side of Bowen and aided in his character growth. And oh my god, the heat. Thank you, Tessa, for bringing this virgin heroine and dirty-talking hero together. They were totally combustible. Even with the heat of the love scenes, there was always a somewhat unexpected tenderness from Bowen. *swoons*
This book isn’t all about love and sex though. The scenarios that play out as Sera tries to get to the bottom of what happened to her brother and while Bowen tries to protect her definitely had me on the edge of my seat. The action scenes left me anxious to see what would happen next. Tessa’s writing ensures that I felt like I was right there beside them in every scene. (Except maybe the sexy ones because that would be AWK-WARD!) J Bowen’s Brooklyn neighborhood came alive in the pages – and I was thrilled to see favorites from the Line of Duty series (*cough* Ruby and Troy *cough*) make appearances during this book. Oh, and one other special surprise appearance I can’t tell you about because it would definitely spoil the story. But, if you’ve read her Line of Duty books, you’ll be thrilled when you get there.
Risking It All was just a great book all the way around. Whether you’re looking for passion, action or love, you’ll find it between these pages. It’s a bit grittier than Tessa’s other books and I love that. This is the start to an incredible series and I can’t wait to see what happens in Up in Smoke.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.