Protecting What's His (Line of Duty #1), by Tessa Bailey
Published February 23, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Brazen)
Format: paperback, purchased
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4 STARS
(From Goodreads) She’s running from the law, and the law wants her bad.
The opportunity was just too damn delicious for Ginger Peet to pass up. The purse full of money she finds—$50,000 to be exact—could give her and her teen sister the new start they need. So she grabs the cash, her gothy sibling, and their life-sized statue of Dolly Parton, and blows outta Nashville in a cloud of dust. Chicago, here we come...
Turns out, Chicago has some pretty hot cops. Hot, intense, naughty-lookin’ cops like Derek Tyler, who looks like he could eat a girl up and leave her begging for more. And more. Tempting as he is, getting involved with the sexy homicide lieutenant next door poses a teensy problem for a gal who’s on the lam. But one thing is certain—Derek’s onto her, and he wants more than just a taste.
And as far as he’s concerned, possession is nine-tenths of the law.
I have heard Cora Carmack talk a lot about her love of all things Tessa Bailey. In fact, many members of Cora's street team sing her praises loudly. And, yet, I had never read anything by her. Then, her name shows up on the author list for Apollycon next month, and it was the perfect nudge I needed to get on the Tessa Bailey bandwagon. At the time of this writing, I've now read four of her books, and there is no going back now. I'm well and fully hooked.
When consulting the street team for the best book to start with, the resounding consensus was Protecting What's His. In it, Ginger and her little sister make a bold move to escape their horrid mother and the life of squalor in which they were living. The girls move from Nashville to Chicago with nothing but their clothes and a statue of Dolly Parton. Their new apartment comes with a cranky, but hot, neighbor, Chicago detective Derek Tyler. He's annoyed, and yet intrigued by Ginger. He decides that he's going to make her his one way or another. He didn't anticipate how involved he would want to be in her life.
Protecting What's His went by so fast for me. Part of it is because the book is pretty short. At less than 200 pages, I finished it in one day with no problem. But, truly, it wouldn't matter if the story wasn't engrossing. And I absolutely lost myself in Derek's and Ginger's story. Ginger's strength of character was awesome. She did what needed to be done to take care of herself and especially her sister. It had to have been hard and scary, and yet she made the move, got a job and essentially became her sister's mother.
Thank goodness for Derek. He sort of insinuated himself in Ginger's life, and she didn't have much choice in the matter. He was exactly the push she needed to really live. They had fantastic chemistry together. Derek is a detective, so he's got this serious alpha protective thing going on. When he suspects Ginger is in danger, he goes to extreme lengths to make sure she's okay. And, it's not as if I wasn't already taken with him by that point. That man has a pretty face and a dirty mouth.
Derek's and Ginger's love story, albeit short, was no less epic. Ginger's sass and Derek's take-charge attitude were an explosive combination, coupled with the threats that loom from Ginger's past, and you have a story you absolutely can't put down.
As it turns out, I'm going to meet Tessa Bailey in a month or so when I see her at Apollycon! I'll have my copy of Protecting What's His so that she can sign it for me, and I can fawn over her a bit because she's just that awesome. Want to know more about Ms. Tessa Bailey?
ApollyCon Featured Author: Tessa Bailey
Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.
She now lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband of seven years and three-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.
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.