March 11, 2015

REVIEW: Risking It All (Crossing the Line #1)


Risking It All (Crossing the Line #1), by Tessa Bailey
Publish Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Select
Format: paperback, purchased
Genre: adult contemporary romance/suspense
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
 

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) 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.

When my friends heard that I started reading Tessa Bailey, they told me I had to meet Bowen. They knew I'd love him. My friends know me so well. 

Bowen is stuck between a rock and a hard place. He's inherited his father's criminal enterprise, whether he wants it or not. But, the cops have caught up to him, and they want his help. An undercover cop has insinuated herself into a rival gang without exactly getting approval from her superiors. She's in danger, and Bowen is sent in to protect and extract her. While Bowen straddles both sides of the law, he finds himself falling for the woman who should hate him.

Risking It All really had everything. It was exciting and suspenseful and sexy as hell. All things I've come to expect from Tessa Bailey. I was sucked in from the beginning and, as my friends expected, I completely fell in love with Bowen.

He's this misunderstood tragic hero type of guy. Although he's the head of all the bad things, you get the impression pretty early on that it's not a role he relishes. It's really his dad's gig, and the only reason Bowen has stepped into his shoes is because his dad is in jail. Bowen is under some serious pressure to fill those shoes. He can't appear soft or weak, so he gets leaned on heavily to do things the way his dad did. 

But, although Bowen was raised to be hard and unforgiving, that's not really who he is. He struggles with this so much. On one hand, he's good at being the muscle and he's used to people being afraid of him. It earns him money and respect. Without his iron fist, Bowen doesn't appear to have much going for him. So, although he doesn't relish the role he's been thrust into, he doesn't know anything else. 

And then Sera steps into Bowen's life. He knows she's a cop trying to get to the bottom of her brother's murder by another crime boss. Sera has put herself as close to this guy as she can so that she can try and gather evidence against him. Initially, Bowen is just tasked with helping her to get the evidence and then getting her out. But, Sera doesn't know that about him. She thinks he's just this bad guy that she's inexplicably drawn to. It doesn't take her long to realize that Bowen is a multi-faceted guy. 

In the end, it's a race to uncover all the corruption and back-room deals and get to the truth. With everyone still alive. There were a few unexpected twists and turns to the story that I didn't see coming. And, they made me MAD. I felt for Sera so much. She was treated badly and put in so much danger. But, at least she got a sexy dangerous man out of the deal. And, despite all the stress, that's not half bad. 

1 comment:

Kim Baker said...

Bowen! <3

I can't play favorites with Tessa's men because they're all absolutely incredible in their own way. But if I did... Bowen would certainly be near the top of the list.