This book - THIS SERIES - I love each book more than the last. Austin may very well be my favorite of them all so far. Check out my review, and then enter to win a signed copy of BOILING POINT.
Boiling Point (Crossing the Line #3), by Tessa Bailey
Publish Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Rating: 5 STARS
(Synopsis) Falling for a con man is the most dangerous game of all…
Con artist Austin Shaw’s been in disguise so long he’s not sure where his fake identities end and he begins. Now that he’s been strong-armed into working for a specialized undercover unit working with the Chicago police—criminals with unique “skills”—the last thing he needs is to risk his iron control. Especially when it comes to a certain stunningly sexy hacker who tempts him with every look of disdain.
Polly Banks will never, ever trust a con man. On the trail of a ruthless crook who destroyed the only family she’s ever known, Polly is unnerved by the shadow who follows her every move. The one who makes her pulse pound and breath short with lust. Austin. He’s infuriating, enigmatic, and pure sex appeal, and she’s determined to resist him.
But an untrustworthy man of disguise can become anyone he wants…including a man that Polly must trust if she’s to escape their dangerous game alive.
I. Love. This. Series. Like, so much, it isn’t even funny. I mean, the premise is awesome – put a bunch of criminals with unique skill sets together on a police-run squad, and make them work together to take out the REAL bad guys in the world. Badass, right? When you throw in Tessa Bailey’s mad storytelling skillz and hotter than hell sex scenes, you have the makings for one of the best series I’ve ever come across.
Boiling Point focuses on professional con man Austin Shaw and brilliant hacker Polly Wade. Austin is the one that has always intrigued me. From the very first book in this series, he’s always been on the periphery of the group, not working well with the others and not making any effort to be friends with them. He’s British, but he can change his accent and his appearance to suit his needs, so you’re never quite sure if you’re seeing the REAL Austin. So, of course, he’s the one I really wanted to know about.
Polly’s family was destroyed by a con man just like Austin, so she automatically and categorically doesn’t like him. Doesn’t matter than she thinks he’s hot, or that she’s been impressed with the few times he’s worked with the group. A liar is a liar is a liar, and she can’t ever trust a liar enough to even be friends with one, let alone a relationship like what it appears Austin wants with her.
His voice, attire, scent, and speech were all designed to make a woman’s womb shake. But Polly wouldn’t join the trail of idiots left doddering around behind him. Not in this lifetime.
Although Polly’s backstory is revealed relatively early, Austin’s is peeled back in layers slowly throughout the course of the book. There are several surprises along the way, all of which could turn the reader against him, except his actions in the present with the squad and Polly belie his past deeds. Honestly, it was so easy to love this guy. The fact that he feels such crushing remorse over the things he’s done only made me love him more.
And then there’s the Austin when he’s in the bedroom. Holy crap. I can’t give it all away, but suffice to say, there were a few surprises there too. All of them good. SO SO GOOD. In the acknowledgements, Tessa Bailey mentions that it was difficult for her to write Austin in those situations, but honestly, I could never have guessed that. As usual, the writing is flawless. The pacing perfect. And the dirty talk is the best in the business. Although Austin might not be like Connor or Bowen, he is his own special brand of hunky male, and I might just like him best of all.
“Ms. Banks.” He made a savoring noise in his throat, dragging his gaze from the tips of her boots upward. “Should I assume from your punctuality that you were hoping to clock some alone time with me? I usually only take scheduled appointments, but you’re always the exception.”
She knew better than to take the bait. Another facet of Austin she had memorized was his sexual gravity. Step off the ledge when he challenged you with innuendo and, well, splat. There was no way to compete with innate charisma like he’d been blessed with. Dammit. “I had no idea you would arrive first. I assumed it would be Connor.” Their resident ex-SEAL insisted on neat edges and precise plans, was usually fuming by the time all six members showed up. “If I’d known, I would have killed some time in Starbucks.”
“Connor used to arrive first,” Austin said, sauntering toward her. “Until I realized it got under his skin when I do instead. So here I am.” He ran a hand over his sculpted mouth, his attention locked on the base of her neck. “And here you are.”
The hard wall against her back felt more like a trap the closer he came. “You go to such lengths to get under people’s skin, but you can’t get under mine.” She tilted her head. “That must drive you crazy, Shaw.”
“You. Are the only thing that drives me crazy.” The tips of his shoes bumped hers, sending a bolt of energy straight up her limbs. “And you damn well know it.”
Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.
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 Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-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.
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