June 24, 2015

BLOG TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Up In Smoke (Crossing the Line #2)

I'm a huge Tessa Bailey fan, so I'm so excited to help her introduce you to her newest book, UP IN SMOKE. Read on for my review, and then enter the incredible giveaway for signed books and a $100 Amazon gift card!

Up In Smoke (Crossing the Line #2), by Tessa Bailey
Publish Date: June 23, 2015
Publisher: Entangled
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult romantic suspense
To Buy:
Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Connor Bannon is supposed to be dead. Dishonorably discharged from the Navy SEALs, he's spent the last two years working as a street enforcer in Brooklyn for his cousin's crime ring. Through a twist of fate, he's now in Chicago, working undercover to bust criminals. But when a cute little arsonist joins the team—all combat boots, tiny jean shorts, and hot-pink hair—Connor’s notorious iron control slips.

Erin "she's getting away" O'Dea knows two things. She hates authority. And… Nope, that's it. When she's forced to operate on the “right” side of the law, her fear of being confined and controlled blazes to the surface. The last thing she expects is a control freak like Connor to soothe her when she needs it most. Worse, something behind the sexy ex-soldier's eyes ignites a dangerous inferno of desire. One that invites Erin to play with fire. And one that could get them both killed…
There's something awesome about watching the alphaest of males learn to care about something - someone - more than his mission, more than his pride... more than his life. And, watching him do it Tessa Bailey style is just the icing on the cake. 

Connor is on his last chance for redemption when he's recruited into an elite team headed by Chicago detective Derek Tyler. This group of former criminals are brought together to take down other criminals, and Connor is perfectly suited for this position. Except his focus on his mission is compromised by a certain pink-haired member of his team who likes to start fires and swears there's no room or cage out there that can hold her. While Connor and his team is hunting the bad guys, another one from Erin's past is hunting her. Between those two cases and Connor's desire to break through Erin's walls, he's got a lot on his mind.

Erin absolutely broke my heart. She endured some atrocities as a child that have had lasting effects on her as an adult. She can't be shut in a space that has no way out. She can be touched at all. She uses the bite of fire to keep her focus. People think she's nuts. Well, everyone except for Connor. From their first meeting, there was something about him that she hasn't found in anyone else. Not only the heat - that's definitely there. But, it's like he sees her and knows what she needs right from the start. Most people immediately writer her off as crazy. But, not Connor. It's like he can see through her crazy to who she is underneath, and that is both comforting and terrifying.

Connor is intuitive. He knows that Erin is unlike any woman he's ever met before. She's smart and loves authority about as much as he does (which is, not at all). She's beautiful, but there's a lot of pain behind her eyes. As the days go on and they have to work together, he catches glimpses of that pain in how Erin interacts with other people and handles certain situations. Instead of mocking her or just avoiding her because of her brand of crazy, he becomes determined to help her deal with it so that it isn't so debilitating. 

It's things like that that make Connor just this side of perfect. This guy is as rough as they come. He's also had a hard childhood and an even harder adult life, working for a stone cold crime boss in New York. He is not the hearts and flowers kind of guy. But, he is protective, and compassionate, and sweet in his own way. 

Connor and Erin work well together and with the rest of the team, which includes Bowen and Sera from book 1 in this series. I liked how they handled missions and how they worked together using their own individual expertise to solve their case. 

Despite Connor's inability to touch Erin even a little bit, they still have some wildly sexy times. Erin is able to touch him, and since Connor can't use his touch, he uses his words. Holy crap can this man talk dirty. It's all he can do for a very long time is use his words to help heat things up with Erin, so he embraces that role, even though he's very much used to being in control in ALL areas of his life. Giving the control in the bedroom to her was so hard for him, and Erin recognizes that. I think that was what put the first cracks in her walls and allowed them to start coming down - the sacrifices that Connor was willing to make for her safety and comfort. 

Up In Smoke was another incredible book in Tessa Bailey's Crossing the Line series. We were introduced to some fascinating new characters when we met Derek's and Connor's team. I can't wait to learn more about them and to continue to catch up with Derek and Ginger, Bowen and Sera, and Connor and Erin.  

Thank you for your interest in my books! I'm Tessa and I live in the crazy, loud, overcrowded borough of Brooklyn, New York. I love it here. This city is a constant source of inspiration, which is why I've decided to set my most recent books in the Line of Duty Series here.

I moved to New York when I was eighteen, the day after I graduated high school. Threw my suitcase in the back of a Chevrolet Cavalier and drove across the country to find my adventure. I'm still finding it, little by little.​Thank you for being a part of it.

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