Risking it All

Risking it All

4.3 21
by Tessa Bailey
     
 

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She's gone rogue.

Seraphina Newsom isn't looking for vengeance…she wants justice. Three years ago, Sera's brother was ruthlessly gunned down by one of Brooklyn's most dangerous mob kingpins. The investigation has stalled out, deemed "too dangerous" by the police commissioner. So to track down the evidence she needs to take down her brother's killer,

Overview

She's gone rogue.

Seraphina Newsom isn't looking for vengeance…she wants justice. Three years ago, Sera's brother was ruthlessly gunned down by one of Brooklyn's most dangerous mob kingpins. The investigation has stalled out, deemed "too dangerous" by the police commissioner. So to track down the evidence she needs to take down her brother's killer, Sera turns in her hospital scrubs, joins the NYPD, and goes undercover. Unsanctioned. Alone.

He'll live to keep her safe.

With his father behind bars, Bowen Driscol has reluctantly taken over his family's sprawling South Brooklyn crime operation. New York's finest have other plans. By threatening the safety of his sister, they "convince" Bowen to extricate a rogue cop who's in over her head. But when he meets Sera and feels that deep, damning shiver of desire course through him, Bowen knows there's only one way to keep her safe without blowing either of their covers…by claiming her as his own.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“ ...intense, erotic romance pairs brisk action with well-developed characters..” —Kirkus Reviews

“No one writes hot, dirty-talking alpha heroes like Tessa Bailey!” —Laura Kaye, NYT bestselling author of Hard to Come By

“Sexy, witty, and completely irresistible, Tessa Bailey's writing is addictive. I can't get enough! Her dirty-talking heroes keep me up all night and always bring me back for more.” —Kelsie Leverich, NYT bestselling author of Lovers Restored

“The queen of the dirty-talking hero has done it again! Bowen will capture your heart and leave you panting for more.” —Ramblings From This Chick

“Tessa Bailey's most intoxicating characters to date! Prepare to be swept away by this scorching, intense, and emotional series, because Risking It All for love is oh so worth it!” —A Bookish Escape

Kirkus Review
2015-01-08
An undercover policewoman falls for the criminal assigned to protect her in a taut romantic thriller by author Bailey (Staking His Claim, 2014, etc.). Seraphina Newsom, a former nurse, has wanted to be a cop since childhood. After the death of her brother, rookie cop Colin, at the hands of crime boss Trevor Hogan, she's determined to avenge him—without official sanction from the New York Police Department. Working as a waitress (and not a very good one) at Hogan's nightclub, Rush, she hopes to find an incriminating ledger that will put him in prison. Sera's uncle, Police Commissioner Newsom, knows Sera has gone rogue and offers a deal, which might be construed as blackmail, to criminal Bowen Driscol to protect his niece and free her from Hogan's clutches. From their first meeting, Sera and Bowen are immediately hot for each other, and he quickly stakes his claim, nicknaming her "Ladybug." Sera, a practicing Catholic and a virgin, lusts for Bowen despite his reputation (she knows nothing of his arrangement with the NYPD), and she finds herself doing things that good girls don't usually do. The pair even attends church together, a place Bowen seldom visits; but in Sera's presence, he is called to be a better man. The two bond at Bowen's apartment (he paints murals) and fall into a steamy, but respectful, affair. An element of distrust lingers—she knows he's a criminal—even when Bowen proves to be reliable. After overhearing talk about a shipment of stolen goods, Sera is a marked woman, and the line believably blurs between good guys and bad. It's a well-conceived setup, with virginal Sera a counterpoint to rough and raw Bowen, who craves her so much he's in pain. The structure might be described as formulaic, but the dynamic between the two main characters is so well-developed as to make any formulaic elements nearly indiscernible. Although it appears a sequel is in the works, thankfully the author doesn't leave the reader hanging but sufficiently resolves the current plotline while sparking interest in the novel to come. This intense, erotic romance pairs brisk action with well-developed characters.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781622665648
Publisher:
Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
01/27/2015
Series:
Crossing the Line Series
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Risking it All

A Crossing the Line Novel


By Tessa Bailey, Heather Howland

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2014 Tessa Bailey
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62266-565-5


CHAPTER 1

Here's your meatloaf. Choke on it.

Seraphina Newsom crossed herself discreetly as she walked away from the customer's table, muttering a quick Hail Mary for good measure. No sense in letting her immortal soul go to the devil because the man had treated her ass like it was on the specials menu. Still able to feel the sting of his pinching fingers, she vowed, then and there, to overtip her waitresses for the rest of her life. Thirty percent or bust.

Sera took a deep breath and pushed through the double doors leading to the kitchen of Dooly's. Loud, tinny Greek music emanating from a portable radio greeted her, as did scraping silverware and dishes being submerged in hot, soapy water. Right on cue, the cook tossed two more plates of greasy meat loaf onto the dented metal shelf and dinged the bell, even though she already stood there waiting. Squaring her shoulders, she reminded herself why a girl with a nursing degree and a budding career in law enforcement would be donning an apron in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn.

She was there to get up close and personal with her brother's murderer.

"Why you never try my meat loaf, waitress?" the cook asked her in heavily accented English.

"Er ... gluten allergy?"

"What is this gluten everyone talks about?"

She started to answer, but stopped. "It's probably just a myth. Like Santa Claus and comfortable thongs." Satisfied with his frown and the fact that she'd avoided telling him his meat loaf resembled roadkill, Sera took both plates and backed through the doors.

Into the deathly silent dining room.

Discreetly as possible, she glanced toward the center of the silence. Two stools away sat Trevor Hogan. The man who'd gunned her brother down.

Hogan was a lifelong local who had started small-time. Stealing cars, robbing delis, brawling. His ambition had placed him in the right place at the right time, and with the help of a metal baseball bat, Hogan earned the trust of the boss and took over the protection racket. Loan-sharking, extorting local businesses, you name it—Hogan had both greedy hands in it.

Her brother, Colin, had been a rookie with the NYPD when Hogan began branching out, running an illegal gambling operation so large it had financed two successful nightclubs, ballooning his criminal influence even more. As inexperienced as Colin had been, he shouldn't have been anywhere near Hogan's case. He'd been too young, too cocky, wanting to land a major arrest his first year in the field.

But when your uncle was the police commissioner, exceptions were made, no matter how deadly.

She'd been working as an emergency room nurse at Massachusetts General in Boston when her brother died. Ironic, that. After taking a vow to save people's lives, she'd been unable to save the life that mattered most.

Sera smoothed a thumb over the Saint Michael charm that hung around her neck. She wouldn't go as far as to say the Newsoms were cursed, but ... all right, they were pretty much cursed. The last three generations of Newsoms, including her father, had been killed in the line of duty. Her uncle was all that she had left, and he ran the city with an iron fist. As far as the people of this city were concerned, she didn't exist. To the little family she had left, she didn't exist, either. Seraphina Newsom was a ghost.

To her mind, that invisibility made her the perfect candidate to go undercover and find the key evidence to put away Hogan for life. Rumors of a ledger containing Hogan's unsavory business dealings had long swirled through the precinct hallways. The rumors were fueled by the fierce opposition he'd shown when his financial records had been subpoenaed during the tossed-out murder trial. Added to the fact that Hogan was cocky as hell, and low-level informants had reported seeing the ledger, she knew it existed. His secrets were written on those pages.

Not secrets that would take him off the street. Not the conventional way, at least. Information was valuable in this neighborhood, and she could use the names in that ledger to implode his operation from the inside out, bringing Hogan's operation down square on its head.

As soon as she'd felt confident enough that gaining possession of the ledger would be the key to outing Colin's murderer, she'd taken a personal week off of work, citing the upcoming three-year anniversary of her brother's death as the reason. And she'd gone undercover without a direct order from her uncle.

When this was over, she'd never again wear a badge. But she'd have bagged a murderer.

And then she would disappear.

Sera set down both plates of meat loaf in front of two burly male customers whose earlier loud conversation had devolved into subdued undertones with Hogan's appearance, never letting Hogan out of her peripheral vision. Ever since he'd arrived, Dooly's lively buzz had been switched off like a light-bulb, customers poking at their meals absently. Apparently unconcerned about the pall he'd cast over the crowd, Hogan sat with one arm draped over his chair, focusing on the UFC match raging on the ancient television.

Hogan's four-man crew stomped into the bar, making the sixth sense that ran in her family ping. Hogan leaned against the bar, gesturing animatedly as he spoke to the bartender. His friends laughed on cue and some of the customers began to relax. Hogan, his youthfulness beginning to fade along with his good looks, tossed back a shot of whiskey. He turned as he plunked the glass down on the bar, catching her eye across the dining room floor. Instead of cringing under his interest, Sera smiled back and sailed toward the kitchen, conscious of his hard gaze on her.

Everything happened quickly after that. There was a loud crack as Dooly's front door was kicked open. A man walked in, sweatshirt hood pulled low over his face, gun raised and pointed at Hogan. Every patron in the bar hit the floor as if it were a middle-school earthquake drill. Sera reached toward her hip for a weapon that wasn't there.

Hogan threw himself behind one of the four men who'd joined him, just in time for the man to take the bullet in his stead. The wounded man fell with a shocked curse, still shielding Hogan, who followed him to the wooden floor, scrambling for his gun. Hogan's other men wasted no time removing their own weapons, issuing threats at the already-retreating gunman, who managed to make it out the door before they could fire a single shot.

What had she just witnessed? An assassination attempt on Hogan? For a moment, she felt frozen to the spot, reeling at the fact that Hogan's life had almost been stolen from her. Justice for Colin did not include such an easy way out. No, it would have been unacceptable. Years of heartache, months of work ... all for nothing. It had been so close. Too close.

The sight of blood broke Sera out of her stupor. It was everywhere. Splattered on the mirror behind the bar, the ground, the man who lay on his back clutching his upper chest. Before her conscious mind processed her actions, Sera moved toward the man, shoving aside the group of useless bystanders. She might have quit nursing to become a cop, but the oath she'd taken wouldn't allow her to stand by while someone died. Not when she could prevent it. "Get me the first aid kit from behind the bar." As she knelt down beside the bleeding man, she noticed no one had moved. "Now. And call an ambulance."

Feet shuffled around Sera, telling her someone had actually listened. Briefly, her eyes landed on the face of the wounded man. Young, dark, startlingly handsome despite the fact that his teeth were gritted from the obvious pain. She didn't recognize him from the case file, nor had she expected his type among this crew. Hardened, yes, but he didn't appear as if he'd slipped beyond redemption like the rest of them. With brisk efficiency, she pried his hand away from the wound, pushed open his leather jacket and ripped his white T-shirt open from collar to hem.

The first aid kit clattered down beside her on the floor. "At least buy him dinner first."

Hogan. She'd deal with him later. Relief moved through her when she saw that the wound had missed the man's heart by about two inches. Still, it could have hit his subclavian artery. She could keep him alive long enough for help to arrive, but it would need to be soon. As gently as possible, she eased her hand beneath his shoulder, relieved when she felt an exit wound. At least the bullet had gone clear through. She ripped off her apron, balled up the starchy material and pressed it against the wound. It had to hurt like hell, but the man barely winced.

She glanced up, meeting Hogan's eyes. "Did you call the ambulance?"

He leaned against the bar, chewing a cocktail straw. The utter lack of concern on his face reminded Sera she was in the presence of a monster. Her brother's murderer. Hogan shrugged, setting her teeth on edge. "You're doing a bang-up job all on your own. No need to involve uniforms."

Sera failed to hide her horror. "He could die without medical attention. Look at how much blood he's already lost." She wiped her bloody palm across her uniform shirt, unwittingly making her point.

Eyes narrow, he pointed at her with his cocktail straw. "Why don't you ask him what he wants?"

She looked back down at the injured man. "No ambulance," he managed through gritted teeth, face paling with the effort. "I'd rather bleed out."

Hogan's face lit up with amusement. "And there you go." He signaled the bartender for another drink. "You got a name, Florence Nightingale?"

He's colder than I could have imagined.

Sera took a deep breath and focused on his question. She'd planned her false identity down to the last detail. The name and cover story she would use if she ever got close enough to Hogan to actually employ it. She'd never expected to use it this soon, though, especially in this kind of situation.

"Sera."

He threw back the shot of whiskey. "Can you fix him up, Sera? He's my cousin. If he dies, it'll piss off my mother."

Yes. She might be able to save him. No, she would save him. Despite the wounded man's vast difference from her brother, she wouldn't let another person die because of Hogan's presence in his life. Call it irrational, but in a way, saving this man might in small measure make up for her being two hundred miles away as her brother died on the cold sidewalk. None of this could be portrayed to Hogan, however. Or she risked her own neck. "Fix him?" She gave a disbelieving laugh. "He needs doctors ... a hospital. I'm a waitress."

"Yeah? You don't talk like no waitress."

"You want to hear the specials or something?"

Hogan's laugh boomed through the bar, but he sobered just as quickly. He regarded her closely for a moment, then nodded to his cohorts. "Load Connor into the backseat. And for God's sake, put a fucking towel down first." Almost as an afterthought, he added, "She's coming with us."

CHAPTER 2

Bowen Driscol kept the lit cigarette clamped between his lips as two police officers jerked his hands behind his back and shoved him forward onto the hood of their squad car. A group of neighborhood girls passing on the sidewalk stopped to gawk, giggling when he threw them a wink. The officer's hand between his shoulder blades kept him in place, cold metal clinking when the other uniform removed the piece he'd had tucked into his waistband and cuffed him. When the hand on his back pushed a little too hard, Bowen gave in with a sigh and spat the cigarette onto the curb.

"Look, I like it rough as much as the next guy, but we hardly know each other."

"Shut it, Driscol."

"You going to explain why I'm being arrested?" He swallowed a growl as the cuffs bit into his skin. "Or is this just how you get all your dates?"

"Your mother didn't seem to mind." The officer heaved him off the hood and stuffed him into the backseat, oblivious to the sore spot he'd just poked with his casual insult. "As for why I'm taking you in?" With a shrug, he slammed the door. "Pick something," he called through the glass.

Bowen kept his unconcerned expression firmly in place as the officers drove through the streets of Bensonhurst where he'd been raised. Where he'd likely die. He knew every corner, every alleyway, and the name of every shop owner. This was his home. He hated it as much as he loved it. Loved it for the familiarity, hated it for the prison it had become since he reluctantly accepted his legacy.

Even though it was torture being trapped in the back of a police car without the use of his hands, he couldn't deny a sense of relief. Had they finally caught him? Finally gathered enough information to put him away? God, a big part of him hoped they had, even if he would die before admitting it to these smug assholes. He was tired of looking over his goddamn shoulder when he walked down the street, wondering if today would be the day someone tried to end his reign as boss. He'd never wanted the job, but with his father awaiting trial at Rikers Island, it had landed on his shoulders like a ton of bricks. Yeah, he'd never been a saint to begin with, but now people feared him for reasons that had nothing to do with his penchant for street fights. Now they worried about their legs being broken over unpaid debts. Turned tail and ran when they saw him as if he were Death himself.

He racked his brain trying to figure out what had gotten him pinched. Sure they were required to tell him, but the NYPD never played by the rules. Not with him. They knew he ran South Brooklyn, they just hadn't been able to trace any crime back to him—a fact that pissed them off in a big way. It warmed his heart exactly how much. Would that all change today? Their silence was unusual, to say the least. Any other day, they wouldn't waste a chance to rib him.

Bowen frowned when they bypassed the turn for the local precinct and proceeded toward Manhattan. "Where we headed, boys?"

"Don't worry about it," said the one driving.

"Never said I was worried." He wished for a cigarette. "I'm just wondering if I need to make arrangements for someone to water my houseplants."

The cops exchanged a glance. "You have plants."

"What? I don't strike you as the nurturing type?"

Bowen caught sight of himself in the rearview mirror and had to laugh. With a purple-black eye and a cut bottom lip, he looked like the opposite of nurturing. In fact, he looked like shit run over twice. Nothing new. He couldn't remember seeing himself reflected back without some sort of injury on his face. The utter exhaustion in his eyes, though ... that was new. Quickly, he looked out the window to find them traveling over the Brooklyn Bridge. What the hell did they want with him in Manhattan?

"You know, I love this new air of mystery you boys have going. It's sexy."

Instead of responding, they turned up the chattering dispatch radio to drown him out. It took every ounce of willpower not to question the officers further when they pulled into NYPD headquarters a few minutes later. His heart pounded in his chest as they pulled him out of the backseat, but he did his best to look bored.

This is it. I'm done.

No more instilling fear, no more resorting to violence to collect money owed to him. No more issuing orders to soulless men who didn't know how to feel remorse. All done.

The officers led him through the entrance and every head turned; animosity and disgust targeted him from all directions. Bowen ignored the twinge of pain from his cut lip as he grinned at his rapt audience. "Afternoon, gentlemen." He wished he were wearing a hat so he could tip it. "Weather today is beautiful. Not a goddamn cloud in the sky."

He didn't have the pleasure of hearing any angry responses because the officers pulled him down a hallway, shoving him into the first interrogation room. Irritation clawed at his throat over being pushed around, but he didn't give them the satisfaction of showing it. If he weren't wearing handcuffs, he would have already swung on them and they knew it. They also knew he could easily take them both on and win. Fighting was in his blood. He did it often and he did it well. So he couldn't contain his surprise when they removed the handcuffs. It even managed to distract him from his anger.

"All right. I give up. What the fuck is going on?"

"Have a seat." The officer who'd driven them there kicked out the metal chair before leaning against the wall with his arms crossed. "You'll find out soon enough."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Risking it All by Tessa Bailey, Heather Howland. Copyright © 2014 Tessa Bailey. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Tessa Bailey lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and young daughter. When she isn't writing or reading romance, she enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipes. Visit her at www.tessabailey.com.

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Risking it All 4.3 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
## Wow. This book is so much darker and grittier than Tessa's other books. She took this book to a whole new level, that's for sure. I did like this book a whole lot but it definitely isn't the fun and sexy books I'm used to from her. It was provocative and captivating, more so than anything she has written. The hero and heroine had amazing chemistry and the writing is superb as always. What I didn't like: Bowen being a smoker turned me off completely, cause....yuck. I didn't agree with the way he spoke to Sera during sex. Yes, I love, love dirty talk (especially from Tessa's heroes), but a lot of it was over the top disrespectful. And last but not least, I didn't like Sera as a cop. She was much more suited to be a nurse. She felt incompetent as a cop. Constantly getting caught and putting herself in dangerous situations without forethought. Please be aware that these issues are just my opinion and pretty minor in the scope of things. All in all this was a terrific read that I will read again.
TheLustyLiterate More than 1 year ago
4/4.5 Stars | White-Hot Steam Darker and dicier than Bailey’s previous novels, RISKING IT ALL is no meet-cute—leads-to—easy HEA. Set in NYC’s grittiest neighborhood, teeming with criminality and imminent violence, Sera and Bowen’s tortured hearts collide inciting a pulse-pounding and all-consuming affair that commands your full attention. Equal parts blissful pleasure and shattering heartbreak, I was transfixed by this sinner and saint's perilous path to love. Deftly drawn, Sera and Bowen’s vivid drama lives and breathes and shouts in pure ecstasy. I found myself moved not only by their uncommon chemistry and enviable passion but by the stellar characters themselves. Sera and Bowen’s individual complexities, differences, phantoms and foibles made for one of the more compelling matches that I’ve encountered in a long time. Bowen and Sera’s exceptional romance is testament to Tessa Bailey’s incomparable talent as well as a glittering addition to my latest series obsession, The Crossing the Line Series. I can’t wait until UP IN SMOKE, Connor and Erin’s story, is unleashed upon us! June 23rd can’t come soon enough! Bottom Line: Read this book! Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review.
Nicola_1202 More than 1 year ago
If there's one thing Tessa Bailey absolutely brings her reader every single time, it's a man to make you flutter/quiver/all-of-the-above-and-more. And you can also guarantee, they'll be paired with a lady who'll get under every layer of their skin in a way no other has managed. ‘We both know it's only a matter of time before I'm pounding the purity right out of you.’ Whilst loosely linked to Tessa's Line of Duty series, her Crossing the Line series can be read alone (although why you would want to, I have no clue). Moving away from the alpha cop hero, we are treated to the alpha bad-boy, and Bowen Driscol is bad *ahem*; with his father serving time, he has stepped into his shoes. And when The NYPD need help in protecting one of their own, his links to Ruby and Troy make him the ideal candidate and he reluctantly agrees. The cop? Seraphina Newsom, a good-girl officer on her own undercover mission. ‘If I did fight for you, it would be the first time I've ever used my fists for something worthwhile.’ What I loved about this (aside from the obvious), was Bowen's inner angst and vulnerabilities; having read as many Tessa Bailey books as I have (i.e all of them), you know the hero will have insecurities, but Bowen is in a different league to the others. And with the circles he moves in, there were times when I was hoping nothing happened to him, whilst at the same time what he did went against what I believe is right. Underneath is a complex man with a heart and this made Bowen special. And Sera, she surprised me in some respects, but in others she didn't; she's strong, feisty, independent and hell-bent on doing the right thing, whilst engaging with the wrong thing. And as their defenses crumble, the emotion is revealed. ‘You do something to me Sera. You change me and once that happens...I need that feeling too much to hold back.’ Risking It All is quite possibly my favourite Tessa Bailey novel to date and I'm pretty confident you will love it. I can't wait to see where she takes the series next and see Connor's story unfold. Full review appears on Read Your Writes Book Reviews. Copy received courtesy of Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Kristen5 20 days ago
Tessa never fails to turn out a great story. I could not put this book down. Fast paced, page burner. Wow!! Keep telling your stories Tessa.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Very good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From beginning to end I loved this book. It's got profanity, violence, steamy almost sex, and hot people doing bad things. It's awesome! It's 253 pages and when it was over, I read it again. The characters aren't perfect people and they struggle with their pasts to find love. Bowen is a guy you have every reason to dislike but his wit and charisma is so sexy you find yourself drawn to him. I love this story and I'd but any book that continues their story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cris
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hot!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderfully written, exciting and an easy read. By far my favorite book of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boy, you pulled out ALL the stops for Bowen's story :-) I enjoyed every minute & couldn't put it down! I consider Ms. Baily one of my "go-to" authors & she never disappoints! Thank you, once again !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tessa Bailey is an awesome author! This book's not one of my favorites, but the next one looks really good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
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!) ¿ 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
gigiluvsbooks More than 1 year ago
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. Review: This is one raw, sexy, exciting book! I have read other books by Tessa Bailey, but I don't remember them being like this.  There was not a lot of holding back in this story, from the sexiness to the backdrop of the criminal underworld.   Let me start by saying, that Bowen is one bad mother with the most awesome dirty mouth.  At first I did not want to like him, because "hey", he is a crime boss.  I found that I could not help but like him and like Sera, I was just drawn to him.  He is written so raw not just for what he does, but the life he has lived or forced to live.  It is a little cliche that the virgin falls for the bad, bad boy, but the way it is written I did not feel the cliche, I thought they were both unique enough not to be cliched.  Sera did push my buttons when she keeps throwing herself into bad situations and being a cop, you would think she should know better??? But then there is Bowen again and you forget all Sera's stupid moves. I really, really liked this book and I am very excited to see that Connor's story is coming later this year. P.S. I am claiming Bowen as my new book boyfriend! A must read! 4.5Stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loving this series so far!  So much better than that "Serve" nonsense.  This is more like her first series, "Line of Duty", with one luscious alpha after another!  Sooo good!
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Annie and posted at Under The Covers Book Blog RISKING IT ALL took me by surprise. I was honestly expecting some hot sex, as Tessa Bailey always does so well. But for the first time in the last few releases, I found that Bailey took the time with the story and developed her plot and characters well before throwing in the sex. I couldn’t be more happier for this! As the first full length novel in the Crossing the Line series, Bailey presents readers with two tough characters that have very different personalities but the same beliefs. They carry themselves with an armor that keeps most people out. However, Sera and Bowen weren’t that different from one another and that’s wherein I thought the romance really worked between the two. Sera wants nothing more than to avenge her brother’s death. This drive, this passion gives readers something to catch on to. It gives Sera a reason and I think in doing that it not only gives some depth to her character but also provides a path for the plot where Bowen comes in. I don’t know whether this is because Bailey has written a longer book or because she simply she took the time on other aspects of the story, but RISKING IT ALL has to be her strongest book yet. Just when I began to doubt, the author pulls through and this makes me excited to see where the rest of the series is heading. *ARC provided by publisher
LovinLosLibros More than 1 year ago
4.5/5 stars Holy moly this book was HAWT. Seriously- it probably should come with a warning label of some sort. I love Tessa's books, so I will read anything and everything this woman writes. It had been some time since I read His Risk to Take, so I didn't really remember Bowen. After this book? Yeah, I won't be forgetting that man anytime soon. I really enjoyed the storyline of this one. Sera is undercover diving headfirst into a dangerous world that offers little to no mercy in order to bring down her brother's killer. I really liked Sera's character. She is determined to seek justice and isn't afraid to do it on her own. She knows who Bowen is when she meets him, but she doesn't know he's been sent to keep watch over her and protect her. She is attracted to him, which is crazy because she knows his reputation. The more time she spends with him, the more she actually gets to see the real Bowen Driscol- caught in a world that offers no solace. Bowen is not your average hero- in fact, he's one of the bad guys. He now runs South Brooklyn and has taken over the 'family business'. He is ruthless when he needs to be and does what he has to do in order to maintain his position of power. When he is called in by the NYPD to assist and keep an eye on Sera, he has no idea just how much this woman will flip his world on its axis. His protective instincts kick into overdrive when he's around her and he not only finds himself wanting to protect her, but he is hell bent on making her his. He is so raw and rough around the edges, but would die before he hurt Sera. He might battle some pretty hardcore demons, but she is the one that can calm the storm raging within, and I just love how they balanced one another. She's the light to his dark, the soft to his hard, the pure to his wicked. It just works so well. His childhood is not a pleasant one and his father is a real piece of work. Having been abandoned by his mother, he is resentful of her and refuses to make amends. The only thing I felt a bit unsettled about was how Ruby and Bowen left things. There is this one scene that absolutely shattered my heart and I really want to know if their relationship is truly irreparable or if it can be salvaged. Bailey writes the sexiest scenes. Bowen can be so primitive and the primal lust between him and Sera is scorching hot. I know some people might consider this insta-love, but when you're thrown into a situation with someone and you are fighting for your LIFE and that person will literally kill to save you and protect your innocence while fighting his own darkness within? Yeah, I'd be in love too. My heart was all over the place because of the lengths they would go to protect one another, even knowing the danger they are putting themselves in. The epilogue? I nearly died. I am so ready to see what the next book, Up in Smoke, has in store not only for the romance department, but also how this new development is going to play out. I am hoping we will see some more familiar faces in the upcoming books. This is definitely one to pick up. I don't think you necessarily need to read Tessa's His Risk to Take to be able to enjoy this one, but it's always nice to know how certain characters fit in to the grand scheme of things. I also saw my blog was listed in the acknowledgements and I couldn't stop grinning for the longest time. (Thank you Tessa!) Trust me when I saw if you haven't already jumped on the Bailey train, it's about time to do so. Intense dirty-talking alphas and sexy scenes that will melt your face off await you!
Maria-Rose More than 1 year ago
This sexy suspenseful contemporary romance is the story of Sera and Bowen. When policewoman Sera goes undercover to find incriminating evidence on the man who killed her brother, she encounters Bowen, current kingpin of the Brooklyn underworld. Bowen is everything she shouldn't want in a man - a dangerous criminal who runs on the wrong side of the law. But the searing attraction she feels for him and vice versa can't be denied. They are both keeping secrets from each other, ones that can get them killed. Will they open up to each other about their true feelings before it's too late? There are certain things that Tessa Bailey is known for in her stories, and the dirty talking hero is chief among them. But while the sex between Sera and Bowen is explosive and steams up the pages, Tessa is equally as skilled at creating characters that really click with the reader. Bowen fits the bill in this regard. He's a broody, anti-hero with a tongue in cheek attitude and a tough outer core that hides well the care and affection he has for very few people in his life - his sister Ruby and increasingly as the story goes on, Sera. Sera herself is engaging as a brave, virginal heroine, drawn to the dichotomy of Bowen, seeing his bad side as well as the good. She's naïve in thinking that she can go undercover and find out the answers she is looking for without getting hurt. Bowen sees this naiveté and appoints himself her protector whether she likes it or not - and she increasingly finds that she does. Along with interesting and flawed characters, the setting of the story is well written, drawing the reader into the seedier side of New York's boroughs and bringing to life the realities of the lengths one must go to, to survive in a tough world. From the first pages of the story the stage is set for an entertaining and dramatic tale, with the clock ticking down until time runs out for someone - but for whom? You'll have to read it and find out! I enjoyed this story immensely and I look forward to the next in the series. 5 stars!
Mikki4ABookishEscape More than 1 year ago
5 steamy, page-turning, exceptional, BoVinci-loves-Ladybug-forever stars! Tessa Bailey’s naughty vault has once again opened to bring you two of her most intoxicating characters to date! Sera and Bowen will consume your every thought! Their love story will linger with you for hours after you have read the last page. Prepare to be swept away by Tessa Bailey’s new scorching, intense and emotional series. Because Risking it All for love is Oh, so worth it!  Ex-nurse turned cop falls for the heir to a criminal empire? Yes, please! Bring it ON!! Seraphina Newsom has revenge on her mind when she goes undercover to find her brother’s murderer. What she didn’t expect was for Bowen Driscol to enter her life. Seraphina knows she should stay away from him, but one taste of the best kind of trouble sets her body on fire. From the moment they meet their chemistry is undeniable. Bowen knows he can’t get close to Seraphina. He has a job to do and falling for the sweet virgin undercover cop is the last thing on his itinerary, but the more time he spends with Seraphina, the more she makes him feel things he’s never felt before. Will they risk it all for love?  From the moment Bowen Driscol was introduced in His Risk to Take, I was captivated by him. When Tessa Bailey announced that he was getting his own book, I was ecstatic! I know without a doubt that any book that Tessa Bailey writes has my undivided attention the moment it lands in my hands. The world literally stops when I sit down to read one of her books! Bowen is hands down my favorite alpha male from Tessa Bailey. Don’t get me wrong, all of Tessa’s dirty talkers have a piece of my heart, but Bowen?!?!?! Sweet Jesus! He would talk and I would be like ---> Ba Bammmm! Tingle effect ON!!! He’s all kinds of naughty deliciousness!  If you have ever read a Tessa Bailey book you know that the heat level of her steamy scenes is scorching! I needed a fan while reading her previous book, but for Risking it All …. Holy Hotness, baby! Forget about the fan!!! You need multiple cold showers to cool down! Bowen is a top-notch dirty talker! Let’s not forget about his Ladybug… She knows exactly what to say to get under his skin. These two are freakin’ hot together!  I could not have asked for more! Tessa Bailey has once again exceeded all of my expecations! Her writting style is EXQUISITE! She always knows how to mix things up to keep us at the edge of our seats. What I love about Tessa’s stories is that it always starts with lust at first sight. The heat factor is always ON from the moment the main characters meet, but the way they slowly fall in love is what gets me every single time! Their love stories are all-consuming and simply unforgettable! Let’s not forget about when she brings back characters from the previous books. That always puts a big smile on my face! That is an awesome gift for the fans. We always want to know what our favorite characters are up to. In Risking it All we get to reunite with a few characters that are pretty freakin' awesome! I crossed the line, and I can't get enough! The first two installments of the Crossing the Line Series have been PHENOMENAL!!! I can’t wait to read about Connor in Up in Smoke. I really liked him in Risking it All. My Rating: I give, Risking it All, by Tessa Bailey 5 steamy, page-turning, exceptional, BoVinci-loves-Ladybug forever stars!