Story Brooks' fiancé just called off their wedding two weeks before the happy day. As if that isn't bad enough, her semi-estranged father, an infamous NYPD hostage negotiator, has suffered a heart attack. Not wanting to examine her lack of emotion over the broken engagement, she hops on a plane to reconnect with her father before it's too late.
Playboy hostage negotiator Daniel Chase has never, not once, been refused by a woman, so when a debate over hospital snack foods with a delectable kindergarten teacher ends in flat-out rejection, he makes it his mission to seduce her. His only obstacle? She's the daughter of his mentor who implicitly forbade Daniel from pursuing her.
Despite her father's warnings and Daniel's troubled past, Daniel and Story can't resist their intense attraction to one another. But when the reason for her fiancé's abrupt wedding cancellation comes to light, can Story and Daniel's already forbidden relationship survive?
Each book in the Line of Duty series is STANDALONE:
* Protecting What's His
* Officer Off Limits
* Asking for Trouble
* Staking His Claim
* Protecting What's Theirs
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Officer Off Limits
A Line of Duty Novel
By Tessa Bailey, Heather Howland
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2013 Tessa Bailey
All rights reserved.
He's breaking our engagement in a seafood restaurant.
Clinking ice cubes, silverware scraping against china, and soft laughter all faded into a tornado of sound, numbing Story Brooks to her surroundings. She suspected Fisher brought her here specifically, one of San Diego's finest seafood restaurants, to dump her in style, because he suspected she wouldn't make a scene in such a lavish setting. Fisher hated making a scene.
A steakhouse would have been so much more appropriate. More sharp metal objects with which to stab me in the heart.
For once, Story welcomed her rambling inner monologue. It served to block out Fisher's decidedly un welcome words as he spoke to her from across the candlelit table, using sweeping hand gestures to make his point. She should be listening, but she'd pretty much tuned out after hearing the words, I'm calling off the wedding.
Searching for something to focus on, her eyes dropped to his empty plate, finding it a little odd that he'd managed to keep his appetite while cutting her loose. In addition to hating scenes, Fisher adored lobster, probably another reason for the elegant venue.
He's killing two birds with one stone. And you almost married this asshole.
At that point in Story's reverie, everything in her present snapped back into sharp focus. Fiancé breaking engagement. Right.
"I didn't mean for it to happen, Story. We work closely together and things just kind of ... progressed."
"Hold up. What?"
Visibly flustered, Fisher took a sip of water. "This isn't easy for me, you know. Can you please try and tune in?" He slumped back in his chair. "I was explaining to you that Diana and I didn't seek out a relationship with each other, it simply developed into something more over time."
Whoops. Looks like she'd missed out on some important details during her little trip to outer headspace. So he'd met someone else. She registered the information calmly, as if he'd told her they were out of milk. Maybe she was simply in shock. Or dealing with the effects of three glasses of wine and no food in her stomach. She couldn't tell. "Which one is Diana, again?"
He released a long-suffering sigh. "The oncologist." She showed no reaction. "From Boston ...?"
Story tilted her head. "The one with the bob haircut?"
Story recalled meeting her apparent replacement, Diana, at a dinner party a month prior. Had they already been seeing each other? Did she even want to know? Their destination wedding in Maui wouldn't be taking place either way.
The white noise of the dining room combined with the over-the-top nautical decor transported Story to the ocean and the time she almost drowned. Sipping her sparkling water, she recalled the day with perfect clarity.
Ignoring her mother's caution and the signs warning of a dangerous undertow, twelve-year-old Story swam out much too far, only to be pulled under by a massive wave. As her arms and legs pinwheeled in every direction, breath whooshing from her lungs, she could still remember her brain registering the thought, maybe it's better to just die now than have to deal with my mother saying "I told you so." But somehow, she'd finally managed to make it to the surface, sucking in air and blinking saltwater from her eyes.
Then she'd grabbed her board and paddled out even farther.
What happened to that girl? The brave girl who refused to sit still for lectures. Or let people force her into eating seafood. She used to be fearless. With regularity, her grade school teachers used to throw up their hands in resignation, muttering, "She has a mind of her own."
At some point between graduating from college three years earlier and now, she'd lost her pluck. Her moxie. Her chutzpah. She'd met the slightly older, ambitious Fisher as a young postgrad and could admit now that she'd been more than a little dazzled by the attention he paid her — especially after being surrounded for four years by inexperienced college boys.
While trying to fit into his world of sophisticated dinner parties and foreign films, had she let little parts of herself chip away in the process? Obviously. The old Story, the one who'd regarded her near-drowning as an adventure, would not approve of the girl who listened politely while someone made her feel two inches tall.
That Story would kick ass and take names.
The waitress approached then, drawing her attention. "Are you still working on your halibut, miss?"
Looking down at the untouched piece of fish — Fisher knew she didn't like seafood, the bastard — Story shook her head. "No, I'm finished, thank you."
She cleared the plate with efficiency. "Would you like to see our dessert menu?"
"No, thank you," Fisher replied, already reaching for his wallet.
And honestly, denying her a look at the dessert menu was the straw that finally broke the chocoholic's back. Perhaps it made her childish, but Story figured her wasted months of planning a wedding that would no longer take place had at least earned her some damn tiramisu. Call off my wedding, but leave me my desserts.
"Actually," Story interceded with a bright smile, "I'd like a slice of chocolate cake and a bottle of your most expensive champagne, please. To go."
Fisher's valuable surgeon's hand froze in the act of removing his credit card. "Very funny."
She merely raised an eyebrow at the waitress, who shifted rather uncomfortably. "Ma'am, we can't sell you alcohol to leave the premises. It's against the law."
"Really?" She jerked a thumb toward Fisher. "Because my fiancé brought me here tonight to break off our engagement. Two weeks before the wedding."
She nodded primly when the waitress's mouth dropped open, her eyes flashing wide at Fisher. "I'll see what I can do."
Story clapped her hands once. "Excellent."
As the waitress scurried off toward the kitchen, Fisher turned to her. "You're making this harder than it needs to be. I didn't want it to be like this."
With a calm she didn't feel, Story pushed back her chair and stood. "I think I'm going to head home now. Unless you were planning on offering me some kind of severance package ...?"
"I'm sorry," he responded, looking as though he wanted to say more, but ultimately remaining silent.
Deciding then and there that Fisher wasn't worth another moment of her time, Story ignored him. Between his distant attitude the last few months and now his halfhearted apology, she'd had enough of feeling undeserving. Never again. She spotted the waitress exiting the kitchen holding a bottle of champagne. Her posture and expression communicated how indignant she felt on Story's behalf and it made her want to cry for the first time that evening. A fact that definitely needed further investigation, since she hadn't yet shed a single tear over her broken engagement.
Placing the to-go box and a bottle of chilled champagne on the table, the waitress ignored Fisher, addressing only Story. "I'm supposed to tell you that any open containers must remain inside the restaurant. But if you happen to slip out without me noticing, I guess I can't do anything about it, can I?" After casting one final glare at Fisher, she pivoted on a heel and stalked away.
Gotta love female solidarity.
Story aimed the bottle away from her body and twisted the cork, eliciting a loud popping noise and drawing the attention of the surrounding patrons. At least the ones who hadn't already been watching the scene unfold with rabid interest.
With a shrug, she raised the bottle to her lips and took a long, healthy swig. Whispers and uncomfortable laughter filled the room. For the first time in way too long, she couldn't have cared less.
"Story, please stop this," Fisher begged, as he shrank down into his seat.
Holding the bottle by the neck, Story weaved her way through the now-silent restaurant, to-go bag tucked under the opposite arm. To her right, one particular table caught her eye. A man and woman sat shaking their heads.
She gestured with the bottle in their direction. "Oh, what are you looking at? He's leaving me for someone with a bob. A fucking bob!"
Finally outside, her painfully uncomfortable heels clicked along the sidewalk until she reached the town car Fisher had hired to drive them to and from the restaurant. The driver hopped out and opened the door for her, thankfully without acknowledging the bottle she carried. Story dug around in her purse and produced two twenty-dollar bills before rattling off her apartment address.
Leaning back against the leather seat as the town car pulled onto the highway, Story took another deep pull of the cold champagne, then held the bottle against her forehead as she swallowed. She'd have a bitch of a hangover tomorrow, but at least she didn't have to teach a room full of kindergartners in the morning.
Thank God for summer vacation.
She reached into her purse and pulled out her phone with the intention of calling her mother. Instead, the device buzzed in her palm, signaling an incoming call. With a frown, she stared down at the unfamiliar area code and slid her finger across the screen to answer.
"Yes, hi. Is this Ms. Story Brooks?"
She tipped the already half-empty bottle to her lips and drank deeply. "Mmm-hmm."
A pregnant pause. "I'm calling from Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. Your father, Jack Brooks, was admitted this afternoon following a heart attack. You're listed as next of kin on his medical records."
"What?" Story shot straight up in her seat, spilling champagne all over her legs. "He's not ... d-dead, right?"
"No. No, he's in stable condition. I apologize for not stating that up front. We generally contact any next of kin in these situations."
"Oh." Her alcohol-fogged brain struggled to play catch-up. She hadn't seen her father, Jack, in years. After his divorce from her mother when she'd been a mere child, he'd made an attempt to be in her life, but had ultimately led a separate existence in New York for the last decade. At best, she would describe their relationship as cordial, although he still managed to involve himself, forcing his opinion on her whenever he felt it necessary. Jack Brooks was controlling and a pain in the ass. But he was her father. "Does ... does he have anyone there with him?"
"No family, ma'am."
Story thanked the hospital administrator and disconnected the call just as the town car pulled up in front of her apartment building. She slid her clammy fingers around the door handle and addressed the driver through the glass partition.
"Can you wait for me? I'm going to need a ride to the airport."CHAPTER 2
Jack Brooks, legend among hostage negotiators nationwide, was human after all.
As Daniel Chase sat in the hospital waiting room, he tried to wrap his mind around the fact that his larger-than-life, cigar-smoking, no-bullshit- taking mentor currently lay in a hospital bed, attached to a host of beeping machines and wires. He'd never seen Jack looking anything less than robust, but in mere minutes, hospital visiting hours would begin and all that would change. He could easily flash the nurse his badge and get in early, just get it over with, but he was thankful for the extra time to gather his thoughts.
He glanced around at the functionally gray, devoid-of-character walls, knowing Jack was hating every minute of being confined to this place. They'd learned a lot about each other over the last five years, after Jack had plucked Daniel, a newly minted detective, out of a negotiation course provided by the department. When Daniel excelled in the class, surpassing his fellow officers by a wide margin, he'd been taken under Jack's wing to learn the ropes. Since then, he'd witnessed Jack negotiate dozens of hostage situations and resolved quite a few of his own.
Somewhere along the line, his mentor had become his friend, despite the gap in their age. Although if an outsider happened to overhear a typical conversation between them, he might assume they were enemies. Friends didn't come easy to either of them, and it was with a grudging respect that they operated together so well. He still had a lot to learn from Jack.
Daniel wasn't quite ready to acknowledge exactly where an early retirement from Jack would leave him. At thirty-two years of age, he would be the primary hostage negotiator in New York City. His professional attachment to the revered Jack Brooks all but guaranteed it. How an orphan who'd spent his youth as property of the state had managed to make it to this lofty a position, he couldn't begin to figure out.
He pushed to his feet and left the waiting room with the intention of pacing the hallway. Sitting still did nothing to help ease his anxiety. As Daniel passed the front desk, he winked at the pretty dark-haired nurse who'd been smiling at him since he arrived.
"Good afternoon ..." He discreetly checked her name tag. "Helen."
She looked momentarily thrown that he'd called her by name, then looked down at her name tag and giggled. "Oh. Good afternoon."
He lowered his voice to a stage whisper. "You know, I'm thinking about getting really sick just so I can check in here and request you as my nurse." Behind him, Daniel thought he heard a snort, but didn't turn around to investigate its source.
Smiling, Helen shook her head. "It doesn't work that way."
You don't say, he thought sarcastically. Obviously Helen wouldn't offer much in the way of conversation, but he could work around that. There wouldn't be much talking required for what he had in mind. Another empty exchange that would help numb his mind for an hour, but leave him feeling worse once it ended. It was a cycle he'd learned to live with. One he didn't know how to break. He wondered fleetingly if Jack would be offended by Daniel picking up a nurse while his mentor lay incapacitated in a hospital bed. He gave a mental head shake. No, Jack would approve and probably pick up one of his own right after.
Daniel slipped the nurse's phone number into his pocket and headed in the direction of Jack's room. He'd just rounded a corner, his dress shoes squeaking on the polished floor, when he saw her.
Daniel's easy stride came to an abrupt halt. The nurse's name flew right out of his head.
Staring through the glass of the vending machine, an exquisitely beautiful blonde stood looking entirely out of place in her mundane surroundings. Years of training had Daniel registering everything about her appearance in mere seconds. A natural, golden tan starting at her feet and spreading upward until it disappeared under her jean skirt suggested she either lived outside the city or had just returned from vacation.
She'll have tan lines. Daniel nearly groaned out loud at the thought of finding them.
In sandals and a tank top, she was dressed like she'd come straight from the beach, clearly not anticipating the harsh air-conditioning in the hospital. He watched her shiver a little, rubbing her arms to generate heat. The sight of her delicate hands traveling over her mouthwatering skin kicked his heart rate up another notch.
Barely conscious of his feet moving, Daniel started toward her, his sole intention to learn the color of her eyes. Blue, he'd guess, based on the long, straw-colored hair hanging to the middle of her back, curling slightly at the ends. He watched as she blew out a breath, disturbing the thick bangs ending just over her eyes. Her posture hinted at fatigue or grief, he couldn't tell which. Only that he wanted to make it better.
She stared at the contents of the vending machine, chewing her lip in indecision. His teeth sank into his own bottom lip in response, wishing it was hers.
As he got closer, her startled gaze flew up to meet his. Lightning rocketed through his system. Curious blue-green eyes widened on him, flicking away just as quickly. He took a step closer.
Talking to women was like second nature to him, yet he found himself stranded in silence, second-guessing everything that popped into his head. And if he didn't speak soon, his closeness would begin to alarm her. Say something, idiot.
"I can't let you do that," Daniel blurted.
"Can't let me do what, exactly?"
Her voice slid like silk across his skin and it took him a minute to recapture his train of thought. He tilted his head toward the vending machine. "You've got your eye on that healthy cereal bar. It's a bad selection. Pick something else."
She smirked at their side-by-side reflection in the glass. "Elaborate."
"No one buys healthy cereal bars." He tapped his finger against the glass. "That's been there as long as the machine itself."
She peeked up at him, a laugh flirting around the edges of her mouth. "Did you have an alternate suggestion?"
"Of course." Daniel tried not to stare at her lips. "You see, there are three factors one must consider when choosing a snack from a vending machine. Substance, for one. It needs to hold you over until real food is available. Freshness, which your cereal bar is sorely lacking. And finally" — his eyes dropped to her mouth — "taste."
Excerpted from Officer Off Limits by Tessa Bailey, Heather Howland. Copyright © 2013 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the third Tessa Bailey book I've read and let me say she is still impressing me.She has a great handle on ALPHA cops. Story and Daniel are a hot couple. I love the 40% crime drama and 60% hot sexy romance of her books. You are not overwhelmed with a all romance all the time kinda book. They start as a summer fling but end up falling in love. A must read.
Great Book! What a great book! Tessa Bailey is a terrific author and I always look forward to her next release. Officer Off Limits is a really hot and quick romantic read. This book has just the right about of romance, suspense, steaminess and humor that a contemporary romance reader wants in a well written package. Officer Off limits is primarily about two people, kindergarten teacher Story Brooks and NYC detective and hostage negotiator Daniel Chase. Daniel works with Story's father Jack. Story lives in California, near her mother who raised her. Her life so far has been a little humdrum and rushing to NYC because her Dad has had a mild heart attack couldn't have come at a better time. Her fiancee just broke off their engagement two weeks before the wedding and Story definitely needs a change of scenery. She loves her estranged father and wants to help him get better and work on their relationship. Story and Daniel hit it off immediately and their chemistry is tremendous. Feelings form instantaneously and they can't get enough of each other. Daniel's playboy reputation along with Story's insecurities tamper with their future together. Luckily, they are able to work through their issues and find true love. This book causes the reader to swoon, tear and laugh hysterically. It is a great ride and should not be missed. I was gifted this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Loved this book. Pages: 250
I bought this book because I liked this author's previous books. But this one did not reach the level of the other ones. The story line was OK but the dialogs were quite cheesy at times to the point that I found myself laughing at the absurdity of what the guy was telling the heroine. And this says a lot, because the scenes were supposed to be serious and I rarely laugh when reading a book. It is also true that my standards were really high when I started this book, as I had just finished reading 'The last hour', which was exceptional. Still, it shows that this book is just OK. Not one that I will read again, that's for sure.
## Holy freaking cow. -- This book was fabulously sexy. Tessa Bailey has written another winner. If you haven't read her previous two books, drop everything and buy them now because they are as brilliant as this one. With about 180 pages this book was the perfect length. The hero and heroine had undeniable chemistry. They were amazing together. Normally, I hate stories with man-slut heroes. But as soon as the hero meets the heroine, he only has eyes for her and sets out to prove it to her. Man, he was hot. So fierce and possessive (in a good way). And the heroine was perfect as well with her humor and sass. I mentioned the hero was hot, right? NOTE TO MS. BAILEY: as long as you're writing, I'm buying!
This book needed to be longer, because I want more story and daniel! It was so good. I thought I was tired of this series. Sooo glad I didn't give up too soon. And I actually missed the plot twist. The next book should be haydens story. Can't wait!
This book was FANTASTIC. Super hot. I adore the Brazen line from Entangled Publishing. This book is definitely NO exception. I loved it!
Can I just say this book is scorching! Forget 50 Shades, this book is real and hot. I'll just say that Tessa definitely has chemistry down to a science in this book and move onto my thoughts on characters and plot. Characters: Let's start with Story, Story comes to NYC from a broken engagement and she's trying to make sense of life on her own and she runs into Daniel, who is sex-on-a-stick. The chemistry is immediate for both her and Daniel and she can't get him out of her head especially after that chemistry explodes between them. I like Story, she's very relatable. She's a teacher off work for the summer so it explains why she can drop everything to go see her father. She's sarcastic and she doesn't want to be ruled by a man. Yet she comes to understand love very slowly and starts to understand what a man truly caring for her means. In the meantime she is having quite a bit of fun with Daniel and again this is scorching! Then there is Daniel, Daniel has secrets and scars. He's the ultimate bad boy with more notches on his bedpost than Story can even think about. Yet he's perfect for Story. He starts to fall for her and realizes that he doesn't want to be a mindless romp for women or even Story any more. He wants more meaning and he wants it with Story. Watching him fall for story and understand his life and himself better was nothing short of amazing. I am pretty positive any woman reading this will want a Daniel after this (I have to admit I have one, though he's not a scarred bad boy). And the sex, again did I mention scorching? Daniel, ahem, has such a way with words . . . Plot: The forbidden love plot works great in this book. Daniel isn't supposed to be around Story as declared by her Dad and his mentor, but somehow he can't help the attraction. Story can't help the attraction either though she feels she should really be on her feet more after her broken engagement before entering a relationship. I loved watching these two fall for each other slowly (at least slowly in the course of the book). And I loved the heat they generated, yet you could really tell they were falling for each other and it wasn't purely physical. I somewhat saw the ending (not the happy-ever-after, that's a given) but there were still elements that surprised me. So I was thrilled with how the plot ran from beginning to end. Officer Off Duty moves fast, holds your interest and has you cheering for Story and Daniel from their first encounter at the snack machine. I loved the characters and I loved how the plotline unfolded. If you haven't read Tessa I suggest you give her a try and have a fan nearby. :)
Right after her fiancé called off their engagement, Story heads out to visit her father at the hospital. There she meets Daniel, her father's protégé. Daniel is immediately drawn to Story. He likes what he sees, but it is much more than that. He is persistent, even when Story flat-out rejects him. However, once he finds out who Story is he vows to keep his distance. Yep, that lasted for about a day. Suddenly, somehow, Story has gotten under Daniel's skin and he likes her there. WOW! I have to say that this story sure took me by surprise. Not because it was good, but because of how intense Daniel was. Man, I thought Troy from His Risk to Take was intense, but he has nothing on Daniel. His need, his emotions, there were scattered all over the page and jumped out at you at any time he made them be known. I wanted to soothe him, shake some sense into him when he went a little nuts, but most of all I wanted to take his pain away and see him happy. Story was a great character too. I understood why she hesitated in starting something and why she went ahead with it regardless. She was smart and funny. She was the perfect partner for Daniels's dark and brooding personality. "More than likely, his skill had been perfected with hundreds of women. And she'd just inflated his ego even more by acting out her own amateur version of Gone in Sixty Seconds against his leg" Tessa Bailey did it again. She brought Story and Daniel's story to the page in a away that had me cheering them on from the moment they stepped out of the stairwell (yes, you read it right.). I loved Daniel's story and was glad that I got to know more about his past. I was hesitant of his development, but slowly he arrived at the place he needed to be to be able to let go of his past so that he could accept his future with Story. I loved it!!! "Bite me, gorgeous. Mark up my whole body. I want everyone to know who I belong to. Who I get hard for. Just you, Story. Just you." Although Officer Off Limits is the third book in the Line of Duty series, it can be read as a stand alone too. However, it would be a shame to waste all that awesome-alpha-male intensity these guys bring to the page. So go grab your copies and hunker down for an intense ride filled with emotions, drama and a whole lot of steamy chemistry. I received this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.
“Have Mercy” pretty much says it all about this book. If you’re looking for a smoking-hot, steamy, sexy read full of emotional and physical intensity that explodes on the page then this is a book you’ll enjoy. Although this is the third book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone. Story Brooks is in shock, reeling from her fiance’s confession that he isn’t going to marry her, when she gets the call that her father, Jack, is in the hospital after suffering a heart attack. Even though Story has been estranged from her father since she was a child, she hastily leaves California to travel across the country to New York. Not only can she reconnect with her father, but she can also escape her current misery. Soon after she arrives at the hospital, she unexpectedly meets Daniel Chase, a successful hostage-negotiator who knows his “come-hither” good looks are his invitation to flirt with and seduce the women around him. However, this smooth-talking womanizer becomes practically speechless when he first sees Story and is mesmerized by her beauty. Even worse, Story seems to be immune to his charm, and, in their first teasing conversation, she shocks Daniel in a way that lets him know his flirtation is meaningless to her. Ironically, though, Daniel only finds her more intriguing and desirable. Their initial stimulating conversation was what really snagged my attention and from that point on, I was hooked. Daniel is surprised and disappointed when he realizes that Story is Jack’s daughter. Jack is one of the most famous hostage-negotiators in the country and has been a mentor to Daniel since he started his career. Jack immediately warns him: “She is my daughter and she’s vulnerable after her breakup. I won’t have you taking advantage of her. She came here to heal, not to be your latest conquest. Hands. Off. My daughter.” Although Story has acted as if she’s uninterested in Daniel, in fact, the opposite is true: “Every movement of his body screamed sex. Combined with his ladies, ladies, there’s enough of me to go around vibe, she could understand why women stopped to gawk at him on the sidewalk. She couldn’t deny his magnetism. The guarantee of satisfaction practically radiated from him.” Story is tired of her passive lifestyle, and being around Daniel makes brings out a brazen side of her that pushes him to his limits. Impulsively, she offers him a sixty second challenge to prove his sexual prowess, and, when the countdown begins, the sexual tension between the two builds into an intoxicatingly explosive, passionate relationship. As they spend more time together, Daniel becomes desperate for her, wanting to become more than a rebound. Yet, the emotional and physical wounds he carries from his childhood have made him feel unworthy to be with a woman like Story. Although Daniel projects confidence, his pain runs deep, and his need for Story is so heart-breaking and sincere: “Belong to me, Story. Even if it’s just for a little while.” Story opens his eyes to everything he’s been missing in life. She brings a light into his darkness. Although Story didn’t come to New York looking for a relationship, the connection she feels to Daniel in such a short amount of time both excites and scares her. Can she really be falling in love with this strong, possessive man who is determined to make her his? Can she push beyond the shameful secrets he keeps hidden away? Although there is some conflict involving external antagonists, the story really delves into Story’s and Daniel’s internal conflicts as they must confront their fears and insecurities before they can even think of promising a commitment. Bailey has created two multi-dimensional characters whose inner turmoil and transformation move the plot, and their struggles intensify into a suspenseful crisis that unifies all plot threads to bring closure to the story. I found the realistic ending to be emotionally satisfying. I received a copy of this book from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Oh Daniel, such deep waters. This man has constructed a playboy facade to cover up a lifetime of deeply ingrained self doubt. Our off-limits officer has some serious skills, and I don't just mean as a hostage negotiator. This book is hot hot hot! Did I mention hot? Smokin'. The connection between Story and Daniel is of the charts, some of the best sexual chemistry I've ever read. There is an intensity between Daniel and Story that is raw and impulsive, and his dominating swagger is just about to die for. I love his take-charge tendencies and the vast collection of intimate skills that he uses against her, almost as sensual weapons. Daniel's intensity of emotion for Story drives him to be aggressive and overwhelming and it is SO sexy! He's definitely an alpha male so if that hero archetype is your thing, you will devour this book! These characters are layered, both of them having buried demons and deep wounds from their pasts, and they never get boring. The ending is a little predictable, I mean the hero is a hostage negotiator after all. Even so, it didn't play out as I'd expected and it was nice seeing Story get to flex her brain muscles a little. The characters are nicely layered and all likable, even the secondary ones. The passion between Story (what a great name!) and Daniel is fierce and well-executed. I loved the way Daniel's hostage negotiation skills and Story's teacher psychology played into their interactions. This is a great read for anyone who enjoys a good policeman romance and likes their sex scenes hot and dirty!
4.5 steamy stars! Story Brooks had a really bad night. She was dumped by her fiance two weeks before her wedding and found out her Dad was in the hospital. Next thing she knows she is in New York and being flirted with by a hot guy at the vending machine at the hospital. Daniel is a huge playboy with lots of charm, but he has met his match in Story. They spark, they tease, and they one-up each other. But they soon find out even if she did happen to be interested that there is a big problem...he works with her father and Daddy has made him swear to stay away from his little girl. "The only problem I have is your lack of boundaries." (Quote)It totally figured that the only woman to shatter his control would be the daughter of the man who'd taught him the importance of discipline and restraint in the first place. He almost laughed at the irony of it all. Almost. Story is a kindergarten teacher in California. For the past few years she has lost herself in the shadow of her fiance. His betrayal rocked her safe little world. But she is sassy, funny, and in need of a little attention and adventure. Daniel is a hostage negotiator in an Elite Emergency team. He's hot, charismatic, bossy and he does know what hit him as Story knocked this playboy on his a** and had him begging for mercy. But Daniel has a past and secrets that have shaped the man he has become. Their sexual tension and chemistry is off the charts! It's an all consuming, heart pounding sexual frenzy and it happens whenever and where ever they are together. No matter how much they try to deny it or "do the right thing," they cannot seem to keep their hands off of each other. Daniel's magnetic, domineering, dirty talking, and totally hot. But he's also found a conscience he did not even know he had and is torn between betraying his mentor or suffering himself. Story has been repressed for years and is enjoying letting go. And Daniel knows just what buttons to push. (Quote)Every movement of his body screamed sex. Combined with his ladies, ladies, there's enough of me to go around vibe, she could understand why women stopped to gawk at him on the sidewalk She couldn't deny his magnetism. The guarantee of satisfaction practically radiated from him. (Quote)He'd blindsided her, ruined her, and addicted her in one single evening. But they both have issues in their past causing insecurities and trust issues. There are also problems of her living three thousand miles away and upsetting her father. It is a battle to admit their feelings, push their limits, and feel worthy of love and trust. There are some twists and turns and circumstances threatened to end them before they even have a chance to start. (Quote)How do people live their lives feeling like this, day in and day out? Like your next breath depends on another person's happiness? She's torture and heaven all wrapped up in one forbidden package. And she'll leave... I loved Daniel and how he realized the difference between just having sex and truly connecting with someone. He had layers to him and underneath his tough cocky facade was a vulnerable man who did not feel like he deserved to be loved. And Story was strong and determined even if she was also insecure. Together they were a great couple but they had to dig deep into their own feelings, wants, and needs to truly see their potential. And eventually all of the pieces came down to a moment that required the ultimate trust and sacrifice. "Don't send me back out into the darkness, sunshine. Please." "Belong to me, Story. Even if it's just for a little while." Tessa Bailey knows how to write seriously hot, foul mouthed, alpha males with control issues, that ooze sexiness and charisma. They might not always be charming, but they are so hot that your kindle will smoke. And her female characters may have issues with their pasts, but they are also feisty, funny, and full of life. The plots have enough substance to keep you engaged and surprise you, but they are not trivial or too angsty. She writes easy flowing, fast, furious reads that suck you in, make you blush, make you laugh, and fall in love with her characters. I have loved each book in this series so far. I enjoyed getting a glimpse of his hilarious friends Matt and Brent and her best friend Hayden in this one. And I can certainly see the Brent and Hayden's potential as a fiery love match in an upcoming book. Quote from Hayden about Matt and Brent: "Correction. One seriously sexy, seriously single cop...and one muscle-bound, potty-mouthed d**khead named Brent." A match made in Heaven perhaps? Thanks to Tessa Bailey and Entangled Publishing for providing me a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Loved it, loved it, loved it! I laughed, I cried...it has it all (not to mention the steamy romance)!
Tessa Bailey is becoming my new favorite - Prolifically providing one great alpha after another!
Just the right length.
This was a book hard to stop reading. Plot changed a bit, but keeps your interest. Will read more of her books
I always enjoy reading about police officers. This is a great series so far. I am new to this author and will continue reading her books.
Loved the all the characters, wish there was more.
I didnt get a piece of the story
I just recently discovered Tessa Bailey and am so glad I did! The chemistry she creates between her characters is sweet but oh so sizling. I find myself reading into the early morning hours when i should be sleeping. A true sign of a good read! So far i've read four of her books and while I thoroughly enjoyed them all, this one is my absolute favorite so far because Daniel is just so...yummy. :) i didnt want to see this one end. The only thing missing was an epilouge. Her other books have had one so i was hoping for one here, but it was still amazing! All of her books i've read are under 200 pages but feel complete with fully developed characters and stories.
I already read it several months back but I'm in the process of rereading only few pages in and I'm giggling like school girl. Stimiulate don't get carried away smh embarrassment for Brie, but anyways very good. Even had me crying a little.
And I really loved the other ones :-) This had it all- great plot, really great characters & lots of steam - on to Hayden!
I love tessa's books they melt my panties and curl my toes without being disgusting. Love love her alpha males. She is an auto buy for me. I have never been dissapointed.