Review Post : Up in Smoke by Tessa Bailey (4.5 Stars)

Posted July 8, 2015 by Nix in review / 0 Comments

Up in Smoke by Tessa Bailey
Series: Crossing the Line #2
Published by Macmillan on 2015-06-23
Pages: 352
Format: eBook

Never start a fire you can’t control…

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…

FTC : I got this book from the author for an honest review. I am a massive fan of her work.

There are a couple of things that I know I’m going to get from a Tessa Bailey book: a possessive hero, dirty talk and lots and lots of sex! This book had all of these things in abundance but I think Connor takes the medal, t-shirt and trophy for being her most possessive hero to date. He is a little OTT at times but it sure made for entertaining reading 🙂

Honestly? The centre stage of this book is the sexual relationship between Connor and Erin. This book is erotica with a side of romance and I enjoyed the hell out of it. The sexual attraction is instant and overpowering and then the story revolves around overwhelming the obstacles to sex, rather than romance, which made for a lot of sexual scenes and a lot of frustration for the characters. You see, Erin has suffered from previous abuse and now cannot be touched which means the very Alpha Connor has to let her take the reigns. This book proved that there is nothing more sexy than a man controlling his own needs to help out the woman he wants *swoon*

Connor is a typical Bailey hero; he’s intense, possessive and driven by his penis. Did I love him? Yes, but there were times when he made my eyes rolled with his constant OTT behaviour. He really did make up for himself with his sensitivity towards Erin. Yes, he constantly insinuated how blue his balls were turning (his dick got mentioned A LOT during this book)  but he never actually pressured her into any physical and/or sexual contact that they had; he waited for her explicit consent. I loved this side of him, the side that, even as desperate as he was, waited for her to be sure. It was so … swoon-worthy. It was also hot as hell and I know one thing about this book; I will NEVER be able to listen to it on audio. Connor is a dirty, dirty man, so much so that he made me actually BLUSH! (I know, I thought I’d lost the ability too!).

Erin was fun. I loved that she was so difficult; Everything that someone told her to do, she’d cheerfully do the opposite whilst sticking her middle finger in the air. She never resisted her sexual attraction Connor, she just couldn’t let him touch her no matter how much she wanted him to. I liked the way she fought her fears, and fought for control over her own body, despite what had happened to her in the past. Yes, she had her demons (pyromania being the main one!) but, although it shaped her, it blatantly never broke her. She was strong and spunky but had a vulnerability that kept her from ever crossing into bitch territory. I engaged with her character immediately; she is just the type of heroine that I like!

As with the previous books in the series, there is a heap of old and new side characters. Some made me smile with fondness and some made me chomp at the bit to read more….I can’t wait for the next book! 🙂

If you want Erotic Contemporary romance with Alpha men and strong women, you cannot go wrong with Tessa Bailey. She is my go-to read in this genre and also the top of my recommendation list. 4.5 Stars and a million chillies for a heat rating 🙂


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