Book Review: Up in Smoke by Tessa Bailey

June 19, 2015 Adult Book Reviews 1 ★★★½

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review: Up in Smoke by Tessa BaileyTitle: Up in Smoke by Tessa Bailey
Series: Crossing the Line #2
Published by: Entangled Select on June 23, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: The Author
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
Click it: Goodreads | Amazon
three-half-stars

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…

I received this book for free from The Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Also in this series: Riskier Business, Risking It All
Also by this author: Unfixable, Owned by Fate, Riskier Business, Risking It All, Chase Me, Need Me, Make Me, Crashed Out, Rough Rhythm, Thrown Down, Too Hot To Handle, Too Close to Call

One Line: Tessa sure knows how to bring on all the naughty feels.

In My Opinion: Add to cart!

Oh, Tessa, how I’ve missed you and your dirty-talking men. Whew, that Connor has one heck of a mouth and I don’t even want to wash it out with soap, it’s so sinfully good. In true Bailey fashion, Connor and Erin go from hot to scorching hot in a matter of minutes and you’re left antsy and breathless afterward. Let me just say that it was wrong of me to read this while I’m currently away from the husband, because, yeah, her writing definitely stirs the naughty feels.

Aside from that, however, I loved seeing this motley crew try and work with the cops and stop crimes. Each character brings a certain skill set to the table and their different personalities made their interactions so much fun to read. With that said, I wished there was more of them, more of the action, and more of Connor and Erin outside of the intense foreplay and sexy times that made up the bulk of their relationship. Don’t get me wrong, it’s there, but it didn’t balance out the sexy times as it usually does in Tessa’s books. That’s what I appreciate most and have come to expect from her books, so I was surprised that it wasn’t as prominent in this book.

Erin has quite the troubled past, leaving her suffering from a condition called Haphephobia. Basically, the girl can not be touched without having a full-blown panic attack. She’s also a bit of a pyromaniac and that was interesting. What’s a physical, commanding, rough guy like Connor to do with that? Erin definitely tested his patience and restraint and seeing how expertly he handled her flighty nature spoke to just how much she affected him. Connor is pretty amazing, albeit a bit too possessive at times. Yet, Erin made him contradict himself because he never pushed her and always let her control everything, reigning himself in, and I appreciated that about him. True, you don’t really see a sweet side to the guy, he’s very rough-around-the-edges, but when he cares for someone, he shows it. Examples? The orange juice thing and the Skydeck tower. Sweet!

I loved seeing Bowen and Sera, and especially Derek and Ginger. Even what little I saw of them had me smiling and made me want to re-read their books. Derek Tyler will always be one of my favorite book boyfriends. I’m definitely looking forward to Austin and Polly’s story. I’m assuming the last book in the series will be about them, hopefully. Bailey brings her A game when it comes to dirty-talking and sexy times, but like I said, I could’ve done with more of the actual story, in addition to all the hot, intense sex.

About Tessa Bailey

Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.

Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

She now lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband of seven years and three-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

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