A note from Nikki…
On March 3, 2013 (thanks, Amazon, for keeping such meticulous records for me), I was perusing my e-book recommendations and came across Tessa Bailey’s Protecting What’s His. Lemme tell you, there are times when I have to ask myself WHAT THE FUCK HAVE YOU BEEN READING when these recs pop up. Whatever I read that made Amazon think I’d enjoy Cumming With Daddy, for instance . . . . . we’ll just suffice it to say that I wish I hadn’t. Scrolling these recs is kinda like scrolling the freebies–it’s a crap shoot, and, by that, I mean it’s mostly crap. There are times, however, when I luck out and get an exceptional read out of the mix. I one-clicked TB’s book because of the blurb’s Dolly Parton reference–I’m real Southern, y’all, and Backwoods Barbie is a fucking icon–but I fell in love with Ginger’s sass and Derek’s dirty mouth directly. As is usually the case when it comes to me and books, when I find one I like I immediately want to read the entire freaking catalog–so I did. The Entangled Brazen series is an eclectic mix of story lines and authors with smoking hot sex and hella hot alpha men tying them together and I found a number of books that have permanent places on my virtual shelves from the mix.
When we were brainstorming possible theme weeks for the podcast and Tania threw out the idea of an Entangled Brazen week, the rest of us were immediately on board. We’ve spent the last several weeks reading and reviewing many of the 30+ books currently available under the Entangled Brazen banner and getting Down & Dirty answers from many of their authors. Y’all are gonna notice far more posts than usual (and don’t get used to it!) as we try to give our insight on as many books from the series as possible. We hope y’all will find something that tickles your fancy or revvs your engine or floats your boat amongst our offerings. Our podcast this week will feature our favorites of the series, so make sure to pop in on Saturday and give it a listen. Enjoy Entangled Brazen week!
Oh–and Tessa Bailey–I love you. Thank you for the introduction to this fabulous series and THANK YOU for Lieutenant Derek Tyler. Really, from the bottom of my heart. He’s gonna inspire handcuff fantasies for years to come.
Series: Line of Duty # 1
Author: Tessa Bailey
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Purchase on Amazon
Protecting What’s His (A Line of Duty Novel) (Entangled Brazen)
She’s running from the law, and the law wants her bad.
The opportunity was just too damn delicious for Ginger Peet to pass up. The purse full of money she finds—$50,000 to be exact—could give her and her teen sister the new start they need. So she grabs the cash, her gothy sibling, and their life-sized statue of Dolly Parton, and blows outta Nashville in a cloud of dust. Chicago, here we come…
Turns out, Chicago has some pretty hot cops. Hot, intense, naughty-lookin’ cops like Derek Tyler, who looks like he could eat a girl up and leave her begging for more. And more. Tempting as he is, getting involved with the sexy homicide lieutenant next door poses a teensy problem for a gal who’s on the lam. But one thing is certain—Derek’s onto her, and he wants more than just a taste.
And as far as he’s concerned, possession is nine-tenths of the law.
If you’re a regular, you know that I have mad love for my Momma. When I count my blessings, she and my son are chief amongst them and I can say with certainty that God broke the mold after He cast her. She was little more than a baby when she found herself in an impossible situation with an infant and a toddler. She fought tooth and nail and struggled for years to get us out of the hell my father created, but my brother and I never felt a lick of the fire. She was our rock and our shield and it wasn’t until I became a parent myself that I understood the extent of her sacrifice. She’s a tiny little woman, but she’s got more fight in her than any man I’ve ever met. If it weren’t for her strength, our lives could have very easily taken a different turn. I could have very easily ended up with a drug addicted mother who turned tricks within hearing distance of her children. My brother could’ve ended up playing parent to his little sister because our mother was too strung out or drunk to make sure that we were properly fed or clothed. He could’ve been forced to shoplift to feed me and protect me from the leering eyes of her Johns. Finding syringes and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia lying around our home could’ve been an every day occurrence. My life was not the stuff of after-school specials because my Momma is the best woman I know, but our heroine in Protecting What’s His wasn’t as lucky.
Ginger Peet has spent the bulk of her twenty-three years providing for her little sister and shielding her from the shit storm her Momma brings in to their lives on a regular basis. She packed Willa’s ears with cotton and played country music at top volume whilst their Momma entertained clients in the living room. She was picked up by the police at ten for trying to steal food. She lied about her age at sixteen to get a decent paying job at the local watering hole so she could keep the rent paid. As hard as she tries, though, Ginger realizes that she’ll never be able to give seventeen-year-old Willa the kind of life she deserves as long as her Momma is around. When Momma passes out on the couch in a drug-induced stupor with a large quantity of cash in her purse, Ginger sees it as her opportunity to build a better life for her sister. She debates the right and wrong of theft and realizes that her Momma probably came by the money through nefarious means, but Ginger ultimately decides to take the cash and hightails it out of Nashville. An apartment in Chicago becomes their new home and Lieutenant Derek Tyler, homicide detective for the local police department, is their new neighbor. Their first meeting ain’t the love at first sight stuff of fairly tales–he’s hungover and pissy about the racket the girls make while moving in and he’s not real nice about it, putting Ginger on the defensive–but he’s immediately drawn to her sass (it’s really her ass, truth be told–seriously, he’s all man). Derek finds himself caught up in the mystery of the ballsy chick with the Southern twang who oozes sex but doesn’t date. When Ginger tells him he’s gotta try harder, Derek accepts the challenge.
Derek is a caveman. I honestly cannot think of a better description. He’s all alpha male, all the time. He’s not fond of Ginger’s bar tending job and makes it abundantly clear in his neanderthal way. He has a possessive streak several miles wide and he’s not in to other men looking at what he considers HIS from very early on. Like most men, he’s a fixer. Ginger, who has been taking care of herself and her sister her entire life, has a hard time granting Derek the control he demands. He, in turn, recognizes that submitting to him is exactly what Ginger craves but won’t allow herself to do. There’s hurt feelings on both sides, mostly because neither of them have ever done the whole relationship thing and it takes them both some time to put down their defenses and let one another in. The money she took is Ginger’s own personal albatross, preventing her from being completely honest with Derek and leading her to make some pretty fucking rash (and STUPID) decisions that put her ass on the line. Derek, as you can imagine, is not a fan of that ass being on the line. There’s plenty of humor (Backwoods Barbie–that’s all I’m saying) as well as a number of heart-warming sister moments as Ginger watches Willa blossom once their Momma’s shadow is removed from their lives. It’s Ginger’s ability to accept that giving herself over to Derek’s love won’t turn her in to her mother that made me Sound of Music happy, though.
Derek, as I mentioned, is uber alpha. This is not an issue for me–DUH. He’s not a flowery man by any stretch of the imagination and his dirty talk could make Jenna Jameson blush (for those of you keeping count, that’s Nikki’s Porn Reference #3–if we get in to double digits, someone please stage an intervention). Derek’s admission that he was interested in Ginger went like this–
“The longer it takes me to get between your thighs, the rougher I’m going to be when I finally get there. Understand?”
**Waggles Eyebrows** That’s quite the admission, huh? Derek doesn’t turn on the charm, but he’s pretty fucking good at turning up the heat. Seriously, there’s more fucking pink in this book (that’s my sexy quote highlight color, NOT what y’all are THINKING) than the girls department at Babies R Us. The man can drench your panties with fifteen words or less, but THIS one is my personal favorite–
“Is that better? I shouldn’t have spanked your earlier when we didn’t have time for more. You’ve needed me inside you. . . . . Did you like being spanked, beautiful girl? Would you like me to do it harder next time?”
Uh, yes, sir. I will have another, please.
salty or sweet
Salty! Although M&M’s thrown into a bowl of buttery popcorn is a guilty pleasure of mine. Best of both worlds, right?!
night owl or morning person
Night owl. I’m basically a non-verbal cave woman until nine am. *Points at coffee maker and grunts*
coffee or tea
See previous answer :p I’m a coffee girl, until we go on vacation to visit family in Ireland, and I come back with a massive tea hangover that lasts months.
mountains or ocean
Oceans, a thousand times over. I grew up on the beach in California, now I’m in New York. I don’t think I could live anywhere too far from the coast.
last song you put on repeat
“Thrift Shop” by Macklemore
Fall, for sure. Sweater weather. I like to snuggle up and drink cider, see Halloween costumes in store windows. People are starting to think about Christmas, but there’s no holiday stress yet. Beauty.
favorite tv show
Breaking Bad. Although, I have to say Parks and Recreation is a close (and vastly different) second. Something about that show makes me incredibly happy. Probably Ron Swanson.
favorite comfort food
Brunch foods. It’s acceptable to get tipsy during the day when you eat brunch. In fact, it’s expected. That’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. I prefer huevos rancheros. Or something with polenta. All right…probably shouldn’t have skipped lunch…
Fresh laundry in the spring/summer. Apple cinnamon in the fall/winter.
Oh boy, this question. I don’t know! I’ll answer in three parts: My favorite book recently is Seduction and Snacks by Tara Sivec. My favorite non-romance is anything by Denis Johnson. And my favorite romance of all time is a toss-up between Dark Highland by Karen Marie Moning and The Secret by Julie Garwood. *These answers will change by tomorrow, no doubt.*
cat person or dog person
Dogs are people with fur.
best childhood memory
My dad and I water skiing tandem on Lake Arrowhead when I was about nine or ten. Also, the summer I spent crushing on my next door neighbor, Andrew. His parents were hippies and he had this amazing easy-going smile. And freckles. Every day was full of this crazy, breathless excitement to hang out in our cul-de-sac. Alas, he moved away when the school year started…
rule breaker or inside the lines
Rules? What rules?
favorite adult beverage
I love a Tom Collins when I’m out, but at home I drink white wine.
Angus, The Sandlot, Sleepless in Seattle, Princess Bride, Troop Beverly Hills…
the last totally scandalicious thing you did
Went to a BDSM club to perform research. This was last weekend, actually. Don’t tell anyone.
Tell me about a hobby or something you are really good at that people would find surprising.
I’m not sure everyone knows I’m a pool player, which is where I got inspiration for Ruby in His Risk to Take. I played in the leagues in New York for a few years and I’m not half bad