Series: Line Of Duty #2
Author: Tessa Bailey
Publisher: Entangled: Ever After
Rating: 4 Stars
Purchase on Amazon
His Risk to Take (Entangled Ever After)
The greater the risk, the hotter the reward…
Homicide cop Troy Bennett had a reputation on the Chicago PD for being fearless and in control—until the night his daredevil partner is killed during a raid. From that moment on, he swears he’ll never again be responsible for the loss of a loved one. To escape his demons, Troy transfers to the NYPD, bringing him up close and personal with Ruby Elliott, a beautiful, street-savvy pool hustler.
Reckless and stubbornly independent, Ruby embodies everything Troy’s avoiding, but when she walks into O’Hanlon’s Pub and blows his carefully laid plans to hell, Troy knows he has to have her—risks be damned. But there’s a connection between Ruby’s shadowed past and a case Troy’s working involving a notorious Brooklyn felon, throwing her safety into jeopardy. Confronted with his biggest fear, will Troy push Ruby away to keep her safe or fight to keep her in his arms where she belongs?
**This is a novella, so it was technically not released under the Entangled Brazen banner. However, it is part of the Tessa Bailey Line of Duty series and I fucking love it, so we’re not gonna split hairs over which division lays claim to the book’s publication.
My grandparents, God rest their souls, owned a bar for most of their married life. Growing up, I spent a lot of time in this bar, though, if you tell my Momma that, I’ll deny, deny, deny. I picked up some invaluable skills at my Grandma’s knee, namely the MOTHERFUCKER. It’s a drink guaranteed to put the strongest man flat on his ass and calling Buick by morning. It was my Poppy, though, that taught me the shit that would make his former daughter-in-law (that’d be my Momma) go all Linda Blair on his ass. Most of what I learned isn’t useful in my every day life unless I have some particular desire to spend 10 to 25 in a federal facility–and I don’t, just so we’re clear–but the man did teach me to run a pool table. I’ll never be as good as he was, but I was pretty fucking good for a chick. It didn’t take long in a bar right outside a military base to figure out that men are fucking fascinated by a woman who can play pool. It’s always been my theory that this has very little to do with skill. Thank you, Troy Bennett, for the confirmation–
“I’ve just watched you bend over a pool table in those ridiculously tight jeans. Over. And over. You think I could stop at kissing? . . . . . Next time you bend over a table, I’m going to wrap all that hair around my first and pull your head back. I want to watch your eyes glaze over when I fuck you into oblivion.”
This is where I mention that Troy hadn’t known our heroine for longer than it took to her hustle a jackass out of some grocery money when he hit her with that panty-scorching declaration. Ruby is floored by his confidence and drawn to his dominance. He takes her home with him, they have some exceptionally fucking hot non-sex and she’s gone the next morning. As men don’t seem to be real pleased when the woman in question does the running, Troy uses his resources to track her down. He’s a cop. She’s a pool hustler who’s spent her adult life trying to get away from the unsavory criminal element her father raised her amongst. Troy’s partner was killed in the line of duty and he harbors a great deal of guilt over the event. Ruby’s got some fairly deep-seated abandonment issues. Do y’all have a general sense of the level of clusterfuck these two are capable of creating? Their issues are exacerbated by the revelation that Ruby has ties to the scum bag Troy is actively trying to take down. As Ruby is intimately acquainted with the level of violence said scumbag is capable of, she wants to help. Troy’s scared to fucking death that he’s not going to be able to protect yet another person he loves. Shit goes down, un-takebackable shit gets said and hearts get broken. Like I said, clusterfuck.
Tessa Bailey can write an alpha man, ladies, let me tell y’all. Troy is possessive and protective and he GROWLS. He growls really dirty shit and it’s fucking hot.
“You like that, don’t you? I can tell by the way you’re working those fuck-me hips. You’re going to work them exactly like that for me later.”
Yes, sugar, I sure will. The sex in this book is not plentiful–it is a novella–but it’s definitely memorable. There’s a scene with a pool cue . . . . no, not THAT. It’s not THAT kinda book. Let’s just say that the bite of hardwood has its appeal.
Y’all know I have a Harlequin addiction and, thereby, kind of a THING about hearing men grovel. I’d like to think I’m a bit of a connoisseur of the grovel, if you will. Alpha men, in general, don’t grovel. Every now and then they’ll utter the dreaded “I’M SORRY.” Occasionally, they’re even sweet about it, i.e. “I’M SO FUCKING SORRY, BABY.” Do y’all see how that subtle difference changes the whole thing completely? As a rule, though, alpha men are generally of the I-can-show-you-better-than-I-can-tell-you school of thought when it comes to apologizing. Troy hurts Ruby in his quest to keep her safe, leaving her–albeit briefly–and playing on her fears of abandonment. He, like most men, is also a card carrying member of the I Say Stupid Shit When I’m Pissed Club. When Ruby tells him she’s done and pushes him away, Troy not only utters those dreaded words, he also works really fucking hard to prove to her that he’s all in. He puts the work in, ladies, and it was a beautiful thing–
“I’m going to come back tomorrow. And the day after that. Every single day, I’ll come for you. As long as it takes, Ruby. I’m not giving you up.”
What can I say? As far as groveling goes, it doesn’t get much better than that.