Book Review: Up in Smoke by Tessa Bailey

Up in Smoke by Tessa BaileyTitle: Up in Smoke
Series: Crossing the Line, Book 2
Author: Tessa Bailey
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Sensuality Rating: Sensual
Source: review copy provided by publisher
Published: June 23, 2015 by Entangled Select

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…

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Reviewed by: Sara

Why I Read This Book: Tessa Bailey is an auto-but for me. She writes great strong female characters and hotter than hot male characters. Her novels are well paced and action packed. The real question is why wouldn't I read this book.

What I Liked: Tessa Bailey has mad skills in the writing Alpha males department. She writes these insanely gorgeous men that will do just about anything for their respective ladies. Her male characters have layers, vulnerabilities and usually heart wrenching backstories, but can also know how to bring it in the bedroom.

Connor Bannon is no exception. A dishonourably discharged former SEAL he is Alpha to the core, but also loves deeply and wants nothing but the absolute best for Erin and his mama. If that wasn't enough the man can dirty talk like nobody's business. I'm blushing just thinking about it.

What Else I Liked: Up in Smoke is listed as the second book in Tessa Bailey's Crossing the Line Series, but it really feels like the first. A whole crew of characters and their skills as part of a crime fighting task force are introduced.

I love how these introductions flow naturally through Connor and Erin's story, without feeling like an info-dump. Each of the characters, some of whom readers of Tessa Bailey's other novels will recognize, add more to Up In Smoke. They are key players and not just side characters who are just interesting enough that the reader can determine that their book will be next.

What I Didn't Like: Erin, Up in Smoke's main female character, had a really crappy, horrible childhood. As a result she has tons of issues, demons, both emotional and physical she has to face and just generally a lot of baggage. I really felt that Up in Smoke solved all of these issues a little too easily. The end of the novel was just wrapped up a little to neatly.

Up in Smoke is part of a series so there's no reason things had to be completely handled at the end. Rather than "fixing" every one of Erin's issues, her struggle with certain problems could have been left to some of the other novels instead of swept under the rug.

Overall Impression: I loved it! Give Tessa Bailey all the awards! Up in Smoke was a fantastic and sexy novel, with great characters and a wicked story.

Sara’s Rating:
4 Frogs

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


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