Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Up in Smoke by Tessa Bailey!
Up in Smoke by Tessa Bailey
Series: Crossing the Line #2 (full reading order below)
Release Date: June 23rd 2015
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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I absolutely L.O.V.E.D. the previous book in the Crossing the Line series, Risking it All, so I was so, SO excited to read Up in Smoke! Connor intrigued me to no end when he first appeared in Risking it All, and I loved getting to know his story and the woman he falls for in Up in Smoke. Connor is… WOW, he is definitely, without a doubt, my new favorite dirty talker!!!! If there’s one thing you should know about Tessa Bailey, it’s that she writes dirty talk like no other. Connor melted my heart and panties in Up in Smoke, and I loved it!
Though Up in Smoke can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend reading Risking it All first – Connor is introduced in the first book, and Up in Smoke follows up on the ending from Risking it All. As a former street enforcer and criminal, Connor has been given a new chance and a new life in a new undercover team in Chicago (formed by none other than Derek from Protecting What’s His!). When Connor meets Erin, another criminal in the undercover team, he is instantly and fiercely drawn to her. I absolutely LOVE the way Tessa has her heroes fall so hard for their heroines on first sight. Yes, a lot of it is definitely lust, but I just adore the way Connor felt protective and possessive of Erin from the get-go.
Erin, an arsonist with a huge case of claustrophobia, can’t stand when other people touch her… but she wants Connor to touch her. This girl is seriously messed up, but it’s hard not to find her – sassiness and all – endearing. She has issues, but when she’s with Connor, it seems those issues dull into nothingness. Connor is the only person she’s ever felt safe with, but he’s also the only person who sets her insides on fire.
She was drawn to fire. Connor had enough inside him to burn down a major city.
Connor is a tightly-leashed man and pure alpha-male – he is a bad boy with a heart of gold, and I fell so hard for his character. He is completely swept up in Erin – I seriously swoon SO HARD at how much Connor cares about Erin and her well-being. He does everything he can so that she’ll be safe and comfortable… all while desiring her with a wild, animal-like passion. The chemistry between Erin and Connor is H.O.T. I seriously think this is the hottest book I’ve ever read from Tessa, and Connor has the dirtiest mouth ever – I blushed every time Connor opened his mouth!
“Look at you. Grinding that little pussy on me.” His voice sounded raw, heated. “I’d fill you with every goddamn inch so quickly, you’d scream for me to take it back out. Maybe it’s better this way, giving just your clit a ride. But know that I’d like to be pounding you full of me, Erin. Full.”
“I’ve never begged a fucking day in my life, but you’re going to make me, aren’t you?”
It’s hard not to get addicted to Tessa’s books. It’s so easy to enjoy her books, and I was swept away in Connor and Erin’s story – although I do think they fell a bit too fast for each other. The book centered around Connor and Erin and them overcoming their internal issues, so the plot about their undercover mission felt weak in comparison. Nonetheless, this was fast-paced, smoking hot read that I highly recommend. If you’re a fan of the author, you definitely don’t want to miss this (and the wonder that is Connor’s mouth)! We get to see a lot of Bowen and Sera (from Risking it All) and Derek (from Protecting What’s His), as well as the couple featured in the next book, Polly and Austin, who are also part of the undercover team. I can’t wait to see what happens in their book!
“If I’m what you want, hope is futile, because I couldn’t belong to you any more completely than I already do.”
Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.
Now here’s an excerpt from Up in Smoke! ❤
As if her thoughts had made him appear, Connor strode into the courthouse. Her pulse started beating double time, her stomach muscles tightening. Good Lord, the man was a fucking panty dropper. She’d only been away from him for a few hours and it felt like years since she’d experienced his presence. In jeans and a fitted gray T-shirt that molded to his muscles like her hands itched to do, he personified confidence and authority. Hot, rugged male. His gaze connected with hers immediately and darkened. She thought back to that morning when he’d dressed in the early morning light, his abs flexing as he pulled the shirt over his head. His erection barely contained by his boxers. She’d never been one to beg for anything, but she’d been seconds from offering him her mouth. Pleading for the privilege of sucking him off.
Conner shook his head at her with a sexy half smile on his face, as if he could read her thoughts across the room. He stopped at the metal detector and walked through after the security guard beckoned him forward. When the woman grabbed her wand and instructed him to raise his hands in the air, something ugly reared its head deep inside her. The detector hadn’t even beeped. There was no reason for the personal service. When the woman smiled at Connor and ran a hand down her ponytail, Erin propelled herself forward, boots echoing on the polished marble.
Erin hissed as she drew even with the guard. “If you’re done feeling up my boyfriend, I’d love a turn. We were in a rush this morning.”
The guard dropped the wand, letting it dangle near her thigh. “Did you just hiss at me?”
Erin hissed again.
“Okay.” Connor stepped between them, winking down at her. “We should go. Don’t want to keep the clerk waiting.”
Appreciation spread in her belly like honey. He hadn’t chided her for her behavior or apologized to the woman on her behalf. Instead he’d given the impression they were on their way to get married, appeasing her jealousy in one fell swoop. “That’s right.” She sauntered toward the elevator. “There’s vows to be exchanged. Rings to put on fingers. Shit like that.”
She glanced behind her to find Connor staring at her ass as she walked, so she put a little swing in her hips and savored his groan. Damn. She’d definitely never had this much fun at a courthouse.
A moment later, she and Connor stepped into an empty elevator. She hit the button for the top floor even though the clerk was on the first, and leaned back against the wall, looking up at him through her eyelashes. “How was your morning, baby? Was it worth leaving me in bed, all hot and bothered for you?”
“Fuck no, it wasn’t.” He crooked a big finger at her. “Climb on up here.”
Reading Order: Crossing the Line series
#0.5 ~ Riskier Business: Ebook • Goodreads
#1 ~ Risking it All: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Up in Smoke: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Boiling Point: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#4 ~ Raw Redemption: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Thank you for your interest in my books! I’m Tessa and I live in the crazy, loud, overcrowded borough of Brooklyn, New York. I love it here. This city is a constant source of inspiration, which is why I’ve decided to set my most recent books in the Line of Duty Series here.
I moved to New York when I was eighteen, the day after I graduated high school. Threw my suitcase in the back of a Chevrolet Cavalier and drove across the country to find my adventure. I’m still finding it, little by little. Thank you for being a part of it.
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