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New Release Spotlight Review: Staking His Claim by Tessa Bailey (Line of Duty #5)

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Title: Staking His Claim
Genre: Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Pages: 176
Language: English
Format: Ebook

He wants her. All of her.

NYPD sniper Matt Donovan is in Hell. Instead of driving his best friend’s little sister home from college, he’s stuck with her roommate—a fresh-faced ray-of-sunshine with a body that makes grown men weep. There’s no way he’ll allow himself to taint the little vixen, no matter how hard she tries to tempt him, so he resigns himself to the longest—and hardest—drive of his life.

Matt’s obvious attraction suits grad student Lucy Mason just fine. She had no idea her brother’s best friend was so deliciously hot. Knowing he’d never have his wicked way with his buddy’s sister, she lies about her identity and seduces him. But Matt’s no fumbling college boy. His desires run deep—and dark—and he wants to teach Lucy what wicked really means.

Matt’s demanding appetites only make Lucy want more. But when her cover’s blown, he’s furious—even as his hunger for her becomes insatiable. Matt can’t trust anyone, least of all himself. And he knows all too well that darkness always destroys the light…


I’m not sure how it is that I haven’t read Tessa Bailey before–I’ve heard all kinds of raving about her on the ‘net, and I actually have three other books in the Line of Duty series. So, honestly, I have no excuse. After finishing this one (read in a single day–first day of February break, what a way to celebrate!) I am going to remedy my oversight right quick.

I’ve heard Tessa described as the “Queen of Dirty Talk”, and the reputation is definitely deserved! (If that kind of thing bothers you, read no further. But if you enjoy it, then Ms. Dare is absolutely the author for you.) Matt is one dirty-talkin’ hero. His performance, fortunately, backs him up in that department as well…the smexy scenes are smoking, and Lucy is one happy woman.

Except when she isn’t happy, because Matt has major issues. He’s been led to believe that his…well, tastes, are shocking and wrong (honestly, they’re not really all that bed in the post-Fifty-Shades world, but apparently Matt and his former fiance missed the memo), and that by giving in to them he’ll lose the love and respect of all good people, Lucy included. He persists in this belief a tad longer than he probably should, because hello, Lucy so isn’t objecting to his so-called “darkness”. Much of the relationship drama could have been cleared up earlier had a small discussion taken place. Matt isn’t a huge conversationalist in any aspect of his life, though (as one scene in particular drives home), so it’s not too much of a stretch to believe that it takes so long.

What did surprise me in this novel was the humor. I expected the steaminess, but I didn’t expect to laugh out loud quite as much as I did. For sheer amount of LOL moments, the flash mob scene in Union Square was definitely one of my favorites. Not to be missed!

Two words: water balloons. Awesome.

If you’ve read the rest of the series, at least three of the previous heroes show up here–Troy, Daniel, and Lucy’s brother Brent all play a part in the novel. If you’re a newbie, though, the story works just fine on its own. The only catch? Just that small taste will have you adding to your TBR pile.


But I digress.

Overall this was a highly enjoyable read. The half star deduction was for Matt’s dogged insistence on his being “bad” when he really wasn’t and a slightly over-dramatic climax. The super adorable epilogue nearly made me completely forget it, though–it’s fabulous. An excellent ending can cover a multitude of sins, and really, this one’s sins were barely even that.

Now, how soon can I get caught up on this series? Like Lucy, I love a good challenge–“especially when the competition is meaningless and there are no prizes for winning.” Although reading a good book is really its own reward, isn’t it?

Yep. That’s the story I’m going with.

Rating: A-/ 4 1/2 stars

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Staking His Claim




Tessa lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and young daughter. When she isn’t writing or reading romance, Tessa enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipes.


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