Risking It All by Tessa Bailey…ARC Review & Special Event Announcement


Risking It All releases Tuesday 1/27

Risking it all cover



NYPD detective Seraphina Newsom will avenge her brother’s death at any cost. Even if it means insinuating herself into a rough, Brooklyn street gang and going so far undercover, she’s not sure she’ll be able to get out. Every minute she spends in their midst means the clock ticking down on her life, especially when she overhears something that could get her killed.

Bowen Driscol is the heir to a crime enterprise. He never asked for the job, but with his father behind bars, he has no choice but to step in and keep the operation running. But when the NYPD blackmails him with a piece of damning information in exchange for aiding an undercover cop, he finds himself on the other side of the law for the first time in his life.

Bowen knows the danger Sera is in, and keeping her safe trumps saving his own ass. The problem? She can’t know he’s on her side. And there’s the matter of the seriously inconvenient heat sparking between them that’s incinerating his resistance. But Sera only sees Bowen’s past, and men like him are the reason her brother is dead. If they’re to get out alive, he’ll have to risk exposing the man beneath, and hope to hell he doesn’t blow the whole operation in the process.


My review:

Risking It All is the first book in author Tessa Bailey’s Crossing the Line Series, a series that I have already fallen in love with when the prequel novella released a few months ago. I thought I had an idea of just how much I would love Bowen and his story…I was wrong. This book crushed all of my expectations and I loved it more than I ever could have imagined. It was freaking amazing.

Being an NYPD detective, Seraphina Newsom was used to being in some tough situations. But this current situation is proving to be the most dangerous and toughest yet. She’s deep undercover and quite possibly in over her head. That won’t stop her though. She’s as determined as ever to make the people responsible for her brother’s murder pay, and she will do it, no matter what the cost. She had planned on the danger. She had planned on the risk. What she hadn’t planned on was Bowen. And she sure as hell didn’t plan on all of the feelings his presence was bringing about in her. He was everything she shouldn’t want. He was on Team Bad while she personified Team Good. Of course none of that matters when she’s with him. She sees the man he is, underneath all of his gruff exterior layers, underneath his position in the crime world. She sees so much more…she sees that real man he is and, lord help her, she is falling hard and fast. Would a relationship between them with so many obstacles ever stand a chance?

The last thing Bowen Driscol ever thought he would be doing is helping the police. A guy like him only dealt with the police for one reason, and it surely wasn’t to play nice in the sandbox. But here he was, helping the NYPD on the down low. As if it wasn’t bad enough, he was stuck with a woman who rocked him to his core and threw him totally off-balance. A woman he shouldn’t even think about, let alone have the desire to be with her. She was everything pure and good, and we was everything opposite. Dirty and bad. He just prays that when this is all over, and his debt to the NYPD has been paid, he has the strength to walk away from Seraphina….because as it stands now, there was no way he wanted to ever let her go.

The odds are many and great against Seraphina and Bowen. They are opposites in every which way possible…but none of that matters. Not when the attraction and emotion shared between them has the ability to knock those odds right out of the picture. But in the trenches of the criminal underworld, none of that attraction and emotion will matter if one of them ends up dead…

I’m pretty sure I say this with every review I write about Tessa’s books, but holy hell, this gal just keeps getting better and better. I was so excited to get my hands on this book and start this new reading adventure and I was completely drawn into Bowen and Seraphim’s world from the very first chapter. There are so many things to love about this book.

I read a lot, so it’s easy for story lines and characters to get lost in the shuffle. That is NOT the case here. I truly felt like I was in this story. In my mind’s eye I could picture the places Bowen and Sera were in. I could picture what the characters looked like and the clothing they wore. I could feel the fluttering of emotions ranging from fear and tension to heat and passion. Truly, that is a gift. A gift that Tessa has given us with this story. Bowen reminds me of a Brooklyn version of James Dean. Smoking cigarettes, wearing that leather jacket with his rough-hewn good looks. But there’s a softer side to him that in a million years I never would have expected. It’s a side I don’t want to spoil by writing it here, because it’s a side you need to read for yourself. When Tessa reveals this beautiful hidden facet to his personality, I literally gasped and teared up. I never suspected it and it was just so damn good. Sera is a heroine I loved reading and an amazing compliment to Bowen. She is strong and determined. She’s smart and patient and kind. I loved her for loving Bowen the way she did. Together they are pure magic. The differences between them make for a combustible amount of fire and passion and it was delicious to read.

On top of all of that, we are introduced to the basis of this series…creative, somewhat rehabilitated, criminals working on the side of good. Freaking GENIUS. I have a feeling the other players in this game will be just as amazing to read as Bowen and Sera were. I know I sound like a broken record, but Tessa just keeps getting better!

If you are able to take away one thing from this long-winded review, it’s that you really need to grab a copy of this book. You will NOT be disappointed! Thank you, Tessa, for bringing us Bowen and Sera and for this amazing intro to a series I know I will adore!


5LovesRLBFive Loves


Special Event:

Be sure to stop by the blog on Thursday, 1/29/15, for a very special event….

The Risking It All Location Photo Shoot!

Tessa traveled around to some of the locations mentioned in the book and took some amazing photos and wrote a bit about each one. How awesome is that?! 

So be sure to stop by! 

Book links:

Amazon  |  B&N  |  iBooks


About the author:

highres-MJB_5140.jpgTessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.

Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

She now lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband of seven years and three-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook 


  1. I agree that Tessa just keeps getting better and better. I thought the Serve series was her best work to date, but as soon as the ARC for RISKING IT ALL comes in, I’m expecting that to change. I’ve truly enjoyed watching her grow as an author and very much look forward to more from her.

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