Thrown Down by Tessa Bailey…Blog Tour Stop & Review


Thrown Down Tour

Vaughn and River were the high school sweethearts everyone expected to fail. And they did. But not because of any shortage of love. Oh no. The town bad boy and the bubbly class president had that in spades. What they didn’t have was the truth—or the ability to defeat the forces that kept them apart. Vaughn never left River completely, however, because the night he left town for good, they conceived a child. Now Vaughn has returned to earn back his family—and River’s love—any way he can.

Thrown Down Synopsis:

He has one last chance to deserve the girl of his dreams…

Overachiever River Purcell was never supposed to be a struggling single mom, working double shifts just to make ends meet. Nor was she supposed to be abandoned by her high school sweetheart, breaking her heart into a thousand jagged pieces. Now Vaughn De Matteo is back in town, his sights set on her…and River is in danger of drowning a second time.

No one believed Hook’s resident bad boy was good enough for River. Not even Vaughn himself. But he’ll fight like hell to win back the woman he never stopped loving, to keep the daughter he never expected, and convince himself he’s worth their love in the process––even if he has to rely on their fierce and undeniable sexual chemistry.

But even as River’s body arches under his hungered touch, the demons of the past lurk in the shadows. Waiting for Vaughn to repeat his mistakes one last time…


My Review:

Thrown Down is the second book in author Tessa Bailey’s Made in Jersey series and, being a huge Tessa fan, I am always excited with a new release from her.   Once again, this was no exception and from start to finish I loved everything about it.

Since you can read what the story is about in the synopsis, I’m going to skip that and go into my feelings on Vaughn and River’s story. Oh, the feelings…

I know I can count on Tessa for interesting, strong heroines with a soft side for their men and a love for his alpha side. When I pick up a Tessa book I know I can count on dirty talking heroes with an all-consuming need for their women. It’s always highly emotional, raw, sexy, dirty, and oh-so-delicious. What I finally figured out while reading Thrown Down is what, beyond that, makes me love Tessa’s characters so damn much….it’s the moments.

There are may be a handful of moments that stand out in the sea of books I’ve read. When you read as much as I do, things muddle together in your brain but you can always recall certain moments you know you’ll never forget. I’ve added one more to my collection while reading this book: when Vaughn met his daughter. I’m not really sure I can adequately put into words just how touching it was. Written out in such an emotional and raw way with time almost coming to a stop. I could feel what Vaughn was feeling at that very moment and it was something so special I had to take a deep breath after reading it. But that’s what Tessa does. She gives us these incredible moments in each book, that when you pair it with her gritty men, multifaceted women, and off the charts heat, always adds up to a combination not many can match.

Not only the big moments are the special ones, though. There are little things in each story that just kill me (in a good way, of course!). In Thrown Down it was Vaughn and River each counting how long it’s been since he left, changing the symbolism of the motel room they once shared, a picture he kept of her….and so many more I can’t say because I don’t want to ruin anything.

I know I’ve said it before, but truly, this book lands in my top five of Tessa. Possibly second place right behind Exposed by Fate, which will never be able to be knocked out of first place 😉

Whether you’re already a Tess fan or this is the first of her books you pick up, I know you will love Vaughn and River’s story. Thank you, Tessa, for another amazing read and for more indelible moments.


Five Loves

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Buy Links:

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throw down cover


Forty-nine months and three days.

That was how long it had been since he’d seen her.

Vaughn swayed to the right, his shoulder slamming up against the wall. Then he kind of just hung there, counting forward and backward from one to ten. Not helping. Not helping. His stomach pitched at the sight of River walking through the drunks, like a nurse walking among the wounded on a battlefield. She could still knock his lights out on sight. Not that he’d doubted it for a second. But God, if it were possible, she’d grown even more beautiful over the last forty-nine months. Her blond hair was tied up in a ponytail, a pencil stuck through the base, in a way he remembered well enough to make his throat go raw. In a short black skirt and fitted white T-shirt, River tried to look the part of indifferent barmaid, but didn’t pull it off.

Not by a stretch.

Eyes Vaughn knew were just a shade darker than cornflower blue flitted to each table, and her fingers tugged on the skirt’s hem self-consciously every time she approached a new one. When she fumbled with the notepad, recovering with a nervous laugh, a choked sound left Vaughn. “Riv,” he whispered.

She looked up so fast, he might as well have shouted. The sudden impact of having River’s focus on him after such an extended period of time without it released a rushing sound between his ears, blocking out the sad lounge act…and apparently someone asking if he needed a table. Because when Vaughn snapped back to reality, a man he towered over by at least a foot was in his face. Snapping his fingers.

“I wouldn’t…” Vaughn shook his head to clear it, experiencing a resurgence of anger, this time for having his attention diverted from where he needed it to be. On River.

“I wouldn’t advise snapping your fingers in my face again.”

“Why’s that, huh?”

A toss of blond hair snagged Vaughn’s gaze as his angelic ex-girlfriend zigzagged through the crowd, drawing more than just his notice. Ah no, quite the opposite. She was putting on an unwitting show for every man in the room, attracting lecherous looks by virtue of being her beautiful self, light in a dark tunnel, same way she’d always been.

Finger snapped in front of his face. Again. “This is my place and I asked you a question.”

“This is your place?” Vaughn asked. God, one hour back in Jersey and already his accent had thickened from water to oil. “You hired River Purcell to clean up tables?”

“That’s right.”

Vaughn plowed a fist into the underside of the man’s jaw, watching him fall backward onto the sticky concrete floor with detachment that slowly morphed into satisfaction. So much for calm, he thought, shaking out his right hand.

About Tessa:


Tessa 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 Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-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.



  1. Kathleen Bylsma says:

    Oh my goodness! Second chance stories…love them and this sounds so good. Thank you!

  2. kathy valentine says:

    great review jilly!!! love tessa!!

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