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Line of Duty #5

Staking His Claim

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A sexy category romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint...

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…

176 pages, ebook

First published February 3, 2014

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About the author

Tessa Bailey

75 books34.7k followers
New York Times Bestselling author Tessa Bailey can solve all problems except for her own, so she focuses those efforts on stubborn, fictional blue collar men and loyal, lovable heroines. She lives on Long Island avoiding the sun and social interactions, then wonders why no one has called. Dubbed the “Michelangelo of dirty talk,” by Entertainment Weekly, Tessa writes with spice, spirit, swoon and a guaranteed happily ever after. Catch her on TikTok at @authortessabailey or check out tessabailey.com for a complete list of books.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 686 reviews
May 25, 2017
4 Spank me harder Matt stars


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“You come because I allow it. You only do it for me.”

Nicely done Tessa Bailey! Matt's book may have been a shorter one, but it was packed full of yummy goodness. I enjoyed it very much. Insta-love in books are either a hit or miss with me and this one worked for me. I would have loved it to be longer, and some of the dirty talk didn't flow right for me. It was like one dirty line he would say would be hot as hell, and then next he was like a newbie not use to talking dirty and fumbling through it. IDK he just wasn't as smooth as the others in the dirty talking department. Also he acted a little emo to me. "I'm Dark, I'm tainted, blah blah." Which is why this was a 4 star instead of a 5 for me.

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“You’re going to be sore tomorrow. From me. From how I’m about to fuck you. Every time you walk, sit, or stand, you’re going to think of me.”

What this book is about

Matt Donovan a NYPD sniper has been roped into picking up his best friend Brent's little pain in the ass sister Lucy, and bring her back to New York. When he gets there to pick her up he is told by her smokin' hot roomate that Lucy isn't coming, but she could still use a ride to New York. When the car breaks down on the way. Matt and Lucy's sexy roomate share some amazing sex. Matt wants to see her again, but as soon as she gets to NY she blows him off. The next day at a party for his BF Brent and Hayden, he is shocked to find out that the woman who rocked his world 24 hours ago is not Lucy's roomate ,but is in fact Lucy herself, his best friend's little sister. Feeling betrayed, and angry, will he be able to get pass the fact that she lied to him, and that she is Brents sister to see where this connection goes or walk away forever?

“You don’t get to hold back. Not when I’m ten inches deep, Lucy. I won’t allow it.”


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Matt was brooding , dominant, and very serious. He doesn't talk much which leaves Lucy confused about his feelings for her. He has lots of baggage from the betrayal of his ex-fiance and his ex best friend who were sleeping with each other behind his back. He also likes bondage, spanking and kinkier sex which he feels is wrong and sick, because his ex looked at him like he was a monster and told him he had a sickness. So he feels like he is dark and tainted and would ruin Lucy if he let himself stay with her. I liked Matt a lot, but his "I'm bad " emo ways annoyed me a little.

“The first time I tongue you into coming, it’s going to be an apology. The second time will be a reward for waiting.” He fell to his knees and took his first intoxicating taste of Lucy. A growl worked its way free of his chest. “The third time is going to be because I fucking love to hear you scream.”

“You shouldn’t want this. You shouldn’t want my punishment. But you do, don’t you? You’re starved for it.”

“Lucy Mason, you brought the color in. You brought me to life when I didn’t even realize I’d stopped breathing.” He laid his hand over hers on his cheek. “Now I can’t get enough air. It’s everywhere because of you.”


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Lucy was great. She was playful, outgoing, and a free spirit. She is brave and kind of a dare devil. She has been holding herself back, because she is insecure about being a pain in her family's ass especially her brother Brent, who worked two jobs to put her through college. She is ready to start her new life, and career. I loved Lucy she was so full of life, and she tried really hard to give Matt everything he needed.

“I thought of you every time I sat down today. Just like you told me to, Matt.”

“I’m not taking the Paris job, you moron. But don’t worry, my staying in New York has nothing to do with you. I know the score. So don’t worry about me. I know what this is.” She skirted past him. “It’s nothing.”

“Yes you can. You’re here in the sun with me right now.” The words came out in a rush. She barely knew what she was saying, only that she was losing him. The Matt who’d thrown water balloons was receding, to be replaced with the stoic, closed-off man he showed everyone else. “You just have to stay here with me.”

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“Hottest fuck of my life,” he growled into her neck. “Can’t think of a goddamn thing but getting back inside you. What did you do to me?”

Matt and Lucy as a couple are cute. It was fun watching Lucy bring Matt to life. He lets go a little and has fun. I really liked the water ballon fight in the park. The sex of couse was hot. I liked getting to see Brent and Hayden again. It was a nice quick read. I really liked the ending. Line of Duty was a great series full of Sexy, dirty talking cops, and sassy leading ladies. I would recommend it. Below I will leave my favorite moment from the book:

She didn’t. Halfway through the lively song about a young French maid losing her virtue in a field, the lyrics completely fled her brain. People were smiling and bobbing their heads at her, though. That was a good sign, right? If she could just make it through the end of the song, she might escape this without requiring ten years’ worth of therapy. What were those stupid lyrics? Not a single word came to mind. Praying no one in the room knew French, Lucy started singing about another tragedy, possibly worse than the French maid losing her V-card.

J’ai rencontré un bel homme Nous sommes allés à l’hôtel Il a fessé mon cul, notre pizza partit Et je suis en enfer maintenant. Which roughly translated to: I met a lovely fellow We went to a motel He spanked my ass Our pizza left And now I am in hell.

Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
1,987 reviews11.7k followers
January 29, 2014
3.25 STARS

One look at her had rattled the chains he'd wrapped around his needs, tempting his inner demons to the surface. Demons that belonged in the past, but refused to stay there.

I can tell you one thing for sure about this book, IT WAS HOT. And I mean hot! Like filthy dirty talk hot. But really, can you expect any less from Tessa Bailey? I think not.

Did I enjoy it? Yes. Did I love it as much as the other books in this series? Sadly, no. How do I feel about giving less than my typical 4.5 stars for the amazing Tessa Bailey? Well...

Now it's probably fair to say I will more than likely be in the minority with my opinion and I think that many will love this one. Why didn't I? I'll try to sum it up for you.

Matt Donovan is the last single man left in his close circle of friends and he's looking to keep it that way. His desires run on the darker side and the demons from his past continue to haunt his present. There is no way that a man like him will be good for any woman longer than one night, especially when that woman happens to be his best friend sister's roommate.

Lucy Mason is Brent Mason's little sister (the hero from Asking for Trouble). Having just graduated college she's looking to begin to experience life at it's fullest in the week she has left before she accepts her new job. And when she spots the sinfully sexy Matt, she just knows that a night with him has to be at the top of her list. There's just one problem; Matt thinks Brent's sister is nothing but a nuisance. Which is ridiculous considering he's never even met her. So what's a girl to do? Pretend to be her roommate, of course.

So obviously the attraction proves too much for either one of them to ignore soon enough and the clothes start flying and the dirty talk ensues. But can two people that couldn't be more different really have a future even when their sexual chemistry burns scorching hot?

While I enjoyed the super steamy scenes, I failed to get as enraptured in the story as I did the previous books. It never really drew me in. Considering that this is a pretty quick read, being a novella length, it took me a lot longer than my usual to finish. I kept putting it down and picking it up, which is just not my norm when it comes to Tessa's books.

Matt's tastes are supposed to be dark and wicked, but mainly he just had a penchant for

Now here's the problem for me, I've read books with the darker heroes, and Matt never really accomplished that vibe for me. So he liked a little control and liked to hand out a few spankings. This does not dark make in my book. Yet the entire book he spends brooding about being afraid to unleash his "dark" side on Lucy. Matt, you can rest easy, you were more on the lightly grayish side. But I would be happy to teach your sexy ass what dark truly is

I also thought that the dialogue felt forced. I don't even know how to best explain it. I've loved all the heroes in this series. The dirty talk obviously being my favorite part, and it always had a natural flow to it. It fit the characters. With Matt, that natural flow was missing. When he spoke, it came off as unnatural, it almost sounded to me like during some of the scenes the author was writing outside of her comfort zone. I don't even know if that make sense, but there it is.

But don't get me wrong, when it came to steam Tessa still delivered...and then some. Matt was sexy as hell and when he put that filthy mouth to work. GOOD LORD. He was just the right mix of dirty talking and rough around the edges

I also felt that the I love yous were exchanged much too quick. . I understand that that was the span that the book was written in, but it just wasn't believable to me. After everything that Matt has been through, it didn't fit. It was too rushed in my opinion.
There was a super sweet epilogue which I absolutely loved that was the perfect icing to top the book off with.

To sum up, I've been a huge fan of this series since book 1, Tessa Bailey continues to be an auto-buy author for me, and I will gladly and greedily snatch up any of her future releases. But this book was sadly not my favorite in the series.

**ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review**

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Profile Image for • Lisa •.
555 reviews1,525 followers
February 3, 2014


I have fallen well and truly in love with my latest Brazen book binge.Tessa Bailey is the queen of a sexy fix and 'staking his claim' has certainly taken the crown for my most favourite of this series. You must not miss out on this sexy book it comes complete with the most tempting dirty talker, Matt Donovan. He is one broken hero that I'd love to help fix, here are my helplessly in lust book thoughts ...

What's it all about?
Matt Donovan finds himself with the task of driving his best friends sister home from college, it's the last thing he wants to do and when he arrives at the college he gets more than he bargained for. Lucy Mason can't believe her luck when her brothers best friend arrives to take her home, he's the hottest NYPD officer that she can ever remember, but she knows that once her identity as the 'little sister' is revealed he won't go a step near her. So with a plan of seduction already forming, Lucy decides to lie about her identity in the hope for one temptingly, delicious night. Lucy and Matt can't deny their obvious attraction to each other and when their desire turns to more they must make the steps together to secure each other hearts. But when darkness, demanding appetites, lies and insecurities start to get in the way of their happiness they must fight for what is true.


What did I love?
There wasn't even a smidgen of doubt that I loved this novel, everything from the plot and characters, to the sexy-steamy encounters and heart clenching romance won me right over. Tessa Bailey is one of my go-to favourite brazen authors and I must confess that I'm hopelessly addicted to her fabulous series and well thought about characters. There was not a moment of reading this story that I didn't connect with. The storyline and every page held my complete attention and even though it was a relatively short story I didn't feel short changed, instead I felt like I had enjoyed the benefit of a story packed to the brim with everything that makes a book a stand out five stars. 'Staking his claim' was not only my favourite book in the series but it also hosted my favourite character of the series, Matt Donovan. What could be more sexy than an ex military sniper now a specialist NYPD officer he has plenty of skeletons in his closet and he definitely played the part of damaged, dominant hero to an art. Everything about him I adored he was sexy and vulnerable whilst being fabulously alpha male but with a heart melting possessive side that I loved just as much. The heroine of this book was just as gorgeous I loved that she was an intelligent and feisty character. Lucy is a girl who knows what she wants and how to follow her heart. Together Lucy and Matt were amazing, the chemistry was unbelievably hot and I felt like I connected with their journey from beginning to end. This book had a bit of everything for my tastes, romance by the pageful, naughty sexy and steamy action and an ending that melted my heart and yes brought a tear to my eye. I loved every minute and I've got my fingers crossed that Tessa Bailey continues with her addictive writing.



Final thoughts ...
Readers if you have not started Tessa Bailey's 'Line of Duty' series then you are missing out. Delicious love stories, combined with sexy hot characters Tessa Bailey creates the best kind of delicious, easy reading novels. Staking his claim is my favourite in the series but it won't be a hardship reading all of the books in order as they are fantastic. Don't take my word for it, go grab the whole series readers, I guarantee you won't regret it. Enjoy ... Kisses.


*ARC generously provided by entangled publishing in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for Alba and Her Secrets..♥.
791 reviews999 followers
November 13, 2016
4 'Be My Air' Stars!

Finally finished this series! I loved all the Line of Duty books so much, it's sad to say goodbye to all these amazing characters! I really enjoyed Matt and Lucy's story and their off-the-charts chemistry (Matt is a bossy hottie!).

Only thing that I missed in Staking His Claim (being the last book in the series) is a longer epilogue/ending and a closure with all the characters. Still, Tessa Bailey is awesome in her Brazen books, I love her writing and her heroes so I definitely recommend checking her novels out!
Profile Image for Catarina.
896 reviews1,930 followers
February 26, 2014
5 Claiming Stars.

When Matt does a favor for his best friend and picks his younger sister from college he never in a million years imagined that his life would be about to change.
Lucy knew that faking her name and pretend she was her best friend in order to deceive her older brother best-friend, wasn’t a good idea. But some things can’t be undone.
Despite their rocky start and the fact that Lucy is the younger sister of Matt’s best friend they can’t be apart and can’t far from the other. But as the same time they can’t be apart theirs ghosts prevent them from being truly together.
And a lot of obstacles will be in their way before than can completely claim the other.


I have just one thing to say about this book: Best book in the series!
Which is saying a lot considering they’re already awesome.


Rating: 5 Stars.
Storyline: Sweet, a little angsty and oh-so-sexy. This book got me since page one and I just couldn’t put it down.
Writing Style: Third person, dual POV. Addictive and amazingly written.
Character Development: Both of them were pretty good and you can’t help but love Matt. Again, it was good to see the previous characters. My only complaint is that the first main couple (Ginger and Derek.) never appear. I know this is spent in NY and their book was in Chicago, but still. I miss them.
Steam: Hot. Hot. Hot. (One time wasn’t enough.) *giggles*
Profile Image for Wendy'sThoughts.
2,632 reviews3,208 followers
August 7, 2020
3.75 Restrained, Boiling, Claimed Stars
* * * 3/4 Spoiler Free
February 8, 2014
I am an Entangled/Brazen Hussy... they are my go-to happy place... and one of my favorite authors with this publishing house is Tessa Bailey. I spent this last weekend having a Bailey Marathon...and Staking His Claim, the fifth in the Line of Duty series was one of my reads.

I find comfort in Ms. Bailey's writing; it is strong, direct, and clear. Her characters are full of personality whether intense, humorous, or sarcastic. There are conflicts which make sense; the groundwork in the premise is present... we are tuned in to what hurdles lay ahead for our potential couple. If we are paying attention, we will connect strongly and root for them to figure out how to clear whatever path is blocked and have their happiness.

The added enjoyment of this specific series is it just makes sense; all of the men are in some part of Enforcement which means any complications putting these characters in jeopardy are realistic. I can understand and accept this without feeling manipulated. Bank hold-ups, hostage negotiations, possible bomb threats or criminal elements kidnapping loved ones fit and don't feel as if they were tagged on.

Which brings us to Matt Donovan, an ex-military sniper.
He is part of this attractive, hot, alpha NYPD group. Matt has always been the quieter one... feeling the need to stay separate as he hides what he thinks is his dark side... something which must be restrained, controlled at all costs. He has been roped into doing a favor for one of his friends on the force. Go to Syracuse, pick up Lucy Mason, Brent's baby sister, and her roommate Sasha and bring back to NYC.

Lucy is in Starbucks and finds out Sasha is not going to NYC as planned. She is taking off with her boyfriend leaving Lucy kinda in the lurch. Both girls were to celebrate finishing their Master's Program by completing a bucket list there... now she will be doing them alone. It was a chance to cut loose like she use to... let out the wild child she has kept under wraps for these last years... toeing the line after causing disruption to the family with some wild stunts... things giving her the reputation of being a handful or nuisance.

Thinking about how much of a drag this car trip is going to be, no brother picking her up and now her friend has bailed, Lucy sees this vision walk in to get a cup of coffee. The girls behind the counter are falling all over themselves to wait on him...for good reason.

He is panty-dropping perfection... dark hair, piercing gray eyes, tall and muscles which could not be concealed with his dark clothing. Lucy is speechless and so drawn to him, she can't help fantasizing what it would be like to have hot sweaty sex with this stranger.

She is broken from her trance when she overhears Matt asking for directions to her address. As she realizes this is her ride Matt, he answers the question of how come he is there... and says he is there to pick up a friend's sister who he hears is a nuisance.

This comment is the fork in the road for Lucy....she is sick and tired of hearing that from her brother and is hurt this is how he talks about her to his friends. She also figured out Matt must have no idea who she is...he has been eye-fucking her in the shop. The chemistry between them is instantaneous and it will be snuffed out in an instant if Matt learns she is Brent's sister, so...

A scheme is born...

Lucy will pretend to be Sasha for the ride and flirt outrageously to get a one time hook up with Matt. Lucy introduces herself to Matt as Sasha and explains she is the one he is taking back to NYC as Lucy bailed. Matt tells her to get her stuff and they will go.

Matt cannot believe this... he is going to be locked in a car alone with this cute strawberry blond. She is put together perfectly with legs he wants wrapped around his waist, green eyes that sparkle, and a pocket figure, tight and perky. He has no idea how he is going to turn off all of the dark needs that are raging through his head. The things he wants to do with her... like ways to restrain her while he brings her pleasure five ways to Sunday...

They start the trip and Lucy does everything possible with her body language to attract Matt... She moves in her seat just so ... flips her hair out of her eyes.. crosses and uncrosses her legs ...puts lip gloss on... all causing Matt to lose his mind because he keeps running in his head how he is no good for her. His desires will cause her to run in the opposite direction... and she is a no no... Brent's sister.

Trouble happens when the car breaks down and they have to stay in a motel while it gets repaired. They get a room and all sexual hell breaks loose... Matt and Lucy combust. His dark dominant side comes out and he is shocked and overwhelmed by Lucy's quick response and acceptance of it. She is too, his commanding way and dirty whispers shock and excited her like never before. Their pairing is frantic, base, almost feral...with him giving her a couple of spanks and her loving it. They are informed the car is fixed ahead of time and Lucy dresses quickly to get back on the road. She now feels guilty not for the amazing eyeopening sex but because she lied to him as to who she really is... and she knows this is going to be a problem.

This tale is about a lot of things; labels put on us by loved ones and how it can harm our relationships... how it is important to see growth in individuals... try to see who they have become.

It addresses guilt and responsibility when people die in war; how those left behind need to see the truth and let go of these types of burdens.

And it addresses sexual needs... being dominant; own it and when finding the right match in a partner... grab onto it.

I enjoyed the read although the insta-lust came really quick... and Matt was so intense so fast it made my head spin. There was also some repetition of why each of them was so insecure about getting together seriously.

Overall, though... the pairing of these two was quite something... intense, hot and frequent... and did I say hot...

I am not sure if there is another Line of Duty book coming, I can only hope Ms. Bailey has another in the wings because I will be on the lookout.

Protecting What's His (Line of Duty, #1) by Tessa Bailey Protecting What's His (Line of Duty, #1)
Protecting What's Theirs (Line of Duty, #1.5) by Tessa Bailey Protecting What's Theirs (Line of Duty, #1.5)
His Risk to Take (Line of Duty, #2) by Tessa Bailey His Risk to Take (Line of Duty #2)
Officer off Limits (Line of Duty, #3) by Tessa Bailey Officer off Limits (Line of Duty #3)
Asking for Trouble (Line of Duty, #4) by Tessa Bailey Asking for Trouble (Line of Duty, #4)
Staking His Claim (Line of Duty, #5) by Tessa Bailey Staking His Claim (Line of Duty, #5)

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Profile Image for S.
379 reviews91 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
November 20, 2015

DNF at 15 percent.

This book got too weird for me. His thoughts about not being clean was disturbing.

"Right now, she looked at him and saw a decent-looking man, a departure from the younger hoodie-sporting guys she met on campus. She didn't see what lurked behind."

"When he occasionally let himself explore the need he kept shoved down deep inside him, he went for curvier women. Women with some meat on their bones who could withstand what he dished out."


Huh? I'm all for enjoying what you like but this was just disturbing. And then he started talking about spanking her within hours from they met and seconds after the first kiss. Pace yourself, dude. He may have been hot but it rubbed me the wrong way.

I used to love Tessa Bailey but the last one was not a hit and this was downright terrible. I think I might give up on her and continue to enjoy the first three books in this series.
Profile Image for Kelli C .
1,042 reviews347 followers
February 5, 2014
4.5 Smoking stars! Now that's what I'm talking about! Tessa Bailey owns me with this series!

Matt Donovan

This man is a dominant God! His need for control is off the charts...who could possibly accept him with all that dark sensual anger inside....well, one feisty little college grad with a pension for thrill seeking behavior just might bring him to his knees!

Lucy seems to be a "nuisance" to most her fam, including big bro cop Brent, as her crazy behavior has landed her with a flighty rep...but the chance to take on the sexy Matt cannot be passed up, even if it requires a bit of lying and scheming to accomplish! Oh what would big bro think of his lil' sis getting her behind reddened by his fellow boy in blue! Matt is not your typical man...he has out of bounds needs that little Lucy is desperate to fill.

This is a fast read...fast chemistry, fast sex, and fast emotions...all well done! I have been waiting for a female lead to give as good as she got and Lucy was great (minus her initial lie). Together Matt and Lucy were explosive...raw and primal with a need like no other!

Again my only complaint to Tessa Bailey...MORE! I want 300 pages of this!
Profile Image for Gio Listmaker .
294 reviews89 followers
February 9, 2017
There Was A Lot Of This!

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And A Lot Of Dirty Talk

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A Little Of This

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I Needed One Of These

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Fun Hot Read With No OW/OM Drama

Profile Image for Duchess Nicole.
1,255 reviews1,506 followers
February 18, 2014
This was my least favorite so far :( Something kept me from sinking in to this story as much as I thought I would. I usually love the whole "debauch the young maiden" theme but Matt's whole self flagellation got really old. Fair warning, this is one of those stories in which the hero stays away from the heroine because he thinks he's not good enough for her. Like I said in a conversation with a friend...people are selfish creatures, especially when it comes to romance. If you want a person, you're going to go for them. And if you don't, then you're too weak to deserve them, most likely. So Matt just came across as a guy who maybe needed an ego boost or a few more months doing some soul searching before entering into a relationship.

Example: "He's already been less than confident about his ability to make her happy. Even now, she stood among a group of strangers, preparing to salsa dance. In public. All by herself. She was brave and spirited. he would dim that part of her in no time."

The sex was okay, but nothing compares to the last book...Brent's cave man routine absolutely stole the show in this series. Matt likes to be rough, thinks he's too rough, no good for Lucy, even after she reveals her true identity. I can understand his hesitation when it came to banging his best friend's little sister though. Big oops there, but it sure made for some lovely forbidden fruit :D

This was a very quotable book though. Tessa Bailey does two things really well: sex and romance...the romantic one liners are plentiful, it was just the story that didn't do it for me. Here are a few favorite quotes :D

**"I remember what it feels like when you're getting ready to blow. It's seared on my fucking brain. Any minute now, you're going to tighten up on me like a vise. " He nipped her bottom lip. "And I'm going to fuck right through it."

**"Lucy Mason, you brought the color in. You brought me to life when I didn't even realize I'd stopped breathing." He laid his hand over hers on his cheek. "Now I can't get enough air. It's everywhere because of you."

**"Listen to me. I love your sister. I love her so much I can't wait for tomorrow. To see what she says, what she wears, which laugh she'll use. She' not your sister to me. She's Lucy. She's the girl who makes me feel human." Once the words started, he couldn't seem to stop. "I know I'm not who you'd pick for her, I'm probably not even who she would pick, but I'll change that. I'll give her everything."

Supah sweet, right? Le sigh! Everyone else seemed to love this one, so it's likely just personal preference and also the fact that this was the last of five books in the series that I read back to back. I'm so glad I finally picked up this series!
Profile Image for Hannah.
583 reviews1,041 followers
August 13, 2019
As always, loving Bailey's writing. I did like the couple for the most part but I also thought his whole thought process of "I am so bad, if she finds out what I want to do in bed she'll be disgusted" a tiny bit unbelievable - he wasn't even into anything super outside the box, plus she was enjoying everything he tried with her. Also, could they maybe, just maybe, just talk to each other?
Profile Image for ♥Sharon♥.
949 reviews143 followers
April 13, 2014
3 Stars

I'm not sure why I jumped into this series at book #5 but I did. I am not sure if I had I started this series at book #1 that I would feel differently about it but unfortunately this book just didn't work for me.

What it comes down to is that I really never made a true connection with the main characters, Matt and Lucy. I had trouble believing in their connection as a couple and things just never took off for me.

There were some pretty steamy moments between these two but in the end I felt that things seemed bit rushed and for me I wanted there to be little more to their relationship.

This my first book by this author but it certainly won't be my last. I have read some pretty amazing reviews for this book as well as others in this series so I will definitely be trying another book by Tessa Bailey.

Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews837 followers
November 30, 2018
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Staking His Claim by Tessa Bailey
Book Five of the Line of Duty series
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Publication Date: February 3, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Purchased Kindle copy

Summary (from Goodreads):

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…

What I Liked:

I've had this book for a long time but never got the chance to read it. If you're a regular Eater of Books! reader, you've probably noticed that I've slowed down my ARC reading and have been rereading a lot more, lately. I've also been trying to read old backlist books that I bought or received but haven't read. This is one of them. I love Tessa Bailey's books, and this one was no exception.

Matt Donovan is literally the strong, silent, brooding type. He is a man of very few words with a complicated, heartbreaking past. He's a sniper in the NYPD ESU, and former military. When his NYPD partner Brent asks him to pick up his sister and sister's roommate, Matt doesn't expect to be knock on his butt by Brent's gorgeous sister. Except he doesn't know that Lucy is Brent's sister, because she lies and says she's the roommate. One steamy night is in the books before it is revealed to Matt that Lucy is actually Lucy, Brent's sister. He's furious, but he can't stay away...

Matt is one of the most unique alpha heroes I've come across in a long time. You'd think all alpha heroes are the same, especially the strong and brooding types. I like Matt because he's actually a strong, silent, brooding type. He doesn't say much, but when he does, he makes it count. He is a quiet observer, and he notices a lot. He hates being lied to, especially because of something that happened in the past. He is furious with Lucy for lying to him, but at the same time, he is drawn to her like a moth to a flame. Matt has so many layers, from his military past, to his ex-fiancee fiasco, to his dark desires. Matt needed someone exactly like Lucy to shake him up.

Lucy is light to Matt's darkness. She is full of life and energy, but not quite in a manic-pixie-girl way (though kind of). Lucy knew lying to Matt was going to lead to trouble, but she did it anyway. She does what she wants and goes after what she wants. But she loves Matt's dominant, possessive side when it comes to her. Lucy is a sweet, hardworking girl and while I didn't like the fact that she lied to Matt as ridiculously as she did, I quickly forgave her. She's not a bad person.

The two of them have seriously hot chemistry. Whew, this book was hot. Matt has a dominant side that likes control, and Lucy has a caring, submissive side that likes to give up control. This dynamic works really well for them as a pair. I personally like alpha heroes especially when the heroine likes alphas - the dynamic works for them. There were so many ~hot~ scenes in this book; never doubt that Tessa Bailey while write scorching romance novels.

They had to work for it, but there is a lovely HEA at the end of this book. There was a lot of push-and-pull, with Lucy hurting Matt, and Matt hurting Lucy, and back and forth, and in the end I think it was a really good ending. These two are great for each other.

Overall I liked this book a lot. It was hot and steamy, but also sweet and romantic. Maybe a little bit of insta-love, but I liked it. And I liked the Brent/Hayden and Daniel/Story cameos (well, not a ton of Story, but that's okay).

What I Did Not Like:

Nothing specific!

Would I Recommend It:

If you like Tessa Bailey's books but haven't read this one, do it! It's super hot. Possibly one of her hottest books. Especially in terms of the dom/sub aspect (it's not really BDSM - the dom/sub terminology isn't used and it's more seen as an alpha/beta type of thing). And the best friend's little sister trope was not annoying at all; usually I don't love the trope, but I thought the reveal to Brent was perfect. Everyone was an adult about things. And hey, there was a HEA. What's not to love?


4 stars. I highly recommend all of the Line of Duty books! I think there might be one that I haven't read but I've read most of them and I love them (especially Officer Off Limits, my first Tessa Bailey book). Do yourself a favor and binge-read the series!
Profile Image for Emma ~ The Indecisive Reader ~.
227 reviews57 followers
September 30, 2014
3.5 stars

I enjoyed Staking His Claim, it was hot, sexy, hot!!! Of course Tessa Bailey delivered in the hot sex, the dirty talk and great couple. I do enjoy the best mates sister/brothers best friend. But I just didn't enjoy them as much as the others in this series. But the ending and epilogue, awwwww loved it!!
Profile Image for Jenny - TotallybookedBlog.
1,777 reviews2,010 followers
August 10, 2016
4.5..... I'm in love with Matt... Stars

Jointly review for Totallybooked : http://totallybookedblog.com/


Gitte & Jenny: Well what more can we say about Tessa Bailey and her heroes that we haven’t already said? We’ve loved every single story and every single hero. Tessa rocks at writing pure sexy raw indulgence. What this Author crams into a short story is fantastic, it really is. When you need a hit of something hot, passionate, thrilling and drama laden there’s not much better than a shot of Tessa Bailey that’s for sure. Even her heroines are ace; they sparkle and they’re completely lovable. Every story ticks all the right boxes for that much needed quickie we all desire every so often…yes, pun intended!

In this fifth instalment we finally get the story of NYPD sniper Matt Donovan who’s been a bit of an enigma. Matt, Matt, Matt….you had us wanting to throw our knickers at you and jump into a submissive pose. Because bloody hell you command every scene you’re in; the imposing presence, your dirty filthy mouth and your *cough* talents had us squirming whilst reading.

‘Take it slow. Don’t scare her.’

‘His needs had been locked up so tight for so damn long.’

Once again there’s a convincing chemistry between the hero and heroine. The intensity and the sexual tension between Matt and Lucy was smouldering. We felt it and we believed it. Matt tries to be everything he truly isn’t and he fights tooth and nail not to fall for the delectable Lucy who’s not only his mate’s sister but who’s also innocence personified in Matt’s eyes.

‘Alone was the best place for him.’

Well that, right there is why their attraction was so hot and intense, because it was a case of opposite attracts. Matt has a vulnerability which stems from a previous relationship gone wrong. He was made to feel like a ‘deviant’ by a woman he cared deeply for, leaving emotional scars. So when he falls in lust for the sweet pure Lucy he tries his utmost not to touch her.

‘Forbidden was the only way to describe her. Forbidden to him.’

Where Matt is controlled and in command of his professional life. Lucy is a thrill seeker and a bubble of fun who grabs life by the scruff of the neck. She lives under the cloud of a label which has caused insecurities, however, she knows what she wants in life.

‘He’d mastered her completely…’

Neither is the other’s ‘usual type’ but the attraction is immediate and of high level intensity as each discover things about themselves by the hand and the guidance of the other.

“Jesus. You’re begging me for it aren’t you. Beg harder.”

“More, Matt. Please.”

Yeah Matt, more please, because wow….That. Is. All!!!!

*ARC received for an honest review*

Profile Image for Jeanne .
303 reviews
August 30, 2016
This was good, but Daniel and book 3 will hold their spot as my favorite of the series! Tessa Bailey is my favorite Brazen author, I would love to see her write a full length novel where more character development could take place. This series is a lot of fun for anyone who hasn't read it! New York has a pretty big police department, so as long as she keeps coming up with new delicious dirty talking officers, I will keep reading:)) I would recommend starting at the beginning with book 1 because you wouldn't want to miss any of them!
Profile Image for Colleen Fauchelle.
494 reviews60 followers
July 23, 2019
I have been having trouble sleeping so this book has kept me company over the last couple of nights. a good spicy read.
Profile Image for [~Ami~]♥Sexy Dexy♥ .
501 reviews454 followers
February 5, 2014
3 stars

Matt gets called in to help drive his best friends little sister home from college. Lucy has other plans, knowing he wont make a move for his friends sister, she tells a little lie.

I wasnt convinced by Matt the Alpha-Dom. Maybe I was spoilt by Daniel, I dunno I didnt feel I understood him well. Lucy was a kickass heroine though.

I love this series but I felt the sexy time in this book outweighed the storyline. But I cant deny Im a sucker for cheesy endings. Worth a read if you are looking for a quick sexy book x
Profile Image for Renegade ♥.
1,340 reviews
March 15, 2019
4 stars

This was my first novel by Ms. Bailey but it definitely won't be my last. I really enjoyed the humor as well as the connection, intensity, affection and heat between Matt and Lucy. I was also intrigued by the issues that needed to be addressed and by how they overcame their misunderstandings in order to achieve their HEA.

Well done!
Profile Image for Anamarija.
112 reviews46 followers
December 17, 2014
Possessive Sniper ft. Mrs.Sunshine - ♫♪"Love the way you lie" 2 Stars ☆☆
I actually expected more from Matt. Or, maybe not more. But something different. More mystery or something. He has been described (in previous books) as a man of few words,mysterious, but kind and sweet. Not outrageous and jerky like Brent,i.e. :)

But this book presented him in typical way, slave of sexual attraction and instant "Let me just f*ck you, spank you, devour you, you're mine from the second I saw you".

I don't know if this was never emphasized in previous couples in this series, or I never bothered to see it...IDK. Or, it's overemphasized in this book. But I felt no story.

So, Matt is a sexy sniper who is suppossed to pick up Lucy and drive her home.
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But there is no Lucy in sight. There's Sasha, her friend, asking for a ride. Smoking hot. Matt isn't going to do anything about it. Her being so hot. No. Or, so we think. But that doesn't mean she won't seduce him.
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Just, when you think nothing's gonna happen, noooo...
"Wham-bam, I touch you, I wanna devour you, spank you, punish you and can't get you outta my head..."

They come home, then there's Brent's party and revealing the secret from Lucy. Liar, liar, pants on fire!
Sasha is Lucy. Lucy is Sasha. Matt! Your ass is going to be on fire now when everyone find out this!:)

Hurt that she lied and thinking about his secret,he knows he's not right for her, he tries to keep his hands away, but they both can't.

Then, there's lots of sex. Not a lot of real talking. They confuse each other. Few scenes where she goes dancing & flash mobbing were cute, and one sniper action scene.

**Now 5☆, there's one extreme hot scene, he shows up in the park,
she's watching Back to the future movie and teases him! [Chapter 7, ;)]
holy shit

That's was so hot!**

Anyways, they resolve things in the end, again, happy and all that.:)
But, could not feel their love. All I felt was chemistry.

These books always seduce us into thinking that men can be in love after scr*wing a girl. That does not work that way, usually, right?

My reviews of other books in this series:

Protecting what's his #1 3*
His risk to take #2 3.5 *
Officer off limits #3 3.7 *
Asking for trouble #4 3.5 *
February 17, 2014
3.5 SpAnK mE sTaRs

As always another hot read from the queen of Dirty Talk.... the 5th in the series of 'Line of Duty' novels.

Tessa Bailey will always be on my instabuy list, nobody does hot dominant alpha males like she does.

And Matt Donavan has to be the most dominant of them all.

......his broken, smouldering, dark and intense.

Matt reluctantly does a favour for his best friend Brent by agreeing to collect Brent's little sister Lucy from Syracuse who has just graduated and bring her back to New York. Lucy takes one look at Matt and instantly her pulse is racing. She knows that Matt would probably consider his best friend's sister off limits so she decides in a split second decision to pretend to be Lucy's best friend Sasha.

The chemistry between Lucy and Matt is sizzling HOT. Lucy is a great heroine with great spirit.

Although this wasn't my favourite book from the series it was certainly hot.
Profile Image for Kim Bailey.
Author 9 books612 followers
May 3, 2015
✭✭✭✭4 STARS✭✭✭✭

Another great installment in the Line of Duty series. Tessa Bailey knows how to deliver a very steamy, fun and angst filled read.

Liar, Liar, Pants on fire …

Lucy has just finished graduate school. She’s tired of being cooped up, studying and living in sweats. She’s ready to get back to her fun-loving, living on the edge lifestyle. So when she meets Matt , the quiet, hard-working ESU officer and best friend of her brother …. she lies and says she’s someone else … because, how else will she ever get the man in bed? No way he’s going for his best friend’s little nuisance of a sister! Right?

So, the story line’s not completely unique. All the drama and angst are nothing new. There are no big surprises or major plot twists to keep you guessing. But there is a whole lot of fun, sweetness and holy mother of hot fucking sex!

This book is everything you’d expect from Ms. Bailey and the Brazen book collection. A satisfying, steamy read.

I’d like some More Please!
Profile Image for Mandy.
1,017 reviews96 followers
December 16, 2014
Good googly moogly! Matt....wow. Matt makes Derek look tame. Don't get me wrong though, I still LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Derek. But wow, Matt and Lucy are in a league all by themselves... in a good way.

Ok. I loved it, I got the hot flashes and everything that I always get while reading a Tessa Bailey book.

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and is not a paid review.

I'll be posting my full review on around Feb 3rd.
Profile Image for Janey.
1,278 reviews
February 6, 2014
ARC provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review

4.5 Chuckling stars..

Matt Donovan is a sniper with the NYPD, and his friend has asked a favour of him to go and pick up his little sister and her roommate from college, and bring them back to New York. His little sister’s reckless, daredevil reputation precedes her, and Matt just isn’t in the mood for babysitting.

Lucy Mason is heading to New York with her college roommate Sasha. Her brother, Brent, has the honour of picking her up, but at the last minute is unable to and asks his trusted pal, Matt. Whilst Lucy is in a coffee shop, listening to Sasha blow her out too, heading off for the weekend with her boyfriend, a distinctive, handsome, eye popping male enters to ask for directions. Frustrated at not arriving where he wants to be, Matt discloses the reason why he is in town, depicting his friend’s sister as a “nuisance". On hearing this, Lucy thinks she has no chance of getting burned by this hottie, and hatches a plan of deception.

It didn’t take Lucy and Matt long to embrace their carnal needs, and as per her usual MO, Tessa delivered outstandingly in the steam department.

I enjoyed this story of lust, fear and acceptance. Matt feared his past had left him shut off to any potential relationship, but was drawn to the feisty, thrill seeking, party girl Lucy. Her upbeat joviality worked well with Matt’s dominating seriousness. Lucy was a very likeable character, who I warmed to straight away, even if her “internal studio audience” started to grind after the 3rd time!

Thanking you for this great series, Tessa.
July 2, 2017
2/7 - Another one I forgot to review! This was almost, but not quite, as good as books three and four of the series, but better than books one and two. Since it's been such a great series I just didn't feel right giving it only four as I really did enjoy it more than Protecting What's His and His Risk to Take.

I loved both main characters, individually, but didn't feel their chemistry as strongly as I did with the characters of the previous two books (hence my dithering over my rating, despite it all coming to naught anyway). The best part of the whole book was the epilogue, it was so sweet it still makes me smile and my heart clench just thinking about it now, a week later.

Tessa Bailey is one of my favourite contemporary romance writers - with a 4.6 star average over the five books of hers I've read she might be my highest rated contemporary romance writer and so far she's never failed to deliver. I would recommend this book and the series as a whole.
Profile Image for Jamie *Gypsy Smut-a-teer*.
484 reviews246 followers
March 7, 2015
Ummmm, as much as I've loved this series and was really looking forward to Matt's story, I must admit I didn't like it as much....I didn't hate it by far. I think I just was expecting more from it, maybe?!? Those silent types are usually my fave kinda guy to read about, but IMO, the story sort of repeated itself over and over. For example.....

let's get it on, now chicka wow wow, oh wait she's to good for me run, I can't stop thinking about her, we need to talk which turns into more bow chicka wow wow, and so on and so on.......

Lol, like I said, just my opinion, and of course there was a different scenario for each time this cycle happened, I just found myself thinking yeah yeah I see what's coming, lol, pun intended.
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