Maria Rose's Reviews > Raw Redemption

Raw Redemption by Tessa Bailey
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This last story of the Crossing the Line series, a spin-off of Tessa Bailey’s very successful Line of Duty series, is a scorchingly hot and suspenseful tale of a disgraced cop and the mafia princess he’s intent on saving. Henrik Vance threw away his career to save the skin of one Ailish O’Kelly, daughter of a mafia kingpin. After their one and only meeting in a park, he threw away the evidence that would have convicted her of crimes she had no choice but to commit and was kicked off the force. He has a chance to redeem himself, though, as part of Derek Tyler’s elite group of criminal misfits working undercover to solve some of Chicago’s tougher cases. And when that chance comes in the form of rescuing Ailish who has escaped her father’s prison but is being relentlessly pursued by his men, there is no way in hell he’s going to let her go again. When he tracks her down with the help of his undercover team, he must convince Ailish that he can be her safe place – she just needs to trust him. But trust is hard to come by for a woman who has lived a life of fear. Her body wants him more than anything, but will her mind and heart go along for the ride?

Trust Ms. Bailey to end her series with a bang! From the first page to the last, I found this to be a very exciting, super sexy, and surprisingly suspenseful story. While it may have some classic tropes to it – a woman on the run, a man willing to do anything to save her – there are enough twists and turns to make it unique and a stand out story in this series. While each book in the series has featured a unique couple, Ailish and Henrik have a chemistry and compatibility that leap off the page.

Ailish may have the persona on the outside of being a spoiled mafia princess, but she’s really a smart young woman who has been a prisoner all these years under her father’s thumb. Her father used her mathematical abilities to his advantage, making Ailish his oddsmaker and indirectly making her responsible for the ruination of men who gambled with her father and lost. To atone for these sins, she tried to turn over evidence to the police, knowing she’d go to jail – only it never happened. Faced with the knowledge that she’d have to get out on her own, she found a chance to escape and took it, knowing her father would go after her but trying to keep one step ahead of him. When Henrik shows up at her hotel room, she instinctively believes that she can trust him, even if he isn’t telling her the whole truth. But more importantly, his body speaks to hers. Having never had the chance to have a normal teenage life with friends and boyfriends, Ailish developed a teasing personality, her form of sexual rebellion. Finally, she’s found a man who can take that teasing and turn it into something that will benefit them both. Henrik’s obvious attraction to her, and his difficulty in keeping his hands off of her is something she relishes, and before long they are doing the down and dirty in classic Bailey style. Their scenes are some of the hottest I’ve read, yet at the same time, believable for this couple. Henrik and Ailish push each other to the limit.

Henrik was a dedicated police officer with a single-minded focus on his job – until Ailish blew his composure out the window and he sacrificed that job for her well being. Given the chance to make up for it, his work as an undercover cop for Derek is one he’s willing to engage in only because he knows it will give him an advantage in keeping tabs on Ailish. And when she disappears, he relies on his teammates to find her and get him to her. Henrik is a large, physically present man, and while his size might intimidate the bad guys, Ailish isn’t scared of him one bit. With her, he alternates between being her protector and being her lover, playing any games she wants so long as she ends up with him. But the problem is one of trust. Henrik can’t tell Ailish everything about his operation, and Ailish doesn’t want to put her faith in someone who wants to keep the truth from her. It’s a constant battle of wills between them with neither really gaining the upper hand. Instead, they must find a way to compromise. But the clock is ticking, and it’s only a matter of time before it’s going to run out.

There are some great scenes involving the rest of the undercover team – Connor and Erin are tasked with aiding Henrik so we see more of them, and also a little of Bowen and Sera, and Austin and Polly. Best of all we get some more of Derek too, whose story Protecting What’s His started off the Line of Duty series and it’s only fitting that he close this series off too. I’ve really enjoyed this unconventional group of characters with all their quirks and flaws and really unique stories. The Crossing the Line series ends fittingly with Raw Redemption, and will be on my permanent re-read pile, right up there with the Line of Duty series.

Henrik kicked the door shut and walked Ailish farther into the cabin. “Hands on the dresser.” As she followed his instructions, Henrik pulled her hair aside to attack her neck with bites. “You want to tease me, you do it right.”
He could see her reflection in the bathroom mirror, just a couple yards away. There was no trepidation or indecision on her face, just the fading of relief..the beginnings of bliss. This girl really did love acting the temptation, and maybe that should have irritated him. Or made him worry for the future of his sanity. Right now, it only turned him the fuck on. She was his naughty girl to endure. Bring it on.


Note: a copy of this story was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review.

This review appears as a blog post at: https://straightshootinbookreviews.co...
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Reading Progress

January 26, 2016 – Shelved
January 26, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
June 5, 2016 – Started Reading
June 5, 2016 –
10.0%
June 6, 2016 –
25.0% "Holy Henrik! He's chalking up a serious win in the book boyfriend department"
June 9, 2016 –
45.0%
June 12, 2016 –
80.0% "It's do or die time!"
June 12, 2016 – Finished Reading
June 14, 2016 – Shelved as: 5-star-reads
June 14, 2016 – Shelved as: action-and-or-romantic-suspense
June 14, 2016 – Shelved as: best-of-2016
June 14, 2016 – Shelved as: fully-reviewed-books
June 14, 2016 – Shelved as: sexy-as-all-get-out
September 4, 2016 – Shelved as: police-firefighter-ems

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