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Format: Kindle Edition
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***
His Risk to Take by Tessa Bailey
Book Two of the Line of Duty series
Publication Date: May 13, 2013
Rating: 3 stars
Source: Copy bought from Amazon
***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***
Summary (from Goodreads):
The greater the risk, the hotter the reward…
Homicide cop Troy Bennett had a reputation on the Chicago PD for being fearless and in control—until the night his daredevil partner is killed during a raid. From that moment on, he swears he’ll never again be responsible for the loss of a loved one. To escape his demons, Troy transfers to the NYPD, bringing him up close and personal with Ruby Elliott, a beautiful, street-savvy pool hustler.
Reckless and stubbornly independent, Ruby embodies everything Troy’s avoiding, but when she walks into O’Hanlon’s Pub and blows his carefully laid plans to hell, Troy knows he has to have her—risks be damned. But there’s a connection between Ruby’s shadowed past and a case Troy’s working involving a notorious Brooklyn felon, throwing her safety into jeopardy. Confronted with his biggest fear, will Troy push Ruby away to keep her safe or fight to keep her in his arms where she belongs?
What I Liked:
I'm a little confused by the covers, titles, imprints, and publication dates of different editions of this novel... I've seen it published in 2013 and 2015, by Entangled: Brazen and Entangled: Select, there is this blue-green cover and a grey-pink cover, and one title is this one (His Risk to Take) and another, Riskier Business. I imagine the story is exactly the same, but just be aware of this if you decide to search for the book for more information or to buy it.
Ruby is a professional pool player/hustler, who grew up in pool rooms, trying to earn money. One night, she's doing her thing, hustling guys out of their money at the pool table, when Troy Bennett walks into the bar and into her life. He is dominating, controlling, and undeniably attractive - Ruby can't resist him, and he can't resist her. But as he learns her connection to a criminal, Troy lives his greatest fear again - will he be able to keep Ruby out of danger?
This one took me a while to read and finish, but I finally did! Brazen never really lets me down - three stars is the lowest I've rated a Brazen novel. I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to adult contemporary romance - no love triangle, no threesomes, no kids during the story, and we're pretty much good! Pretty much. This one was a decent Brazen novel, though I didn't love it (as is evident by the rating).
I really like Troy - there is something about men in uniform that I absolutely love. Clearly Ruby thought so too. Troy has a bit of a controlling hero complex, and he is always trying to keep Ruby safe. Easier said than done. Nevertheless, he is a good guy with a good heart and a difficult past in the police force. I liked Troy a lot. Not to mention he is a hottie - he can arrest me any day! *nudges*
See my thoughts on Ruby below. I didn't quite like her, though I like her and Troy together. Speaking of the romance - I think I liked the romance. There is a tug-of-war going on, in which Ruby is super freaking independent and doesn't want Troy "fighting her battles", but then there is Troy who is both trying to do his job and trying to protect his lady friend. I think I liked the dynamics of their relationship - they are fire and ice, and are good for each other, in a twisted way.
The criminal story is an engaging one, a good way to tie in the romance. Ruby used to work with the man that Troy is trying to arrest. Which is why Troy is trying to keep Ruby out of everything - to protect her from someone who knows about her, especially now that she has a connection to a cop. This storyline is predictable, but I liked it.
Overall, I think I enjoyed the story, ad the romance - but I had difficulties with the female protagonist. Read on!
What I Did Not Like:
Like I said, I had trouble with Ruby. She has an independent streak the size of Montana - which is fine, I think. It's great for women to be independent and own it. But in her case, she wants to keep her pride going and ignore what a cop is telling her - to stay out of an investigation. At that point, Ruby is just being a dumba**, and not a "smart", "independent" woman. I have little respect for her because of her idiotic decisions, all in the name of "I can take care of myself" or "I'm independent" or "I don't need a man to tell me what to do". Honey, it's not about a man trying to boss you around. It's about keeping you safe from a dangerous criminal that you are connected to via your father's past.
Le sigh. I didn't like Ruby. She needs to tone down the attitude, the rebelling-against-authority thing, the trust issues. Troy grovels, but she is the one with trust issues, the one that pushes him away. I don't think this is fair at all. I get it, everyone loves feminism these days (don't get me wrong, I'm all for equal rights and treatment of women), but there's feminism and then there's common sense.
But still, I liked her role in the romance. Troy and Ruby are a hot pair together!
Would I Recommend It:
I don't think I would necessarily recommend this one, especially if you think you'll have trouble connecting with Ruby, like I did. Tessa Bailey rarely steers me wrong, and I will read just about anything she writes with high hopes of enjoying everything. And I liked this one! Just didn't *love* it. Not liking the female protagonist is kind of a deal breaker! I could recommend a ton of other Brazen novels though, like Even the Score by Kate Meader or Down for the Count by Christine Bell!
3 stars. Good, but not fabulous. I'll still be reading any/all of Tessa Bailey's books. And of course, being the Brazen addict hoarder that I am, I will be on the lookout for new Brazen books!