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Title: Officer Off Limits
Author: Tessa Bailey
May Contain Spoilers
His need to possess her is non-negotiable.
Story Brooks’ fiancé just called off their wedding two weeks before the happy day. As if that isn’t bad enough, her semi-estranged father, an infamous NYPD hostage negotiator, has suffered a heart attack. Not wanting to examine her lack of emotion over the broken engagement, she hops on a plane to reconnect with her father before it’s too late.
Playboy hostage negotiator Daniel Chase has never, not once, been refused by a woman, so when a debate over hospital snack foods with a delectable kindergarten teacher ends in flat-out rejection, he makes it his mission to seduce her. His only obstacle? She’s the daughter of his mentor who implicitly forbade Daniel from pursuing her.
Despite her father’s warnings and Daniel’s troubled past, Daniel and Story can’t resist their intense attraction to one another. But when the reason for her fiancé’s abrupt wedding cancellation comes to light, can Story and Daniel’s already forbidden relationship survive?
Tessa Bailey’s books just keep getting better and better! I really enjoyed Officer Off Limits, and found the mix of sensuality and humor very agreeable. The only reason this story worked for me, though, is because the heroine is so strong. The first chapter has her getting dumped by her intended two weeks before their wedding, and she starts out restrained and, while not quite timid, certainly not forceful. She gets a measure of satisfaction by ordering the most expensive bottle of champagne and charging it to his tab, but this is peanuts compared to getting dumped in a restaurant. Two weeks before their wedding. What a jerk!
When Story’s father suffers from a heart attack, she flies from CA to NYC in an attempt to patch up their rocky relationship. She meets a sexy guy in the waiting room, and doesn’t know whether to be relieved to learn that he’s her father’s partner, instead of a psycho stalker with strong opinions about snack foods. Hostage negotiators for the NYPD, both men are tough, no nonsense men. Daniel takes it one step further. Bounced between foster homes when he was a child, he has developed a wall around his emotions that even the most skilled mountain climber would not be able to scale. A traumatic experience when he was sixteen changed his life forever, leaving him mentally scarred and even more wary of relationships. To compensate for what he perceives as his greatest weakness, he is a full-on, raging alpha. Dear, me! This guy puts on one heck of a front – he hops from bed to bed, never staying with the same woman longer than it takes to get his clothes back on. He has no close relationships, and keeps everyone at arm’s length.
Daniel came across as such a jerk at the beginning of the book. He is attracted to Story and makes no secret that he wants to get to know her tan lines better. When she rebuffs him in the waiting room, she only piques his interest. Even learning that she’s Jack’s daughter, and that his mentor will flay him alive if he tries any funny business, isn’t enough to get him to back down. Like a blood hound, once Daniel’s on the scent, it’s hard get him to focus on anything else. He thinks a quick hook up with Story will get his mind back on work, but the silly alpha is confused. Story isn’t like the rest of the women he’s known, and after her disastrous engagement, she wants to call some of the shots. So not what the demanding Daniel is accustomed to.
As I stated previously, if Story has been even one notch more submissive, Officer Off Limits would not have worked for me. Daniel is so dominating, and I will admit that alpha-jerks are not my favorite hero types. But with Story’s developing confidence, the two play off each other well. The author had me believing that jaded Daniel was so enamored with Story that he couldn’t think of anything else. That he was willing to risk Jack’s wrath to spend just one more minute with Story. As their relationship deepens, he begins to learn to trust again, and Story slowly draws out his tender side. I was so convinced that he was maturing and and growing emotionally. This was one couple, with their quirks and hang ups, that I wanted to find their HEA. Even the admission from Jack that he had been meddling in their relationship didn’t lessen my enthusiasm for this couple.
Like in my last review of a Tessa Bailey book, while I would normally suggest tossing this in your beach bag for a summer read, instead I recommend settling down with a few ice packs and cold beverages. This is a scorching read, and with temps hovering in the upper 80s, I’m fearful you will get heat stoke if you read this while lounging outside in the sun.
Review copy provided by publisher