Review: Staking His Claim by Tessa Bailey

May Contain Spoilers


I’m just a little torn about Staking His Claim.  I loved the set up – Lucy’s big brother has asked his buddy, Matt, to pick her and her friend up and drive them to NYC.  When Sasha blows her off to cuddle up with her boyfriend, Lucy’s resigned to going solo – until she sees Matt.  She impulsively lies and tells Matt that she’s Sasha, and that Lucy has headed off with her boyfriend.  She knows that Matt would never put the moves on her if he knew who she really was, and she’s dying to get to know Matt better.  When his car breaks down, forcing them to check into a motel, they give into their attraction for each other, and Lucy realizes, with a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach, that she’s made a terrible mistake.  She really likes Matt, and he brings out a wild side of her she didn’t know she possessed.  Once Matt realizes that he’s been duped, though, she knows that he’ll never forgive her.


I enjoyed the chemistry between Lucy and Matt.  While Lucy feels terrible about lying to Matt, she doesn’t regret having the best sex of her life in that motel room.  She’s worked hard the past few years to make her family proud.  After some impulsive decisions that left her family concerned that she would never grow up, and after hearing herself referred to as a nuisance, she buckled down, studied hard, and kept her nose clean.  That meant no parties, no guys, no anything other than studying.  Knowing how hard her brother was working to put her through school, Lucy became determined to get her degree, get a good job, and take some of the financial burden off of him.  When Matt breezed into her life, parroting the nuisance label, something snapped inside of her, daring her to give into her old ways.  She deserves some fun!  Besides,   Matt would never give her a chance if he knew she was Brent’s little sister.

The sparks fly between them, and Matt can barely keep his hands off her.  He’s not about to give into his desires, though, because he’s afraid he’ll scare “Sasha” off, or worse, hurt her.  He likes, no needs, to be in charge in the bedroom, and his forcefulness has already chased his fiancée away.  Basically calling him a sick bastard, she ran from him without a second thought.  He’s not going to put himself in that kind of position again, and he’s sure not going to do it with Lucy’s best friend!

Lucy chases him hard, and here come some of the things I didn’t like about the story.  The whole checking into the dingy motel was just too convenient.  The part needed for the repair won’t be available until the next day, so Matt checks into the motel that’s located just across the street.  Because of the way the motel clerk is coming on to Lucy, he checks them into the same room so he can keep an eye on her.  The whole setup for this scene was so uninspired and slightly disappointing.  *Pout*  Especially when, after tearing each other’s clothes off and doing the nasty, a mechanic knocks on the door and voila! The car is fixed! 

The spanking and slapping got old for me, too.  Matt’s into spanking, and so, it turns out, is Lucy.  I wasn’t so fond of it.  Tessa Bailey’s men are always forceful and extremely domineering, so while I expect that in her books, I just found it a little overwhelming here. I did love the scene where Lucy gives Matt a slap, but overall, meh, I found the physical outlet for their passions a bit much.  They did do some fun things outside of the bedroom, like participate in a flash mob (Matt, quite unwittingly), and that was refreshing, because it showed a gentler side of Matt.

If you are a fan of Tessa Bailey’s other titles, odds are you will like this one, too.  Her storytelling is fast, fun, and sexy.  I like her spirited her heroines, and how they refuse to back down from even the most domineering of heroes, but her men, while gorgeous, don’t really get my motor revved. 

Grade:  B/B-

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

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…