Review: Staking His Claim by Tessa Bailey

staking his claimReviewed by Carrie

Lucy Mason finally feels free.  After the last two grueling years of finishing her master’s degree, Lucy is ready to cut loose and even has a list of things to do when she gets back home to New York.  Her brother, Brent, is busy with his wedding plans so he sends his police force buddy, Matt Donovan, to pick her up from college.  When Lucy realizes that the luscious hunk in the coffee shop is the guy her brother sent, she formulates a plan to get her some.  Knowing that Matt would never hook up with his best friend’s little sister, Lucy pretends to be her friend and roommate, Sasha.

Matt tries to keep his darker urges to himself but the hot little girl in the seat next to him knows just what buttons to push with him.  On the way home, a belt blows on the car and they are forced to hang out at a motel till the part comes in the next morning.  Push comes to shove and the next thing you know, they’re in the middle of an extremely hot spanking session.  Lucy immediately feels bad that she duped Matt but figures that she can skirt seeing him again only to remember too late that Matt would be at Brent’s engagement party.

Upon discovery that he not only banged his best friend’s little sister, but can’t keep away from her, Matt is full of loathing and self-recrimination about himself and his dark desires.  Lucy sees Matt’s internal struggles and wants to give him whatever he needs for comfort but she knows that he has to come to his own conclusions.

We’ve had just hints to who quiet Matt Donovan really is.  We know that he’s begrudgingly friends with Daniel and Brent, he’s ex-military that now works for NYPD as a sniper and that he doesn’t like to let people close to him.  I was expecting some kind of PTSD from his time spent in Afghanistan and he does mention a person close to him that he lost over there, but it was mentioned almost in passing.  His deep dark secret was anticlimactic.  I love a dark broody tortured hero but Matt kind of fell a little short for me in the tortured department.

I understood Lucy a little bit more.  She was the wild child of the family, always having to get bailed out of scrapes.  Then she grew up a little and put her nose to the grindstone and finished her masters but her family, namely her brother, still considers her a problem to have to deal with.  She’s empathetic with Matt, often sensing what he needs before he can say it.  I liked them as a couple even if Matt’s character wasn’t fully developed.

All the trademarks of Bailey’s books are here: the fantastic dirty talking hero, snarky banter and a sweet happy ever after.  I’m sad that this series is ending because I love a man in uniform, but I will definitely be reading whatever Tessa Bailey writes next!

Rating: B-/C+

*ARC provided by Entangled 

Click to purchase: Amazon

Staking His Claim
by Tessa Bailey
Release Date: February 3, 2014
Publisher: Entangled

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