Book Review: Staking His Claim (Line of Duty #5) by Tessa Bailey
*** This review is spoiler-free! Read on with confidence! ***
Tessa Bailey novels always start off with this very special resonating, almost tangible chemistry between the main couple and, while Staking His Claim is (sadly) the finale of the series, it definitely follows the tradition of excellence (and over-the-top sexual tension) set by the previous four books.
[quote]“What movie is this?” he asked into her hair.
Lucy’s eyes shot wide. “Back to the Future. You’ve never seen it?”
“I weep for your childhood.”[/quote]
Where Daniel was playful and charming and Brent was outrageous and hilarious, Matt is intense and focused. He is a man with serious needs, caged by personal demons and keeping up constant emotional shields. That stone wall around his heart is protecting a very vulnerable core of honor and goodness, and it just about broke my heart. This man is a natural dominant and craves serious submission from a woman… craves it in a very real and physical way, like an addict. I usually prefer the dominant types who tend more toward overwhelming force of personality rather than straight up controlling, but Matt is a good blend of both and is incredibly hot… hot with a capital O-M-G.
[quote]“You bit down. Now we have to try again.”
“Shh.” His hand dropped from her mouth to massage the bulge behind his fly. With his other hand, he replaced the ruined grape with a new one in her mouth. “Trust me to make you feel good. Trust me to be obsessed with making you come, Lucy.”[/quote]
He is downright diabolical with some of his sensual punishments and Ms. Bailey’s creativity and ability to build in layers of character nuance is impressive. I hesitate to compare any book to Fifty Shades these days, with so much anti-Grey sentiment going around, but if you like that sort of hero – a man with an unrelenting aura of presence and easy authority who feels compelled to take absolute sexual control of his partner, and knows damn well how to make her fly – Matt is going to take your breath away and make you tingly all the way to your toes. That said, even if you hated Fifty, give this book a chance because where Christian proudly obliterated that line between protector and dictator, Matt strikes just the right balance to leave you understanding his pain yet trusting that he’s mature and confident enough to ultimately make the right choices about his relationship with Lucy.
Lucy is no shrinking violet either, a woman with a free spirit and a giving soul who badly wants to be accepted as a responsible, dependable adult. She has such strength of character and still submits to Matt so naturally, they are practically made for each other. Add in the family drama of her being Brent’s little sister and Matt being his best friend, and Staking His Claim is one hell of a ride.
To borrow a sentiment from the book, holy hell, I so did not want this story to end! I loved the whole thing, from the first word to the very last (I even read all the Acknowledgements!) and I really hope Ms. Bailey writes us a short story about the triple wedding in the couples’ future. *hint hint* Pretty please? *wink*
Staking His Claim is…