Homicide cop Troy Bennett had a reputation with 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 the pub he’s at with his new coworkers 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?
I have to prefix this review by saying it was a little disconcerting for me reading a character called Ruby in this context, as it is the name of my 14-month-old daughter. However, if I didn’t read books purely based on the characters sharing names with my friends or family, well….I wouldn’t be reading a lot.
Now for the review. As I would expect from Entangled’s Brazen line, this is a very hot novella. The tone is set very early on when Troy (the hero) makes it clear to Ruby (the heroine) what he would like to do to her on a pool table.
Troy is an ex-Chicago cop, who’s recently transferred to the NYPD. He is tortured by the memories and the guilt he feels about his ex-partner’s death. He alternated between his desire for Ruby and his need to protect her.
Ruby is a hustler, she knows how to fleece unsuspecting gamblers of their coin. A product of her upbringing on the mean streets of New York, Ruby does (and has always done) what she needs to in order to survive. She is stuck between her distrust of Troy’s work as a police officer and her overwhelming physical need for him.
There are a LOT of angry sexytimes in this book, and while there are many instances of said sexytimes, you always know that this is a story not just of sex and sexual attraction. This is at its heart a love story about two damaged people finding something to cling to in each other.
There are moments later in the book where Troy turns a little alpha-hole, and pushes Ruby away as a result. When he realises his boo-boo, he does turn a touch stalker-ish as well in his efforts to reconnect. So ease up on the stalky stuff, Troy. That was kinda creepy.
I enjoyed this book. It was quite a bit hotter than other Brazen titles that I’ve read, however it didn’t detract from the story.
My rating: 3.5 out of 5
Release Date: 27 May 2013
Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Entangled Publishing, LLC via NetGalley in return for an honest review.