Oct 8 2017 10:00am

Ode to the Queen of Dirty Talk: Tessa Bailey

Asking for Trouble by Tessa Bailey

Ask any well-read romance reader what they know about Tessa Bailey, and other than her prolific (and growing!) backlist and very naughty, anything goes foreplay-to-finish sex scenes, the well-known fact is that she is the Queen of the Dirty Talkers, heroes that say the most outlandish, hottest things, for their heroine’s ears only. It’s a title well-earned and one she resoundingly deserves, as the over-the-top dirty talk is hands-down one of the most fun aspects of Bailey’s books. One of the other best things about Tessa? The subjects in her books are so varied and her series span the map, there’s something for everyone, all the best themes and favorite tropes, with that thread of relatability and books so comfy you settle right in.

As excellent as her erotic romance is, Tessa Bailey writes mad romantic suspense, with her long-running Line of Duty and Crossing the Line series. Set in fast-paced big cities, these are men and women in law enforcement who work and play hard. The uber-masculine heroes have a way of getting right to the point of what they want and making sure their ladies know about it. And boy do they know how to let off steam! Brent and Hayden, one of Bailey’s biggest fan-favorite couples and a must-read, are a tale of enemies to lovers, Tessa Bailey–style, and please when it’s this hot, this is a tried-and-true trope she should be writing frequently, and to the hilt.

Every muscle in her body weakened, went languid. She pressed her forehead against the door in an attempt to anchor herself. Her body screamed at her to take this man inside her. Her reasons for staying away were fast beginning to dissipate from her mind.

She opened her mouth to tell him to let her go. “Is there more?” came out instead.

Brent’s pained laugh rumbled in his chest, sending goose bumps down along her arms. “Women, I could go all day.”

-Asking for Trouble (Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

My favorite Tessa Bailey work is her Made in Jersey series. Set in gritty, down-home, blue-collar Hook, New Jersey, where many of the characters are factory workers who put in hard days’ work and make an honest living, this is her the most authentic series with the biggest heart. And it has it all: reunited lovers, older woman/younger man, best friend’s sibling, a marriage of convenience. If you haven’t read it? You. Are. Missing. Out.


Taking a chance, he let his hands travel down the bed to hook beneath her knees. “Did you forget how filthy I am?”

“I must have—”

She broke off on a moan when he yanked up her legs, keeping them just an inch away from his hips on either side. “Say yes, huh, doll?” He slipped his tongue back and forth on his lower lip, watching River’s gaze go smoky. “My mouth needs some of this tight kitty.” He bucked against her twice, “Don’t keep them apart.”

“Okay, yes. Yes.” She slapped a hand over her mouth, proving she did remember what it was like having him between her thighs.

-Thrown Down (Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

And the book that got me hooked on Tessa Bailey, in one fell swoop? Off Base, her anthology collaboration with Sophie Jordan. Because three words: alpha virgin hero. Well-versed as I am, this was a first for this romance reader. But in Bailey’s proficient hands, this was a big, big win, proving that a talented writer can not only take risks putting it all on the page, but bring us along for the ride.

“D-do you like this?”


“Thank God. Tastes so good.”

Beck made contact again and Kenna’s mind shut down, focusing only on the perfection of his suctioning mouth. He was a starved man who’d forgotten his last meal and needed sustenance. One of his brawny arms wrapped around her hips, freeing his other hand to slip between her thighs, a thumb brushing her entrance. As if he wanted her permission but refused to stop tonguing her damp core long enough to ask.

“Yours, Beck. My body is yours.” Words she’d never said to anyone, would probably never say again. Don’t think about it. Focus on him…what he’s doing to you. “Touch me, move me, enter me, speak to me however it feels right. Everything you do will be right.”

-Off Base (Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

Bailey has given us epic hero after epic hero, from Beck the army virgin hero in Off Base to Duke, a sexy brute who works with his very talented hands, in Worked Up (Amazon | B&N | Kobo). She’s covered New Adult romantic comedy with her hilarious Broke and Beautiful trilogy. And yeah, she blurs the edges a little, tackling rape fantasy and BDSM, in her signature way. But she also delivers one hell of an emotional punch, bringing her stories full circle. We’ve followed along with the Clarksons (in the Romancing the Clarksons series) on their cross-country road trip to fulfill their mother’s dying wish, and Too Beautiful to Break (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) is the book everyone’s waited for, Belmont and Sage’s story of a couple whose love deferred is finally realized. And while we’re diving into a box of tissues for this satisfying conclusion, Bailey’s just launched her newest series, The Academy, about a gang of police recruits who are navigating NYC law enforcement and the foibles and missteps of young love, and it’s a fun return to the familiar for Bailey: quirky details, humor and heart, and that raunchy, punchy sexuality that is trademark. That she’s able to do it all is why I love Tessa Bailey, and why you should be reading her, too!

H&H Editor Picks:

H&H Quickie #18: Tessa Bailey Presents “Penalty Kiss”

11 Books H&H Reviewers Couldn’t Put Down in September 2017

October 2017 Romance Novels New Releases Shopping List






Tiffany Tyer is a writer and editor who loves reading and analyzing all things romance. She also works as a vocalist, a tutor, and a non-profit ministry assistant, and she loves it that way. Her book reviews can be found at Happy Endings Reviews, a blog she co-founded.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Megan Burton
1. Megan1520
Tessa is my QUEEN!! So glad to see her being appreciated!
Tiffany Tyer
2. TiffanyTyer
@Megan, yes! She is wonderful, and her books have that really special "it" quality--the dirty talk is a lot of fun, but it lends something to the entirety of the romance that is wholly Tessa and she's now known for, which is awesome. So glad I found her and then could binge-read all her series! How do I love her books? Let me count the ways. :)
3. DawnyR
Tessa Bailey can write a sexy scene like no other. Two of my favorite books are in this article. Glad to see her get some love from H&H. All her books can be read, reread, then reread again.
Tiffany Tyer
4. TiffanyTyer
Which ones, @DawnyR? Curious minds want to know. ;)

BTW, she also has a naughty forbidden contemporary erotic indie (FOLLOW on 10/30), a co-writing project with Eve Dangerfield, and an upcoming heroine dirty talker all coming down the pike, so there’s going to be lots more Tessa to love soon!
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