Thursday, 3 December 2015

Spotlight & Review: Steal Me by Lauren Layne

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New York's Finest #2
Lauren Layne
Releasing Nov 24th, 2015


Being a cop might be in Anthony Moretti's blood, but protecting and serving the city of New York has always been more than just the family business. If that means his love life stays locked up, well then that's just another sacrifice made in the line of duty. That is, until he sets eyes on the gorgeous new waitress at The Darby Diner and suddenly Anthony's morning coffee is leaving him a whole
lot more hot and bothered than usual.

Though waitressing at The Darby isn't exactly Maggie Walker's dream job, it pays the bills and gives her time to work on her novel. Now if only she could stop fantasizing about gorgeous Anthony Moretti every time he sits down at her table, she'd really be in great shape. But when he needs her help identifying a criminal threatening The Darby—and Maggie recognizes her ex-husband—she fears her fresh start might be a pipe dream. Faster than a New York minute, Maggie and Anthony find themselves in one perilous pursuit that only gets hotter with each and every rule-breaking kiss.

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 Anthony “Anth” Moretti is as prickly as a porcupine – he's also 6' 4'' of Italian deliciousness. He's the eldest of Tony Moretti's boys and the one carry the burden of following his father's footsteps to become a future police commissioner – a goal he's motivated to achieve but begrudges the personal sacrifice he expects to make for his dream to become a reality.

Maggie Walker moved to Brooklyn after divorcing her layabout husband. She's independent and has embraced her new found freedom, happy to blend into her surrounding. She may be a waitress, but she has ambitions to be a writer. Her easy charm has made her a favourite within the Moretti family when they all get together for brunch on a Sunday. This irks Anth because Maggie is useless at her job as she somehow manages to spill something on him each week. He's grumpy, but Maggie isn't phased. A sassy remark to the 'Captain' is all it takes for Anth to be smitten. Not that he'll admit it.

What endears Anth to me the most are his imperfections. His character is flawed and that makes him even more intriguing and irresistible. He tries to apply his police training to solve his personal life issues and fails. If only he'd listen instead of presuming the times he is his own worse enemy! It's heartbreaking that he can't get over how things ended with his last girlfriend and the tragic consequences it triggered. If only he'd pay attention to what is right in front of him. However, despite his gruffness, he's nurturing, caring and selfless...oh and incredibly sexy! Of course, there are his parents, siblings and Nonna to tease and call him out too. At times he reminded me of Atlas – carrying the world on his shoulders.

Maggie isn't the quiet mouse type he thought and shows she can quickly stand her ground when necessary – at least with Anth. Her quick witted retort fires up a desire in Anth that he didn't see coming. However, she still struggles when her father and brother are leeching for her hard earned salary, when she's barely keeping her head above water herself.

I liked Frisk Me, but loved Steal Me so much more. The slow-burn build up of Anth and Maggie's relationship is palpable and captivating whilst the chaos that is the Moretti family swirls around them...Nonna, never stray from the road of growing disgracefully! I can't wait to see how Vincent and Jill's relationship pans out.

5 stars

***arc generously received from publisher Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via NetGalley***

 “So what did you mean, you don’t want to talk about it?,” Tony Moretti repeated, glancing down at Anthony’s plate, and scowling to see the bacon supply completely depleted.
Anthony scooped a mouthful of Swiss cheese omelet into his mouth before sitting back and reaching for his coffee. “It means that Ma doesn’t like cop-talk at the table.”
Riiiiight,” Elena Moretti said from Anthony’s left side. “Because you guys always respect Mom’s no-cop-talk rule.”
Anth took another sip of coffee and exchanged a look and a shrug with Luc across the table.
Their sister made a good point.
In a family where four out of five siblings were living in New York, and three out of those four were with the NYPD, cop-talk was likely.
And when the family patriarch was the recently retired Ppolice Ccommissioner?
Cop- talk wasn’t just probable, it was inevitable.
Still, it was worth a shot to throw up his mother’s token rule of “no cop- talk.” Especially when he didn’t want to talk.
About any of it.
It had been a long time since he’d been the one in the hot seat, and he wasn’t at all sure that he cared for it.
Scratch that. He was sure.
He hated it.
But his father could be like a dog with a bone when it came to his sons’ careers. And today, like it or not, it was Anthony under the microscope.
He surrendered to the inevitable.
Dad. I told you. It’ll get handled.” He went for another cup of coffee, only to find it was empty. Diner fail.
He scanned the dining room for the waitress, partially because he wanted more coffee, partially because he wanted a distraction. Partially because—
You’ve been saying it’lls getbe handled for weeks,” Tony said, refusing to let the matter drop.
Yeah, Captain. You’ve been saying that for weeks.” This from Anthony’s other brother Vincent. Two years younger than Anth, Vin was a homicide detective and the most irritable and irreverent member of the family. And the one least likely to kiss Anth’s ass.
If Anthony was totally honest, he was pretty sure that most of his younger siblings respected him, not only because he was the highest- ranking active family member, but simply because he was the oldest. He was the one they’d come to when they needed to hide that broken vase from Mom, or when they were scared to death to tell Dad about that D in Cchemistry, or in the case of his brothers, when it was time to learn their way around the female anatomy.
But Vincent had authority issues and was always the first to jump at the chance to gently mock Anthony’s status as Captain.
A title that had been hard -earned, and still felt new. As though it could be ripped away at any time.
Which was exactly the reason his father was on his ass right now. Anthony had passed his Ccaptain’s test three months ago, and his father had every intention of him climbing the ladder all the way to the top. The very top.
It was a path Anth had never questioned. A path that, up until recently, had been remarkably smooth.
And then…
And then Smiley had happened.

Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing
career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren's gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.

Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you'll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.

Want More Moretti's?
Don't miss FRISK ME 
(New York's Finest #1)

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