I’ve been a big fan of Lauren Layne for a couple years now and I’m thrilled to be participating in the blog tour for her latest, Steal Me. I’m really enjoying her New York’s Finest series so far! This book was just wonderful and definitely left me with a big grin on my face. You can read my review and an excerpt, as well as see some teasers and enter the tourwide giveaway below.
Thanks for stopping by!
Steal Me by Lauren Layne
Series: New York's Finest
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: November 24, 2015
Format: eARC, 352 pages
How I got it: From the publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
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.
Her green eyes flicked downward before turning away with promises to bring back a rag.
He watched her trim figure for only a second before glancing down at his lap. A rag wouldn’t do shit. He now had a huge brown stain on his jeans.
And this wasn’t the first time.
Last week, it had been ketchup on his shirt. Maggie had been clearing plates, and a chunk of ketchup-covered hash browns from Vin’s plate had nailed found its way onto Anth.
The week before that, it was a grease stain from a roguerouge piece of bacon that his father had somehow missed.
And it was always the same, oh-my-gosh-I’m-so-sorry routine, and his family would lament the unfortunate “accident” and tell Maggie not to worry about it, even though none of them had basically tripled their laundry efforts since Maggie had taken over their Sunday brunch routine.
“I don’t know why you always have to do that,” Elena snapped at him.
He gave his little sister a dark look. Elena was basically a female version of Luc. Dark brown hair, perfectly -proportioned features, and bright blue eyes. His siblings’ good looks had worked very well for them with the opposite sex, but with their brother? Not so much.
“I didn’t do anything,” he snapped.
His mother—his own mother—gave him a scolding look. “You make Maggie nervous, dear. All that glowering.”
“Wait, sorry, hold up,” Anth said, abandoning the futile effort of blotting coffee from his crotch. “It’s my fault that the incompetent woman can’t do even the most basic requirements of her job?”
A startled gasp came from the head of the table, and too late—way too late—Anth realized that Maggie had reappeared with a clean white rag and what seemed to be a full cup of ice.
“I thought…I wanted to make sure it didn’t burn your skin,” she told him brightly.
To her credit, her voice didn’t wobble, and her eyes didn’t water, but damned if she didn’t look like she wanted to cry, just a little.
“I’m fine,” he muttered.
“Thank you, sweetie,” Tony said kindly, taking the rag and ice from Maggie. “Maybe just the check when you get a chance.”
“Of course. And really, I’m so sorry,” she said, not quite glancing at Anthony. “You’ll send me the dry-cleaning bill, right?”
“He’ll do no such thing,” his mother said firmly, reaching across her husband to grab Maggie’s hand. “I can get any stain out of any fabric. I’ll take care of it.”
“You hear that, Anth?” Luc said. “Mommy’s going to wash your pants for you!”
Anth shot his brother the bird.
I have this “thing” for grumpy guys in romance books. (As long as they aren’t HUGE jerks.) Anthony kinda skated the line there for awhile, but he wasn’t a bad guy and that much was apparent. His family and career were his main focus, his walls were up high and tight and he was none to happy that an adorable waitress at his family’s favorite diner was sneaking in past his defenses somehow. He had no plans to fall in love, get married or build a family. He just wanted to excel at his career, spend time with his crazy (and lovable) family and watch his beloved Yankees play. When the waitress, Maggie, becomes a central figure in Anthony’s biggest police investigation and they spend time together, it started to become apparent he might want more after all.
I love love love watching a closed off character’s walls begin to fall down. (Especially when it’s a male character.) It’s a beautiful thing when someone starts to open up and let another person in… especially when you recognize the potential two characters have together. And while things might’ve been complicated between Anthony and Maggie, their chemistry was apparent from the start. I just loved their banter. Their scenes were fantastic.
Maggie was such a great, strong, sassy woman. When faced with the knowledge that the past she thought she escaped could be coming back to haunt her, she barely flinched. I mean, yeah, of course she was troubled to find out her ex husband was likely in the city, but she didn’t become that woman who needed someone to save her. (Even though Anthony insisted.) She didn’t take anyone’s crap lying down and I loved her spunk. There’s a fantastic scene near the end of the book that I obviously won’t spoil for you, but it definitely left me cheering loudly (literally) for Maggie. High fives all around, lady! A
Things were pretty steamy between Anthony and Maggie, too. They definitely bring the heat when they get down to business. I loved them together. I mean, yeah, there were times I wanted to smack some sense into his hard head, but this book was just as much about his journey as it was the romance and about him solving the case in question. I fell in love with the nutty Moretti family when I read the first book in the series, and my love of these side characters only grew stronger during this book. (Especially Nanna. She was such a hoot!)
I adored this book. It was so sweet and sexy and pretty much everything I want in a contemporary romance. It brought the feels, too. I dare you not to finish this one with a big grin on your face. I’m already looking forward to Vincent and Jill’s story in Cuff Me. Thankfully March isn’t *that* far away.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.