Well hello there! Looking great, you! And look who is finally here! Steal Me, book two in the New York’s Finest series was released exactly a week ago, and I’m beyond excited to share my thoughts about Anthony Moretti! AND an excerpt. AAAAND I have a giveaway to share. Have fun, you :*
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.
Steal Me is the story of a surly cop with ghosts in his past, and the woman he adores (who has balls of steel). No kidding, ladies and gents; this book has my favourite Lauren Layne heroine in it, and she’s exactly the type of woman I want to be when I grow up!
Sometimes it feels like I am always saying this about LL books, but seriously you guys. This woman can basically excel at any trope she picks up. If you like your heroes grumpy, shy and adorably clueless about their feelings, then you are are going to love Anthony Moretti because he is all of the above and more.
The synopsis talks about how being a cop is in Anthony’s blood, but it does not even touch upon the fact that being a cop is quite literally everything to Anthony. He loves being a cop, and now that he’s made Captain, he’s quite possibly the happiest, most content man on earth. He wants to go all the way to the top of the hierarchy but for now, Captain sounds pretty damn good. And his first hurdle comes in the form of a criminal who goes by “Smiley.” Why that name? You’ll have to read to know 😃
There are so many things I loved about Anthony Moretti, but the thing that stood out to me the most was how he was not a man who gave away his smiles just because he had to. He was continually grumpy and scowling and mean-faced in the book, but every time he smiled, it meant that much more. You actually had to coax a smile out of him, earn his smiles, and that was just completely heart warming. He was an intriguing character, not without his flaws, but just enough male perfection in him to keep the reader hooked. Anthony wasn’t the usual “ family guy” type of man, his gentle nature was just under his grumpy surface but never to be seen, making the reader wonder what exactly it was that could rattle Captain Moretti.
Of course, for those of you who have read Frisk Me, you already know what makes the good Captain lose his mind. In case you haven’t, here’s the rundown: As per the Moretti family tradition, on Sundays’ after Mass, they love to eat at The Darby Diner. And almost every Sunday, the absolutely beautiful new waitress Maggie Walker finds something or the other to drop on the Captain. Whether its scalding hot coffee or greasy bacon, there’s almost always a stain on Anthony’s pants when he leaves. And almost always, Anthony’s reaction makes Maggie want to cry.
Here’s the beauty part—she never cries. Anthony is a complete douche to her and not once does she cower and hide. And it is this gorgeous, absolutely fearless character who manages to capture Anthony’s full attention. Not only is she smart and driven, she’s also an aspiring YA author, and damn it, if it isn’t my weakness to see how real life inspires authors! Maggie has had a terrible childhood—with a mother who left, an alcoholic father who still mooches off of her, and a good-for-nothing brother who has also been digging into her meagre savings. And despite of all of this, maybe because of it, Maggie is cheerful and always wanting to be happy.
Combine perpetually happy with Captain McGrumpy, and you have an amazingly heart-warming story! Anthony and Maggie don’t immediately click for reasons I’ve mentioned above, but when Maggie’s ex husband may be “Smiley” after all, they are forced into an awkward relationship, which then turns out to be something they never expected. The book is a constant oscillation between Anthony’s workaholic habits that could destroy any relationship and Maggie’s struggle to keep up with his push and pull. Of course, the criminal element adds that much more thrill and excitement to a book that would usually only be a pure romance.
The Moretti family is probably one of the most important reasons you should read this book—they’re fucking amazing, is why. This is a family that supports and pushes and annoys and loves and that is the best thing—the only thing—a family is supposed to be. It was an absolute delight to see Luc and Ava (from Frisk Me) and of course, the little snippet into Vincent and Jill, who will feature in Cuff Me. Believe you me, dear reader, this is a story, a series and an author you will turn to again and again, and who will occupy the “auto-love” place in your heart forever ❤
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.
- Open to US RESIDENTS ONLY.
- Contest open only until December 6th, 2015. Winners to be announced in the week of December 7th, 2015.
- Please do not try to game the system. Cheaters never prosper.
Up for Grabs!
Print Set of FRISK ME & STEAL ME, $5.00 Starbucks Gift Card and a Writers Gift Set
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.