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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Steal Me by Lauren Layne

I admit that I grabbed Steal Me on a whim from NetGalley. This isn't an author that I've ever read before, but something about the description grabbed my attention so I went for it. I was absolutely NOT disappointed!

Here's the summary, from Amazon:

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.

I've discovered lately that I am a big fan of big town contemporary romances, as well as the small town ones. Everyone knows the small town one- everyone knows your name, and even if you're the sheriff or a cop you're also the librarian, or maybe a cowboy. There's one hardware store and the same family has run it forever. There's no anonymity and no fresh starts without the town gossiping.  By contrast, I've read a half dozen or so lately that seem as they they would be similar- in this one we have a cop and a waitress, for example. But the feel of the book is completely different. It's not laid back and easy, and while they might be friends with their coworkers, they don't have the job as a favor to someone else or working for someone they've known since they were six. In many of them, both the hero and heroine are very competent and settled in their life- they aren't starting over at a new job or town.  I find that I'm liking that there is no Lucille posting every moment on Facebook.

So what did I think about this book? I freaking LOVED it. I read it in one sitting. Anthony knows what he wants and he is gunning for it. His life dream is on the line here and he can't be waylaid by a relationship that would get in the way both personally and professionally. He has some history that has rightfully scared him away from relationships, and it takes a couple lectures and near misses before he can see the foolishness of that. He is unapologetic about where he wants to be in life, and is willing to sacrifice a lot to get there.  He's also got a great relationship with his family, particularly with his brothers and his Nonna, and I loved the scenes with everyone in them.

Maggie is strong and determined, and while she is starting over- in a way, it's been 18 months- she's also not a timid or apologetic woman. She's waiting tables in a diner and living in a cosy tiny apartment while she works hard to achieve her real dreams (as opposed to just wishing for them). Her past comes to catch up with her in the book, and while it's clearly not something she enjoys, rather than whine and moan, she puts on her big girl pants and deals with it. On the rare occasion that she mentally backslides, she's able to see for herself that she's not thinking clearly instead of letting the situation get worse.

I loved this book. The tension between Anth and Maggie in the first half- building to their first kiss- was spectacularly done. I can't think of another book I read this year that did it as well. I finished reading the book around 11pm, which is embarrassingly far past my bedtime, and immediately sat up to see if I could find a copy of the first book,  Frisk Me.  I will absolutely be following this series, and this author, very closely.

Steal Me came out on November 24, 2015.

1 comment:

  1. As always I end up adding your romance recommendations to me TBR. I can't wait to read this one myself! Great review!


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