Cuff Me is the third book in the New York's Finest series by Lauren Layne. I really enjoyed the first two and was not disappointed by this one.
Here's the summary:
Vincent Moretti is one of the NYPD's top homicide detectives-and one of the most eligible bachelors in town. His family, however, thinks he should date his longtime partner, Jill-a sassy, sexy, smart-mouthed blonde who drives him absolutely crazy.
Behind the quiet authority, tough-guy demeanor, and dark aviator glasses lies a man with a big soul-and a hard body that can soften any girl's heart. After years as his coworker, Jill Henley has given up hope that anything could happen between her and Vin. Besides, loving him would break all the rules. But seeing Jill with someone else triggers feelings in Vincent he never knew he had. Now he'll have to stop playing good cop/bad cop-and find a way to convince her to be his partner for life. . .
I admit, I was turned off by the teaser from the previous book. Vin seems a bit like an asshole, instead of just being blind to Jill's feelings. This means I was completely happy to see that most of the story is about Vin realizing what he wants, and Jill being blind to it. Sadly for Vincent (happily for the reader, or it'd be a short book), he's very very bad at expressing what he's feeling, even to himself. While I wouldn't quite describe a friends to lovers storyline, there are a lot of similarities, as they are friends and have been partners for six years. (For me, a friends to lovers storyline has a lot more time spent together outside of work, without that work boundary.) As you read about Vin's struggle to figure it out, your heart can't help but break a little for him each time she doesn't see it. By the end of the book I came to really love Vin, and wanted badly for his love to be returned.
That said, I had some issues with the rest. Jill is cute and likable, and while in theory I can understand why she's seeking love elsewhere, in practice I found her new love interest to be such a sham. I mean, he's perfect. He's clearly written so that no one, not the reader, not Jill, not Vin, could actually dislike him. There's never a moment where you actually wonder how she'll get out of that relationship, nor is there a moment of crossing the line to stepping outside of it with Vin. It's very very safe. Add to this that Vincent's family, who is meddling just enough to be interesting in the other two books, are nearly on his door step daily handing out love advice, and it wasn't my favorite in the series. I would still absolutely recommend the series, and Lauren Layne, to other romance readers, but this one is not a favorite.
Cuff Me is out on March 29th.