Dali’s review & rating: 4 of 5 stars
He’s supposed to catch thieves. He never thought an intriguing waitress would Steal his heart. A sexy slow burn and sweet romance that will make you smile.
Anthony Moretti has his priorities straight: family, the NYPD and the NY Yankees. And while number one and two are closely intertwined since most of his family is in law enforcement, achieving his career goals are what drives him. He can very well ignore everything else, including his love life. That is until the sexy new waitress at his family’s favorite diner can’t keep from spilling food over him, and only him. Leaving him flustered and intrigued.
Maggie Walker was a shadow of a person while with her ex-husband until she decided to claim her life and independence and reach for her goal to be a writer. She knows waitressing won’t get her published faster but it helps pay the bills, allows her to people watch – a handy skill for an aspiring author – and lets her meet pleasant new folks like the Moretti’s who have all but adopted her as one of their own. Except the surly, short-tempered, strikingly attractive “Captain” Anthony Moretti who she can’t stop thinking about.
“Has anyone ever told you that you go from docile and abiding to sassy and difficult in the span of a couple seconds?”
While at the diner going over a case that has him and the entire NYPD confounded, Maggie inadvertently identifies the crook Anthony’s after. Throwing them together in a chase that will test his resolve and their limits as every interaction stokes the flaming hot attraction between. But can their relationship survive their career oriented priorities?
As the older brother in the Moretti brood and bearing the expectation of following in his father’s footsteps, Anth is a bit brusque, uptight and even conceited. It was fun watching him try to figure out how his entire family was completely smitten with Maggie while he was mostly irritated that she always left a stain in his wardrobe and sexual awareness under his skin.
“You go from sexy to bossy so fast I get whiplash.”
“Rumor has it some woman find bossy sexy.”
The Moretti’s weren’t the only ones to be charmed by Maggie, I was too. Who wouldn’t root for a character that picks herself up after years of use and abuse from her family to try to make her life happy and whole, not just succeeding but also coming out still being a loving, caring, selfless person?
“She understood then what love was supposed to be. In its purest form, it was unselfish.”
The slow build up between Anth and Maggie was delicious and I loved all the sweet and tender moments they shared as well as all the support they gave each other. I enjoyed how Maggie slowly cracked his insensitive shell with sass and how she helped him overcome the guilt he carried from a previous relationship. Everything from him walking her dog or reading and supporting her manuscript to her wanting to be his partner and encourage his own career.
The story was rounded out nicely with the fun loving interaction between Maggie, Anthony and his meddlesome yet loving family which I can’t wait to know more about.
Lauren Layne is a fixture in my sweet and sexy romance list. I know I can count on happy, satisfied smile when reading her stories filled with family, friends, sexy times and love.
Steal Me is the second book in the New York’s Finest series by Lauren Layne. It is a standalone, full-length, contemporary romance. Told from both points of view, with a happy ending.
* I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author via NetGalley. The excerpts are from that copy. *