Contemporary Romance

Review: Cuff Me

Cuff Me
Cuff Me by Lauren Layne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A sexy, sweet and cleverly penned story about the long road to the awaited happiness that two hearts have distractedly but deeply have been searching for.

“Their relationship had always been both horribly complicated and wonderfully simple. Those two elements canceled each other out so that when it came right down to it, Jill and Vincent were beyond definition.”

From a young age, Vincent Moretti has been a withdrawn observer, never feeling included due to his siblings more outgoing personalities. He’s always been quiet and reserved, not to be confused with unfeeling. It’s served him well in his career as a homicide detective and as partner to the high-spirited, feisty Jill Henley who for the past six years has driven him crazy.

The fact that she’s been gone for three months shouldn’t affect him, right? It also shouldn’t matter that she’s marrying another man she met while she was away. Because Vin thinks he can’t connect with people and that he’s not good at relationships. He should be happy for her. Wrong, WRONG, W.R.O.N.G. From the moment she comes back and announces her big news, everything feels off. Can he figure it out before it’s too late?

“He didn’t know what he was going to say, only knew that he had to say something, had to convince her that she belonged here. In New York. With him. That he couldn’t imagine what his days would look like without her. That he didn’t know how to be without her.”

Jill wants a partner for life, someone to love. Thinking that her bond with Vin is job related and merely platonic, even though she’s the only partner his family has ever adopted and after meeting the textbook perfect guy while taking care of her mother, she accepts the his marriage proposal. She’s eager to get back to NY and to her adoptive family, her job and partner hoping against hope that Vin will be happy for her. The Moretti’s receive her with warm, open arms but Vin is even broodier and more difficult to read than ever. Can they get back to their comfortable affinity or will the find that there was so much more behind their good cop-bad cop routine?

This was a very torturous and angst filled friends to lovers romance. While I completely understood how Jill and Vin totally misconstrued their relationship as a merely friendly I was biting my nails, holding my breath and anxiously turning page after page to see if “this” chapter was the one where this wonderful duo finally realized they were perfect for one another in more ways than one.

Because these two are NYPD’s homicide dream team, they can solve cases together better and faster than a speeding bullet. What they haven’t been able to do is see the wonderful relationship they have outside of their job. One where they know each other’s thoughts and finish the other’s sentences, where they share meals and are absolutely comfortable and happy in each other’s space. Everyone else could see it, why they can’t?

I really liked Jill, she’s delightfully nice and charming, besides being smart and independent. I suffered with her as she fought and lost miserably to keep Tom, her fiancée, on the forefront because with each passing moment she became more aware of all the yumminess Vin was hiding behind the stoic façade. I felt for Vin and his struggle to understand his feelings for Jill because the way he saw her was beautiful,

“You’re like the human equivalent of a rainbow.”

but totally loved it when they figured out that the attraction between each other was inescapable and he took matters charge because it was criminally sexy. That scene with the hand cuffs will go down as one of my favorite sexy moments.

So full of want was every cell in her body as he gently raked his teeth over her neck, that she didn’t quite comprehend that he’d maneuvered her hands behind her back. Not until the unfamiliar feel of cold metal against her writs, followed by the very familiar sound of a soft click, did Jill realize what had just happened… Her partner had just cuffed her.
“Don’t. Move,” he growled… “Shall I read you your rights, Henley?” His breath was hot on her skin, his fingers dragging slowly.”

It did get to a point where I just wanted to sit them both down and not let them leave until the opened up and communicated. But while all this anguish between the couple was going on, there was a murder investigation of a long ago famous movie actress in the background that had Vin and Jill and the entire NYPD flummoxed which drove the story forward and I found it fun and entertaining to try and figure out who done it.

And finally, a review of New York’s Finest would not be complete without mentioning how the entire Moretti clan add an extra fun and touching layer to the story, with Nonna’s improper comments, Luc, Anth, mom and pop Moretti’s support and advice for Vin. We even got to know the elusive Marco.

Cuff Me is the third book in the New York’s Finest series by Lauren Layne. It is a standalone, full-length, contemporary romance full of fun, sexy bits and swoon worthy moments that will bring a smile to your face. Told from both points of view, with a happy ending.

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* I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author via NetGalley. The excerpts are from that copy. *

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