Book two of Lauren Layne’s New York’s Finest series; but does very well as a stand-alone, and once again she astounds me with an exciting story, an aggravating hero and a heroine learning to stand strong all on her own. I love Lauren Layne, I love her writing voice, and her active setting is always engaging I find that I always want to visit the places she writes about. Her characters are easy to sympathize with and are very realistic with their own flaws that they work to change or come to terms with.
The Moretti family is a great family, big on family dinners (that must be pasta of some sort) and meddling in your life whether you want them to or not. What makes worse is the father Tony is the former police commissioner and all but one of his kids are cops, the lone girl is a DA. Anthony Moretti is the oldest and has aspirations of following in his father’s footsteps to one day be the Police Commissioner and his priorities list NYPD, Family, and the Yankees; and lately the only one not driving him crazy are the Yankees. Anth’s first big case as Captain and it has him stumped a rash of theft by a man who leaves a thank you note and an obnoxious smile face sticker as a calling card. No other clues and never anything really big make tracking “Smiley very difficult. Tony has almost none stop been bugging Anth about what he’s going to do. He will figure it out his career depends on it.
The Moretti’s has a tradition of eating Sunday Brunch at The Darby Diner and when their favorite waitress retired the woman to take over was Maggie Walker. Maggie easily fit right in with the Moretti’s, except Anthony, or “Captain” as she referred to him and despite the unwanted attraction she feels toward Captain, he always acts like a pompous ass, and that’s only because of the unwanted attraction he feels for her. Maggie is starting over in her life, finally divorced from her useless husband and far enough away from her father and brother they can’t use her either. Maggie is tired of being a door mat, so here she is living in a low rent apartment in Brooklyn, working as a waitress and in every spare minute she is writing her novel. Maggie thought she left her pathetic excuse of an ex husband behind in Jersey when she moved but that is until she identifies her ex as “Smiley”. Now Anth and Maggie must deal with the attraction they both feel and not get Anth in trouble with his superiors because falling in love with Maggie, who at this point is an informant for the case, is strictly forbidden.
Anth, because of his attraction and the fact that Maggie is a friend of the Moretti family, feels it’s his duty to keep her safe that means he is spending a lot of time with Maggie. In their time together Maggie’s quick come back and all around sassiness breaks through Anth’s hard exterior and finds her way in to his heart. And Anth found his way into Maggie’s by being so freakin’ sweet but Anth is torn inside wanting to protect Maggie and needing to find Smiley and the only way to catch Smiley is with Maggie.
Overall, this was a great book. Anthony and Maggie are so sweet; they are so, very, understanding of each other’s dreams and goals. The ending was so satisfying, and sweet. I want an Anthony of my own!
**ARC provided by Publisher**