So we have the classic grumpy scowly cop who falls for someone completely inappropriate case-wise (when do they ever not, in cop romances?) and shenanigans ensue. Oh, and throw in the fact that the heroine is a struggling waitress writing a book and boom, you've officially hit trope city.
But wait, because it's Lauren Layne, she actually makes it work. In this case, (do you see what I did there?), knowing vaguely how things are going to go and having the tropes in place actually frees up everything to shine that much brighter. I didn't have to worry about how the plot was going to go, all I had to do was enjoy. Enjoy the way the Morettis interacted with each other (makes me want a family just like that of my own, Italian or not unnecessary; or is it?); enjoy outrageous Nonna and her non-PG 13 remarks and endless discussion of sex; enjoy how Maggie learns to be and eventually owns being "sweet but fierce" and her banter with Anth; and most of all, enjoy watching these two oh so broken people find tenderness in each other.
Loved the dialog. Loved the interactions between everyone, especially the ones between family members. Loved that in the end Lauren Layne did something unexpected but truly awesome and had Maggie save herself. Love the strong, silent, scowly-but-tender type. Almost as much as I love sweet and sassy and fierce.
I did think that the ending was a bit too neat a wrap-up, but honestly, the world is dark enough without begrudging them their dreams coming true without reservation.
Sweet and funny, Steal Me is definitely going on my comfort-read shelf.
IN HOT PURSUIT
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.