Book Review: Steal Me by Lauren Layne

I’ve realized something about myself. I am a second-book girl, meaning that when I read a series, in most cases, I might like the first one, but I absolutely love the second one. This has proven true several times, and it was proven again with the second book in Lauren Layne’s New York’s Finest series. Frisk Me was good, but Steal Me gave me so many warm fuzzies.

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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

One-Sentence Synopsis
A moody police captain who feels he can’t have a career and a relationship starts falling for the waitress who has a habit of spilling things on him. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

The Dark, Broody Type
Anthony Moretti. So moody, so sexy, so conflicted. Due to something that happened with an ex-girlfriend, he’s resigned himself to the fact that there’s no way he’s cut out to work for the police department and maintain a relationship. He also hates it when the waitress who has endeared herself to his whole family spills things on him. And it happens all the time. Totally a case of food as foreplay, right?

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Miss Independent
Maggie is a waitress who’s trying to get on her feet and become her own person after growing up with a lazy brother and an alcoholic father and being married to a man who wanted her to give everything in the relationship while he gave nothing. She’s super sweet, but that was part of the problem. She was a pushover. Now she’s determined not to be that person anymore.

Love in the Time of Crime
Besides just being kind of a crab-ass, Anthony is also irritated that he can’t find the burglar known as Smiley, a criminal who seems to be trolling the police department with his shenanigans. So when Maggie turns out to be a huge help for the case, he finds himself in close proximity to her more than not. Then he realizes how lonely he is, but he also realizes it’s not that easy for him to separate his personal and professional lives.

The Romance Factor
I’m such a sucker for the “lonely” characters, the ones who just want someone to be with, even if they think they can’t have them. Considering both Anthony and Maggie fall into this trope, I was all sorts of in love with both of them. Also, there’s a scene where Maggie “realizes” that like all the other men in her life, Anthony just uses her when he needs her. Obviously, we know that’s not the case, but that angst! So well done and enough to give me those feels. 5/5

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The Steam Factor
Though there are steamy moments, compared to some of the other things I’ve read, the sexy times in this one are relatively tame. However, Layne writes really good sensual scenes, and so while Maggie and Anthony might not get as down and dirty as some other couples, they still made me melt. 4/5

Final Thoughts
This is a strong book in the series and I love the Moretti family. There’s a lot of build-up to the third one in the series as well, which seems like a friends to lovers type thing or a co-worker love story…either way, I can’t wait to read it, and I hope it stands as strong as this one did.

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