I’m back with some mini reviews! In September, I went on a Lauren Layne binge. I read one of her adult books, and liked it so much I immediately purchased 5 more. And pre-ordered one… So I thought I’d share some thoughts on the 6 books by Lauren Layne I read recently!
Frisk Me (New York’s Finest #1)
Published: 28.07.2015 by Forever
Rating: 4/5 stars – ★★★★
Synopsis: Officer Luc Moretti had no idea that his dive into the East River would have him drowning in a media frenzy. No matter how many times he tells reporters he was just doing his job, they’re determined to make him into NYC’s newest hero. Coming from a long line of NYPD’s finest, Luc knows that being a cop has nothing to do with headlines and viral videos, and he’s more than ready to get back to life away from the cameras—until he meets the gorgeous but jaded journalist assigned to film a TV special on him. Ava Sims may be the only woman in NYC who isn’t in love with Officer Moretti. That’s why she’s going after the real story—to find out about the man behind the badge. Ava’s determined to keep things strictly professional, but the more time she spends around Luc, even she has to admit there’s something about a man in uniform . . . and she can’t wait to get him out of his.
So my Lauren Layne binge started with this book. I’m the kind of person who gets embarrassed when reading books with covers like this one in public. So I bought a Kindle version, and started it on my train ride. I really liked this! It’s about a cop called Luc, who saved a little girl from drowning. He’s now a media sensation, and can barely perform his job without being bothered. And then there’s Ava, a journalist who wants to make it to newsreader. Or does she? She’s been told to make a 3-hour special about New York’s Finest Cop. Only Luc doesn’t want his story to be told. And Ava wants to know why.
I loved many themes in this book. How this day and age, nothing can happen without it being recorded by someone. The loss of a partner. Family. Friends. It’s all important here. I love Luc’s family! They are a close, Italian family who have dinner together every week. I absolutely adore Nonna -Luc’s grandmother. The woman does not pull punches. I am a big fan of healthy family relationships in romance and fiction books, because I feel like too often the parents are absent or awful. That was definitely not the case here.
I definitely loved the romance too. Yes, I think Luc was too rude at times. But I also think he often realized it immediately and apologized -which is already something. To be honest, I don’t know whether I would’ve forgiven Ava. I know that she turned herself around. But what she did was not okay. I know that as a journalist, you need to look for the truth. But there is a difference between being a good journalist, and being a lying person who goes behind someone’s back.
Steal Me (New York’s Finest #2)
Rating: 3.5/5 stars – ★★★.5
Synopsis: 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.
I feel like I can’t decide whether I love this book or not. I’m of two minds. Let me explain.
On the one hand, there are many aspects that I love. I loved Maggie! She was hard working, kind, strong and so realistic. She struggled to pay the bills with her waitress job, but all she wants to do is write a novel. She sometimes eats cake for dinner. She gathered up her courage to leave her scumbag ex-husband. She’s a woman to look up to. And again, I loved the family aspect -the Moretti clan is just great. And at times, I really liked the chemistry and romance.
On the other hand, there’s Anthony. While he was a fun romantic interest, and his career and family life were interesting, I thought he was far too rude to Maggie at times. For no reason whatsoever. There’s a difference between being witty and snarky, and being rude.
But still, overall, an enjoyable read. So I decided to continue.
Cuff Me (New York’s Finest #3)
Rating: 3.5/5 stars – ★★★.5
Synopsis: Vincent Moretti is one of the NYPD’s top homicide detectives-and one of the most eligible bachelors in town. His family, however, thinks he should date his longtime partner, Jill-a sassy, sexy, smart-mouthed blonde who drives him absolutely crazy. Behind the quiet authority, tough-guy demeanor, and dark aviator glasses lies a man with a big soul-and a hard body that can soften any girl’s heart. After years as his coworker, Jill Henley has given up hope that anything could happen between her and Vin. Besides, loving him would break all the rules. But seeing Jill with someone else triggers feelings in Vincent he never knew he had. Now he’ll have to stop playing good cop/bad cop-and find a way to convince her to be his partner for life. . .
Again, I liked this book but didn’t like it as much as the first book. Mostly because I feel like adults should actually COMMUNICATE. Here’s the deal with this book. Vincent and Jill have been partners for years. Best friends for years. Know everything about each other -and are basically each other’s opposite. Jill is in love with Vincent. Vincent is in love with Jill -but only realizes that when Jill leaves for a few months to take care of a family member. When she comes back, he wants to ask her out. Only one problem: she came back engaged.
I really love best-friend to romance stories! I really do. But in this case, I felt a bit annoyed at times. I think they belong together, yes. They are great together. I don’t understand how you can meet someone and be engaged to him 3 months later. He hasn’t met any of your friends or family members in that time. You haven’t told anyone. What? How does that happen? I just wanted Vin and Jill to sit down, and say what they actually wanted to say.
I do have to admit that in the end, I thought it was an enjoyable read -and that there were many cute/adorable moments.
Only With You (The Best Mistake #1)
Rating: 4/5 stars – ★★★★
Synopsis: Cocktail waitress Sophie Dalton doesn’t exactly have a life plan. She’s perfectly happy being everyone’s favorite party girl. But when a Las Vegas bachelorette party goes awry and an uptight businessman mistakes Sophie for a prostitute . . . well, Sophie wonders if it’s time to reevaluate her priorities. Swearing off her thigh-high boots for good, Sophie slinks back home with damaged pride-and a jackpot of a hangover. Yet what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there. On a trip to Seattle to open a new office, Grayson Wyatt meets his latest employee-who turns out to be the same woman he recently called a hooker. Wealthy and gorgeous, Gray is a man used to getting what he wants. And it doesn’t take long to figure out that smart, sassy, sexy Sophie is everything he’s been looking for. As their late nights at the office turn into hot morning-afters, they realize their Vegas misunderstanding may lead to the real thing…
I laughed out loud when I read the synopsis. I mean, a woman at a bachelorette party gets mistake for a prostitute. And then the guy who mistakes her turns out to be her next boss -although that doesn’t happen that directly, but that’s what the synopsis says. Doesn’t that just sound like so much fun?
That’s what this book was. A bundle of fun. Sophie was a relatable character. She’s young, and kind of panicky about not having figured everything out yet. She doesn’t really know what she wants to do. She feels like her family doesn’t really understand or accept her. She doesn’t have the perfect boyfriend. She’s just a normal woman. I adored her -especially her wit.
I really like Gray too. I especially enjoyed watching him develop throughout the story. To become more emotional, and less keep-it-all-inside-and-deny-it. To take more chances (in his personal life at least). I think they were very good for each other, because they helped each other through their struggles. Again, I think Gray was a bit rude at times. But it didn’t bother me all that much.
Made for You (The Best Mistake #2)
Rating: 3/5 stars – ★★★
Synopsis: Will Thatcher is exactly the type of sexy playboy good girls like Brynn have always avoided. And yet there was still something about him she just couldn’t resist. When Will moved across the country three years ago, Brynn vowed it was time to put him behind her. She never thought Will might have other plans . . . Back in town, Will intends to get what he’s always wanted-gorgeous, unforgettable Brynn. For years, he tormented the untouchable ice princess in a desperate bid for her attention. Now he has a new plan, and he’ll do anything to rewrite their stormy past. This time, he’s out to show Brynn that the imperfect man might be the best mistake of her life.
This was my least favorite book out of the 6 I’ve read so far. I just hate it when the main reason for a romance not working out is miscommunication and/or denial. This book has both.
I still gave it 3 stars because I did want them to end up together, and I did want to keep reading to find out what happened. That, and Will’s wit, were pretty much the saving grace of this book.
Here’s what I had a problem with: you don’t annoy a woman to get her attention (that behavior ends after the age of 11), happiness doesn’t come from a life that seems perfect on paper, don’t deny what you know you feel and think because you are afraid of disappointing family members, don’t treat another person like shit because you feel like shit or because you need that person.
If you didn’t get it yet, I didn’t like Brynn. She needs the perfect everything. But that means everything being cold, not being passionate about anything. How can that seem like the perfect life? I don’t get it.
Irresistibly Yours (Oxford #1)
Rating: 4/5 stars – ★★★★
Synopsis: Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her. Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.
I love this book because it’s the story of two sports editors. They are both applying for the same job. Cole feels like he earned the job already because he’s been freelancing for the magazine for years. Penelope has been a sports journalist for years. She moved to New York to get a fresh start. And what better way to get started than as the senior sports editor of Oxford?
I really enjoyed this book because it wasn’t just them in a rivalry. The job situation gets resolved quite early on in the book, and the find themselves working together. I loved how they worked quite well together. There was mutual respect and discussion, everyone was open to hearing each other’s ideas. I know that’s how it should be, and it shouldn’t be something to remark on, but I feel like in sports journalism, it might still not be that easy.
The only thing I didn’t like was when Cole first met Penelope. He was in awe because a woman was writing down something in a notebook during a baseball game. Then he was elated because she was eating a hot dog, which he had never seen a woman do. How can that be? Do women not eat hot dogs in New York? I have no idea. But he got that kick in the guts when he introduced himself and found out she’d be his rival for the job. He didn’t underestimate her again. I’m grateful that happened in the beginning.
I really want to read the third book in this series (?) because that one features Lincoln. I’m so intrigued by him.