New Release Review & Author Interview: ★Cuff Me★ by @_LaurenLayne

Review-Cuff MeCuff Me
Series: New York’s Finest #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Lauren Layne
Release Date: March 29, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

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Meet New York’s Finest-three hot brothers sworn to protect and serve the city they love… and the women who’ve stolen their hearts.

ARRESTED BY LOVE

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. . .

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&NReview4.5 starsCuff Me-DGR

Vincent Moretti was more than her partner.
So much more.
What he was to her, she didn’t know how to name. Or wasn’t ready to.

If there’s one thing that Lauren Layne knows how to do, it’s to write a swoony, feel-good, and super sexy contemporary romance. Cuff Me just may be my favorite in the series and of course the grumpy Vince is definitely my favorite Moretti brother…so far anyway.

Vincent and Jill first caught my attention in Frisk Me. Vincent and Jill are partners and homicide detectives for the NYPD, but that’s not what intrigued me. What intrigued me was the hate/lust current that practically sizzled between them. Though it’s not quite hate, more as it is denial. You just know that these two are attracted to each other and try to mask it with barbs and insults, and you simply can’t wait for them to realize it. This was friends-to-lovers but with a little bit more to it and I enjoyed every page of it.

It’s refreshing to get a hero that has his issues but they’re not rooted in some deep emotional scars or anything like that. Vin is a regular man with no OTT issues but he just doesn’t happen to believe in a HEA for himself.

He believed in love. He did.
He just didn’t believe in it for him.
Not because he had any gory emotional wounds, not because he had some brokenhearted past.
He was just…he didn’t feel like other people did.

It was a nice change of pace from the typical broody and tortured hero that you normally find in romance these days. After two books of wondering what made Vin tick and made him the man that he is today, I can certainly say I was not left disappointed with the way the author handled it.

Quiet. Reserved. Broody.
It’s not that he didn’t feel. Of course he did. He just didn’t feel out loud.

Jill is the exact opposite of Vin. She’s sassy to his grumpy, she’s sunny to his broody, she’s smiley to his scowly…well you get the point. If anything I liked Jill even more in this book.

Lauren Layne took an interesting turn in order to get these two to finally see what’s brewing between them and at first I wasn’t sure that’s a particular direction I would enjoy. I had my doubts because it’s not something that normally works for me. However, Miss Layne did such a fantastic job with it then I ended up enjoying it a whole lot more than I thought. I think a huge part of that is due to Jill. She’s so bubbly and endearing, it’s impossible not to like her. She says what she means and she means what she says, and I definitely loved the way she went after what she wanted.

She wanted Vincent Moretti desperately, consequences be damned. And so Jill did the bravest thing she could think of. She went on her toes. And kissed him.

I loved watching Vin’s inevitable fall. It wasn’t instant. Heck, it was basically six years in the making since that’s how long they’ve been partners. But I really appreciated that the author still made it a slow burn and didn’t just throw them together at the very first opportunity. It made it that much more enjoyable and realistic for me.

I excepted more of my beloved hate lust, but this was more friends to lovers and you’ll get zero complaints from me. It was humorous, steamy, and super cute! A guaranteed win for any contemporary romance lover that enjoys their heroes extra broody and their heroines down to earth and with a smart mouth. I sincerely hope that the author continues on with the series because I’m not done with these Moretti siblings yet.

Graphic is stock purchased and created by me for DGR blog. 


Author Interview

DGR: Hi Lauren! Thanks so much for being here today!

LL: Oh gosh, thanks for having me!!! We authors practically preen when we get the chance to talk about our book-babies 🙂

DGR: Let’s start simple. Can you introduce yourself to readers that may not be familiar with your books?

LL: Definitely! So, my name is Lauren Layne, I was born in on a sunny April morning in San Diego in the early 80s … 🙂 For real though, I write what I like to call “sexy romantic comedies.” Basically, I like to think about my work as as the book equivalents of your favorite romantic comedies, with plenty of sexy time. My goal is always to make readers laugh and swoon, in either order.

DGR: Now let’s talk about your New York’s Finest series. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

LL: Yes! Hot Cops. The end. Oh wait, not enough? Okay, so … New York’s Finest is about a family, first and foremost. The Morettis are NYPD royalty, meaning that their blood quite possibly runs blue! Each story is about a different brother, all deliciously sexy in their own way 🙂 I also feel the need to mention Nonna, the outrageous grandma who steals almost every scene she’s in.

DGR: Cuff Me is book 3 in the series and all about the grumpy Moretti brother, Vin. What can readers expect from his book?

LL: Longing. I don’t know how else to describe it other than this book, for all its joking banter, has an undercurrent of longing and want. Vin/Jill have known each other forever, wanted each other for at least that long, but they’re completely unaware of the other’s feelings. (stubborn, these two!) Of all the books in the series, this one’s perhaps the most, “hey, I’m the author and I’m going to rip your heart out.” 🙂 You’ve been warned!

DGR: I loved the hate/lust thing that Vin and Jill had going on through the previous two books. But Cuff Me wasn’t quite what I expected. It was more of a friends-to-lovers vibe. I loved that! Were they a fun couple to write?

LL: Oh thank you! You know, they WERE a fun couple to write, but tricky, too. I love their banter in the earlier books, and love it here too, but as I settled down to really get to know them, I realized how much trust they had to have in the other person. Yes, they’ve got their bickering thing going on, yes, they drive each other nuts, but they quite literally, put their life on the line for each other every single day. The foundation of their relationship was really much deeper than even I knew!

DGR: Jill is such a spitfire! All the heroines in the series are, in their own way, but I have to admit that Jill is probably my favorite so far. How would you describe her?

LL: Oh man. Jill makes me laugh. Ava (book 1) was very much a ball-buster, ambitious almost to a fault. Maggie (book 2) was much sweeter, but not quite soft, as she knew when it was time to stand up for herself. Jill is a whole other creature entirely. Jill has a really strong sense of self, which I think is rare in the romance genre. Often we see strong heroines, but quite often they’re hiding something, or they have a secret soft spot, that they reveal only to the hero. And that’s lovely, but it’s also not Jill. More than any other heroine I’ve written, I think she perhaps is the most “what you see is what you get,” and I really love that about her.

DGR: Did you have a favorite scene to write in Cuff Me?

LL: A couple, actually. I’m a sucker for that doughnut scene (no spoilers here, but you’ll know it when you get to i!) It was actually a late addition to the story, added in the final round of revisions on a whim, and I sort of knew it was perfect and crucial to the book the minute I put it in there. The other is the “motel scene.” That one was there from the very beginning, and I think it’s the first time we see Vin at his weakest, getting to see how he really is when he doesn’t think Jill’s watching. It’s a heart-melter, if I do so say so myself 😉

DGR: What about the hardest scene to write?

LL: You know, I would have thought it would be the “murder plot” stuff, as I’m not a romantic suspense writer (at all), but I was pleasantly surprised by how easily the “mystery” part came. Not that this is a mystery novel by any means, but there’s a tiny element of “who dunnit” that I enjoyed more than I thought I would! As far as what was hardest, I’d say it was as we got to the end and I had to figure out how the hell I was going to get Vincent “out of his shell” while still staying true to his character. I don’t want to say too much, but there’s this scene towards the end where Vincent’s heart is literally breaking, but Jill doesn’t know it, and getting that one just right took me a few times!

DGR: Let’s talk Moretti brothers; can we expect for the fourth Moretti to be getting a book in the series? And what about that Moretti sister?

LL: Oh man. I’ll have to say “TBD” on fourth brother (Marc) as well as the sister (Elena). 🙂 I will say that I have Marco’s story VERY clear in my head, and Elena’s “not at all.” Man, that girl is secretive!

DGR: What’s up next for you?

LL: Haha, I feel like my answer to this question is always: lots! 2016 is a huge year for me! 7 releases for me, plus a novella, and CUFF ME is only the second in that set 🙂 Next up, I have Good Girl in May about a Nashville pop princess on the run from the paparazzi after a “cheating” scandal, followed by a brand new series about Manhattan wedding planners in the summer, and then I’ll be wrapping it up with Someone Like You in December, which LL fans likely know simply as “Lincoln’s book.” 🙂

DGR: Anything you’d like to close with?

 LL: Just that I so appreciate you allowing me to stop by and talk about Vincent and Jill, and that if you’re a sucker for romantic comedies and grumpy heroes, you’ll love CUFF Me. Promise 🙂

 

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