Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Review - - Cuff Me

Cuff Me
By Lauren Layne
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: March 29, 2016







Vincent Moretti and Jill Henley, NYPD Detectives, have been partners for years. And they’d been friends for just as long. So close, in fact, that Jill is an honorary member of the big, boisterous Italian Moretti family. And everyone, from Vincent’s Nonna on down, has been waiting for Viincent to come to his senses and admit that what he feels for Jill is more than just friendship. None more so than Jill herself.

So, when she’s in Florida on a leave of absence to take care of her mother following surgery, and she meets a handsome, sweet, funny, rich guy, and after three months of dating he pops the question, of course she says yes. After all, it’s not as if Vincent Moretti is going to come to his senses and propose. And after years of waiting for him to fall for her, she’s tired of waiting.

Meanwhile, Vincent, unbeknownst to anyone else, because like a guy he’s told no one, is thrilled for Jill to get back from leave. He’s missed her, though again, like a guy, hasn’t bothered to tell her that or to text more than a few times while she was away. He’s not quite sure why, but things just haven’t been the same while she’s been away and he’s ready to get back to their routine together. Imagine his shock then, when she arrives wearing a diamond on the fourth finger of her left hand and making wedding plans. To say Vincent is displeased, is to put it mildly.

Cuff Me features one of my favorite romance tropes: Friends to Lovers. And in the skilled hands of Lauren Layne, the tried and true feels fresh and fun. Jill and Vincent are both believable, endearing characters and Jill’s decision to leap into an engagement so quickly makes sense given how long she’s waited for Vincent to realize he’s crazy about her. And Vincent’s inability to recognize his own feelings when it comes to Jill seems perfectly in character given that he’s the strong, silent type and not given to demonstrations of emotion. Once he realizes them, though, wow!

The Moretti family, complete with Vincent’s brothers Luc and Anthony, the heroes of the two previous books in the New York’s Finest series, play a big role in this story. And they’re hilarious. The grilling Vincent’s brothers give him over his cluelessness over Jill is especially funny. And their attempts to soften the blow for him when she announces her engagement to another man were especially endearing. They might like to give him hell, but it’s clear that there’s a lot of affection there too. For Vincent, but also for Jill who has been welcomed into the Moretti clan like a long lost sister.

There is a mystery for the reunited partners to solve, the murder of a long ago forgotten Hollywood starlet, but it’s more of a background element than the star of the show. This is more contemporary romance comedy than romantic suspense. And along those lines there is one element in the otherwise entertaining and charming Cuff Me that bothered this romantic suspense reader. Moretti and Henley are partners. And any longtime reader of romantic suspense or watcher of crime shows knows that it is generally frowned upon for partners to get involved romantically. Obviously, this would have been a bigger issue if Vincent and Jill were beat cops, or SWAT, but still, it’s not something that’s a good idea and nowhere in the book is it even mentioned that they should be separated as partners when they start sleeping together. In Lauren Layne’s lighthearted cop world it doesn’t seem like a huge consideration, but it did bother me a little. Your mileage will, of course, vary.

Overall, I thought Cuff Me  was a fun, funny, sexy romance and a fine addition to the ranks of friends-to-lovers tales. And though I did not read the first two books in the series, I didn’t have any trouble keeping up. If you’re looking for a lighthearted romance with two of the sweetest romantic gestures I’ve seen (one involves a donut, the other some very ugly flowers) then give Cuff Me a try. 

~Manda Collins

Manda Collins writes smart, sexy historical romance laced with a touch of mystery. Her most recent book, Good Dukes Wear Black, third in her The Lords of Anarchy series releases today, April 5, 2016. You can find more information about Manda and her books at her website and connect with her online at Facebook and Twitter.

17 comments:

  1. You got me at donut and ugly flowers. LOL.
    ladbookfan

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    1. I know! It's so painfully sweet. Sigh.

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  2. I'm really liking her books and am looking forward to this one.

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    1. I'm beginning to think she can't write a dud. Which makes me jealous as a writer, of course, but happy as a reader!

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  3. I obviously need to give her a try. Thanks for the review, Manda!

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    1. You really do, PJ! Ask, Janga. She's read some of the Stilettos books.

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  4. I have my reading choices laid out for my trip but I may have to squeeze this one in.

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  5. I've heard lots of good things about the whole series. I already own the first two so I guess I just need some time to start reading it :)

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    1. It's fun. I'm going back for the first two:)

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  6. Love this author. I read the first two books in this series and have Cuff Me on my wish list. But your review just convinced me to skip my morning Starbucks and buy this book instead.

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  7. Love this author. I read the first two books in this series and have Cuff Me on my wish list. But your review just convinced me to skip my morning Starbucks and buy this book instead.

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  8. i CAN['T WAIT TO GET THIS ONE LOVE THE SERIES

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  9. i CAN['T WAIT TO GET THIS ONE LOVE THE SERIES

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