Reviewed by Ami
Title: Cuff Me
Author: Lauren Layne
Series: New York’s Finest #3
Heroine/Hero: Jill Henley/Vincent Voretti
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 Pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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. . .
Review: For the past two books, I have been intrigued with Vin Moretti and his, Jill Henley. You could say that I could ‘feel’ their story even before I started this book. They had the potential to be so good, considering the idea of friends-to-lovers always makes me weak at the knees. I felt giddy when I received the ARC and started reading; even though at the same time I knew that expectations could be the downfall of me but couldn’t help it.
And OMG, did Cuff Me deliver!! In fact, I confess that this is the first book this year that I rated over 4-stars. I loved it SO FRICKIN’ MUCH. It hit all the feels in all the right places. I was genuinely going “awwwww” one time, then “omg, gasp!” to “damn it Vin, you idiot!” or “Jill, sweetheart, how could you?” the next time. It was so fricking good and ticked all the boxes in my romance reading preference. Yep, this is my kind of romance.
Let me start with Jill first … she’s the sunshine to Vin’s darkness. Jill is perky, radiant, outgoing, and she has all the love inside of her ready to be given to anyone who could love her back. I loved this girl. I loved that she wasn’t discouraged at all by Vin’s grumpy and brooding mood. She got under Vin’s skin like nobody else.
Of course, later on she did something that made me unhappy – how could you do that to Vin, Jill!! Why can’t you see that he’s trying his best to be the man for you?!?!? – but at the same time, I knew that Jill would admit her mistake. Jill is brave and I think her courage is the one solid thing that finally pushes Vin to move forward.
And Vin… OMG I LOVED HIM SO MUCH!! Vin is reserved kind of like her, he just didn’t deal with his emotion very much but that made me fall so hard for him. Sure, he was emotionally stunted, but it spoke volumes to me because sometimes I feel the same way. 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. He wasn’t some sort of sociopathic weirdo, he just had never really absorbed things to his very soul the way his sister, and to a lesser extent, his brothers, had.
I truly loved that explanation about Vin. I loved that he didn’t have any traumatic past. Vin is just built that way; he was shy when he was a kid then he becomes more of an observer and might be a little socially challenged with others. I loved his soul-searching moment. I loved his internal emotional conflict (and GAH, the emotion and tension here was just delicious!). In fact, there were times when I swore I had tears in my eyes when Vin made his romantic gestures.
Lauren Layne threw the huge plot twist right in the beginning – Jill came back to New York after three months off with an engagement ring on her finger. Usually, I would be very annoyed about this. I hate it when a couple’s romance hurts other people. However, I admit that it worked really well here. That news punches Vin in the guts and he has to deal with the fact that he might lose the only woman he ever loves. Everything afterwards was beautifully engaging for me.
And when they finally get together, it feels like a huge reward to Vin and Jill but also to me as a reader. Their sexy times were delicious, intimate, and hot (one word: cuffs). Then that love declaration by Vin in the end – GAH!! Gold medal for him. Really. Other MF contemporary heroes can take out their notebooks and copy Vin’s speech word for word.
There was a secondary plot of a homicide that Vin and Jill have to deal with while they are struggling with their own relationship issue. To be honest, it is not as intriguing to me as much as the romance. I couldn’t care less about the victim nor the suspects, which is probably why I couldn’t think of this as perfect read yet.
In my humble opinion, this is the best in the series and definitely my most favorite yet from Lauren Layne. I feel sad that the series stop here because I think there are still two Morettis that need their own version of happy ending. Hopefully Layne is willing to reconsider. Elena needs his man, and come on, we can’t let Marco stays with that Barbie right!
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*