Series: New York's Finest #1
on July 28th 2015
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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.
Lauren Layne has become an author that I can count on to deliver an enjoyable light contemporary romance. Factor in a story about a humble man in uniform and I was sure I would fall in love with this book. Well, that is, once I got over my disdain for the cover. I’m a terrible cover snob. But seriously, NYPD Officer Luc Moretti is dark-haired, stubborn, and second generation Italian so naturally he looks like Owen Wilson posing on the cover?
Luc is the youngest of five in a family devoted to law enforcement. His father is the retired police commissioner of NYC, his three brothers are fellow officers of the law, and his sister is a defense attorney. His life revolves around two things: family and his job. When his rescue of a drowning girl unknowingly gets captured on video by an onlooker, the video goes viral. He’s quickly hailed “America’s Hero” by the press but he is uncomfortable in the spotlight. Luc knows he was just doing his job and he is nobody’s hero. He has been plagued by memories of a job gone wrong and his resulting sense of guilt. All he wants now is for his life to go back to normal. However, with public opinion of the NYPD at an all-time low, the department decides to cash in on some positive publicity.
Ava Sims is an ambitious TV reporter assigned to do a three-hour national TV special on Luc’s life. The pair instantly bump heads but there’s no denying the mutual attraction. Ava will be shadowing Luc for two months to learn more about the man behind the badge. He’s unhappy about having his privacy invaded and mortified that a simple act in the line of duty will become overblown on a national platform. Ava senses there’s more to Luc’s story and if she can uncover the secrets he’s hiding it may be the key to getting the anchorwoman position she’s been after.
I usually appreciate a slow-burn romance, particularly when used in an enemies-to-lovers trope. In this instance, however, the fire almost burned out by the time Ava and Luc finally got together. Their chemistry is wonderful though and the bedroom scenes hit the perfect balance between tender and sexy.
It’s the characters more than the storyline that are the saving grace of this book. Ms. Layne has created a wonderful cast of characters within Luc’s tight-knit Italian family. I loved each of them but especially Luc’s eccentric, meddling Nonna. While I never quite warmed to Ava, Luc makes a very appealing hero.
The premise of this novel is good; however, the plot is rather predictable and was insufficient to keep me interested throughout. Overall, the book isn’t terrible. It’s just not up to the level of excellence I’ve come to expect from a Lauren Layne book.
** ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review. **