Reviews: New York’s Finest series by Lauren Layne

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Since these three books are part of a series (all can be read stand-alone, but would be much better if they’re read in sequence, from left to right), I’ll have to talk about them together. The first thing I did after reading the first book, “Frisk Me,” was to go to Lauren Layne’s Goodreads page to find out whether or not she can answer my question about a possible 4th and 5th book in the series. This is what I found, instead: “**Note from Lauren Layne** Lauren is NOT active on GoodReads. She finds she does her best writing when she doesn’t let herself get discouraged by negative reviews 🙂 If you’re looking for updated release dates and “official” book descriptions, please check out her website. Thanks so much for understanding!”

My reaction: ooooookay. A highly-sensitive writer/”artiste.” Great. But, I still wanted to know whether or not she’s going to complete the damned series, since I was left hanging after the “Cuff Me.” Sooo, I dutifully clicked on to her website to see if she talked about her “New York’s Finest” series there. Finding nothing on the series’ page on her site, I went on, hopefully to her Contact page, and read this:

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Okidoki… so, I am NOT alone in this quest! Other fans are just as mystified and hungry for more. But when I clicked thru again, I was left bereft, because:

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Again, great. A writer who doesn’t want honest critiques of her work (e.g., bad reviews), who’s also coy and thinks she’s cute. Fine. I’ll deduce… because after the third book, “Cuff Me,” I’ve had enough. Ms. Layne has obviously ran out of steam and imagination for the series. As have I.

One may ask, however, how I got to this stage, when I really liked “Frisk Me,” giving it 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. I loved Luc and Ava’s story – I’m talking MAJOR FEELS here, people! (Plus, I’ll admit, a few tears were shed when Luc went to the graveyard to leave flowers for and talk to a little girl he could not save.)

I was still feeling the high as I continued on to “Steal Me.” This one was — okay. I still gave it a 3 on Goodreads. Anthony and Maggie’s story was a bit more police-y, as there was a hostage situation. A rather iffy hostage sitch, in my opinion, because it was conducted by Maggie’s ex-husband, who was always portrayed as a lazy, petty, but generally harmless criminal in the book. Turns out he got Anthony and the rest of the NYPD stumped as he B&E’d his way through a swanky part of NYC, AND he managed to get a gun and kidnap Maggie while she was supposed to be under police surveillance/protection. Nonetheless, we got our HEA when Anthony finally took the stick out of his ass and declared love for his almost-kidnapped, but really brave Maggie.

Now, with “Cuff Me,” I’ve got even more to say. Ms. Layne should avert her eyes now. First, I hate Jill. Don’t read the book anymore, folks; I’ll tell you why. Jill, the crime-fighting homicide detective, is a clinging nag. She is glowing, over-flowing, and bursting with love.That’s why she accepted the marriage proposal of a banging-hot, stand-up guy she’s only been with for 3 months. In Florida. While she was on personal leave to take care of her ailing mom. Because Vincent does not love her back. She’s been waiting for 6 years. OMG. Oh, but her heart is not in it. Because she loves Vin. Every damned time she thinks of her impending wedding, she thinks, ohmigod, of Vin. Then, they land a huge homicide case. They both sucked at it, as they’ve lost their partner dynamics and crime-solving mojo. If I were dead, and these 2 were the cops trying to find my killer, well, no, thank you. Lieutenant Eve Dallas is whom Jill is DEFINITELY NOT.

Second, Vin, on the other hand, sounds like a sociopath. He does not know what love feels, but he finds, in the end, that’s what he feels for Jill. After 6 years. I tried to envision him. He’s, after all, pictured on the book cover. Well… sort of. Ms. Layne described Vin as a “dark” guy. Dark hair, dark eyes, wears black all the time, including his signature black leather jacket. That’s not the guy on the cover. (Someone else on Goodreads pointed out that the blonde surfer dude wearing a plain blue shirt pictured on “Frisk Me” does not jive with Luc’s description, either. But, hey, what do we readers know?)

Third, the plot. Predictable. Jill figures out it was the vic’s sister, after all, who did the deed. She gets poisoned after going to interrogate the perp ALONE. Vin rushes to her, loses it, declares his love in front of his Italian family. And… End scene.

Since Ms. Layne is not sure whether or not she’ll proceed with Marco and Elena Moretti’s stories, allow me to deduce:

  1. Marco finally wakes up from his lust and stupor from having been with his bimbo, lazy, actress-wanna be of a girlfriend. He moves back to New York. Magically, he finds an open position in the NYPD, and still retains his rank as sergeant. He’s back in the family fold, to the Morettis’ utter delight. He meets a woman, who may or may not be involved in a case he and his team are working on (he chases bank robbers, as Ms. Layne says he does on “Cuff Me”). They fall in love. He’s resistant. She’s independent, but determined to show Marco what real love is. His family loves her. Cue in the climax of their tale. Then, the denouement – happily ever after.
  2. Elena meets the cop who helped bring in her client to justice. As a defense attorney, she’s supposed to not like the cop. But, oh, he’s hot. And, she’s been on a dry spell lately. Plus, GASP – she’s been trying to avoid having more cops in her life! The cop is rugged, handsome, bigger than her brothers, and smart. Smarter than her, sometimes. Elena’s dad knows him. Tony and Maria Moretti (her parents) like him as a cop, and eventually, want him as a son-in-law. Elena resists. Hello – they are on different sides of the law! However, after a few girl-and-wine sessions with her sisters-in-law/best friends, and a LOT of sexy time with her cop, she sees the light. They, of course, live HEA.

There. Rants done. You’re welcome, world.



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