Steal Me

Steal Me

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Being a cop might be in Anthony Moretti’s blood, but protecting and serving the city of New York has always been more than just the family business. If that means his love life stays locked up, well then that’s just another sacrifice made in the line of duty. That is, until he sets eyes on the gorgeous new waitress at The Darby Diner and suddenly Anthony’s morning coffee is leaving him a whole lot more hot and bothered than usual.

Though waitressing at The Darby isn’t exactly Maggie Walker’s dream job, it pays the bills and gives her time to work on her novel. Now if only she could stop fantasizing about gorgeous Anthony Moretti every time he sits down at her table, she’d really be in great shape. But when he needs her help identifying a criminal threatening The Darby-and Maggie recognizes her ex-husband-she fears her fresh start might be a pipe dream. Faster than a New York minute, Maggie and Anthony find themselves in one perilous pursuit that only gets hotter with each and every rule-breaking kiss.

One-Liners
  • Cop rule: Never fall for your star witness...
Accolades
  • Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
  • "HOT! Smart dialogue, creative plotting and an insightful, unexpected romance ensure that Layne's latest New York's Finest novel is a sure-fire success...a pitch-perfect addition to a lovely series."―RT Book Reviews
Excerpts

“What was with all of the flirting and the looks?”

Anthony’s eyes flashed in anger. “You said you’re bad at this. I’m bad at this too! I may not be handling this attraction between us well, but at least I’m trying!”

Maggie’s eyes widened in surprise. Both at the words, and the blurted nature of them. Captain Moretti struck her as the type of man who was always in control, but he didn’t look in control now.

“I should go.” He backed away.

“Wait!”

He paused and she went to him.

“About the…attraction,” she continued before she could lose her nerve. “I don’t know what to do about it either. But I feel it. Like I’ve never felt anything before.”

He closed his eyes. “You shouldn’t have said that.”

“Why not?” she asked.

He made a low growling noise. “Because now I won’t be able to stop myself from doing this.”

He pushed her backward into the wall. His eyes were wild as they looked down on her, and the last thought Maggie had before his mouth slammed against hers was that Anthony Moretti completely out of control was the sexiest thing she’d ever seen…

He looked at her. “We keep doing that, don’t we? Crossing wires.”

She stared at his chest. “I just…I don’t get you. You switch back and forth between Ms. Walker-ing me and then you touch my hand and call me Maggie, and—”

He took a step closer. “And what?”

“You confuse me.”

“Do I?” His voice was soft. Thoughtful.

She frowned. “You seem far too pleased by that.”

“I admit, it gives me a certain measure of relief. To know that I’m not the only one who’s feeling a little off balance.”

She snorted. “Yeah, you seem really disoriented here, Captain.”

“You’re hardly an open book, Maggie.”

She glanced up in surprise at that. “Yes I am.”

That was one thing she was very sure of. Her entire life, people had been telling her that she wore her heart on her sleeve, that her facial expressions hid nothing, that she was transparent. She was the definition of open book.

“Well, you’re a book I don’t know how to read,” he said gruffly.

“Do you want to? Read it? Read me?”

“More than I should.”

Was it her imagination, or had he moved closer? Or had she? Somehow they seemed to be standing closer than they were before. And they were certainly standing closer than necessary.

“I said what I said because I meant every word.”

“Oh.”

The silence stretched between them, interrupted only by the occasional squeak from Duchess’s toy.

“Maggie.”

“Yeah?” It was more of a whisper, so she cleared her throat and tried again. “Yeah?”

His gaze was hot when it clashed with hers. “I’d like to hear that response now.”

“You want me to text you back?” she squeaked.

He shook his head. “Tell me. No liquid courage, no cell phones. What were you thinking when I told you that I was jealous?”

She closed her eyes and shook her head.

His hand reached for her tentatively, his fingers hot through the fabric of her top, then firmer as his palm pressed against her waist.

“Tell me.” It was a command. “Did you like that I was jealous? Did you want me to claim you as mine?”

The words sent a shiver down her spine. “I don’t know,” she whispered.

The silence stretched out, and she felt a pang as his fingers started to slide away. Her palm found the back of his hand, holding him still as she opened her eyes, trying to tell him with her gaze what she didn’t know how to put into words.

“I’m bad at this,” she whispered.

His jaw moved slightly, as though he was gritting his teeth.

Moretti took a half step closer, until they were toe to toe. If either of them leaned, just a little, they could be belly to belly, chest to chest…

“There’s something I need to tell you.” His voice was gruff.

“I don’t know what to do about it either. But I feel it. Like I’ve never felt anything before.”

He closed his eyes. “You shouldn’t have said that.”

“Why not?” she asked, lifting her chin in annoyance that he’d all but begged her to tell him what she was thinking and was now scolding her for it.

He made a low growling noise. “Because now I won’t be able to stop myself from doing this.”

His hand pressed against her stomach, spanning the entire surface as he pushed her backward into the wall. His eyes were wild as they looked down on her, and the last thought Maggie had before his mouth slammed against hers was that Anthony Moretti completely out of control was the sexiest thing she’d ever seen.

His kiss was fierce. Carnal. Unapologetic. There was no soft coaxing to get her lips to open, he merely used his firm mouth to maneuver hers open and then he took.

The hand on her stomach held her pinned against the door as his other hand came up to the back of her neck, keeping her mouth tilted up for his wonderful invasion.

“I’ve got you,” he said quietly.

Damn it. What he meant to say was, “I’ll drive you.”

But when her eyes warmed in relief—and maybe something even more important—Anthony realized that maybe I’ve got you was exactly what he’d meant to say after all.

He wanted to hold her. To have her. To do anything and everything she wanted, to be everything she needed.

Because the woman in front of him felt like his.