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.
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Something shifted then. The balance of power. And this time it was in Maggie’s favor.
For as long as she’d known Anthony Moretti, she’d been trying to measure up. Trying not to embarrass herself, trying not to spill on him, embarrassed by her small apartment, embarrassed by her family, even her dog …
But something was shifting
This time, Maggie understood that maybe his life wasn’t any easier than hers. That he had his own demons to fight.
Only … he wasn’t fighting. He was giving up.
She felt an unfamiliar spark of anger.
She could sympathize about what had happened with his ex-girlfriend certainly, but did that really excuse the fact that he was letting external circumstances to dictate his life?
The fact was, he was being a coward. By shutting himself off from risk, he was also shutting out the chance for something more.
“I can’t do complicated,” he said when the silence stretched on.
Maggie nodded. Pursed her lips. Picked up her beer and took one less sip before setting it back on the counter.
She started to move past him towards the front door. Stopped when their shoulders were even, although she didn’t glance at up at him. “That’s too bad. Because this is one time when ‘complicated’ would have been really good.”
Her hand was on the doorknob before he stopped her, pulling her around so hard she slammed up against his chest.
His fingers were rough as they plunged into her hair, but she welcomed the slight pull. Welcomed even more the possessive pull of his lips on her when he claimed her mouth, sinking his tongue into the depths of her mouth without preamble or apology.
Maggie’s fingers were equally greedy as she held onto his hair, her mouth moving restlessly against his. Anthony tilted his head to bring take the kiss even deeper and Maggie moaned.
This is what kissing was supposed to be like.
He pulled back, just slightly, his breath hot and heavy against her face. “Say you want this.”
Her own breath was ragged. “I already told you that.”
His lips found the underside of her jaw. “Say it again.”
Maggie closed her eyes. “I want this.”
I want you.
Anthony lifted her then, as though it were nothing. Just wrapped his arms around her, and swooped her up, southern belle style.
“A girl could swoon with moves like this,” she said, lifting her face up so her lips could nuzzle his neck.
He growled. “I hope a girl will do a lot more than that when I’m done with her.”
Anthony kicked open his bedroom door, and she had the vague sense of a Spartan room, a perfectly made bed, a small dresser, not the tiniest bit of clutter before he set her on the bed.
Maggie started to scoot back to make room from him, but his hand found her knee, stopping her. “I’m in charge.”
About the Author
A long-time romance reader, Lauren Layne thinks the only thing better than reading about happy endings is writing them. She now pursues a full-time career in Happily Ever After, a job she's naturally suited for after marrying her high school sweetheart. A bit of a nomad, Lauren's lived everywhere from Orange County to Manhattan, and currently lives in the Seattle-area. Her hobbies include coffee by day, wine by night, and lots of writing in between. She's also a total website nerd and insists you check out laurenlayne.com!