New York's Finest #3
New York's Finest #3
By: Lauren Layne
Releasing March 29, 2016
Vincent knows he's not the most charming of the Moretti brothers. He prefers brooding to flirting, reading to talking, and he sure as hell isn't about to give into his mother's insistence that he 'settle down with a nice girl.' Luckily, Vincent's gig as one of the NYPD's top homicide detectives keeps him busy. As does his long-time partner, Jill Henley–a tough-as-nails cop with the face of an angel and smart mouth that makes Vincent crazy in all the worst ways.
After six years of working the homicide beat with the tight-lipped Vincent Moretti, Jill figure she knows him better than anyone. Which is not at all. But when their most recent case points to a potential serial-killer situation, the higher-ups send them on a rare undercover mission to a place no NYPD officer dares go: the Upper Eastside.
Now the bureau's most antagonistic set of partners is posing as Mr. and Mrs. Brooks of Park Avenue. Spending 24/7 in the suspect's territory brings them closer and closer to their killer . . . and closer to each other. Soon Vincent and Jill are playing good cop/bad cop in and out of bed, and Jill's falling hard. But can she convince Vincent to give her a shot as partner in life, as well as at the bureau?
Vincent was damn good at his job. It was why he’d been assigned a trainee during Jill’s leave of absence despite the fact that his lack of people skills was as legendary as his ability to sniff out even the most clever of murderers.
In truth, Vincent had been dreading his three months with the near-rookie, but it had been less painful than expected. Dansen was a good cop. A little green, but when Dansen was assigned his new partner tomorrow, Vin had no doubts that the guy would be able to handle whatever came his way.
And then Vincent’s life would finally get back to normal.
Not that these three months without Jill had been abnormal, precisely.
He still worked the same backbreaking schedule. Still saw death more days than not.
Still went to breakfast with his family after Mass every Sunday, and argued with his brothers and occasionally with his sister during said breakfast.
He still watched sports most evenings, still worked out most mornings.
So really, his life wasn’t different without Jill at all. Except that it was. Wildly, horribly different.
He glanced at his watch. Two hours until her plane landed. Three hours, maybe four until he’d see her again. Not that he was counting.
“So you’re good from here?” Vincent asked. “If you need anything, I’ll be ...”
“Yeah, yeah, I’ll call ya. You never did tell me where you were going.”
“Probably because it’s none of your Goddamn business.”
Dansen put a hand to his chest. “I’ve come to love these heart-to-hearts of ours. The way we count on each other. Confide in each other—” “My cue to leave,” Vincent grumbled.
He started to get in the car, when Dansen called his name again.
Vin shot him an impatient look and was surprised when the usually confident Dansen looked away briefly before meeting his eyes.
“Hey, I just wanted to say.. .” Dansen cleared his throat from across the hood of the car, and Vin tensed, knowing what was coming.
God, he hated sh*t like this.
“You can drop the detective,” Vincent said roughly. “Just call me Moretti. Or Vin. Whatever.”
Dansen’s smile flashed white across his dark face. “Do you know how many cops dream of the day when they’re given permission to call one of the members of the royal family by their first name?”
“Oh Jesus. Don’t start that again.”
For the most part, Dansen had done a remarkable job of not irritating Vincent to the extreme over the past three months. But Dansen’s ridiculous hero worship of Vincent’s last name grated on his nerves. Yet another reason he couldn’t wait for Jill to get back.
Jill, who’d never cared that Vincent’s father was the recently retired police commissioner. Or that his older brother was a captain. Or that his younger brother was the NYPD’s most famous officer.
Or that his grandfather had been a cop and his mother had been a police dispatcher.. .
Okay, so maybe Vincent could sort of understand where Dansen was coming from. The Morettis were kind of NYPD royalty.
And Vincent was proud to be a part of it. Proud to carry on the legacy.
He just got damn tired of the ass kissing.
“Seriously though, thanks,” Dansen said. “Couldn’t have asked for a better detective to show me the ropes. A nicer one, sure. A better-looking one, definitely. And you can be a real—”
“Asshole, I know,” Vincent said.
Dansen held up a finger. “Not what I was going to say. I think that’s the first time you’ve tried to finish my sentence and gotten it wrong.”
“I’m never wrong,” Vin said out of habit.
“Fine.” Dansen rolled his eyes. “You’re an asshole. Happy?”
Vin didn’t bother responding, just lifted his hand in a final farewell to Dansen before the younger man could say whatever it was he’d wanted to say, and lowered himself into the car.
Vincent slid on his aviator sunglasses as he fastened his seat belt.
Vin kept his face perfectly blank until he’d pulled away from the curb and merged into traffic.
Only then, only out of sight of prying eyes, did he let a smile overtake his face. A smile that quickly became a grin as he headed toward his longtime barber for a very overdue haircut.
He told himself that his decision to get his hair cut after weeks of putting it off had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he’d be seeing Jill in a few short hours.
Vincent had never really given two thoughts to what Jill Henley thought of his looks.
But then, he and Jill had never spent three months apart. He’d never had a chance to realize just how much he’d . .. missed her.
Not that he’d be telling her that.
Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels.
Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. A year after moving from Seattle to NYC to pursue a writing career, she had a fabulous agent and multiple New York publishing deals.
Lauren currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and plus-sized Pomeranian. When not writing, you'll likely find her running (rarely), reading (sometimes), or at happy hour (often).
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