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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Frisk Me by Lauren Layne

                               A Review by Wendy                                    
                                        4 Two Different Paths 
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Family desires...they can be encouraging, thoughtful, help the children to believe in themselves and produce strong capable people. That is when they are shown with love and support; with the clear understanding of the children and what the family is demonstrating.

On the flip side... these desires or ambitions can be foisted on children to fulfill lost dreams of the parents... to live vicariously through them. This can create hostility, self doubt, esteem issues and even more destructive feelings... for if the child in question does not wish to be whatever the parent is pushing... then to say out loud they do not want it... risks them losing the parental love in there little minds...

So we have two ways of nurturing children into adults... and Frisk Me by Lauren Layne shows the good and bad of it all. Of course, there is a snappy love story too...It's Lauren Layne, after all... but what I experienced was this distinct illustration and how it impacted these characters.

From the positive corner, we have our delicious, smart, humble baby of a police dynasty, Officer Luc Moretti. He is part of a Italian family with generations on the Force. His father recently retired from Police Commissioner, his brothers are all on fast tracks to move up the ranks on their different paths of the job and he is the last of the bunch. He is "only a police officer- or street cop" and feels sometimes like he isn't living up to his family's level. The only one not playing cop in this family is his sister...she took the legal road and rebelled a bit...she is a defense attorney.

However, even with the personal doubts Luc may have regarding his place in this Dynasty, there is one thing he knows for sure...

He is Loved.

He is loved by his parents, brothers and sis... there is core of strength which these adult children have and it is through the firm but loving way they were raised. There was never a time when these kids did not know they had support from the family. That is not to say everything was all easy and lovely dovey- no- they had to work and earn their place at the table. But when push came to shove...all would stand together.   

On the other end of the family unit is Ava Sims. This young woman was raised by the type of parents you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. These parents were on the fast track to be Newscaster least in their mind's eye. Each had been involved in someway in the broadcast business and once married became a team of talking heads for local stations. The "hiccup" on their road to network stardom was Ava's presence. With her mother becoming pregnant, it became the excuse of things not to go forward in her career. Ava heard over and over again how she was the reason both of them never made it to the networks.

As she grew up, it was a given that all of the children, her brother and sister, would be in the television industry. There was no other career path worthy. Everything else was demeaned, put down or dismissed. Her sister became a talk show personality and brother, an "expert" really in nothing but somehow became the go to guy overseas for opinions. Ava, though, was the parents' main focus... she was their link to the dream they wanted... Ava would become what they didn't...

The Network Anchor Newscaster- the glorified talking head.

This was what she was working towards...doing all of the crappy stories, wearing the perfect restrictive clothes and painful high heels... day in and day out...The goal to get that one story which would catapult her to Anchor Desk. She had worked hard over the years... squeezed her feet into terribly uncomfortable shoes, slapped on the make-up mask and smiled pretty into the camera telling whatever story they gave her.

She did sometimes veer off script, though... she had the investigation bug...could get like a bulldog and refuse to be placated, search out leads and bring the truth forward...even when it wasn't part of the initial story. Those times made her heart beat...made her feel like she was making a difference...

These two people have a chance meeting years ago over a parking ticket. Luc saw the news truck clearly violating all of the parking signs and blocking the street. As he was writing the ticket, Ava came out with her hair askew and talking a mile a minute... she argued freedom of the press or some such nonsense... Luc wrote the ticket, gave it to her and in the back of his mind thought her interesting. Ava was incensed yet sort of intrigued by this handsome officer...

Fast forward to 3 years later and both are about to cross paths again. Much has happened with Luc. He has been an excellent officer but he experienced what every cop fears... losing his partner while he is there at the scene with him. Circumstances made clear what the actions were for these men... rules and regulations were in place. Luc was a believer in following exactly what he was supposed to... not out of laziness or fear... but because he believed this was right. But by not being his brother 's "act now, ask for forgiveness later" type...Luc now is haunted by his actions. He didn't follow his gut and just act on it. He and his partner waited for the approval to approach a scene where a kidnapper was thought to have a missing child. Once receiving the ok to approach the house, the door opened and the perp shot his partner. It was later learned the little girl was killed as well.

This trauma haunts Luc. He has to deal with his thoughts on this every day. He is able to perform his job but by watching his partner's wife handle the man's death... he vowed he was not going to saddle any woman with that type of life.

Because of the advent of camera phones and social media, Luc becomes a super hero... Luc was just being who he excellent cop when a little girl fell into the riverr...Luc thought nothing of diving in and saving her...he performed CPR on her lifeless body and she came to....Unfortunately for Luc, someone captured it on their cell phone and posted it all over the web. Now he the "Hero Cop". People and women will not leave him alone...He didn't feel like any hero... he knows he let his partner die.

Ava is given the story of American Hero- Luc Moretti. Ava remembers very clearly who this cop is and her ticket from him... in fact, she still has it and never paid. The city is under fire for some recent negative actions and needs to get the public behind them again. Ava thinks this 3 hour special is just the right vehicle to put her front and center for the news anchor position opening up. This is her break. 

Luc is called into the office and sees Ava there....right away the sparks fly... she is giving him putdowns and attitude...he just wants to get out of doing this. As he looks at her, he notices how she has changed...and not necessarily for the best. Oh, she still is beautiful and has that killer figure... but she isn't that fresh open girl he remembers. He tries to get out of doing this but the orders come from the top. She will be with him for the next 2 months. Now he will just have to make sure she doesn't dig too deep and see what a non hero he really is.
At first, both these two  seem like water and oil... not a moment of mixing...but like any Layne romance...she works it so soon these two cannot keep their hands off each other.

This had all the elements of a strong read and mostly it was. I had some issues from the beginning with Ava and her situation. It was hard for me to connect with her as a person but once I was into the times when she and Luc actually started bonding...things took off.

The background of Cop family, strong parents with the siblings and the romance of the main characters worked well. Even though the reader can see the writing on the wall early as to what is going to happen in all phases of the story... I was fine because I had developed affection for them. The life lessons imparted felt authentic and you rooted for them to come together.

There was enough details to be interested in the next installments to this series because of the way this story was given to us. We want to know more.

And more is coming soon...Steal Me, Anthony's story, will be released in November 2015. 

A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.

6969772 Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren's gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.

Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you'll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.

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