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Sunday, August 10, 2014

I absolutely LOVED Lay It Down by Cara McKenna

Title: Lay It Down
Series: Desert Dogs #1
Author: Cara McKenna
Published: August 5, 2014 - Signet Eclipse
Format: Print & Galley received for review

Backbreaking days, wild nights, and the hard hum of steel between your thighs...

That’s a life well lived, according to the Desert Dogs—four friends who call Fortuity, Nevada, their badlands home.

Vince Grossier is the self-crowned outlaw king around here. But when Fortuity’s slick new mayor invites a casino development to town, greed isn’t far behind—and it claims Vince’s good friend as its first casualty. With the law turning a blind eye to the mysterious death, Vince must seek his own brand of justice. The pretty photographer hired by the developers might be the key to uncovering the truth. And she’s a temptation too good to pass up.

Finally free of a controlling ex, Kim Paget’s not looking to be taken for a ride—not on the back of some tattooed roughneck’s bike and definitelynot in his bed. But when she uncovers evidence supporting Vince’s suspicions of murder, Kim must entrust her safety to a man whose body threatens danger of a whole different kind.

This was my first book from Cara McKenna, although I have a TON of her books on my "Want-To-Read" shelf on Goodreads. So when Lay It Down popped up as available, I pounced on it.  And trust me - I was not let down at all. This book is a five star read for me, without a doubt.

In a town as small as Fortuity, Nevada, nobody's demons stayed private for long.

The book starts off kind of ominous.  We meet Alex, and he is plastered, two sheets to the wind, hammered, drunk as an ever-loving skunk.  He makes a phone call to an old friend, he needs someone who he can trust to talk to.  They agree to meet up, except one of them never makes it.  That would be Alex.  So starts the mystery that has gotten under Vince's skin.

As for Vince.... ladies, this man is the epitome of bad boy. He's a biker, tattooed, on parole, sexy as sin, a bit of a player, and loyal to his friends til the very end.  I couldn't find a single thing not to like about this man.  He loves his home town of Fortuity, which is nothing more than a hole in the wall, and he's not happy that some big name corporation is moving their casinos into town to create a tourist destination. I can totally relate to him, living in a small town myself, I would hate to see it flocked with people from who knows where bringing noise, crime, and who knows what else.  Jobs, sure.  Money, sure.  But some things are just fine the way they are, and that's exactly what Vince and his friends think.

So go for it.
She slid her hands up between them.  His jacket was open, and her palms drank in the hard shapes of his abdomen, memorizing them through the cotton of his tee.  He smelled like the desert and old leather, and maleness.  She bet she'd taste it if she ran her tongue along his throat.  Her fingers slipped under his jacket to stroke his chest, then hooked under his collar, tugging it down to expose a peek of clavicle.  Wholly without thought, she put her lips there, to the only slice of his skin she could reach.  A heavy hand cupped the back of her head, a silent moan tensing Vince's trunk, his breath fluttering the hair at her temple.

Then one day in walks photographer Kim Paget.  This woman is pretty awesome.  All her life she's been told everything... how to think, how to dress, how to live.  Hell, men have even had the nerve to tell her how she feels.  She's had enough!  Hell yeah, woman, take control of your life!  She's a little firecracker, and when she meets Vince in Benji's bar, her fuse is lit.  Seems his is too.

A choked "Oh" told her he was close.  God yes - after all this pushiness, nothing excited her more than the promise of his losing control.

"You look good," he growled.  Straight-up growled. "You look so fucking good." He palmed her ass, the touch shaky, hips pounding.  "Yes.  Fuck, baby.  Please."

Please.  Like she was doing this to him, not the other way around.

Maybe I am.  The idea electrified her. 

The chemistry between Vince and Kim was so freaking hot.  It was tangible.  Their sex scenes were more than just sex, they were a tidal wave of sensuality and emotion and raw heat.  Every time they kissed, I felt my own lips moving, wishing it was me!  I swear on all that is good, you will be left breathless!!

But there's a lot more to this book!! Alex, he's dead.  Was it murder?  Suicide?  An accident?  Oh man, the pendulum swings so many ways on this one - but Vince is convinced it's murder.  Between him, Kim, and some of his Desert Dog friends, the truth will come out one way or another.

This isn't a motorcycle romance, per se.  Yes, Vince and his friends have bikes.  But they aren't some organized MC.  They are friends who grew up together, and gave themselves a name to enforce their solidarity.  Really, I was quite envious of their group.  Miah, Raina, and Casey were all fabulous and colorful characters.  I really hope the next book is for Miah (short for Jeremiah), and as soon as I'm done with this review I am checking it out.

If you are looking for great quality development in a murder/suspense/mystery/romance type of read, I can't recommend this book enough.  It hit every mark on my list.  I couldn't put the book down, and I bet you won't either.

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