Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Lay It Down: A Desert Dogs Novel Mass Market Paperback – August 5, 2014
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"McKenna's voice is gritty and compelling."
—#1 New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks
Cara McKenna Delivers
“Sweet, smoking-hot, standout romance.”
—Beth Kery, New York Times Bestselling Author of Because We Belong
“A well-done, real-life, gritty erotic romance.”—Smexy Books
“Exceptionally evocative writing.”—Smart Bitches Trashy Books
About the Author
Since she began writing in 2008, Cara McKenna has published more than thirty romances and erotic novels with a variety of publishers, sometimes under the pen name Meg Maguire. Her stories have been acclaimed for their smart, modern voice and defiance of convention. She was a 2010 Golden Heart Award finalist and a 2012 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee. She lives with her husband, with their feet in New England but their hearts in the Pacific Northwest.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I did not love "Lay It Down". I wanted to. I tried hard. But it wasn't, for me, in a class with "After Hours" and its ilk.
Premise: photographer Kim, who is in the process of leaving her boyfriend, comes to a small town in the Nevada desert to do some work for a casino developer looking at moving into the area. She meets local tough-guy-with-heart-of-gold Vince, and together with Vince's longtime friends (slash series bait) solves a murder. Kim and Vince naturally fall for each other, and the book also sets up at least one other romance, as well as hinting at some paranormal stuff that may be at play in further books.
What I liked: Cara McKenna is an excellent prose stylist. Everything I've read of hers has been assured, competent, and quietly elegant. She's just a very good writer on a prose level. Her dialogue is particularly good. I rarely get the "Nobody does that/talks like that" feeling. Her characters have previously felt extremely real to me, and some of the characters in this book felt very real. (But not all of them, unfortunately.) Her sex scenes are, as always, really great. They aren't shoe-horned in; they tend to have real erotic and emotional content, and feel specific to the characters.
I really liked some of the side characters: Raina and Duncan were so interesting to me I (to be frank) wished the book were about them. She's a sexy-tough-ultra independent (not fake romance novel sexy-tough-independent!); he's a weird, slightly scary, very sexy British man who I imagined as Michael Fassbender with an anxiety problem.
I was also intrigued-ish by the waitress, Abilene. (Is she going to have a book? With Casey? I need to know.) And another side character or two, like Vince's neighbor Nita, just struck me as real and human in a way that is uncommon in romance novels.
The setting is also good, I feel. I thought the depiction of life in a small town was very well done. This is a thing I've loved about Cara McKenna since I first began reading her: when she writes about blue-collar people, she takes their problems seriously! The book is aware that the town has lots of problems and not much of a bright future, at the same time as it understands what kind of problems spring up when big money comes to a broke community. I LOVE how McKenna writes about working-class Americans. I don't know. I just think it's great. So fresh and so unusual, especially if, like me, you find yourself sick of reading about boring cardboard billionaires.
What I didn't love as much:
Most significantly, I didn't love Vince and Kim as characters. They were fine. I didn't dislike them. But they didn't feel like real people to me in the way so many other McKenna characters do. Like Kim's backstory is: stifling overprotective father, boyfriend who doesn't listen to her, she wishes she could travel but puts off having adventures. That isn't bad, but it feels a little bit computer-generated to me. Like she didn't emerge organically so much as she was assembled from standard romance novel components. I felt like it hurt the book that Kim (primarily) and Vince (less so, but still) felt semi-inorganic. It made it hard for me to care very much about their developing romance. I found myself feeling slightly disappointed when we left characters I found interesting to return to the Kim/Vince POV chapters.
Re: Vince. So I see that some people feel kind of like - hey, this book implies that this is a book set in and around a motorcycle club! That was not really my impression (and not my genre, so it didn't matter to me), but if it's yours, and it's a primary reason for reading, this may not be for you. I don't think it's really a motorcycle club book. Vince rides a motorcycle, and pals around with people who do, but there's no Sons of Anarchy going on. Vince is, however, a guy with a past. He's been in prison. He is not exactly mr straight-and-narrow when you meet him. In McKenna's previous book "Hard Time", she also has an ex-con hero. But in that book, his time in prison and the consequences of his crime are a central part of the plot. In this book, Vince's past -and the problems it will cause for him going forward- are glossed over in a way I didn't love. Not in a moralistic way, but just because, I don't know, so much of the world McKenna has created feels real, the parts that don't (Kim's character, treatment of Vince's past) kind of stick out. There were also a couple of moments where Vince is depicted as a local tough-for-hire, but also benevolent low-end Godfather figure that didn't work for me. I felt like I never totally grasped who Vince was, what his personality was. And I honestly kind of wonder if the author didn't have this same issue, because there are other characters who get much less screentime and yet are much more sharp and vivid.
The murder mystery: in the beginning of the book, a friend of the main characters dies. Vince thinks it's not the accident it's written up as, and starts to investigate, leading him to wonder if the casino development is connected to any of this. That's most of what drives the plot, which is a departure from the other McKenna books I've read, which are much more driven by character interactions. I'm not sure that building a romance around a mystery in this way really worked for me. I appreciated various choices in the book, like how the main characters are never idiots who go off by themselves without leaving a note, etc. They're smart adults who make smart, adult choices under pressure. That was refreshing. (No dumb damsel in distress scenes and so on, which I appreciated.)
BUT. I didn't find the murder mystery super compelling, even so. I'm not sure why. It was a perfectly fine mystery. I just found that I didn't care that much. (That may just be me, certainly.)
Overall I'd say that this book is still quite good, a cut above a lot of the contemporary romances out there. I'm hopeful for the next book in the series, which is apparently going to be about weird/sexy Duncan and Raina, and will definitely be reading whatever else McKenna writes - she's excellent!
McKenna writes wonderful characters and all of her male characters are my book boyfriends. Vince Grossier has just been added to my stable of men even though (and maybe especially because) he's a roughneck with a shady lifestyle. He's a good person at heart but please don't mess with anyone he cares about because things tend to go sideways when that happens. The sexual tension between the characters (all of them, not just Vince and Kim) is so well done that if you're like me, you'll find yourself re-reading entire passages. I won't give away any more of the book but this this definitely going in my re-read queue. Highly recommended.
Most recent customer reviews
This was a good story. I liked Kim and Vince and the story was enjoyable overall but there were a few times I had trouble feeling completely sucked in to...Read more
Next thing is, I am a little confused because I assumed when I saw the series...Read more