Author: Mary Calmes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 03/16/2016
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance
Paradise can be hell.
Most people would say being stranded in the villa of Spanish shipping magnate Miguel García Arquero on the beautiful isle of Ibiza wasn’t such a bad deal. But Hudson Barber isn’t one of them. To him, being stuck without a passport in a foreign country far from home is a nightmare, made worse by the fact that the person who did the stranding was his flighty twin brother.
Unwilling to turn Dalvon in for identity theft, Hudson is forced to wait, but meanwhile he discovers the chance to rehabilitate Miguel’s failing local businesses—enterprises left to Dalvon’s inexperienced care. The flagging ventures are a badly wrapped gift from heaven, and if Hudson can turn them around, he might be able to leverage the experience to finish his MBA.
Then Miguel returns to Ibiza, and instead of finding a boy toy, he discovers Hudson has turned his cold villa into a warm, welcoming home. Miguel’s path is clear: convince Hudson to lay down his defenses and let love in.
It has been a while since I had the pleasure of reviewing a brand new Mary Calmes story for the blog. Usually, her books are claimed before they are even available. So yeah, I totally pulled rank on this one (which my team can tell you doesn’t happen often).
There is something to be said for reading a brand new story that gives you the warm fuzzy feeling of coming home. That is the feeling I get everytime I pick up a Mary Calmes title. New titles are usually no exception. Lay it Down was just the coming home feeling I needed.
The premise of Lay it Down is a little twisted. Basically, one twin is a self-absorbed prick, and the other is the patsy he cons into living his life for him. The beauty of it is, however, that you don’t have to like Dalvon (that would be the prick of whom I spoke). You can’t help but love Hudson. He is just an all-around good guy. He has a past, and that past shapes him. He is lovable, kind, and determined. You spend about half of the book getting to know just how good of a man he is and how little he thinks of himself. You get to see him adjust and fit into an unknown situation into which he was thrown. You get to see him make the best of it.
Miguel is shipping magnate who has kept Dalvon as a boy toy. Not in a bad or slave way – just in a too busy to give up on him kind of way. Dalvon was never what he needed. He needs a man who can take care of him and stand up to him. He needs a man who is separate but equal. That man is not Dalvon. That man is Hudson.
In typical Calmes style, the relationship is fast. The two men seem a mismatch on the surface. Both have strong personalities and complement each other. One wants it all, and the other is scared shitless to ask for what he wants. They go from 0 to 60 in about 5 seconds, but Miguel has to prove to Hudson he is the one he needs. Miguel, of course, annihilates Hudson, and Hudson realizes he can’t live without Miguel.
If you love Mary Calmes style of story-telling, you won’t want to miss this one.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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