Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Review: Lay it Down (Desert Dogs #1) by Cara McKenna
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 definitely not 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.
Goodreads | Source: Purchased
McKenna is one of my favorite authors. Her books have pushed my out of my comfort zone and introduced me to a world of quirky characters and gritty working class worlds but Lay It Down was a *meh* read at best.
I knew going in that this was (despite the misleading cover and series title – Desert Dogs) not a Motorcycle Club series. Which is fine with me. I don’t like MC’s. I also knew that despite her trademark hot sex this wasn’t going to be on the level of her erotica novels, so that wasn’t why I was so disappointed.
No, I was disappointed because Lay It Down felt more like a set up novel for the series than a romance between Vince and Kim. Kim doesn’t get more than a cursory background info dump. While Vince is far more complicated and developed, he still felt like a catalyst to meet all of the next featured characters from the series. And to make things worse – they are all FAR more interesting than either Kim or Vince. Both Kim and Vince are pragmatic and likeable. Very up front and honest. The sex is hot but I just can’t say I was riveted.
This would have been so much better as a novella to introduce us to the series. Every time another (future) couple was featured I was hooked but then we need to step back to solve the murder mystery or get back to Kim & Vince. Raina, in particular, was a force of nature and almost took over the whole book.
The mystery is resolved in this book but there is a larger story arc about a casino coming to the small desert town of Fortuity and how that will effect everyone's future. There is also a touch of the paranormal with Vince’s mom having visions. A lot of this felt choppy. As if McKenna was trying to lay down as much info in this book as possible to set up future storylines. It’s not that it wasn’t done well but it took so much away from Vince and Kim’s story.
Despite not really loving this book I will be reading the next book from the series because like I mentioned earlier, the other people in this book are fascinating! I would recommend Lay It Down to people who like a more western/desert setting and vibe, mystery and unconventional characters that are upfront, honest but have a little unpredictable edge to them.