Review: Lay It Down by Cara McKenna


Title: Lay It Down (Desert Dogs #1)
Author: Cara McKenna
Date of publication: 5 Aug 2014
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Bikers

Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Tumblr  /Goodreads

My rating: 5 Stars - Recommended Read


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.


Cara McKenna is quickly becoming one of my favourite author of  romance (including erotic romance). I love her writing style and the characters she creates feel so real, yet complex and unique, that I get completely lost in them.

This is my favourite of her books that I've read so far. It's not an MC book, though some of the characters can be described as bikers. It's more of a romantic suspense set in a small, run-down town in the middle of the Nevada desert. It's not an epic love story, but a love story of discovery. He is not her type, she is not his either, yet they get together, as a one-time hook-up, which grows into an affair, then into the forever-kind of love.

The hero, Vince was a typical Cara McKenna's character - rough around the edge, a small-time criminal, fighter, yet he was honourable, loyal to his friends and family, to his town and ultimately he was on quest for justice. 

He was not romantic or gentle in his pursuit of the heroine, Kim. On the contrary, he was pushy and insistent, rather direct and blunt in expressing his desires. Yet, the relationship which developed between them took him by surprise - he developed feeling for her, feelings that were new for him - he wanted her to stay, to be his, he wanted to take care of her, to protect her, to love her. 

Their relationship was journey of revelations for her, a sort of self-discovery. Kim had been sheltered all her life, discourage from taking chances, so her stay in Fortuity and her affair with Vince was all about tasting freedom, risking her heart (and life) to experience love (life) to the fullest. I liked her a lot and it was easy for me to relate to her. He had her doubts and insecurities, yet she was curious and determined, in a way brave both in love and in helping Vince solve a murder mystery. 

My least least favourite aspect of the story was the vision/prophecy of Vince's mother. It added a different dimension to the romance (and the suspense). I felt it was down-played eventually but I'm not sure how well it fits into the rather realistic story.

Ms McKenna introduces a cast of great supporting characters around the main couple, whose stories will be feature in the next books in the series. Raina and Declan are to the in the center of the next release, and they are both rather unique and intriguing characters, especially him. He did good for Vince and his friends but I'm still not convinced of his good nature or intentions. 

The romance was honest and real, very intense and emotional which is one of the things I like the best in Ms McKenna writing. The suspense was strongly present in this book, though it didn't overshadow the love story. It did give fast pacing to the story and kept me turning the pages in a hurry to find out what happens in the end. 

There is no cliffhanger ending, Vince and Kim get a nice HFN, yet there is a lot to look forward to in the next books, both for them and for their friends (and enemies). 

It's a highly recommended read!

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / iTunes

Here are my review of other books by Cara McKenna:

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