Down for the Count

Christine Bell
October 2012, Contemporary Romance
Entlangled, $2.99, 128 pages

Grade: B+
Sensuality: Hot

Note: This eBook is available at Amazon and other eBook retailers.

Ms. Bell’s racy book Down for the Count begins with a bang… one Lacey Garrity wishes she’d never seen. Because, really, out of all the things a bride hopes for minutes after saying “I do,” finding her fiancé with his pants around his ankles, having sex in a linen closet with one of her bridesmaids, is not one of them.

This however is exactly what Lacey Garrity encounters on her wedding day. Furious and hurt, she grabs a bottle of champagne, strips off her wedding dress, and, dressed in her slip, escapes on the back of her best friend’s brother’s motorcycle. Galen Thomas — the guy on the bike — has been Lacey’s dream man for decades. So when he takes her to his family’s lake house and they share an entire bottle of Jack Daniels, and he dares her to take her already paid for honeymoon with him, Lacey, ready to live a little, says yes.

I enjoyed this book. It’s a fun read with equal amounts of humor and hot sex. Lacey and Galen are appealing leads and their chemistry together is blistering. As is so often the case — the tropes in this book aren’t especially original but they’re done well — Lacey has never found that magic moment between the sheets. Not only is Lacey fairly insecure, she’s always done what her harridan of a mother has told her to, including marrying a dud so that his firm and her family’s firm can merge. The only mildly wild parts of her life are her friendship with Cat, Galen’s wild little sister, and her secret super crush on Galen.

Galen’s had the hots for Lacey for a couple of years now, but she’d been engaged, and of course, she is his little sis’s BFF. When he gets her alone in San Juan and he realizes she’s as warm for his form as he is for hers, he seduces the hell out of her, determined to show her what she’s been missing. Lacey, who never loved her loser fiancé, takes to hot and steamy sex with Galen like there’s no tomorrow. In fact, Lacey is sure that with Galen, there won’t be a tomorrow. Galen, a professional boxer, has always seemed to Lacey to be out of her league. She believes the moment their faux honeymoon is over, Galen will be out of her bed.

Galen, however, isn’t a player. He’s a great guy, sold on Lacey, and determined to make her see her self-worth. He’s also a big fan of burning up the sheets with her — it’s the best sex he’s ever had. I liked Galen a bunch — he’s a man’s man, sexy as hell, and unafraid to show emotion. He’s also funny, principled, honest, and inventive. Ms. Bell does a nice job of showing the reader both Galen’s and Lacey’s perspectives — the relationship between the two and the ways in which they change how they see the possibilities between them are deftly presented.

I enjoyed everything about this book except for the last scene. It’s right out of one of my favorite movies — I’m not saying which because that would completely give away the ending — but unlike that of the movie, the conclusion of this book seemed rushed and rather unbelievable. However, it isn’t that bad nor did substantially detract from the book.

Down for the Count is a steamy read — it’s at the far end of the “Hot” scale. All that passion works in this book; the sex scenes are well-integrated into the story and don’t overshadow the emotional aspects of the novel. Ms. Bell is a nimble writer and her prose is direct, easy to read, and routinely clever. All in all, this is a good book, one I think anyone looking for a sexy, funny modern romance would enjoy.

-- Dabney Grinnan

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