Monday, October 22, 2012

Down for the Count by Christine Bell

Why I read it: I heard the Twitter buzz and bought it. Thank you to Fatin, Brie and Jane for the excellent recommendation. 

What it's about:  (from Goodreads)  Truth or dare…

When Lacey Garrity finds her groom in flagrante delicto in the reception hall closet with her bridesmaid, she's saved by her best friend’s older brother—childhood tormentor, crush, and boxing bad boy Galen Thomas. Galen’s solution is both exciting and dangerous. What better way to forget the mess of her life than go on her honeymoon with a hot guy who can’t promise anything beyond today?

…or TKO?

Galen had been counting on Lacey's wedding to put her out of reach—and out of his mind—once and for all, but their steamy Puerto Rican escape is testing all his boundaries. Now that Lacey’s embracing her inner bad girl, Galen is tempted to throw in the towel and claim her for himself. But with the biggest fight of his career on the line and an important business merger threatening to derail Lacey’s resolve, their romance might be down for the count before it even begins.

What worked for me (and what didn't): I really enjoyed the snappy one-liners of this book.  Even though Lacey was getting cheated on at her wedding reception, the writing style made it clear that this book is a fun contemporary, not a heavy angsty read
The ensuing silence was so absolute that when he fastened his tuxedo pants, it sounded like a grizzly bear traveling down a zip line.

which was just what I was in the mood for actually.

Lacey and Galen were funny and sexy together and I enjoyed her naivete getting under Galen's skin, as she does here, when he offers to help her out with some sunscreen.
“Do you need help with your back?”

 “Nope, I already got it. I do yoga so I’m super flexible.”
Lacey has some moral qualms about starting anything with Galen when she's technically married and so the sexual tension builds until that aspect is sorted out.  It made for some lovely sexy build up without feeling like the reader was being teased
Lacey’s lashes fluttered and she shook her head.

“W-we shouldn’t do that anyway.” She sucked in a ragged breath. “Or anything else. Probably.”

He pursed his lips together to keep from smiling. “Okay. Then you might want to get your hand off my ass.”
While that was funny, Galen also showed his good guy card by not pressing her for sex.

When Galen and Lacey do start scorching the sheets (and various other places), the sex is dirty and fun and nothing like Lacey had ever experienced before.  I liked that Galen comes to the realisation beforehand though, that there is something work exploring in the chemistry and attraction he has with Lacey even as he bemoans the bad timing.

I also liked how sex positive Galen was.  There was no slut shaming at all.  In fact, he was disappointed that her previous sex life hadn't been more positive.

Lacey's mother is a horror show.  Although, later in the book, it becomes obvious she has her reasons for why she is which leavened her harshness somewhat. Not an excuse, but some context which saved her from being a complete stereotype.  Lacey also learns to stand up for herself and there is no miracle happy families either, which is good because "The Admiral" really was a nasty piece of work and very unlikely to change.

I liked how Galen taught Lacey a lot of new things and encouraged her to be brave and stretch her wings - not just with the sex, but the dancing and boxing.  He was very patient and encouraging without being patronising.  Although, I wasn't a fan of him calling her "Squirt" all the time.  That doesn't feel like a romantic pet name to me.  I could see that's why he called her that when they were teenagers and even after, as it (to me) put some distance between them.  But I would have liked him to come up with something new by the time they each said "I love you".

I can't say I loved the very end of the book, but I can see that it is a good thing for Lacey to have time to make a decision she and Galen can both be sure of.   I understood Galen's reasons for his actions, even his silence made sense, but it still seemed a bit like a plot device to me.

What else?  I haven't read anything by this author before but the Twitter buzz was doesn't usually steer me wrong.  I'm glad to have read it and I'm looking forward to more sexy contemporaries from Ms. Bell.

Grade: B+


Brie said...

This is going to be the Down for the Count week because I'm writing my review now ;-) Have you read Unleashed by Cherrie Lynn? It has a similar premise and I liked it a lot. The sequel is terrible, though.

Kaetrin said...

@Brie - no I haven't read that one - I've put it on my wishlist. Thx for the rec (both of them) :)