Hudson Barber came to Ibiza to visit his twin brother, Dalvon, who was living in the island paradise with his wealthy lover, Miguel García Arquero. Or that is what Hudson thought at first. It turns out things have fizzled between Dalvon and Miguel, Miguel has been traveling for months, and Dalvon has now taken off for the U.S., stealing Hudson’s passport in the process (and getting together with Hudson’s ex-boyfriend on top of it all). Hudson is furious, but also doesn’t want to get Dalvon in legal trouble, so he agrees to hang tight in Ibiza for a while until things get sorted out.
While he waits, Hudson decides to step in to what should have been Dalvon’s role overseeing updates to the house and managing some of Miguel’s businesses on the island. Hudson manages to take the failing businesses and make them profitable. Not only that, but he gets to know the staff, making the villa a real home as well.
When Miguel returns home, he finds Hudson there and sees how he has turned both the home and the businesses around. It doesn’t take long before the men realize that the two of them are much better suited for one another than Miguel ever was with Dalvon. They fall for each other fast, and Miguel would love nothing more than for Hudson to stay in Ibiza with him. But Hudson has school to finish, not to mention that he has no interest in being a kept man like his brother. Now Hudson has to figure out if what he has with Miguel is something that can last, and if he can trust his heart and take a leap with the man he has grown to love.
Lay It Down is a light and sexy novel, with a bit of fantasy built into the whirlwind romance between Hudson and Miguel. Things happen fast here. Once the men meet, their relationship moves at a dizzying pace, all instant attraction and intense heat that sends the men rocketing forward in their relationship in almost a breathless way. Everything is a little bit too good to be true, but I found that I enjoyed the story in spite of that. Or maybe I found it fun because of that, I am not quite sure. Either way, I enjoyed it, but if you are not a fan of instalove, or you like a lot of realism in your relationships, this might not work for you as well.
The first part of the story focuses on Hudson stepping into Dalvon’s shoes when his brother leaves him stranded in Ibiza. Hudson has no passport and doesn’t want to report it stolen, so he basically takes over Dalvon’s life. Miguel is gone traveling for months and he has given Dalvon leave to make changes in the villa, as well as tasked him with managing his local businesses. So we follow along as Hudson takes over these tasks, winning the hearts of the staff and the locals, and turning all the failing businesses around. So this is where leap of faith number one comes in, because Hudson is able to diagnose what is wrong with these businesses essentially instantly, despite the fact that they have been losing money for years. Like literally upon the first meeting with the business owners. He steps in and has the savvy to solve the problems and get things rolling again. He manages the household staff, makes dramatic changes to Miguel’s home, and not only takes over everything, but wins hearts and minds along the way. So I did have a bit of a hard time with not only how perfectly he executes his tasks, but the fact that he technically has no authority whatsoever, yet everyone just lets him make decisions without question. I get that they respect Hudson and his business savvy, but the fact that they just do what he says when he doesn’t actually work for Miguel is a bit hard to swallow. So again, you just have to kind of go with this section, and take away the idea that Hudson cares about these businesses, works hard, and gets along well with the people he works with, and not focus too much on the details.
Once Miguel returns, Hudson has been at it for several months. When he meets Miguel, the attraction is instant. Hudson is pretty much in heat the moment he lays eyes on Miguel, and Miguel feels the same. As I said, things move at pretty much a breathless pace in their relationship at that point. Like they are in bed within hours, despite the fact that they have never even met and Hudson is essentially living his brother’s life. So again, you kind of have to go with this because it is fast. I mean so fast. But I found I could, actually, just take things as they came and enjoy these guys jumping in with both feet. They are hot, the relationship is intense, and the guys fall for one another pretty much immediately. I do wish we had a bit more sense of Miguel, as we get to know Hudson well, but Miguel much less so. But I enjoyed them, and I liked how Hudson can still be his strong self even in the face of Miguel’s equally intense personality. The men balance each other well, and Calmes does a nice job showing how well matched they are, especially in comparison to Miguel’s relationship to Dalvon. Despite the fact that Miguel is uber-wealthy businessman and Hudson is still finishing his MBA, there is mutual respect and an equal footing between them that works well.
So I found this to be a fun, sexy read. It is a fairly quick novel and the story moves along at a fast pace. I enjoyed these guys together and found the story light and easy. If you are looking for something romantic and sexy, and are willing to just go along for the ride, I think Lay It Down is a great choice.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.