Paradise can be hell.
Most people would say being stranded in the villa of Spanish shipping magnate Miguel García Arquero on the beautiful isle of Ibiza wasn't such a bad deal. But Hudson Barber isn't one of them. To him, being stuck without a passport in a foreign country far from home is a nightmare, made worse by the fact that the person who did the stranding was his flighty twin brother.
Unwilling to turn Dalvon in for identity theft, Hudson is forced to wait, but meanwhile he discovers the chance to rehabilitate Miguel's failing local businesses - enterprises left to Dalvon's inexperienced care. The flagging ventures are a badly wrapped gift from heaven, and if Hudson can turn them around, he might be able to leverage the experience to finish his MBA.
Then Miguel returns to Ibiza, and instead of finding a boy toy, he discovers Hudson has turned his cold villa into a warm, welcoming home. Miguel's path is clear: convince Hudson to lay down his defenses and let love in.
©2016 Mary Calmes (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
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"Well written story - Narration - not so much"
Yes on both counts. Mary Calmes is one of the best writers in the genre. Alexander Collins is hit or miss for me. So I will always give his audiobooks a go because I have liked his narrations in the past. This one, sadly, fell flat for me on the Audiobook side.
When Hudson finally admits to himself that going home may no longer be an option.
Yes, see above
Read more Mary Calmes!
e-book review April 2016
I just finished this one, it is SO good! But of course, it's Mary Calmes, but it's a little bit different for her. It's a dialogue driven story with several key secondary characters. It's an ethnic breath of fresh air with a lot of passion and soul searching. I loved it!! Highly recommended.
Audiobook review September 2016
While I loved this short, sexy story, I didn't care as much for the narration. Alexander Collins is hit or miss with his narration, sadly, this one was a miss. His voice was very monotone and mechanical and it took away from the passion within the story arc for these two characters.
e-book 5/5 stars
Audiobook 3/5 stars
"the narrator was almost unbearable"
I struggled to finish this audiobook. Since, I look Mary Calmes work, it is a shame. I only listened to the end because I took the advice of another reviewer and turned the speed up to 1.40x.
Simply put, his voice sounded...weird. He had this strange way of holding on to the ending of the sentence that was distracting.
I really hope she doesn't use narrator again.
Over the top, odd circumstances, insta-love, family drama, and a HEA. In other words, it’s classic Mary Calmes!!!
Sexy setting of Spain, asshole twin brothers, drop dead gorgeous billionaires, and fun secondary characters means LOTS of fun to be found. Pay close attention to the blurb in this one. Calmes drops you right smack in the middle of this scenario. I like this about Calmes because it's all showing and no telling of the backstory. It causes whiplash in some readers, but I'm totally fine with this because I speak fluent Calmes.
The narrator was tolerable !
"Great story killed by narration"
Can't say I would. I was extremely disappointed with the narration.
Lay It Down is classic Mary Calmes. It's a contemporary fairytale romance with real danger thrown in for extra drama. If you enjoy reading Mary Calmes, especially her more recent works, you'll absolutely like this book.
To be fair, Alexander is a great job with the voices. Any time a character was speaking, he did really well. My problem was with all the extra information in between the characters' discussion.Alexander has a way of dragging out the last syllable of a sentence a fraction of a second too long, at a slightly higher pitch, that gives the implies there should be more coming instead of just ending the statement. It's extremely subtle, but it gives the impression of over-the-top suspense, like there's an ellipse at the end of every sentence, instead of just stopping. It was incredibly distracting.
It was until I started listening to it.
I highly, highly recommend reading the ebook. Pass on this audiobook. It doesn't do the written story justice.
"Sweet Mary story but not Alexander's best story"
Hudson and Dal are twins. Dal has always been the “pretty” one and Hudson the more practical and down to earth. When Dal finally finds a “steady guy” Hudson couldn’t be happier. All he has ever wanted is for Dal to find some security so Hudson could relax on his protectiveness.
Hudson is out at the Villa with Dal – thinking all’s well, when he wakes up “hung over” one morning to find that Dal has left with his ID and essentially stranded him there in Ibiza while Dal goes back to the states to take up with Hudson’s ex-boyfriend!
Instead of crying over spilled milk, Hudson takes the opportunity to use his education and he makes himself an “internship” of fixing up Miguel’s companies here on the island.
When Miguel returns, he’s expecting to find pretty but vacant Dal – instead he finds Hudson, capable and in charge and oh so attractive.
Mary has this way of making her guys deliciously clueless about how awesome they are. Hudson is so smart and great and he doesn’t know it! I loved that Miguel immediately clues in to the situation and there’s no “big misunderstanding” about it – just straightforwardness.
The smexy times are hot – as usual! – and the peeling back the layers of Hudson is fun and clever. But…I wish we’d gotten to know Miguel a bit better – he seems totally dreamy and of course being a billionaire is exciting – but he’s not really in the story much and we don’t get a lot of time with them as a couple. I feel I know his mother better than him… and she’s awesome! I didn’t understand exactly what was going on with Miguel’s family but I loved that Miguel just went with all Hudson’s changes – no questions asked.
This is another highly recommended Mary Calmes story for her fans as well as anyone interested in sweet, hot, humor-filled romance – don’t forget we get a tropical setting to boot!
4 of 5 stars
Welp. Alexander Collins is a great narrator but…. his Spanish accent is no bueno. He tries. He definitely gives everyone a unique voice, but he mispronounces things, and doesn’t do a convincing job of knowing the language. He gives the bad guys a unique British accent, but even that is a bit uneven. While I like his ability to “emote” and he adds in those extra touches (phone calls etcetera) he definitely had me cringing a bit with this one. So… for fans of the author, people who don’t know or care much about Spanish accents, or people who just love audiobooks – I recommend this! If the accent thing bugs you – this will for sure.
2 of 5 stars
Overall (for the audio) 3.5 of 5 stars
"Disappointing and frustrating"
The writing was not up to the author's standards. It was disjointed and is not a stand-alone book. I got the feeling I had missed at least two prequels. The hero was 'way too unconfident for an orphan getting his MBA, the millionaire was a flat character, and the plot jumped around. Mr. Collins has the unwanted skill of being able to put a schwa at the end of most of his words, even-ah the Spanish-ah ones-ah
"had to change speed to 1.30"
had to change the playing speed to 1.30 from 1. to make listening even possible
"loved the story but the narration....."
Wish they had used a different narrator. I was hoping for Sean Crisden
"Narration killed the story"
Yes, the book I would recommend, the narration no!
If the narrator wasn't stressing the last syllables in every sentence!
Unless you are really patient, don't buy this audiobook. I couldn't handle listening to the narrator after only a minute and a half. Better read the story
"4 stars = I REALLY liked this book!"
I received a free copy of this audiobook to listen to and review for Wicked Reads.
I really enjoyed the audiobook edition of Lay It Down. Despite the insta-love nature of the relationship that develops between Hudson and Miguel, I thoroughly enjoyed the story as Calmes infuses just enough romance, sexual tension, and suspense to keep me glued to my Kindle. The author sucks me right into Hudson’s story, and as the hits keep coming, I was intrigued. I had to see how it would all play out. Having Hudson step in and assume the duties his brother willfully neglected, giving the staff at the villa and the employees of the other businesses a purpose and the support they needed to succeed, was inspired, especially as he was able to use his work experience in Ibiza as credit toward his degree. It was obvious that Hudson was an excellent student because he was able to take what he’d learned and implement it effectively. This made it easy for me to understand his desire to throttle his brother over Dalvon’s inability to understand the significance of Hudson’s graduate program or Dalvon’s suggestion that Hudson should have been happy to be at Will’s beck and call. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that while Hudson seems to know Dalvon better than Dalvon knows him, there is much neither brother knows about his twin.
Seeing Hudson take charge and make changes in his brother’s steed was great because it gives the reader (or listener, in my case), the opportunity to get to know Hudson as he interacts with others. I enjoyed the relationships he developed with those around him, especially Miguel’s mother and Duena. He’s used to being the one having to take charge of the situation to make sure that those around him are taken care of. Perhaps it’s because of this, and the fact that Miguel was able to be to Hudson what Hudson was to everyone else, that I had no issue with how fast things moved between them. For the first time in his memory, there was someone in Hudson’s life that made him feel safe and wanted to take care of him. So even as he fought against himself because he didn’t want to appear weak, yet craved feeling cherished and cared for, I was glad that Miguel had an even stronger take charge attitude. That they had sizzling chemistry didn’t hurt either. I was taken off guard a tad when the final shoe dropped, in part because I’d been lulled into a false sense of security by the author (well, done), and, in part because I wouldn’t have thought Dalvon capable of such a thing. Fortunately, Lay It Down is a true romance and Calmes was able to bring things around so that Hudson got the happy ending he deserved.
On a side note, I suspect that some readers may find the brothers taking up with their twin’s ex to have a bit of an ick factor, but for the four men involved, it didn’t actually bother me. Then again, beyond overhearing Dalvon being greeted by Will while Hudson was on the phone, we’re really not exposed to that relationship. And as the relationship between Hudson and Miguel develops, it’s pretty clear why Miguel and Dalvon were never going to work out. The fact that there were no hard feelings involved helped keep the “partner exchange” from being awkward – that, and the 3,500 plus miles between Boston and Ibiza. Alexander Collins does a wonderful job narrating Lay It Down. Initially I found that he uses a vocal inflection for Hudson’s voice at times that bothered me for the first five minutes or so of listening, but once I became accustomed to it, realizing it was just a part of Hudson’s character (much like Miguel’s accent), it wasn’t an issue. Overall, I found his voice to be extremely pleasant and had no issue keeping up with which character was talking when except for the chaos at the end with the bad guys, mainly because they had such limited parts in the storyline. Lay It Down was an entertaining audiobook and I look forward to checking out more of Calmes’s writing and Collins’s narrative talents.
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