Title: Lay It Down
Author: Mary Calmes
Narrator: Alexander Collins
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 4 hours and 38 minutes
At a Glance: This story didn’t exactly work for me, but I really struggled with the narration.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: 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.
Review: Dal is a model who is happy being the kept boyfriend of a Spanish billionaire. He’s been holed up in Miguel’s Ibiza compound, but he wants out, so he leaves his twin brother, Hudson, to clean up his mess, and he takes off with his brother’s passport—essentially trapping Hudson in Ibiza—which wouldn’t be so bad, but Hudson has a life, a job, a graduate program he’s worked really hard to get in, all back in New York. Oh, and Dal left to be with Hudson’s ex, so there’s that.
Dal has left quite a mess behind, what with Miguel’s siblings mistreating their mother, issues with Miguel’s businesses that Dal was supposed to be overseeing, and another little matter that Dal has forgotten to mention, which could be real trouble for Hudson. But, of course, Hudson is up to the challenge. He’s always cleaned up Dal’s messes and protected him, from every foster home they were ever in to this latest disaster. And it’s not that Hudson loves, his ex, but come on—that’s kinda low.
When Miguel returns to Ibiza after several months, Hudson has managed to turn his house into a home, turn around the businesses, make friends with the entire staff, and is loved and protected by Miguel’s own mother. Of course, Miguel is intrigued and boy, does he want Hudson. Miguel never really loved Dal, and Hudson has spent his whole life in the shadows cleaning up. He’s never really thought of himself as being all that for anyone, so he’s built some pretty hefty protective layers over the years.
I’m not sure what happened here. I normally enjoy this author, but this book just didn’t work for me. I really, really didn’t like Dal. Hudson was lovely, but I struggled with the instant relationship with Miguel. Regardless of how much Hudson loved Miguel’s home, family and town, I felt like they jumped right in with both feet. One conversation and that was it, they were a couple. OK, there was one conversation about a bedroom, but really, it was just too fast.
Now, about the narration. No. Just no. The way this narrator uses a very unusual inflection and draaaags out so many words…well, it was kind of painful, to be honest. I’ve listened to a few other samples of his narrations on audible, and I just think this voice is not for me. As usual, YMMV.
You can buy Lay It Down here: