Lay It Down (Desert Dogs Series #1)

Overview

First in the exciting new Desert Dog series, starring hot and sexy bikers in the Southwest...

Backbreaking days, wild nights, and the hard hum of steel between your thighs...

That’s a life well lived, according to the Desert Dogs—four friends who call Fortuity, Nevada, their badlands home.

Vince Grossier is the self-crowned outlaw king around here. But when Fortuity’s slick new mayor invites a casino ...

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Lay It Down: A Desert Dogs Novel

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Overview

First in the exciting new Desert Dog series, starring hot and sexy bikers in the Southwest...

Backbreaking days, wild nights, and the hard hum of steel between your thighs...

That’s a life well lived, according to the Desert Dogs—four friends who call Fortuity, Nevada, their badlands home.

Vince Grossier is the self-crowned outlaw king around here. But when Fortuity’s slick new mayor invites a casino development to town, greed isn’t far behind—and it claims Vince’s good friend as its first casualty. With the law turning a blind eye to the mysterious death, Vince must seek his own brand of justice. The pretty photographer hired by the developers might be the key to uncovering the truth. And she’s a temptation too good to pass up.

Finally free of a controlling ex, Kim Paget’s not looking to be taken for a ride—not on the back of some tattooed roughneck’s bike and definitely not in his bed. But when she uncovers evidence supporting Vince’s suspicions of murder, Kim must entrust her safety to a man whose body threatens danger of a whole different kind.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
06/23/2014
McKenna launches the Desert Dogs series with this sexy tale of mayhem and make-outs in small-town Nevada. Sheriff’s deputy Alex learns about bones found at the construction site of the town’s new casino. He tells his best friend, rough-around-the-edges biker Vince Grossier, about them—and dies in a car accident before Vince can find out anything more. Convinced that Alex was murdered by the casino’s developers, Vince begins to investigate. He doesn’t reckon on finding an unlikely sidekick: slick city girl Kim Paget, a freelance photographer who’s been hired to take shots of the work site. McKenna ratchets up sexual chemistry and danger in equal measure, and tension stays high to the end. Readers will eagerly turn pages to learn the outcome of both the mystery and the romance. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"McKenna's voice is gritty and compelling."
—#1 New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks 

Cara McKenna Delivers

“Sweet, smoking-hot, standout romance.”
—Beth Kery, New York Times Bestselling Author of Because We Belong
 
“A well-done, real-life, gritty erotic romance.”—Smexy Books
 
“Exceptionally evocative writing.”—Smart Bitches Trashy Books

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451471260
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/5/2014
  • Series: Desert Dogs Series, #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 206,957
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Since she began writing in 2008, Cara McKenna has published more than thirty romances and erotic novels with a variety of publishers, sometimes under the pen name Meg Maguire. Her stories have been acclaimed for their smart, modern voice and defiance of convention. She was a 2010 Golden Heart Award finalist and a 2012 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee. She lives with her husband, with their feet in New England but their hearts in the Pacific Northwest.

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 22, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I don't think you can go wrong when you have the combination of

    I don't think you can go wrong when you have the combination of Cara McKenna and a biker.

    Vince Grossier is a bit of a bad boy but so loyal to his home town. Kim Paget wants free of people telling her what to do and finds a bit of freedom in a town called Fortuity.

    For Vince and the locals they are mad when big developers are coming in and trying to take over their small town.

    After Vince loses one of his best friends he starts to become suspicious of his untimely death.

    "Alex was the most goddamn responsible alcoholic I ever met."

    No one but Vince believes his unfound suspicions but he won't let it go. The moment Kim strolls into town he instantly wants to find out more about her since she doesn't fit in to their ways but he sure wants her too.

    Through Vince and his psychic mother they convince Kim to stay and help with what he suspects really happened to Alex. The more they dig the more they find causing others to start to believe that Vince is on to something.

    "Used to be I was the shadiest person in Fortuity. I'm really starting to miss those days."

    I truly loved this book. I am such a huge fan of Cara McKenna and she so did NOT disappoint with this little gem. The more crap was getting stirred in Fortuity the deeper Kim and Vince were connecting. This book had so many elements and kept me hanging on for the whole ride. All the mysteries weren't solved and now I can't wait to find out more about these desert dogs.

    I loved the format about this book and all the things that were in it. So many details and layers to this story and the series has so much potential.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2014

    Another good bad boy book from Cara! Love her books and her styl

    Another good bad boy book from Cara! Love her books and her style - good stories, witty, lots of humor, some angst and steamy romance.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2015

    more from this reviewer

    This romantic suspense story is a bit of a departure for the aut

    This romantic suspense story is a bit of a departure for the author from her norm of erotic and contemporary romance. On first reading of the plot synopsis and from the look of the cover, one might expect a motorcycle club romance but that's not what this is. Instead it's the story of a man, Vince, who lives in the small town of Fortuity and believes that his friend's accidental death is really a murder. He meets Kim, there on a work assignment, at a local bar and desires her company, preferably in bed. It's also the story of a group of friends and the intertwining of their lives as they go about finding the truth behind their friend's death. Though in a way more formulaic than her other books, the author never-the-less manages to create a story full of intrigue, hot sex and the bonds of friendship.

    I was quite struck by the setting of the story. Fortuity is a dry, dusty, hot town and with these impressions one immediately thinks of how one would feel in those conditions. Thirsty, tired, angry, perhaps bitter - a place of strong emotions. Vince is such a man - big, strong, rough, tough, perfect for the bar setting where he meets Kim, the photographer for the casino project that Vince is trying to deter in fears that it will ruin his town. He desires Kim for sex and for the "in" she can get for him into the casino development. He is blunt with Kim - he wants her for sex, not love. He has nothing else to offer a woman in this town, and he knows she's not going to stick around long enough to have a relationship.

    Kim is feisty, determined, her own woman. Hours after breaking off her engagement to a man who never appreciated her, Vince's attraction to her is soul soothing and her feelings for him surprise her - sex with him won't be gentle and tender and she realizes (albeit not right away) that she wants what Vince is offering. Cara McKenna knows her way around a sex scene and these are no exception - well written, steamy, full of lust and passion. Yet as the two indulge in their affair, tenderness leaks out of both of them as their hearts become as entangled as their bodies. I enjoyed watching this change in their relationship over the course of the story.

    Besides the background romance, there are two other equal partners to the plot. Firstly is the murder mystery that is slowly unraveled. This creates several scenes of action and suspense. Secondly is the group of friends, the "Desert Dogs" and the dynamics of the interactions between them. New characters in the town spice things up as well and I quite enjoyed the group as a whole. They are true friends that can be counted on in any situation.

    What didn't I like? There was a small paranormal aspect to the story that I didn't' feel had much purpose other than to keep Kim in the town, which could have been accomplished without introducing it. Also as mentioned, the synopsis and cover gave a different impression of what the book would be about than it actually was and I felt that was misleading.

    However that being said my overall impression was that it was quite an enjoyable read, with interesting characters, a good plot, steamy sex and a love story to boot. I can honestly say that I'm looking forward to reading more books in the series and discovering more about this group of friends. 4 stars!

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  • Posted November 6, 2014

    Okay, I have to admit this was a book I judged by the cover. Wha

    Okay, I have to admit this was a book I judged by the cover. What can I say? Its hot.
    Next thing is, I am a little confused because I assumed when I saw the series "Desert Dog" / (guy on bike) and the "fast, loud, and rough - on a bike or in a bed. its the only way to ride" slogan, I assumed I was going to read an MC romance.
    I was thrilled because Cara McKenna is a fab writer, so right away I was ecstatic. Except that its not an MC book. Although depicted as an outlaw king and is implied to be connected to such elements you don't really get any of those. So I was a tad disappointed.
    However, you get a decent murder mystery romance with lots of good heat, great characters, thrill and plot twists to keep you more than entertained. Cara is a great author that creates an exciting story.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    4.5 stars--LAY IT DOWN is the first instalment in Cara McKenna¿s

    4.5 stars--LAY IT DOWN is the first instalment in Cara McKenna’s new contemporary, adult Desert Dogs romantic suspense series focusing on a close-knit group of friends and family from Fortuity, Nevada who call themselves the ‘Desert Dogs’.  
    Eclipse Resort and Casinos has made more enemies than friends with their local construction and plans for the future in Fortuity, Nevada. As the casino development proceeds, local police officer Alex Dunn makes an ominous drunk call to his best friend Vince Grossier rambling about bones at the local construction site. When Alex is killed in a drunk driving accident, Vince isn’t convinced about the circumstances surrounding his best friend’s death and begins to investigate the possibility that Alex’s discovery is tied to his untimely demise-Alex would never drive drunk.
    The storyline follows Vince, his brother Casey, friend Miah and professional photographer Kim Paget as they begin to uncover the truth and potential murder of Alex Dunn. Kim is a woman who was hired by Eclipse to take pictures of the local scenery but finds herself front and center when she mistakenly overhears what could very well be an admittance of murder and misdeeds.  The relationship between Vince and Kim is one of sensuality, sex and exploration.  Vince’s motorcycle riding, hard driving alpha personality goes into overdrive when he realizes that Kim could be the next potential victim after she is confronted about what she heard and whom she saw.  To protect Kim, Vince is willing to send Kim away for an extended period of time knowing that the woman who has stolen his heart may never return-like so many people before.
    We are introduced to several secondary characters who all have a hidden past and a possible future in Fortuity, Nevada. Casey Grossier, Vince’s mysterious and long absent brother whose past is secreted from family and friends; Raina, the local tavern owner whose sex appeal is greatly appreciated by the locals and Vince’s buddy Miah.  Miah and Raina have a history together that has only been glossed over but Miah’s attraction to Raina is evident and obvious to everyone concerned.  We are also introduced to Duncan Welch-a solicitor for Eclipse Resorts and a man who will be pulled into Vince’s circle of friends as they endeavor to uncover the truth. Duncan’s role was questionable in the beginning but he is a man who is worthy of a second chance.
    The world building brings the reader up close and personal to a small town’s struggle to survive in the wake of a new resort and casino that promises wealth, riches and local jobs.  What the resort brings is controversy, heartache, death and dissolution.
    Cara McKenna pulls the reader into a suspense filled and romantic storyline that investigates the death of friend who was loved by the people of Fortuity, Nevada. LAY IT DOWN is a story about friendship and loss; romance and love; passion and pain. Cara McKenna combines mystery, suspense, romance and a HEA into an emotional storyline about family and friendships that crosses miles and years, and the people pulled together by the murder of someone they know. 

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  • Posted August 12, 2014

    Vince Grossier is convinced that the new casino development clai

    Vince Grossier is convinced that the new casino development claimed his best friend as its first casualty and he must find his own brand of Justice in this riveting contemporary romance.  Kim Paget the pretty photographer hired by the developers might be the key to uncovering the truth – not to mention she’s too much of a temptation to pass up.
    This smooth flowing plot progresses at steady but sure pace building lots of anticipation and suspense along the way.  The author draws the reader deeper into the story with well written scenes and details that capture the imagination and not only the story but the strong compelling characters are believable, keeping the reader totally caught up in the story from beginning to end.
    The attraction between Kim and Vince burns up the pages and the sex scenes are hot and steamy, but the relationship moves slowly despite all the passion.  Vince has some emotional issues that make him determined to keep all emotions at a fun time level and Kim just ended things with her controlling ex and is not looking to be taken for a ride. Vince is a bad boy but he’s not a hardened criminal either and I actually got a kick out of Vince’s courtship of Kim, he has his own kind of charm that can certainly charm the pants off any female while they’re wondering why they aren’t insulted.
    The Desert Dogs, four long-time friends assist the investigation of the death of their friend which brings drama, excitement and some amusing interactions between them that also adds enjoyment and really ensures that the reader gets a good feel for the characters.
    The author has created her own spin on the motorcycle club element that is refreshingly different from the others that I have read. I have to wonder where the author is going with the psychic part and I thought some of the story was a little slow, for most I found the story enjoyable and entertaining and I am looking forward to reading the next one.

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  • Posted August 9, 2014

    3.5 Stars. Lay It Down by Cara McKenna is the debut novel in an

    3.5 Stars.
    Lay It Down by Cara McKenna is the debut novel in an all new series about a group of friends who form a bikie gang called the Desert Dogs lead by bad boy Vince Grossier.




    In Fortuity Nevada, the town is soon to be home to an all new casino which has most of the residents up in arms, when Vince's friend Alex the towns Deputy contacts him one night spooked about something involving bones that he saw at the dig sight of the future casino he becomes concerned, especially when Alex is killed in a car accident that night and alcohol is blamed, Vince knowing that his friend would never drive drunk becomes suspicious, but nobody is willing to listen to him.




    When Kim a photographer is sent to Fortuity to take site photos to promote the area and upcoming casino she runs into Vince, fresh from a break-up she's not looking for any kind of a relationship, but neither is Vince, as they start to spend more and more time together they'll discover that between the attraction and the chemistry something more may be developing.




    When Kim is unintentionally drawn into Vince's investigation of Alex's death will she find herself in danger, or will Vince keep her safe at all costs?




    Having never read a book featuring bikie gangs or especially one as a main character, I was a bit hesitant, but the synopsis drew me in and I can say that I found this to be quite an enjoyable contemporary romance filled with action, suspense, mystery and some steamy red hot sex scenes, that will leave you hot under the collar.




    I look forward to the next book and the rest of the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2014

    McKenna's usual great alpha!  Great unfinished mystery - I will

    McKenna's usual great alpha!  Great unfinished mystery - I will read the rest of the series to find out "who done it"   However, like another reviewer pointed out, the use of the word "goddamn" was so prolific it was taxing. As was an apparent anti-christianity sub-theme.  If you are like me and have to look past these things in order to read the story, you will find yourself exhausted at the end of this book, thus the three stars instead of the five it would have otherwise warranted.  Pity.  Profane language in context is one thing.  McKenna is talented enough to bring her characters to life without the unimaginative over-use of a single word!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    ~Reviewed by ANN & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog In

    ~Reviewed by ANN & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog

    In the first instalment of the Desert Dogs series, Cara McKenna takes the biker craze but spins it towards a murder mystery reader’s dream. To be honest, I was expecting an erotic biker romance from McKenna, but LAY IT DOWN is so much more than that.

    In addition to the sizzling sexual tension, this book is wrought with suspense about the death of one of Vince’s best friends, Alex. Vince receives a drunken call from Alex one night in which Alex tells him about the presence of these bones he has discovered. Chalking it up to the alcohol, Vince doesn’t pay much attention to Alex’s talk until he ends up dead the next morning. Suspicions rise when the threat of a big-time casino upsets the people of Fortuity, Nevada and Vince considers the timely death of his friend before calling his brother, Casey home.

    While I loved that McKenna added in the mystery plot, there was one thing that I wished wasn’t included. Vince and Casey’s mother is old and slightly senile. She speaks prophecies and tells Kim Paget that she will see something that will help Vince. I wished that bit of foreshadowing wasn’t included simply because now everything Kim did, I zoned into it, knowing it was important due to the prophecy. It drew the mystery out of the story a little bit.

    However, there are so many fabulous things about this story and much of it revolves around the characters. I found all of them amazing, from the main couple of Vince and Kim, to the secondary characters, Raina and Casey. With such an interesting cast, McKenna will no doubt hook readers in with this story.

    The magic occurs in the dialogue. Upbeat and free-flowing, the vernacular that these bikers have give them character and life. The brotherly teasing between Casey and Vince had me laughing out loud. A similar thing happened whenever Raina has her moments. I’m definitely looking forward to their books.

    If you’re a fan of Lorelei James’s Rough Riders series, I think you can appreciate McKenna’s character dynamics. With sexy heroes and tough as nails heroines, I feel a resemblance between the two series. However, I will point out that LAY IT DOWN is more of a suspense novel as opposed to an erotic romance.

    Wrought with high-octane suspense and sizzling sexual tension, Cara McKenna gears it up with a powerful presence in the first of a promising series.

    *ARC provided by publisher

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2014

    First of all, I am a McKenna fan and I have pre-ordered most of

    First of all, I am a McKenna fan and I have pre-ordered most of her books since I read After Hours.  I was so ready to get into another meaty, fulfilling McKenna book, and it is good and substantial (over 300 pages on my Nook), but it just didn't grab me like most of her other novels.  Admittedly, Mystery is not my favorite genre, so that may have something to do with it.  I think, also, the characters weren't as interestingly messed-up and flawed as in some of her earlier books.  Maybe I was just expecting too much because I always look forward to reading her stories.  Whatever it is, even a just okay  McKenna novel is better that 99% of everything else out there, so I'm giving it 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.  Better than good, but not my favorite of her books. 

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  • Posted August 5, 2014

    No one will be more surprised than me that I did not love Lay It

    No one will be more surprised than me that I did not love Lay It Down. It's possible that my expectations were too high, but I honestly don't think that's it. As much as I wanted to love this book, I didn't.

    Here's why...

    Cara McKenna is a master at writing stories with a bit of quirk. It can be that the character has an unexpected kink, personality or occupation. Or they story might revolve around an unusual circumstance. Whatever it is, I go into a McKenna book just knowing there will be some sort of hook that will have me dying of giddy as I read. Lay It Down didn't have that. It was mainstream, which is fine. I'm sure that this novel will find a huge audience for that very reason. But for some reason, deserved or not, I just felt somewhat let down.

    Lay It Down is not an MC book. And fine, that doesn't really bother me, and it's not promised in the book description, but.... it's kind of implied. A lot of readers are going to look at that cover and assume. Vince Grossier is a dude who just happens to ride a bike while trying to solve a murder mystery and get into his favorite gal's pants.

    Lay It Down read like a cross between a modern-day western and romantic suspense. The story is set in northern Nevada, with the townspeople, led by Vince, dismayed over a casino development. There's a lot of talk about the red dirt and quarries and shafts (not the fun kind). Though it's actually fit the story, it didn't turn my crank. The same for the romantic suspense element. There's an old murder, a new possible murder and bad guys who'll stop at nothing to get their way. The story does not end on a true cliffhanger, but there seems to be a big series arc. I just don't have a lot of luck with the sub-genre.

    Something I love about McKenna's other work is her ability to make me believe in a couple, despite impossibilities. I've believed in a hermit alcoholic with a penchant for ropes and his sweet lady love. I've believed in a Parisian male prostitute and his virgin lover. I've always felt that connection. With Kim and Vince, I totally bought the physical, but didn't really understand why exactly they fell in love.

    There's an element of magical realism in Lay It Down, and it just didn't work for me. Vince's mom and his brother both have "the sight". They're able to predict the future and it does play an important role in the story, at least on the mom's end. I don't know, it felt unnecessary, to me.

    As long as I'm wearing my tightest pair of rantypants, let me just add one more issue. I love the swears. But geez, it felt like every other sentence started with the word "Goddamn..." I mean, I get it, it's a great swear word but what about the other greats? They were vastly underused. I got so annoyed that my eye started twitching every time another sentence started with that word.


    Okay. I know this review is coming off as pretty negative, but I did like Lay It Down well enough. The main characters were fairly engaging, as were the secondary characters. I'm hoping future books will focus on different leads, particularly Rayna and Vince's brother Case. The story was interesting, it just didn't pull me in. My favorite part, to no one's surprise, was the sex. McKenna is always stellar at the physical interactions between her characters, and Lay It Down was no exception.

    So. Do I recommend Lay It Down? I do, but long-time McKenna fans should be prepared for something completely different.

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  • Posted August 5, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Lay It Down

    Cara McKenna brings readers the first book in the new Desert Dogs series, Lay It Down. Murder and mayhem abound in this romantic suspense tale set in the small Nevada town of Fortuity. McKenna cashes in on the latest romantic craze featuring motorcycle clubs, but her take on it is not what readers might expect. With a strong focus on the suspense, the antics sometimes associated with these bad boys takes a backseat. Readers looking for something more than the average story will find this one gritty, emotional and full of possibilities for the series! What I liked: My first thought when I say this one and read the blurb was that McKenna must be a Son's of Anarachy fan, which I am myself. I was expecting a lot of motorcycle club drama, involving everyone's 'old ladies' and criminal activity. Though there was a little of that here, the focus of this book was totally on the suspense. The murder of the main characters best friend takes precedence over everything else, even the romance. That can be good and bad, but in this case it was amazing! I love romance and there is certainly a strong connection between main characters Vince and Kim. Their relationship is dynamic and passionate, which is what readers would expect from a bad boy, like Vince. But there is a lot more to it than that. Their scenes in the bedroom are pretty steamy but it's the way they interact on a regular basis and how they try to help each other and those around them that will endear them to readers. Vince wants to protect his hometown, take care of his family and find out who killed his friend, Alex. The casino operation has threatened just about everything he loves and he is determined to see justice, in his own way. I loved that this story had a few elements of the paranormal in it and the way it was used. A good suspense tale is often a real page turner and Lay It Down was fast paced and hard nosed. It was certainly not at all what I expected. McKenna uses this book as a lead in to the series and she accomplishes that well by making the secondary characters a big part in solving the mystery in Lay It Down. Readers get to meet a lot of characters that I hope get their own books. The town of Fortuity will also get under the readers skin, as well as, the Desert Dogs themselves. I look forward to reading more in this series. What I didn't like: I liked just about everything with this book. There weren't any elements that I felt were out of place. The pacing was good, the characters were memorable. I love a good romance and this one has that too. Bottom Line: This is a great start to a new romantic suspense series. It may have nods to shows like Sons of Anarchy being set in a small town and having a motorcycle club, but that's where the similarities end. McKenna takes this series in her own direction and readers will follow!

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    Posted August 7, 2014

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    Posted October 1, 2014

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    Posted November 25, 2014

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