The Herd Archives

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Down for the Count (Dare Me #1) by Christine Bell

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?

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.



Type: Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5
"...If you want to plead the fifth and not answer, you have to drink one of the full shots. Got it?" 
"Sounds pretty simple. I'll start," he said. 
"Wait, why you?" 
"My house, my liquor." 
She curled her lip and shook her head. "Geez, what happened to ladies first?" 
"I save that mentality for the bedroom. Outside the bedroom, it's an even playing field, so man up."
I absolutely loved Galen and Lacey. Loved. Them. They've known each other since they were kids, he's her best friend's older brother, and the two have always teased each other mercilessly.

But things... oh they are a changing. Starting with Galen stripping her right out of her wedding dress in the parking lot of her reception, tossing her on the back of his motorcycle and escaping the gloriously spectacular train wreck that was her wedding after she finds her brand spanking new hubby knocking boots with one of her bridesmaids. Yeah. It was quite the start to their story ;)

There's some humor, some squeeze your heart moments and lots of sexy bits as Galen sets out to help Lacey get back on her feet after her safe and boring life pretty much falls apart. And oh my word once the two finally accept the off the charts chemistry that's freaking snapping between them things get...good and steamy!

Whew. I really liked these two. They're good people and I loved the history and relative ease between them.
I really felt for Lacey. She's always done everything to please her parents and just never let loose and taken any risks so it was fun to see her exploring her options and trying new things. She really grew on me as the story went along.

Galen on the other hand, I seriously think I fell just a little in love with him right from the start. He's a huge chunk of a man, a champion boxer, and has that cocky confident thing going on that I love. You could just imagine a wicked little glint in his eyes every time he'd throw down a challenge at Lacey. I really loved how he pushed her to be just a little bit bolder, to take risks even if they turn out disastrous--think rogue waves whipping off swim suit tops and unknowingly making friends with swingers looking to, um, swap?-- and just be herself.

While some things were a little predictable along the way as these two finally found their way to each other, all in all, it was a fun, sexy romp that was sweet, heart warming and in the end left me smiling. Bell really pulled me into this little world and has me very much looking forward to seeing what happens next.

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[$2.99 at time of posting]

What's your favorite set up for a romance? Do you like the best friend's sibling bit? 
Have you read Christine Bell? Down for the Count? What did you think?

15 comments:

  1. Hi Anna, I think my favourite set up for romance is best friends sibling that they finally see. It's always my fall back type of novel. Your review pushed me to buy this book, now I just have to find time to read it. And yes I bought it through your page :)

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    1. Woot! I hope you enjoy it Rachel. I love that set up too. It's in my top 3 with the "fake mates" where they pretend to be a couple and the 2nd chance at love ones.

      Happy reading!

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  2. Ooooh this sounds like fun! I love books where the characters knew each other as young-uns.

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    1. Me too! It was kinda sweet (and a bit funny) to see them remembering past tortures on each other.

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  3. WOW! That cover gave me a hot flash....LOL. I love this kind of set up, big brother of best friend, discovering beautiful woman after being a gawky little girl. Sounds so good! I need to read 24hours straight to catch up on all my books!
    Thanks Anna...great review as always.

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    1. LOL isn't that a damn *fine* cover? Whew!

      The set up really is a great one. I got a good chuckle out of different things like her confessing to giving his Elle Macpherson poster a mustache when they were teens ;) Bwaha.

      And oh I so feel you on needing 24 hours straight to just read! Oh that would be pure bliss!

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  4. I love stories that contain childhood friends or the best friends younger sister type romances. I will have to give this one a try.

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    1. The best friend/sister comes into play too Kristin and is great. I loved her reaction to the two of them since she was sort of on both of their sides. I can't wait to read her story. She's going to be a trip.

      Happy reading!

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  5. One of my favorite set ups for a romance is a bitter boss who is kinda sarcastic to his shy little secretary. Then see's her do something that amazes him or touches his heart like save an animal and he tries to court her but she's scared of him and makes it hard for him to get her. But of course it all works out in the end...lol

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    1. Hmmm. I'm trying to think of one of those I've read Mary and I just can't for the life of me pull one up. I must have though at some point. It does sound like a good one :)

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  6. My favorite romance set up is definitely the second-chance stories where the couple had known each other before but things didn't quite work out, but now they have a chance to try again and of course everything works out this time around!

    Ning @ DABR

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    1. Yup! I love that one Ning! That and pretending to be a couple. A combo of the two just does me right in ;) Thanks for dropping in!

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  7. OMG Anna, you are totally killing my TBR! This book sounds fantastic. I think you had me at "stripping her right out of her wedding dress in the parking lot of her reception, tossing her on the back of his motorcycle..."

    I am so in for this one. I love when the lady mc is a bit sheltered and then some great guy like this comes along and changes everything forever.

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    1. LOL You do the same to mine Liz! Gah that was a great scene. All those tiny little buttons and a huge man that decides he doesn't have time for such nonsense? Yeah it was good :D

      Hope you enjoy them!!

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  8. Haven't read this one yet but I just might have to now! Great review!
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

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~Anna