Audiobook Review: Lay It Down by Mary Calmes

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.

Listening Length: 4 hours and 38 minutes
Narrator: Alexander Collins

Ahh yeah. I am a Mary Calmes audiobook virgin no more! It's a moment to be written about in my diary, give me a second to document this.

Okay, so I have read this story but that doesn’t mean that listening to it was not a whole new experience, because oh baby was it ever.

I felt the joining—the oneness—in a heart-swelling, chest-gripping rush.

I admit it took me a bit to get used to being read to, it always does. But when the narrator busts out Hudson's speaking voice I melted into a puddle and just wanted to crawl into his narration and snuggle or maybe squirm once we got to the intimate parts but really… Alexander Collins and the word “Fuck” go hand in hand in *ahem*… hand.  You feel me? The narrator brings the story to life. I know I loved it when I read it but Alexander Collins breathes life, love and passion into these characters with his reading and it's a wonderful pairing to the type of romance Mary Calmes writes. 

So once I settled into being read to everything came together, me as the listener and Mr. Collins delivering a short but fun and oh so sexy story I'd read before. Sure, I’d read it but he was giving me another glimpse into the story of Hudson, his spineless wienie of a brother Dalvon and Miguel... the tiger of a man who wants nothing more than Hudson's trust, love, loyalty and to stay with him forever and ever and ever.

Substance is far more attractive than mere beauty.

The story it total crack with an over the top storyline but it's what I love. I giggled and grinned my way through the phone calls with Hudson and Dalvon and kinda swooned at Will being all possessive over Hudson's brother when we was never that way with Hudson. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to hear Miguel with the first face to face with him and Hudson and *ahem* oh yeah. That in my ear while I sat at my desk working on report files was all sorts of squirmy listening. 

As a newbie to the world of audiobooks, I find that I do better with them if I have read the book before as I can keep up with the story better knowing what and who was going on. But I have also found that listening almost gives me a whole new experience. I mean, I was getting bits from the story I did not remember like Hudson comparing his decisions about the staff to Beauty and the Beast when I read it and yet here, it was a fact that made me smile and take notice. A sign of a good narrator or an absent minded reader? I’m not sure but it’s cataloged in my brain now.
“How do you know?”
“Because I feel it…”

Reviewing audiobooks is odd for me because I never know what to exactly review. I loved the story, it’s Mary Calmes and I’m a huge fan but even the best story can suck when its delivery is lackluster. Thank goodness that is not the case here at all.

I loved experiencing Hudson waking up in the villa on Ibiza, stranded because his twin brother Dalvon stole his passport while pretending to be Hudson and ran back to the states and Hudson’s ex-boyfriend to play house indefinitely. I adored listening as Hudson makes the choice to either pretend to be his brother or just be himself and do what he does best, take care of business and those who matter. I cherished when Hudson gets a good look at his brother’s “fiancé” Miguel, and knows all bets are off as well as clothes, because the romance was getting down to business in best way the author can deliver it.

This was so good. The romance, the insta love, insta lust, alpha man to submissive man and all the I WANT YOU NOW AND TO HELL WITH REASON feelings were amazing. The story is full of shenanigans and characters you fall hard and fast for. The narration was in Technicolor with its translation of bright, wonderful and colorful characters flying off the page. Simply a great delivery of a great story. Oh boy. Hudson and Miguel are so stupidly sexy in my ears… mmm hmm. Sex-ay. For me, Mary Calmes and Alexander Collins are a delicious match in gay romance and narration and I need more.

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