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Review: Down for the Count by Christine Bell

Down for the Count (Dare Me #1) by Christine Bell
Contemporary Romance, Category Romance
Ebook $2.99 (128 pages, ENTANGLED/BRAZEN)
Truth or dare…
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?
…or TKO?
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.

Author Site: christine-bell.com

 Come for the steamy, stay for the giggles... (5 stars)

What would you do if you caught your new husband getting it on with one of your bridesmaids in a broom closet during the reception? Lacey Garrity needs the answer to that from the first pages of DOWN FOR THE COUNT. Fortunately, her best friend, Cat, takes the reigns on that one, taking up handling the scene while having her older brother Galen rush Lacey out of there. As her childhood crush Galen was always off-limits but when he convinces her to take off on her honeymoon without the wayward groom the pair find themselves fighting a mutual attraction that's reached a boiling point.

But Galen's boxing career and Lacey's overbearing family could make any chance at their relationship being more than a rebound complicated. Will the magic of their week in Puerto Rico solidify something special that's been years in the making or prove to be just a fling before returning to reality?

Oh, Christine Bell, how do I love thee? Dear readers, if you haven't tried her books yet I think I have to say start here! As much as I have adored the three other titles I've read by Bell, this one really takes the cake in terms of being an overall package. I honestly wasn't expecting much from the best-friend's-older-brother/childhood-crush trope but managed to be greatly surprised. Bell worked it in such a way it didn't feel as creepy as I tend to expect and Galen isn't quite the bad boy I was expecting. Sure, he's a boxer and sexually confident, but not as deviant as one might expect. In contrast, Lacey is shockingly naive and will definitely annoy readers who blanch at a heroine who constantly questions herself. That's what works very well to build the romance and sensual tensions through the story though, I loved that Galen sort of takes her under his wing with big romantic (and sexual) gestures that bring Lacey out of her shell.

Peppered with what I've come to know as Bell's signature LOL-inducing humor, DOWN FOR THE COUNT, manages to take a category romance trope and turn it into some really devourable reading. The story isn't anything particularly original and I admit that the climatic scene between Lacey and Galen was so cheesy I was looking for some tortilla chips to gobble it up with, but really that's what makes it just plain fun.

If you love a hero who worships the heroine in the bedroom (or the pool!), watching a heroine stop holding back and reaching for what she wants, and giggle-inducing moments that are unforgettable you can't got wrong with DOWN FOR THE COUNT. If you've enjoyed any of the other titles in the Brazen line this one is a MUST-read in my humble opinion. Loved it!

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Notes: Review copy received via publisher.

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