Joint review with E originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2012/07/31/joint-review-double-down-by-katie-porter/
E: During the Tucson Festival of Books I had a chance to ask Lorelie Brown what she had next for her writing projects. She told me about her new series written with Carrie Lofty under the name of Katie Porter and I was very interested. As she continued talking I found out that the series, Vegas Top Guns, combined men and women in uniform, Vegas, and their different kinks. Sign me up! I have read both authors separately and enjoyed how they were able to build an image in my mind so I was sure Porter would provide me with some engaging, steamy reads.
MinnChica: I am always game for a good dirty book, and when I heard that Brown and Lofty were teaming up to write a book series about Alpha males in the military who all get all get a little down-and-dirty with different kinks, I was SOLD! Who doesn’t love mixing up their smut with a little kink? I really liked this book, while Ryan and Cass don’t waste any time getting to know each other before getting right to it, it didn’t feel cheap or anything like that. I loved the role-playing aspect and can’t wait for more from the Porter writing duo!
E: I was pretty captivated from the first kiss. I loved how Cass used Ryan to get back at her jerk of an ex and how Ryan instigated their initial meeting outside of work. I also enjoyed the exchanges between Ryan and his friends throughout the book. Reminded me of conversations I “might” have overheard… The role-playing was very intense. I was not expecting Cass or Ryan to play their roles with as much fidelity as they did but I think that really added to their story.
MinnChica: I loved the interaction between the fly-boys as well. It really added a light-hearted and fun vibe to the otherwise somewhat intense relationship between Ryan and Cass. Overall, it gave the book a lighter feeling and broke up the insanity that was the main relationship. It’s not often that an erotic romance book can make me blush, as I sometimes feel like I’ve read it all. However, there were a couple times that Ryan and Cass were so into their roles, so into each other, so passionate that I could feel the heat in my own cheeks. For that alone, this book is a definite must read for all erotic romance fans out there looking for something a little different!
E: On my yes, their scenes together were certainly intense and smoking. I was so caught up in them while I was reading if anyone had come up behind me I probably would have jumped, screamed, and flailed. Some of that tension came from their smexytimes but there was an equal amount of relationship uncertainty. Ryan’s mental anguish and total uncertainty that what he enjoyed was healthy and acceptable just tugged at my heart. I think one of the most personal things anyone can share with another person is what their particular kink is and when that is rejected it certainly leaves a mark. I also felt for Cass as she was a lot more accepting about what she enjoyed so it was hard for her to deal with Ryan’s inner shame. I liked how they were able to work things out, it made the transition from just physical to full emotional involvement that much more believable.
MinnChica: You are totally right, the relationship uncertainty and angst definitely added to the intensity of their journey. I felt so bad for Ryan, and how much he really beat himself up over his own kinks. The poor man was tortured more than I could have ever imagined. At the same time, I also felt for Cass, because she seemed so torn at times – whether she should stick it out for Ryan, or cut her losses. I might have done a little happy dance for them once they worked out all their issues in the end…
E: Porter certainly started off their Vegas Top Guns series with a bang. Between the emotional intensity not to mention the well written smex this is certainly one to enjoy if you are looking for a slightly different erotic romance. While I wished Ryan had accepted himself earlier it was refreshing to see a romance where the heroine was the one who really brought the hero into a new lifestyle. Cass enjoyed life to the fullest and was able to show Ryan that it was ok to embrace your differences. I am looking forward to Inside Bet not just to see what Porter has in store next but to catch a glimpse (hopefully) of Cass and Ryan comfortable in their relationship.
I give Double Down a B+
MinnChica: All in all I really liked this debut from Porter. I loved the introduction of the role playing kink, and loved watching Ryan and Cass explore it together. I enjoyed both the main characters immensely, and although Ryan’s inability to deal with the kink started to wear on me, I loved that he eventually came together and was able to make things right with Cass. I can’t wait to see where Porter takes this series, especially since each book will focus on a new and different kink with each couple.
I give Double Down a B+