Lay Down the Law by Carsen TaiteLay Down the Law by Carsen Taite is the first in her Lone Star Law series and it starts the series off with a bang!

After a few years in Washington D.C., Peyton Davis is back in Dallas as a federal prosecutor. She won’t be solely focused on that, though. Peyton also needs to help her mom sort out the family ranch, including a mess that her brother got them into by agreeing to let an oil company do some exploratory drilling.

Lily Gantry might be part of a wealthy oil family, but her passion lies in renewable energy. Back in Dallas after studying abroad and developing new technologies that could help her Gantry Oil diversify, Lily isn’t content to simply live off of her trust fund and fundraise alongside her mother.

Lily and Peyton are drawn to each other at the Cattle Baron’s Ball, and the chemistry between them gets stronger each time they meet. But can they really find love when Peyton has to investigate Gantry Oil?

The Characters

Carsen Taite is so good at writing characters that I’m immediately interested in and Lily and Peyton are no exception. Both women are smart, strong, and excellent at what they do, and watching their attraction grow is a whole lot of fun.

Lily goes through an especially interesting character arc because she’s adopted and goes on a search for her biological family. Her growth is entirely for herself and has nothing to do with her feelings for Peyton, and I was very happy with how that went for her.

Peyton’s arc is also related to family, as she figures out how she’ll step up and help get the ranch back on track, while still having a career as a prosecutor. She doesn’t have the same level of growth that Lily does, and that worked just fine for me because she’s pretty damn cool just the way she is.

The Writing Style

There’s a lot going on in this book, with a bunch of different threads to follow between Lily’s search for her family, Peyton’s brother’s deal with the oil company, and Peyton’s investigation into Gantry Oil. Plus, there’s the romance developing between Lily and Peyton at the same time.

True to form, Taite makes everything easy to follow even as we wonder how everything will wrap up, delivering an excellent romantic suspense novel.

The Narration

Karin Allers did a good job narrating Lay Down the Law. She differentiates the characters well, my mind never wandered, and I found myself listening to it at every opportunity. I didn’t love how she performed Lily’s voice, but that might just be a personal preference thing and it didn’t hold me back from enjoying the story, although it did occasionally pull me out of it.

The Pros

Everything worked for me, but I especially loved seeing how some of the different plot lines converged near the end.

The Cons

I was left with some questions at the end of this book. It doesn’t have a cliffhanger, but I was looking for a payoff to all the main plot points and didn’t get it for one of them. That said, since this is the beginning of a series, it may come in a later book.

The Conclusion

Carsen Taite is the queen of lesbian romantic suspense and for good reason. She kicked off what promises to be one hell of an awesome series with Lay Down the Law and I can’t wait to read the rest of it.

Excerpt from Lay Down the Law by Carsen Taite


She turned at the sound of the familiar voice. Lily Gantry was every bit as lovely as the first time she’d laid eyes on her, despite the fact she’d traded boots for heels and a tea length dress. “Lily, what a pleasant surprise.”

“Indeed it is. I was just having lunch with my father. What are you up to?”

Peyton flashed to the scene of death and horror she’d just come from and willed the gruesome images from her mind. She could still smell the scent of death and decay, and she hoped like hell it was only a memory, and that she didn’t carry it on her clothes. “I’m looking for my bank. I need to buy a car.”

Lily grinned. “So, you’re really going shopping, but you just don’t want to call it that.”

“Truth is, I hate shopping. Does that knock me down a few notches in your estimation?”

“Not in the least. Those of us who do enjoy the sport don’t need more competition. I’ll tell you a secret though.”

“I’m dying to hear.”

“It’s a lot easier to buy a car when you have a car. How did you even get down here? I’m pretty sure the DART bus doesn’t go by your family’s ranch.”

Peyton laughed. “You’re right about that. A colleague dropped me off after a…business meeting. I suppose I figured I would take a cab to the closest dealership and find something.”

“You are truly an amateur at this sport. The closest dealer to a major city is going to charge you the highest price. Tell you what, my car is parked over there.” She pointed to the valet lot behind the art museum. “How about I give you a ride to your bank and then take you to a dealership where I can guarantee you’ll get the best deal around? I’ve had a bad day and I could use a bit of retail therapy, even if it’s vicarious.”

Peyton kicked a pebble on the sidewalk, conflicted. The idea of spending the rest of the afternoon with the bright and beautiful Lily Gantry was enticing, but not at all what she’d planned. What she should do was the most efficient thing: go to the bank, transfer funds, go to the nearest dealership, and buy something sensible. Lily would only be a distraction, but maybe after what she’d seen today, she deserved a little distraction.

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Lone Star Law 

Lay Down the Law

Above the Law

Letter of the Law

Outside the Law

Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781626393363
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
  • Audiobook Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Inc
  • Narrator: Karin Allers

Carsen Taite Online

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