Taite, Carsen. Lay Down the Law. Bold Stroke Books, 2015. Paperback. 253 p. $16.95. ISBN 978-1626393363.
Criminal defense lawyer-turned-novelist Taite, with 11 previous books to her credit, brings us the first installment in a new romantic suspense series, “Lone Star Law”.
Federal prosecutor Peyton Davis leaves a Washington D.C. post and transfers back to her native Dallas, where she can be closer to her family and their ranch, as there are personal and financial issues needing her attention. While settling in, she crosses paths with Lily Gantry, the adopted daughter of a prominent local oil family. Their mutual attraction is immediate, and a relationship looks promising. However, their road to consummation must endure several stutter steps along the way.
Peyton soon becomes embroiled in a case which appears to involve Lily’s father, who may be guilty of money laundering and dealings with a notorious drug cartel. In the meantime, Lily herself faces challenges as she seeks the birth mother she’s never met and confronts issues surrounding a family trust she is reluctant to access.
In typical suspense fashion, twists and turns abound as the two women collide within each other’s spheres, eventually leading to the inevitable happy ending, or at least happy for now. As befits their liaison’s slow but steady development, the book’s penultimate sex scene occurs within its final pages.
Taite currently lives in Dallas, so her frequent use of place names around the city is air-tight accurate. The plot becomes complicated at times, particularly Peyton’s drug cartel story line, but reader patience will likely be rewarded. The author’s fluency in legalese is also on clear display here, but not to an overwhelming degree. Her dialogue passages are skillful.
Carsen Taite offers a reasonably engrossing story featuring two protagonists worth following, if they indeed appear in subsequent “Lone Star Law” series volumes. This novel is recommended for general LGBT and mystery collections.
Dallas (TX) Public Library