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REVIEW: Down to You by M. Leighton

Down to You M. Leighton

Dear Ms. Leighton:

I find this book hard to grade. It’s very sexy and hot as the cover suggests but the story is kind of a miss. There are three main characters: Olivia, Nash and Cash. Nash and Cash are twins.

First, Olivia has this faux conflict. She’s always gone for the bad boy. Nash is supposedly the nice guy and Cash is the bad boy. I never understand how Olivia makes the differentiation. Nash, for instance, is dating her cousin but constantly flirts with Olivia and may or may not have slept with Olivia under the guise of darkness. More on this later. He leaves her flowers and makes out with her when her cousin is away on business. How these are the actions of a nice guy, I’m not certain. Cash is the bad boy. He owns a club and apparently has tattoos yet he always treats with her kindness, tells her he has her back, drops everything to help her out.

Olivia seems unconcerned that she may have cheated with Nash despite telling him she isn’t that kind of girl. She seems unconcerned that she might be sleeping with both brothers and what that might mean for the brothers’ relationship. What Olivia learns from one brother about his past isn’t translated to the next brother. It’s just kind of bizarre – she acts, in many ways, as if these two men aren’t related.

I know I am supposed to sympathize with Olivia. The story is told in the first person and she’s presented as the nice girl as opposed to her lawyer cousin who puts work ahead of all else and is purportedly more concerned about her social status. But the cousin gets the shaft in many ways, demonized for her work ethic in order to wash the sin of cheating away for Olivia. It’s never successful for me when the protagonist is doing something wrong and that is justified by vilifying the character being wronged.

The story itself lacks coherency because of the aforementioned convenient memory loss that Olivia shows when she shuttles from one guy to the next. I think the problem arises out of the book’s attempt to be clever. The book says it is a “love triangle only not really” and by that I think it aims for the angst of the love triangle without the messiness but for me, the spoiler or explanation of the love triangle which was fairly apparent, didn’t absolve Olivia’s actions because she didn’t know the spoiler until the end. Instead, she only knew that she was cheating on her cousin and sleeping with two brothers and having no real qualms about it.

Because there is no real plot (other than the secret of the twins), the story rises and falls on the character arc. But Olivia doesn’t grow or learn anything. Nash is presented as a user of women who advances his own career without thought for another’s feelings. He’s just dating the cousin because her father is the head of the law firm. When he sees the heroine, it really doesn’t matter than he’s dating this cousin. He takes what he wants.

As a romance, it simply isn’t successful. It would have been better if this was a horror or crime story – the two brothers that take advantage of unsuspecting young women to deceive and manipulate to do their dirty bidding.

The book and the characters looked to sex to solve all the problems. While it was enough for Olivia, it wasn’t enough for me. D

Best regards,

Jane

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

24 Comments

  1. Lynn S.
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 12:43:52

    Is it wrong to consider the Kindle Top 10 list an indicator of what not to buy?

  2. Kati
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 13:00:34

    Dang – I just bought this one, although I thought long and hard about it due to twins named Nash and Cash, which is just too romancey for me. I’m sad to hear it didn’t work for you, Jane.

  3. Jane Lovering
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 13:03:48

    Don’t think this would work for me – I’d spend far too long wondering about what kind of mother calls her twin boys ‘Nash’ and ‘Cash’. I bet she’s got cats called ‘Sandy’ and ‘Dandy’ too…

  4. Brie
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 14:21:34

    “Nash is supposedly the nice guy and Cash is the bad boy. I never understand how Olivia makes the differentiation.”

    The tattoos, of course!

  5. Lia
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 14:29:18

    No sane parent would name their twins Nash and Cash… let me rephrase that: no sane parent would name their son Cash, I hope.

    I honestly can’t see myself reading about two male protagonists, named Nash and Cash and take that story seriously. Ever. :-)

  6. Gillyweed
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 14:50:40

    I could see a sane parent naming their kid Cash in homage to Johnny Cash. But I agree that the Nash/Cash combo is ridiculous.

  7. jane_l
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 15:42:42

    I’m changing my byline to “reading these books so you don’t have to.”

  8. EmilyAnn
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 18:39:43

    I started laughing at Nash and Cash!! I’m going to read the rest of the review now but based on those questionable twin names I don’t predict good things!

  9. EmilyAnn
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 18:41:56

    Btw, Kim Zolciak of Real Housewives fame just named her son Kash. So I guess there is a precedent?

  10. Ann Bruce
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 18:57:40

    @Brie: That’s so 20 years ago.

    And, oh the horror of a woman with a work ethic! It’s a sign of the apocalypse, I tell you.

  11. DS
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 19:20:05

    Made me think of the movie made of the lives of the twin gynocologists. Jeremy Irons played both parts. Interesting movie but you didn’t expect either to be a hero.

  12. henofthewoods
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 23:23:36

    Maybe if they had actually been one guy with multiple personalities, so she couldn’t always be sure that the “twins” had the same past? It would make it easier to understand not knowing which she had slept with.

  13. Patricia Eimer
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 06:30:43

    Oh the horror. A woman with a work ethic who doesn’t think sex with a hot man is the answer to every question in life. Surely SHE must be the villian. I bet she doesn’t even know how to bake a proper cupcake or scrub the floors. The horror, the horror I tell you.

  14. jane_l
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 06:36:25

    @henofthewoods your guess is so close to the spoiler….

  15. Kwana
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 08:16:16

    I was so with henofthewoods on this thinking maybe it’s the same dude playing both parts. You see I’m a girl who grew up on soaps so I’d be looking for this right out of the gate. I’d spend the whole time waiting for that reveal. Also waiting for the cousin to tell her off and but good.

  16. MrsJoseph
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 12:34:10

    @Jane Please spoil me! I’m not reading a book with twins named “Nash” and “Cash.” :-D I’m desperate to know!

  17. jane_l
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 13:10:12

    @MrsJoseph:

    Buried Comment (Reason: spoiler)   Show

    Nash and Cash are indeed the same person which is ridiculous because Nash is supposedly this newbie lawyer working his way up the ranks (although it is clear from the author’s writing that she doesn’t know anything about the law. She calls him an intern but he’s supposed to be out of law school which would make him a clerk at best and if he’s still clerking out of law school then he’s working for a judge or he’s had really sh!tty grades or something. But he’s also running a nightclub. In any event, it doesn’t work because even though it’s pretty obvious from the beginning, our intrepid heroine doesn’t know and she’s torn, TORN, between the brothers.

  18. MrsJoseph
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 15:20:26

    @jane_l:

    Oh my. *facepalm* I was hoping it wasn’t going to be that…

  19. cleo
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 18:28:02

    @jane_l: omg, I guessed the spoiler too – thanks for saving me from reading this book, and for making me laugh out loud.

  20. bam
    Oct 18, 2012 @ 10:33:34

    HAH! I totally guessed from your review that the TWEEEEEST would be that, Jane.

    NO sane parent would name their twin children Nash and Cash.

  21. Romance, a YA love triangle, and a Stephen King horror
    Dec 28, 2012 @ 14:02:24

    […] sale for $.99. I can’t say that anything beyond the sex scenes are worth reading. My review is here for the […]

  22. Rae Blair
    Feb 05, 2013 @ 12:30:34

    ~Found this review too negative and too literal. Its a piece of fiction and it does what it is meant to do provide a story . Me I loved both of them :)

  23. Sneha
    May 23, 2013 @ 03:06:29

    Bought this book because of overall good rating on Goodreads (big mistake!) and hell, I wanted a light smexy read.
    While the names didn’t annoy me as much, I totally agreed with Jane on how this book would have worked better as a thriller where the 2 brothers manipulate-cum-seduce the heroine to achieve their goals. I’d even have rooted for the brothers, that’s how much I disliked the heroine and wish she’d been dealt a wake-up call.

    The book lacks a coherent story and the heroine annoyed me with her supposed good-girl routine when she seems to have no reactions to making out with 2 brothers and lying about it ! And she judges her cousin for being bitch all the while making moves on her guy…..
    Well, guess she didn’t get the memo on throwing stones while sitting in a glass house

  24. Nicole
    May 23, 2013 @ 12:19:31

    I read this book and was in tears over how improbable it all was. There’s a sequel, which I am obviously never going to read, but it’s worth it to get out of this ridiculous universe. Nash and Cash for siblings, nevermind twins, should be considered a clear sign of parental unfitness. Olivia was dumb and stubborn at all the wrong times. The sexyfuntimes were sexy and fun, but not enough to interest me in this story’s continuation.

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