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Search tags: Heidi-Cullinan
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review 2018-02-18 22:53
Frozen Heart (Love Lessons) by Heidi Cullinan 4 Star Review
Frozen Heart - Heidi Cullinan

Proposals don’t come with instructions.

Walter Lucas knows his boyfriend has been looking forward to the newest movie about a certain snow princess, but he isn’t prepared for the reality that is the front-row seat of Kelly Davidson’s cartoon obsession. There’s more going on in November than just the movie, however—Walter’s been working up the nerve to ask Kelly a certain question. When Walter set up his elaborate Thanksgiving marriage proposal, it seemed like such a good idea, but as the holiday, the movie premiere, and the question Walter never dreamt he’d be asking anyone converge…let’s just say even Hollywood’s best couldn’t sing and dance their way out of Walter’s tangle.

 

Review

 

Wow. I can't get over how much wonderful Heidi Cullinan was able to pack into the Walter and Kelly short story.

 

I almost didn't pick this up because we had seen the proposal in anther book.

 

This is so worth it. All the Disney and loving your partner and awww.

 

The details are grand. If you like this series, read this one.

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review 2018-02-17 22:50
Lonely Hearts by Heidi Cullinan 4 Star Review
Lonely Hearts - Heidi Cullinan

 

 

Even hot messes need a happily ever after.

With the quiet help of his wealthy family, Sebastian “Baz” Acker has successfully kept his painful past at bay. But as the end of college draws near, his friends—his buffer zone—are preparing to move on, while his own life is at a crippling standstill. With loneliness bearing down on him, Baz hooks up—then opens up—with Elijah Prince, the guy Baz took a bullet for last year. The aftershocks of their one-night stand leave giant cracks in Baz’s carefully constructed armor. For the first time, the prospect isn’t terrifying.

Accustomed to escaping his demons by withdrawing into his imagination, Elijah isn’t used to having a happy herd of friends. He’s even less comfortable as the object of a notorious playboy’s affections. Yet all signs seem to indicate this time happiness might be within his grasp. When Baz’s mother runs for a highly sought-after public office, the media hounds drag Baz’s and Elijah’s pasts into the light. In the blinding glare, Baz and Elijah face the ultimate test: discovering if they’re stronger together…or apart.

 

Review

 

You need to read the other books in this series to enjoy this book to its fullest but enjoy it you will.

 

As always, Heidi Cullinan writes compelling flawed lovable characters. Neither Bas nor Elijah are nice. Elijah has massive trust issues and Baz too easily use power. But they are both kind.

 

They each have so many open and closed wounds and have physical and mental disabilities created by the events of their past. They have coping mechanism that are not healthy.

 

They are drawn to each other and they come to love each other. And we can believe that while not easy, they will be each others soft place to fall.

They love.

 

A great circle of friends and all kinds of support systems, reaching out, healing of others, and fun details make this a really great book and romance.

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review 2018-02-11 22:08
Enjoy the Dance (Dancing, #2) by Heidi Cullinan Review
Enjoy the Dance (Dancing Book 2) - Heidi Cullinan

Kindergarten teacher Spenser Harris has carved a quiet, stable future out of his tumultuous past, but his world turns upside down the night a homeless teen appears on his doorstep—a boy whose story mirrors the one Spenser has worked so hard to overcome. The decision to shelter Duon is easy. What’s tricky is juggling the network of caregivers in Duon’s life, especially Tomás Jimenez.

Tomás wouldn’t have hesitated to take Duon in, but his plate is already full working three jobs to support his family. Though Spenser’s carefully constructed walls are clearly designed to keep the world at bay, Tomás pushes past Spenser’s defenses, determined to ensure the man is worthy of his charge. As the two of them grow closer, Tomás dares to dream of a life beyond his responsibilities, and Spenser begins to believe he might finally find a home of his own after all.

But Spenser and Tomás’s world is forever poised to crash down around their ears. Duon’s grandmother isn’t sure she wants him to be raised by a gay man and challenges Spenser’s custody. Tomás’s undocumented parents could be deported at any time, and all the while the state of Minnesota votes on a constitutional amendment against marriage equality and the US Supreme Court debates whether or not Spenser and Tomás get a happily ever after. All they can do is hold tight to their love, hope for a better future…and remind each other to enjoy the dance.

 

Review

Spenser and Tomas are lovely. The romance between them unrolls slowly like it has to when we have family and work and life. 

This book ends up being about so many things in terms of social justice: the immigration system, equality, LGTBQA rights, adoption, fostering, the arts, job protection, poverty...

It is ground in a wonderful circle of friends and also deals with the addiction of a loved one. 

The romance balance could be richer in places but overall it is a very good read and a must for lovers of Cullinan's world.

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review 2017-12-31 16:55
Short Stay (Love Lessons, #3.5) by Heidi Cullinan 4 Star Review
Short Stay (Love Lessons) - Heidi Cullinan

Hot messes have a hard time with happily ever after.

 

Baz Acker and Elijah Prince have it all. They're engaged, and their wedding is guaranteed to be a spectacle no event will ever top. So why are they hunkered down in a quiet corner of the Acker mansion, restless and edgy while they wait out the holidays?

 

When Baz suggests a road trip with Walter and Kelly to Las Vegas, it sounds like an ideal escape, but it turns out Vegas only amplifies their unease. Elijah can't slough off the self-hating his parents programmed into him, and he worries how that will affect his marriage. Baz, crippled en route because of too much time spent in the car without rest, must face the truth that his wealth and influence can't always counteract the limits his disability will put on his--and Elijah's--life.

 

With help from their friends, a wily poker player, a take-no-prisoners drag queen, and a smooth-talking casino owner, they face the truth that happiness is a state of mind, not a destination where they book a stay. What happens in Vegas won't stay in Vegas--it will follow them all the way down the aisle.

 

Review

 

At first I was reluctant to read this short story with Baz and Elijah because I wanted no more drama for them.

I am glad I did. This is a wonderful New Year's Eve romance that puts all the whipped cream and cherries on their happily ever after.

They struggle through self esteem, chronic pain, and lack of communication issues but they learn how to be a unit. 

There are ton of easter eggs in here for Cullian's other series.

It is a great big romantic time.

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review 2017-12-28 21:05
I'm really torn on this one...
The Christmas Fling - Heidi Cullinan

'The Christmas Fling' is the first book in Heidi Cullinan's series 'Christmas Town' a spin-off from her series 'Minnesota Christmas' which I diligently read and loved...even, 'Santa Baby' pulled 3.5 stars out of me, but while the first book in the 'Minnesota Christmas' series started off with a solid 4 star read for me...'Christmas Town' hasn't gotten off to such a good start.

 

Interestingly enough while I liked Terry and Evan individually...Terry and Evan as a couple, well...not so much. Terry and Evan went from a rather kinky, hot and frantic one-night stand to co-workers who for all intents and purposes as far as Evan is concerned they've never met but even more bizarrely while Evan is frantic to find Kevin, he's less than happy with Terry and upon first meeting him doesn't seem to like him very much but he puts up with him because he thinks Terry is his best chance of finding the elusive Kevin...Oh, if Evan only knew. 

 

As Terry and Evan work together they start to build a relationship as both co-workers and friends and while Evan finds himself wanting to take the relationship to the 'next level', Terry's attraction is tempered by his own quirks and insecurities. It quickly becomes apparent that if Terry and Evan are going to make a go of things they're going to need more than a little help from their friends...friends that we've met previously in the 'Minnesota Christmas' stories.  Needless to say this was one of my favorite parts of the story with Kyle & Paul, Gabriel, Arthur & Dale, Frankie & Marcus and a few other residents of Logan. 

 

As much fun as it was to revisit some of the residents of Logan and to meet some new characters like Levi and Charlotte. Where I found I occasionally had an issue was the fact that while Evan and Terry periodically each had people managing their needs to keep them on track personally and/or professionally as they both tended to become singularly focused on a task at times forgetting that they needed to do things like eat or sleep as well, I've known a few people like this and truthfully at times I've been one of those people having to manage someone's needs to ensure they eat, sleep, take meds, etc. and to a degree that means managing the person but at times it felt like it was going beyond managing their time to managing them and given that these are suppose to be two mentally competent men capable of managing their own lives I can't say that I was very comfortable with this course of action by people who were suppose to be their friends...I'm still pondering this one because I'm just not sure how well the idea sits with me...managing...manipulating...it's a fine line we're walking here.

 

Somehow out of all this and in spite of some fun and quirky moments between these two I just couldn't get a sense of them as a couple...as co-workers...yes, in this capacity I liked them and I could easily imagine them working together as architect and designer. At times I was even beginning to get a sense of them as friends but that's where the connect stopped for me. I think the biggest obstacle to me seeing more of a connection between these two men was the fact that Evan spent a very hot and steamy evening getting up close and personal with Terry and yet, in the light of day because of a name, a beard and few pounds difference in weight Evan didn't recognize Terry as Kevin when the man was standing right in front of him. Add in the fact that Terry made some comments that only Kevin would have known and yet in spite of all these things Evan couldn't see what was right in front of his eyes...so for me, Evan and Terry as a couple was more of a stretch than I could imagine. Maybe if Evan had managed to connect the dots without the proverbial brick to the head I might have been able to get behind this pairing. But he didn't which leads me to wonder 'how can he be so fixated with someone when he can't even pick him out in a crowd so to speak'. I understand that Evan isn't suppose to be good with names and faces but this...wow, this was so far outside of that concept for me, that I just couldn't buy into it.

 

My final issue was the epilogue while it started to sort things our a bit for me. Unfortunately it was to short and abrupt to finish the job and while the story was complete I was still left hanging and feeling like there just needed to be a bit more to finish things off and put a bow on the package.

 

I have to admit this one took a little extra effort to get through it was an ok read but unfortunately failed to grab my interest as strongly as stories in the 'Minnesota Christmas' series did previously, but I can be a bit of a die hard about these things so I'm going to hang in there and see what Ms. Cullinan has in store for us next year when we hopefully once again visit 'Christmas Town'. 

 

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A copy of 'The Christmas Fling' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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