“Jeremy, when I first met you, you filled a void in my life—a physical need—in a fun and exciting way. But the more I spend time with you, especially like last night, where I can talk to you and get to know you, the more I realize you fill up the emptiness in my heart too.”
DINNER IS SERVED!
I usually don't like books where one or both MCs work in the sex industry. Call me a prude, but I like to keep them in my porn, not in my romances. (On second thought, please don't call me a prude!)
But I really, really liked the concept of the Dinner Club here. There were very strict rules to be followed and the boys were in charge, so nothing happened that wasn't 100% consensual. Nothing felt cheap or exploitative, but instead the whole setting was very classy and everyone was just supposed to have fun and a good time.
EM Lynley came up with a fascinating concept, and I wonder if places like this actually exist. If they do, then please let me know. For research purposes only, obviously.
The atmosphere during the actual dinner scenes was charged as hell, and you could cut the sexual chemistry between Remy and Brice with a knife from the very first time they laid eyes on each other. And later, when they decided to take their relationship outside of the club, that was when things went from "UNF!" to "Awww!". It was an interesting inversion of your typical relationship development.
I also liked the other boys at the club too, especially Kit. Can we have his and Sky Blue's story next, Ms. Lynley?
I think that I should also mention that I almost always HATE it when the MCs have on-page sex with other people who are not their love interest. Which happens here, but it was ok for me for two reasons: it happened before Remy and Brice became romantically involved with each other, and it was "just" a handjob and a blowjob, no penetration. Ok, ok, I admit it: that scene with Sky Blue was also sexy as fuck and smoking hot and so very, VERY depraved! So...
Remy's overreaction at one point bothered me a little, but the swoonworthy "An Officer and a Gentleman"-like ending totally made up for it.
I loved this book the first time I read it, and I still loved it during this reread.
Thanks to Julie & Nathan for the BR!
"If you put all your chips in, you might win it all."
Heidi Cullinan, I KNEW you wouldn't let me down! I fucking KNEW it!
Ever since Randy first piqued my interest in "Special Delivery" and until I fell ultimately in love with him in "Hooch & Cake", I couldn't wait to read his story. Yeah ok, I admit it that I was more than a little nervous when I started this book.
Would my beloved Skeet finally find his own HEA? Would he find someone who he could have that close and loving kind of relationship with that Sam and Mitch already have? Would his love interest be worthy of my beloved Randy-Baby?
Enter Ethan. And Oh My Kylie, was he ever the perfect love interest for my Randy!
You could've cut the sexual tension between these two with a knife. But even more importantly, these two also completed each other on an emotional level outside of the bedroom. This was hurt/comfort at its best. Ethan was so right for Randy and vice versa, I was bursting with joy throughout the book.
Now to the sex scenes. They were smoking hot (like in 99% of all M/M romance books), they were sensual (like in 80% of all M/M romance books), they weren't just sex scenes per se, but they were meaningful to the story (like in 50% of all M/M romance books) AND they pushed my very own boundaries and I fucking loved it (like in 5% of all M/M romance books). Very few authors manage to make me feel this way, and it's even fewer authors who manage to make me feel this way OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Gah, I just love Heidi Cullinan. Plain and simple. I fucking LOVE her!
I understand that for some readers there might have been too much poker talk. But I'm not gonna lie, I fucking loved that too. I was a poker virgin before, but I ended up watching poker videos on YouTube and I'm totally down for a night of strip poker myself now. I just LOVE it when a book is not something to entertain me for a few hours, but when it's also teaching me a thing or two and leaves me smarter in the end. And besides, all that poker talk and poker analogies made complete sense in this setting and with these characters. Just like war analogies in a book with a military MC.
Oh, and did I mention that Kylie "MY Goddess" Minogue played a big part in this book too? And it wasn't like she and her songs have only been mentioned every now and then and that was that. No, Heidi Cullinan described her as (verbatim quote)
"(...) a pop princess who really was as kind and gracious and absolutely beautiful as Sam had billed her to be."
and there were also many, many other flattering things that's been said about her throughout the story. Things that just constantly made me nod and smile like an idiot. Now if I wouldn't have already been in love with this book, I would have felt a little manipulated. (There might be a little Sam inside me after all.)
So to sum it up: Heidi Cullinan
HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
And my love and fanboying for Heidi Cullinan just continues to grow and grow. She's my Kylie Minogue of M/M. There, I said it.
Thanks to Julie for the BR!
(Review may or may have not been written after several glasses of wine and therefore might not really have been that insightful of informative, but reviewer hopes anyway that his pure joy and love for this book shines through.)