My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: ARC provided via NetGalley
Publication Date: August 11th 2015
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Point of View: 3rd Person (Baz and Elijah)
Genres & Themes: M/M Romance, College, LGBTQA+, Photophobia, Disabilities, Healing, Kinky Role Play
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.
Warning: Contains sex in a Tesla, sex in a cupboard, sex under a piano, kinky role play, and a cappella RuPaul songs. Just a couple of boys groping, battling, then finally loving their way to becoming men.
There’s something tricky about series and multiple couples, something about making each new and diverse, with a story of their own to tell. Often I’ve found that some authors have a bit of a formula for their characters; meet, angst, angst, undying love confession, happily ever after. It’s lovely for some books, but when you’re writing a series, and about different couples it gets boring and old fast, very fast. Heidi Cullinan does not suffer from that, instead she gives readers enriched characters with their own adventure. From the disney-themed couple, to musicians to two not broken but bent couple she does it all.
Since the mention of Baz and Elijah I wanted the scoop on them—how did they meet? When did they meet? Do they like each other? What’s going on there? And in Lonely Hearts their hearts are on the line and what beautiful hearts this characters have.
“The name is Prince, bitch, not princess. I can take care of myself.”
This two are one sassy team, with their hate-love relationship they are explosive. Both have had a troubled past, one that crossed paths years before they saw each other again. I found both characters intriguing, as well as their stories. Baz has a disability—his hip is damaged, and he has photophobia. What I love about this is that it was something continuous, not a character device used to further his story, but something he had and thus had to be a recurring theme. Loved it! When writers write about disabilities it can’t be magically cured by a dick, nor forgotten and called up when it’s convenient, because it sure as hell doesn’t work like that in real life.
“You’ve seen the darkness, and you survived it. You overcame it.”
“He wasn’t even Howl with his heart in a demon’s belly. He held it aching in his own bare hands, desperate to give it away, terrified to try.”
I love fandom references, and whereas Walter and Kelly had Disney, this two had Howls. There I am after spending a day at a con talking to my best friend about Black Butler and trying to sum up the awesomeness that is that show when I read that they’re having an anime binge watching celebration and guess what gets mentioned? You guessed it—Black Butler. And if you’re waiting for this book then let me give you an incentive and teaser…Black Butler Kinky roleplaying. Ps. I ship Ciel and Sebastian.
“Wounds are wounds. Shit that happened remains shit that happen. You get better, though.
There’s nothing I love more than talking about issues and topics that need to be talked about and this book has them. We’re introduced to Lejla who is transgender and just such a lovely character. Then we have disabilities and if you’re a Cullinan fan and read some of her other work as have I, then you’ll be treated to some crossover (which I spotted right away!)….Hint? Think about a certain footballer and his ballet dancer husband. Don’t tell me I never gave you anything.
“We’re always our own villains in the end. Which makes them easy to defeat, once we’re ready to admit we were the only ones in our own way.”
This book was such a joy, despite the heavy subjects and the drama. Love the series, and hope you’ll give the Love Lesson series a try!