Review: Dance With Me by Heidi Cullinan

dance with meReviewed by Janell

World-class dancer meets semi-pro football player in this male/male romance by Heidi Cullinan. This book was originally published in 2010, and the author notes in this second edition that, back then, the world was a very different place for LGBT rights. She didn’t alter the novel to reflect modern changes, making it “both contemporary and historical.”

Five years ago, Laurie was on top of the dance world. Then, he convinced his boyfriend that they should dance together at an International Ballroom Championship. Two guys dancing together did not go over well with the judges, and Laurie’s boyfriend dumped him. Since then, he’s been teaching at a small studio, vowing to never dance professionally again because of the flashbacks. [Read more…]

Janell’s Favorite Books of 2015

As I look over the books I’ve read this year, I think it’s safe to say that this is the year that I stepped away from the ballrooms and carefully explored male/male romance. Also, I learned that not all billionaires are horrible alphas, which is a lesson that we all might need to learn one day. [Read more…]

Review: Fever Pitch by Heidi Cullinan

fever pitchReviewed by Janell

I’ve been stalling on writing this review because this book gave me so many thoughts and feels that I don’t think I can even articulate them. But I also need to tell everyone to read it, so I’ll give it my best shot.

Giles and Aaron meet at a high school party in the laundry room. Aaron is the dark-haired dreamboat hiding from the crowd because he gets crippled by loneliness and depression. Giles is the goofy-looking guy avoiding a gay bashing from some jock looking to blame and shame. Giles offers to help Aaron escape, and then he takes Aaron to a drive-thru for food. This is all narrated by Aaron, and his reaction to someone being so sweet and nice is just heartbreaking. They have a sexual encounter by a lake — Aaron’s first — and then Giles drives Aaron home. [Read more…]

Review: Love Lessons by Heidi Cullinan

love lessonsReviewed by Janell

Welcome to my first m/m review! I heard great things about the sequel to this book, so I read it first, and then had to go back to read Walter and Kelly’s romance.

Kelly has researched everything about Hope University, except the dorms. Because of his allergies, he needs a room that allows an air conditioner, and the only room he’s eligible for is in Porterhouse, where the gay-unfriendly jocks live. [Read more…]

Review: Dirty Laundry

Reviewed by Jen

Adam is a young man dealing with serious problems. He has crippling OCD and he has just gotten out of an emotionally destructive relationship.  He’s trying to navigate living on his own while trying to remain functional with his illness. It’s a real struggle.

As the story begins, he is accosted by some homophobic bullies at the laundromat, when a muscle-bound cowboy swoops in to save the day.  Denver saw what was happening and put the hurt on the frat boys.  And somehow, though neither would have ever expected it, he and Adam end up getting busy inside the laundromat once everyone else was gone.

With his strength and dominant nature, Denver makes Adam feel safe like no one ever has.  And Adam’s naturally submissive nature turns Denver on to the nth degree.  Though Denver never thought he would want a relationship, the more time he spends with Adam, the more that changes.

Adam is sure once Denver sees the depth of his neurosis, that would be the end of things. He wants desperately to hold on to the man who makes him feel so protected, one who allows him to let go and just feel.  But the truth must come out, and it turns out Denver has issues of his own.

I’m not a fan of BDSM, primarily because it usually makes me feel like the submissive partner is degraded.  And while it’s still not my brand of kink, I can say this book never made me feel that way.  The D/s relationship was a central theme of the book (and there was some pain and bondage) but the author really did a good job of showing what Adam gained out of the relationship.  Denver never humiliated him, never treated him as less.  He was never, ever an asshole.  He treated Adam with love and respect at every turn.  And for that, I honestly could put away my dislike for the genre. It’s still not my cuppa, but here, for these two particular men, done in this particular way, it didn’t push my buttons.

Was it realistic?  I have no idea.  Could domination and punishment really help a man with mental illness get over his tics?  I want to say probably not.  And the sex in public didn’t feel real for someone with Adam’s issues.  In addition, I felt like the connection between these guys was really intense, really fast.  But overall, I did enjoy it.

Rating: B-

*ARC Provided by Riptide via NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
Dirty Laundry
by Heidi Cullinan
Release Date: January 28, 2013
Publisher: Riptide