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Dirty Laundry (Tucker Springs #3) by Heidi Cullinan

May 5, 2013


The course of true love doesn’t always run clean. But sometimes getting dirty is half the fun.

Entomology grad student Adam Ellery meets Denver Rogers, a muscle-bound hunk of sexy, when Denver effortlessly dispatches the drunken frat boys harassing Adam at the Tucker Springs laundromat. Thanking him turns into flirting, and then, much to Adam’s delight, hot sex over the laundry table.

Though Denver’s job as a bouncer at a gay bar means he gets his pick of geek-sexy college twinks, he can’t get Adam out of his head. Adam seems to need the same rough play Denver does, and it’s damn hard to say no to such a perfect fit.

Trouble is, Adam isn’t just shy: he has obsessive compulsive disorder and clinical anxiety, conditions which have ruined past relationships. And while Denver might be able to bench-press a pile of grad students, he comes from a history of abuse and is terrified of getting his GED. Neither Denver nor Adam want to face their dirty laundry, but to stay together, they’re going to have to come clean.

This title is part of the Tucker Springs universe.

My Review:

Everybody’s got dirty laundry they don’t want other people to see. The trick is figuring out how to not care about it. Make peace with it, accept it as part of who you are.

I saw Dirty Laundry on NetGalley, was curious about it, clicked on request and was excited when I got approved. I was ready to get a different type of story; what I wasn’t prepared for was to start it last night and lock myself in my tower (what my family calls my room at the top of the stairs) to devour this book in less than 24hrs. I was hooked into the story with the first page and I never lost that feeling of needing to turn each page and after the last one… I took a deep breath and smiled.

The story begins with Adam Ellery being bullied at the Laund-O-Rama by a group of frat boys. Adam is clearly outnumbered but when a muscled cowboy steps out to help him Adam is lost. Not just lost in the physical appearance of Cowboy but lost in his own head. The “what if’s” start two swirl around which normally sends him into a tail spin of anxiety but when he places his hand into the cowboys, he meets Denver Rogers who is the complete opposite of Adam and he can’t look away. Adam is clearly attracted but is unsure about the vibes coming off Denver until he tells him he is going to fold his laundry in thanks for saving him.  Goodness. Since when did folding laundry become so damn hot?

Adam was fairly certain even folding Denver’s underwear would be erotic.

After the folding, ahem, scene Adam and Denver part and go on their separate ways with the addition of Denver’s number now in Adam’s phone it was up to Adam to make the first move. The thing is dear sweet entomology studying, hawk moth loving Adam had severe OCD and suffers from panic attacks and at times crippling anxiety. He has trouble functioning in basic situations that most people take for granted. Now here is where I fell hard for the story. I have OCD; not just a fascination with things being orderly or being a clean freak. I have actually been clinically diagnosed with the condition and I felt for Adam. His ‘condition’ was described perfectly. I felt as if I was inside his head and I just got him completely. I don’t have the same ticks that he does but the reasons for some of them were explained so well. Why he can’t be in a dirty bathroom without having a panic attack begin but can be dirty during sex etc. OCD is nonsensical, it just is. You deal with it, you live with it the best you can and that is all you can do.  I got Adam that way and would totally count ceiling tiles with him any day.

Now back to the story. I loved how the attraction between Adam and Denver was instant and they just went for it. Even during their first encounter, Denver was able to pick up on Adam being stuck inside his head and with a few words/orders he was able to help Adam just turn it off.

For once in his life, even his anxiety was turned on. What Adam loved more than anything else, the rough way Denver told him what to do, how giving up control to Denver took away all his anxiety, all his fear.

I love stories of opposites attracting and this was a beautifully done. There was nothing about the story that was unbelievable. It’s nice to get lost in the fantasy of a story but it’s also nice to curl up and read the story of boy meets boy.  I know I fell for both boys in this story.

Denver Rogers is a bouncer at the local gay bar of Lights Out. He likes his job; it gives him ample opportunity to scope out his flavor of twinks and never is at a loss for someone to bottom for him. When Denver rescues Adam from the frat boys he is bothered; bothered that he gave the boy his number and for the first time he is the one waiting by the phone. When Adam finally gets the courage to send him a text, our boys meet up again and the awkwardness turns hot.

Watching these two fall for each other was fantastic. The strength that each man thought they lacked was clear to see in the eyes of their lover. Isn’t that usually the case, we wish we could see ourselves as our loved ones see us? The fact that both Adam and Denver felt that their differences were what made them weak was actually was made them strong and made them perfect for one another. The way that Denver could quiet the anxiety in Adams head was simply stunning. It wasn’t something that he did because his lover needed it and Denver needed it at the same time. To have Adam that way, to make him feel good was what Denver was good at. The control he took from Adam when he needed it, made Adam able to finally relax and let the OCD take a rest.

I will say I loved where the story went, where Denver takes Adam. It makes sense for them to go into that type of relationship which again was handled perfectly. One scene that I loved; their first time with this, had an element that some books who venture off into this type of relationship seem to forget about. Without spoiling the story:

Denver was rubbing something on his skin with a tenderness that made him ache all over again.

“That feels good,” Adam said when he was able to speak again.

“If you ever play with anybody and they don’t do this, never play with them again.”

This whole side of their relationship was great. It was natural given Denver’s background and what Adam needed. Even the scene that was hard for both of them and hard for me to read because of the emotions was done well. This book was just that, written so well that the story flowed effortlessly off the page and honestly into my heart.

I could go on and on about how I loved this story, the story of Adam and Denver. Their quick fall into each other’s lives, their struggles with their own insecurities, the learning to trust the strength that they could offer each other and they path they took to find each other again. This was just a great read; a touching, heartwarming and I can’t forget sexy as hell love story. Dirty Laundry was my first book by Heidi Cullinan and I am indeed a fan. I have already begun stalking, er um, researching the rest of her books to get the same feeling I got with this one.

Because that’s what the right partner did: they helped you to find your better self, especially when you couldn’t clear the cobwebs on your own to find the way.

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating

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