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Stripped Clean by Ellis Carrington

November 12, 2013


Carlos O’Shea is stuck. He knocked up a girl in college after a night of too much drinking and then married her to be honorable. With little money, fewer options, and no degree, he winds up cleaning the floors in a small town gentlemen’s club and thinking desperate thoughts about the handsome owner that’ll lead to nothing but trouble.

Greg Moorehouse only invested in a nudie bar to help his best buddy out of a financial crisis. Now his drug-dealing ex-boyfriend, his reverend father, and a parade of surgically-enhanced DDs are driving him insane. But what’s really stripped him of all good sense is his growing obsession with his married employee, Carlos.

They circle each other in a push-pull of misunderstandings and growing attraction. Carlos needs to get his boss out of his head, and Greg can’t abide cheaters and married men. So what are a strip club owner and the guy who cleans going to do with their undeniable desires?

Please note: This is an adult gay romance, for mature readers only. Contains explicit love-making between two hot-blooded men, angsty dark moments, and cupcake-baking exotic dancers.

My Review:

There is not one thing I did not like about this book. Not one. It was told seamlessly, it was sexy, it was touching it was believable and I just really enjoyed myself with it. I think this might be one hell of a jumbled review…*sigh* let’s get to it.

Greg and Carlos meet under less than perfect circumstances. Upon their first touch, yes touch, both men feel a charge that is undeniable aside from the roles the now play.

Hi Greg, this is your imagination. He’s your employee and he’s married.

Greg didn’t fuck around with cheaters. Too damn bad though. The man was hot.

Yeah, so there is that, two handsome and ready men attracted to each other but they are out of reach for relationship status.  Greg is newly out of a relationship turned bad and is helping his best friend run a strip club, a gentlemen’s club to be exact. Carlos is doing what he can to survive and finally get on with his life and takes a job as a janitor of said club. Boss/employee relationships are off the menu for the boys…what a shame. I guess it’s a good thing that they can flirt like hell with each other and drive each other crazy with sexual frustration right.

When he did try to sleep, his dreams were full of Greg. Greg who he couldn’t shouldn’t, want because…Because the man was his boss. Because officially, he and Lacey were still married.

This was told with a nice slow burn. There was no other way to tell it, you could not throw these two at each other and make it work.  I was happy we got both POV’s from the MC’s so I knew where their heads were even though there were times I wanted to scream at them. Maybe I did? Well, at Greg at least, not that I didn’t like him, I really did I just wanted him to get over…well himself and kiss the damn boy!

Amongst the maddening foreplay or sexual tension, this was a really was a well told romance between two real men in real life situations. I could see this happening, there was nothing to buy into, no realism to suspend, I just had to sit back and let the boys tell me their story. There was not a case of insta love, in this book but one of insta lust and frustration that at one point had me yelling “Would one off you please toss the other against the wall and make out already” and then I got…

“I’m awake now, Greg.”

Oh, atta boy Carlos. RAWR. I did a literal fist bump at that point. Did I mention the frustration in this? It was done so well that even going back over my notes I get worked up over it. The  boys wanted each other so much but they had to figure out who they were, wanted to be and who they could be as an individual before they could take the leap beyond, co-worker, beyond the friendship and beyond the teasing.

He could make all the excuses in the world, but he wanted the way Carlos touched him to be something more than a dream.

The immediate attraction was obvious, the want was steamy and I would have loved to be a fly on the wall during the laundry session. These boys, wow, they have some deep issues to work through. Not just the things that are keeping them apart but they both have haunting pasts that aren’t letting them be who they want, who they need to be. Once the walls fall down, once they jump over that first hurdle we get the lines that had me doing a dance in my chair.

“I want us to have something straight. I don’t want you going anywhere. Not after you call me and tease the shit out of me like that, ya hear?”

“Loud and clear.” Carlos groaned, thinking of the things he just said.

“Lemme ask you: if I were there tonight, would you be coming home with me?”

“Yeah.” He didn’t think before he answered.

“Do me a favor then and hang tight.”

Stripped Clean is a book that does just that. It takes all the barriers, all the masks, all the stereotypes, guilt and fears and strips them away to get down to the real that we all want. That person that would lay down their life, give up and give in just to be with you. I got that with Carlos and Greg. I still feel that with them having finished this book two weeks ago. Like I said, there was not one thing I did not like about this book. It was comfortable, it was an easy read; it was angsty, sexy, heartbreaking and fun. All the check marks I need for a romance.

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating

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