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***Blog Tour*** ~ Review, Excerpt & Giveaway~ Tough Love (Special Delivery #3) By Heidi Cullinan

April 16, 2014

18170925

Summary:

Special Delivery, Book 3

Crescencio “Chenco” Ortiz pulled himself up by his garter straps after his father’s will yanked the financial rug from under his spank-me pumps. He doesn’t need anyone, yet when Steve Vance steps into his life, the prospect of having a sexy leather daddy on tap begins to take on a certain appeal.

There’s a hitch when he learns Steve is friends with Mitch Tedsoe—the half-brother Chenco never knew except through his father’s twisted lies. Despite his reservations, soon Chenco is living his dreams, including a performing gig in Vegas. Now if only he could get Steve to see him as more than just a boy in need of saving.

Steve’s attraction to Chenco is overshadowed by too many demons, ones he knows his would-be lover is too young to slay. Yet as he gets to know the bright, determined young man whose drag act redefines fierce, Steve’s inner sadist trembles with need. He begins to realize Chenco’s relentless tough love might be the only thing that will finally set him free.

Warning: This story contains glamorous drag queens, exhibitionist secondary characters, and no-holds-barred BDSM play, including watersports. Readers advised they may well leave this novel feeling uncharacteristically fierce.

My Review: 

A common thought I have when I read a book this good is “How am I going to review this?” How am I? How can I say what reading Tough Love did to me without spilling secrets about myself that you don’t want to know? I can’t and this may be the most babbled review of a Heidi Cullinan book I have wrote yet.

Tough Love, the third book in the Special Delivery series; the deepest and the most intense one for me. This was different. With Sam and Mitch we got this kinky fairy tale in a blue semi. With Randy and Ethan we got the fast paced living of Vegas with the ultimate love story and with Chenco/Caramela and Steve…we get a raw, sensual and breathtaking connection that transcends the norm. Why do I say this? This was more than a boy meets boy and falls in love type of story. I know we get the relationship deal, we get baggage, trust issues, the works in our romances but this…this took the dynamic of love, trust, loyalty and flat out submission (of both men) to a whole new level that as I write this I get goose bumps thinking about it.

Every surrender was another chance to be free.

I adored the holy hell out of Chenco from word one. When he meets Steve in that alley, I wanted to lift him up and set him in that leather daddy’s arms but that wasn’t my decision to make. Thank goodness it didn’t take long for my want to become a reality. My heart ached for this boy with his insecurities and his fears. He becomes fierce when he lets Caramela out and when he lets her bleed into Chenco, they are unstoppable and can take on anything, anyone and any situation.

Steve…where do I start with you, you gorgeous and sadistic man. I have a soft spot for Doms/Masters who are sadists. There is something about them that fascinates me and while I do not share their love for extreme pain there is a beauty in the power they yield that comes with responsibly for their sub. It’s different with a sadist than it is with a ‘normal’ Dom. Not only do they need that perfect match with a masochist but the patience, the teaching and the aftercare they give makes me swoon and turns me into goo. Steve is stunning; simply stunning and he stole my heart with his wants and his raw vulnerability. Ugh. The man tore me to shreds; I was consumed when he was on the page regardless of the scene, if he was in A scene or just watching his boy on stage and protecting him or having whole day or his love of plugs and ….yeah. I kinda love Steve. Funny I got him as a result of that quiz…

Let me just say that Chenco and Steve have this fire. It smolders, it burns, it flickers and threatens to be snuffed out by unruly animals but it cannot be denied. The push and pull between them, the power play with BDSM, it was insane and I loved every minute of it.

But, what I love about this series the most, aside from the romance and of course sex, is the way it defines family. Chenco is related to Mitch by blood but these men, gangster included, become this dynamic family that would lie down and die for each other. The devotion and selflessness they exhibit throughout each book is amazing. It was great to catch up with Mitch/Sam and Ethan/Randy…Randy you handsome devil and ultimate scene stealer. I swear, even when it’s not your book (points at you ala Lewis Black) you are brighter than the boy called Sunshine and your larger than the sun personality takes over. Not that doing so is a bad thing; where would the boys of the series be without Randy there to have their backs and stack their decks? Have I mentioned before I love Randy? I loved that Sam was more mature and yet still Sam. That Mitch was learning to bend to his ball and chain and accept his past as he let go as well. Ethan with his suits, using the endearment of sweetheart oh I will just stop there before I get overheated thinking about Ethan. Oh boy. These boys….

This was again an absolute joy to read and a great addition to the series. Even the heavy kink, which I happen to love, was done gorgeously and the kink I think may be squicky for most, I wanted more of. Yeah, I admit it. But that scene, THAT scene with Checno and Steve and the decorating *clears throat* damn, it was gorgeous, sexy, intense and so well done. Oh, I cried while I read and experienced it with them. Ack! I can’t forget the drag…I got such a kick out of Caramela and could see her on stage while the crowd chanted Papi! Papi! Papi! and she danced FOR her Papi.

Tough Love…this book just did a number on me…hell this series has done a number on me. I am not sure how Heidi makes scenes in the cab of a blue semi truck so fuckhot but she does. Had I read this series as a teen that grew up in a town full of semi trucks, I think High School could have been a whole different experience if boys such as these existed and…I am just in love and lust with this series. Oh and that end? Best. Ever.

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating

 

 

~Giveaway!!!~

Want to win a copy of each book in the Special Delivery Series?
Comment on this post and the winner be be drawn and notified on April 23, 2014.

 

~Excerpt~

     “So, you told me we weren’t going to be done playing after the trailer, but nothing’s ever happened.”

     The comment came from so far out of nowhere Steve had to take a second to form a response. “You’ve never asked for anything else to happen.”
     “Steve, I’d like something else to happen. Please.”
     Steve’s head filled with crazy, carnal images of pressing Chenco down into the grass, tugging on his hair and taking his mouth in a deep kiss, swallowing gasps and groans. This wasn’t the serene, no-sex control and comfort Steve had given before.
     It was, however, what Steve wanted now.
     He tried to deflect. “Are you talking about the punishment over what happened with Randy?”
     “Not right now, no. I would like that sometime, though, if you’re still willing. I see him wincing and touching his shoulder when he works in the kitchen, and it makes me feel bad.”
     Yes, and Steve had left it way too long. Really, it was almost too late. The thought that he’d maybe missed the window to comfort Chenco made him ache with loss.
     Chenco ran a hand down Steve’s arm. “I’m not talking about Randy right now. I’m talking about playing. With you.”
     Mayday. “Playing how?”
     Chenco’s smile sent shivers down Steve’s spine. “However you like, Papi.”
     Steve sat up straighter in his chair and caught sight of Randy milling about in the kitchen. There’s your out. “Everyone’s still up. They might come outside.”
     “We could go somewhere else.” When Steve kept quiet, Chenco’s cheeks stained red. “Forget it.”
     Get a fucking grip, Steve. He swung his body to face Chenco. “I’m not saying no. But I need to know what you want.”
     “Well, I want sex, but I assume you’ll still tell me no.”
     That’s right, it’s not happening, Steve wanted to say, but once Chenco looked at him, sauce mixed with shy, fire dancing in the back of those hesitant eyes, he was undone. He didn’t speak, only stroked the side of Chenco’s face. Those brown eyes softened, guards coming down.
     Chenco nuzzled tentatively into Steve’s hand. “Do you want to have sex with me?”
     Yes, Steve did. He ached for it like nothing he’d ever yearned for, a want that terrified him. “I’m too old for you.”
     Steve almost laughed at the angry look Chenco gave him. God, to be twenty-four again. Thinking this, though, only made Steve remember how lost and helpless he had felt at that age.
     “I do want you.” Steve gentled his voice. “I just don’t know if it’s a great idea.”
     “What, do you think I’m going to be some kind of moony stalker? If we have sex, I’ll assume I’m moving in? Why can’t it be about having a good time?”
     Because I’m an old, tired man who forgot how to be carefree a long time ago. Because I’d love you to move in, even if I never so much as touch you, and that’s really fucking crazy. “I don’t think you’re a moony stalker.”
     “Okay.” Chenco relaxed a little. “I meant what I said. I don’t sleep around.”
     Steve couldn’t hold back a smile. “I know. You’re choosy. I like it.”
     “Booker says I’m a frigid prude.” Chenco’s face clouded. “Do you know, he hasn’t called me since that night? We’re due for another show soon, but we haven’t rehearsed. He doesn’t know about the trailer—hasn’t asked.” He ran a weary hand through his hair. “I think I’m going to have to move in with Lincoln. I don’t want to, but I don’t have any choice.”
     Yes you do. Come stay with me. Play or don’t play, but stay. Let me make everything okay. Steve bit the entreaty back. “You always have choices.”
     “I had one choice—to let my mother turn me into someone I wasn’t, or to go off on my own. I chose my pride, and this is what it bought me. I live the real-life version of those romantic stories where the duke’s daughter runs off with the stable hand. They don’t live happily ever after. They live in abject poverty, miserable, cold, hungry. They have each other and nothing more, and pretty damn quickly it isn’t enough.”
     “Do you wish you would have gone the other way?”
     Chenco shook his head. “I don’t. But…I wish the fairy tale were real.”
     Steve couldn’t bite his tongue anymore, not without taking it clean off. He couldn’t stop this train, but if he schooled himself, if he did his job, he could keep it under control. Straightening in the chair, putting his hands on his knees, he looked Chenco dead in the eye.
     “Kneel.”
     Pleasure curled in Steve’s belly at how gracefully Chenco complied with the command. The boy was nervous, yes, self-conscious, afraid of rejection, afraid of being mocked—but he was determined too, and he was here, obeying. Playing. Brave, beautiful, proud Chenco, kneeling before a man.
     When Steve’s hand slid into that dark, curling hair, Chenco shuddered, and the reverberation rang all the way into Steve’s soul. So much want. So much yearning, so much need, but so much strength.
     This confident man wasn’t Gordy. How had he ever seen the two of them as the same?
     You don’t deserve him. You don’t deserve someone like this.
     Jesus, nothing was ever more true, but when Steve started to draw back, Chenco looked up at him, wounded, confused, and it was over.
     With a sharp pull, Steve drew Chenco’s face right into his crotch.
     The sharp, hot breath of surprise against his fly was better than any caress. Steve watched, want and pure, red lust burning as Chenco’s lips parted, as he stared at the bulge in front of him. The saucy bottoms Steve had tricked with in his youth would have leered up at him and reached for his fly. Gordy would have nuzzled in like a grateful bear cub, sucking up musk.
     Not Chenco. He hesitated, yearning but holding back, wanting but not daring to take. There was fear there, but it wasn’t of Steve. It wasn’t even trepidation over kneeling, no hesitation of being caught giving a blowjob beneath the stars. Chenco feared being seen, period. Of being tough without his drag. Exposing his vulnerability to anyone, no matter how safe they were. Letting Steve take his control away, being the one who played that game.
     He feared it, but he faced it. Oh, baby.
     For the first time in fifteen years, it was Steve who choked. It was Steve who didn’t have the guts to reach for his fly, who couldn’t bring himself to force Chenco’s face into his groin, though it was what they both wanted. Fucking hell, he wanted Chenco stripped down while he knelt, wanted to fuck his face so hard everyone came out to see what the ruckus was about. He wanted them all to see, wanted them to know this boy was his. He wanted— He wanted—
     Steve gripped Chenco’s hair, yanked it until his boy’s hot breath burned against his leg, half of Chenco’s face pressed into Steve’s thigh. He kept him pinned there by his hair, clamoring for control.
     He couldn’t do this.
     Chenco turned his face into Steve’s leg and bit him lightly through his jeans.
     Steve’s hand tightened on the curly dark hair, and he felt Chenco’s scalp fighting the pressure. This wasn’t playing, this wasn’t a scene—and if it was, Steve wasn’t the fucking Dom. Was Chenco, though, or were they flying blind together?
     With a whimper, Chenco bit harder. The more Steve tugged, the more Chenco cried out and the deeper his teeth went, until Steve could feel the burn of Chenco’s jaw pressing through the denim into his thigh. God, but it was glorious.
     With a choked roar, Steve crammed that wicked mouth to the hot length of his cock. What he should and shouldn’t do was forgotten as he ground Chenco’s face into his rod, fingers digging in as Chenco bit here too. Jesus fuck, but he wanted to pound into that mouth. He wanted to back Chenco against a wall and slam into his sweet face until Chenco came undone around him.
     He could do it. He could take him right now. Right here. He’d asked for it, begged for it. Fuck, it’d be so good, so sweet, and Steve could show him, really show him—
     “No.”
     Steve wasn’t aware he’d pushed Chenco away, not until he was standing over him, looking down at a red-faced, confused boy.
     “Did…did I do something wrong?”
     “No.” Steve fought for breath, for control. Give him an answer. Not the truth of why you stopped, but give him something. Anything. “You didn’t do anything wrong. But I’m not going to face-fuck you on the patio.”
     Chenco sat back on his heels, placing his hands delicately on his thighs. “Because I’m too young?”
     “Because I said we’re not. You want to play, you play by my rules, and I said we’re done.” He let out a shuddering breath. “I told you I play with pain. I don’t know if I can ease you in.”
     “You mean you think you’ll hurt me not in a good way?”
Steve ran a hand over his smooth scalp. “I mean I can’t make it nice. You rile me up like nobody has in a      long time, and I don’t know that you’re ready for zero to sixty. Don’t tell me you are. You don’t know what it is yet I’m talking about doing with you.”
     “I would if you told me. I could show you how much I’ll surprise you.”
     Steve could not, could not answer, so he clammed up.
     Chenco eased a little, reluctant but accepting. “Are we done, sir?”
     God yes, get me out of here. “Yes. Get up and go inside.”
     It had been the worst scene ever, Steve thought as Chenco rose. He had to give him another round, soon, if only to clear up this mess, but nothing more. Chenco was not Gordy. Chenco was fire and danger, and he deserved so much better. This was a bad idea, and Steve had to stop.
     Chenco brushed Steve’s shoulder with his hand as he passed by. “I would have, you know. I would have let you face-fuck me on the patio.”
     A howl of pure need clawed Steve’s gut, driving an urge to pull Chenco back. Steve marshaled himself, but only just, and as he heard Chenco slide open the glass door to the dining room, he gave in.
     “You can stay.”
     Chenco paused with the door half-open.
     “You can stay.” This time Steve was able to make his voice a little less rough. “In my house. However long you want. However long you need to, you can stay with me. Your brother is looking for trucking jobs, so he’ll be around for a while yet. You should be here too. I have the room. I enjoy your company. Stay at my house, save your money, figure out what you want, what you need. Even if Mitch leaves.”
     For a long time Chenco didn’t say anything. Steve waited for Chenco to ask if they’d have sex if he stayed, and honest to God, Steve wasn’t sure what he’d say. Probably yes, probably he’d sell off any part of his soul if only Chenco would tell him he wasn’t leaving. If they could have more nights together on the patio in the quiet, so he’d see that bright smile and those beautiful eyes every time he sat down to dinner. He’d give anything right then to make him stay, and he was terrified he had no mask and this naked need was written all over his face.
     Chenco kept his expression carefully schooled. “I’ll think about it,” he said, and disappeared into the house.

 

 

*******************************************************************************
About the Author

Heidi Cullinan has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren’t enough of those stories out there. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, listening to music, and watching television with her husband and ten-year-old daughter. Heidi also volunteers frequently for her state’s LGBT rights group, One Iowa, and is proud to be from the first midwestern state to legalize same-sex marriage.

 

You can stalk, I mean find Heidi here:
One Comment leave one →
  1. Trix permalink
    April 16, 2014 9:59 am

    I already wanted to read this, but your rave review makes it irresistible!

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