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.
I don’t know how Heidi Cullinan does it, but she does.
I LOVED the first book Love Lessons. Walter Lucas and Kelly Davidson were amazing together. However, in book 2, Fever Pitch, I thought my love for this series was over, done with as I couldn’t stand Giles at first. I almost gave up on the book until Walter came back in and by the time the book was 2/3 of the way through I adored Giles and Aaron and was in love with it. (However, whenever I relisten or reread it, I still skip ahead to where Aaron met Walter because I still don’t like the beginning.)
In Lonely Hearts, it happened again. Only this time – I had two characters I did not think fit together and they were entirely self-destructive, and I just knew my love for the series was over. Until that all changed. Literally in the last few chapters of the book, Ms. Cullinan did it. Totally made me love the two heroes, happy they were together, and changed my mind about the book.
Now, there are a few issues I still had with our two men – both were set on destroying themselves and unfortunately willing to encourage the other on their downward spiral. They both drank and smoked – okay, not my thing but I ignored it. However, they were popping medicine while drinking. That kind of stupidity made me mad. And then, both characters recognized they had been indiscriminant sexually in the past and yet they still sexed it up bareback without getting tested. That just intensified their selfishness as if they actually cared for the other person, would they really put them in danger of an STD? Especially one that could kill them?
And the worst part? The sex scenes were either bleh or ewww for me. I read a lot of M/M and it’s rare that sexual narrative grosses me out – this book had two scenes that did.
So yes, through most of the book I kept thinking – these two men are not made for one another. However, like I said, Ms. Cullinan dragged them out of the muck and made me want them to be together forever. By the end I was cheering along with the secondary characters for Baz and Elijah.
Some of my favorite characters from this book who I hope we’ll get the stories from in future Love Lessons tales: Lejla, Marius, and of course, lots and lots of Walter, because honestly, he makes everything better. I also adored Pastor Shultz and his wife Liz. I’m not sure I bought Gloria’s decision at the end – that will be a huge change for her – but the epilogue was sweet.
And who doesn’t want that kind of gang on their side?
4 stars mainly due to the strange sex scenes and quite a bit of telling instead of showing during the first part of the book.