By Heidi Cullinan
Penny’s Rating: A
Happy Valentine’s Day All! In honor of the re-release of Book 2 in the Special Delivery Series which will be hitting shelves on March 4, 2014, I thought what could be better than a V-Day review with a little kink? FYI- this review contains mature content.
I first read this novel back in 2012 not long after I finished Special Delivery. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I have read this series several times and did re-read the Samahain re-issue of Double Blind, provided to me by the fabulous Heidi Cullinan herself, thank you Heidi, so I could have the story fresh in my mind for this review.
Double Blind is an amazing compliment to Special Delivery. Sam and Mitch are in the story, but the focus is on Randy, who if you didn’t fall in love with him in SD#1, you will here. This is Randy’s story, and Ethan’s story as well. If you haven’t read Special Delivery, this novel does stand on its own. Still, I would recommend that you read it, because you are missing the back story. And the kink-awesomeness that is SD#1
The Characters: I love that Sam and Mitch are back in this one, and that we really get to see what makes Randy tic. Ethan Ellison is the perfect love interest for Randy. Ethan comes to Vegas to mourn the death of his relationship, and meets Randy right after he loses his last dollar to the roulette wheel. Plus we get introduced to everyone at Herod’s, the casino where Randy plays poker as a prop, including the creepy mobster Crabtree, who plays a pivotal role in not only helping all of the MC’s but also scares and manipulates the shit out of them.
The SEX: (spoliers) It’s not as kinky as SD#1, yet at the same time, there is M/M/M/M in this book, and it is incredibly hot and toe curling, and completely fits in the story. Very well done, indeed. I feel like the sex in this book is more cathartic than that in SD#1. If you haven’t read it, you won’t believe me, but I swear, it will blow your mind.
Double Blind runs at a different pace than SD#1. It’s faster and there is more desperation for both Randy and Ethan. You feel like you are on a whirlwind adventure ride, and the only time it slows down is for sex. Well, sex and emotional crises. Sam also plays a pivotal role in the novel, and some of my favorite moments in the book involve Sam. We really get to see Sam and Randy establish their friendship, and we get to see Sam resolve some issues and watch him come into his own a bit, which is awesome. Also, if you don’t understand poker, you will by the end of this book. There is LOTS of poker, and the stakes are really high.
In short, this is a gorgeous novel with lots of angst, yummy, yummy sex, romance, kittens, mobsters, and poker. If you haven’t already read Double Blind, Samhain Publishing is re-releasing it on March 4. I highly recommend it.
Double Blind Book Blurb and Links
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Book Two in the Special Delivery Series
Know when to show your hand…and when to hedge your bets.
Randy Jensen can’t stand to just sit by and watch as a mysterious man throws money away on the roulette wheel, especially since Randy’s got his own bet going as to the reason this guy is making every play like it’s his last day on earth. The man’s dark desperation hits Randy right in the gut. Half of him warns that getting involved is a sucker’s bet, and the other half scrambles for a reason—any reason—to save the man’s soul.
Ethan Ellison has no idea what he’s going to do with himself once his last dollar is gone—until Randy whirls into his life with a heart-stealing smile and a poker player’s gaze that sees too much. Randy draws Ethan into a series of wagers that leads to a scorching kiss by midnight, but he isn’t the only one with an interest in Ethan’s vulnerability. Soon they’re both taking risks that not only play fast and loose with the law, but with the biggest prize of all: their hearts.
Warning: This story contains high-stakes poker, gangsters with a weakness for kittens, foursomes, and kinky consensual sex.
Available March 4, 2014 from Samhain Publishing and wherever books are sold. This book has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.
Background/ History of the Special Delivery Series
Special Delivery was first published in February 2010 by Dreamspinner Press, Double Blind in April of that same year. In 2013 they were re-sold to Samhain Publishing in package with a new third book in the series, Tough Love.
Special Delivery and Double Blind have been edited for their second edition, though no significant new content has been added.
Special Delivery won several awards in the 2010 Elisa Rolle Rainbow Awards, including Best Gay Contemporary, Best Character, Best Writing Style, and Best Overall Gay Fiction. It was a Dear Author pick for Best of 2010 and a finalist in the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books-Dear Author DABWAHA contest in 2011.
Double Blind was also a Dear Author pick for Best of 2010 and a finalist in the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books-Dear Author DABWAHA contest in 2011.
About the Author