Author: Heidi Cullinan
Series: Love Lessons, #3
Released: August 11th 2015
Length: 355 pages
Source: Publisher for review
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.
Heidi Cullinan’s Love Lessons series is the only new adult contemporary series I’ve ever liked. That may be a bold and unusual starting sentence, but it’s sincere. I’m not much of a NA reader and I never was, but if there’s an author out there who has the power to turn me into an avid fan, it’s the amazing Ms. Cullinan.
Love Lessons, Fever Pitch and now Lonely Hearts, one gorgeous, heartbreaking story after another, show us that Heidi is more than just a romance writer, she is a true connoisseur of human souls with such a profound understanding of our nature, all our little hurts and pains and fully capable of giving our fears names and faces we can relate to.
We met Baz and Elijah in Pitch Perfect, where enough of their story was given to make us understand what lies ahead. After spending his early teens on the streets, selling his body to survive, Elijah went back home ready to say whatever his extremely religious parents wanted to hear in order to accept him back. He then went through conversion therapy and played their tune for years until the situation escalated and left him free, but deeply traumatized. Baz is a bit more mysterious, but no less damaged, both physically and spiritually. He comes from very different circumstances - his family is political royalty, and insanely rich, which only means that his problems need to be handled under the spotlight. Elijah is hardly a good boyfriend for the senator’s nephew and the future senator’s son. But Elijah is hardly a good boyfriend for anybody, nor does he want to be.
I knew from meeting them in Pitch Perfect that these two would break my heart and they did, many, many times. But they also both surprised me with their maturity, their quirks and their overwhelming love for each other. I had high expectations from this book and they were met, but at the same time, it was completely different from what I expected to read. Better in many ways, but different.
Heidi Cullinan is one of those rare few authors who constantly teach us new things and crush stereotypes into nothing. She goes beyond expectations with her stories and her characters. Lonely Hearts is a confirmation of her talents, not that a confirmation was needed at this point, and I’m so happy this series and this group of friends will give us more stories in the future.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.
As you can see, the first book in this series is currently on sale for $0.99. It may be my least favorite of the three, but that's not saying much when books 2 and 3 are so spectacularly heartwarming and brilliant.