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My name is Jen. I read too much. I drive my husband crazy. I share books with my friends and we spend too much time talking about them. I enjoy Urban Fantasy & Romance (mostly PR & Historicals.) I’m also a mother of two and work full-time as a tv news Executive Producer.
Dirty Laundry - Heidi Cullinan 3.5 Stars
Adam is a young man dealing with serious problems. He has crippling OCD and he has just gotten out of an emotionally destructive relationship. He's trying to navigate living on his own while trying to remain functional with his illness. It's a real struggle.

As the story begins, he is accosted by some homophobic bullies at the laundromat, when a muscle-bound cowboy swoops in to save the day. Denver saw what was happening and put the hurt on the frat boys. And somehow, though neither would have ever expected it, he and Adam end up getting busy inside the laundromat once everyone else was gone.

With his strength and dominant nature, Denver makes Adam feel safe like no one ever has. And Adam's naturally submissive nature turns Denver on to the nth degree. Though Denver never thought he would want a relationship, the more time he spends with Adam, the more that changes.

Adam is sure once Denver sees the depth of his neurosis, that would be the end of things. He wants desperately to hold on to the man who makes him feel so protected, one who allows him to let go and just feel. But the truth must come out, and it turns out Denver has issues of his own.

I'm not a fan of BDSM, primarily because it usually makes me feel like the submissive partner is degraded. And while it's still not my brand of kink, I can say this book never made me feel that way. The D/s relationship was a central theme of the book (and there was some pain and bondage) but the author really did a good job of showing what Adam gained out of the relationship. Denver never humiliated him, never treated him as less. He was never, ever an asshole. He treated Adam with love and respect at every turn. And for that, I honestly could put away my dislike for the genre. It's still not my cuppa, but here, for these two particular men, done in this particular way, it didn't push my buttons.

Was it realistic? I have no idea. Could domination and punishment really help a man with mental illness get over his tics? I want to say probably not. And the sex in public didn't feel real for someone with Adam's issues. In addition, I felt like the connection between these guys was really intense, really fast. But overall, I did enjoy it.

Rating: B-

*ARC Provided by Riptide via NetGalley