Rating: 5 stars
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Sam Keller feels at a loss about where his life is going. He goes to school part time for nursing and works at his aunt and uncle’s pharmacy. After his mom’s death, they took him in, but it is clear they don’t really want Sam around. Sam is full of doubts about whether he is going the right direction in life, especially since working means it is taking forever to finish school. Emotionally Sam is conflicted as well between his fantasies for what he wants sexually and what he thinks he should want, leaving him hooking up and feeling miserable about it.
One day while Sam is working in the stockroom at the store, he sees hot trucker, Mitch Tedsoe, unloading in the alley. Sam can’t help but ogle the big, sexy man and when he gets caught staring, Sam surprises himself by flirting. Sam shocks himself even more when Mitch suggests a hookup in the back of the truck and Sam accepts. The encounter is everything that Sam has always wanted: dirty, sexy, and naughty. He is thrilled, but never expects to see Mitch again. When circumstances lead to the men reconnecting, Sam feels even more drawn to Mitch. And when things start to fall apart for Sam at home, he takes Mitch up on his offer for a road trip, taking off and heading west with Mitch in his rig.
Traveling with Mitch is more than Sam ever expected. Mitch is sexy and caring and supportive of Sam and his goals for the future. And not only that, but Mitch is Sam’s fantasy world come to life. He shows Sam that it is ok to want to be submissive, to like being used and feeling dirty and slutty. Mitch gives Sam a safe place to explore all his fantasies and, for the first time, Sam begins to see that maybe these feelings are ok and nothing to feel ashamed about.
As Sam and Mitch travel together, they begin to grow closer emotionally as well. But it is clear that there is something in Mitch’s past that still haunts him. Sam learns it has to do with his friend Randy and it explains why Mitch sometimes pulls away from Sam just as it seems like things are going well. As they near Vegas where Randy lives, it is clear that the only way Mitch is going to get past his experiences is to face them head on. But even if they can get past that hurdle, Sam knows at some point he has to return home to his regular life. Being with Mitch has taught him to accept himself and helped Sam figure out what he wants out of life. But now that he has found the man he wants, Sam may have to say goodbye.
Ok you guys, before I go any further I have to tell you that Special Delivery is one of my all time favorite romances. I have read the original more times than I can count (and reread the sexy bits even more than that) and I adore it beyond reason. When I heard that Cullinan was releasing this re-edited version in anticipation of the release of Tough Love in April, I could barely wait to get my hands on it. So I’m going to tell you right now that I am far past the point of being objective about this book as I love it intensely. Then again, there is a reason I love it and so many other people do too, and that is because it is AWESOME! So here’s why.
What I love most about this book is that it is a coming of age story in disguise. And what is it disguised by? Well, by just about the hottest thing you have ever read. This book appeals to the part of me that loves that young guy figuring out what he wants out of life, right along with the part of me that loves reading about hot guys doing super hot things. It is the perfect combination of sweet and sexy that gives you the warm fuzzies and the hot tinglies in the same book.
When we first meet Sam, he is sort of a muddled mess. He is unsure about school, frustrated by how long everything is taking as he must work to make ends meet, and feeling upset by his aunt and uncle’s clear disapproval of him. Sam is also so conflicted about his sexual interests. His mother always told Sam to only have sex with someone you truly love. Sam adored his mother and they were very close and he hates to ignore her wishes. But Sam’s deepest fantasies are not about sex for love. They are about being submissive, feeling used, doing naughty things that make him feel sexy and dirty. What he wants most is in total conflict with what he feels like he should desire, which makes him full of shame.
With Mitch, Sam finally come to accept that his desires are perfectly fine. That is ok to want these things and Mitch helps him explore these needs safely. Over the course of the book, we slowly see Sam gain confidence in himself, to take some control back over his life, and to start figuring out what he wants and where he is going. Mitch is not just his sexual partner, but someone who gives him total support, who listens to Sam and helps him sort out his feelings. And by the time the book ends, we can really see how much Sam has grown.
What is really interesting is to see the progression of both Sam and Mitch over the course of the story. While Sam gains in confidence, Mitch gets more uncertain as they get closer to Vegas and his past. But by this time, Sam has grown enough that he can help Mitch now. Sam encourages Mitch to face his demons. He shows Mitch that same support and helps him move past the conflict with Randy that was so painful for him. It is a lovely progression that shows not just Sam’s growth, but how much these men have come to mean to one another in a short time.
All right, so I mentioned the sex and I can’t write this review without talking about the fact that this is a super sexy book with lots of kink. Lots. LOTS. Sam is exploring his kinky side, trying things out, learning what he likes, and we get a lot of that exploration on page. Among Sam’s kinks is that he likes a little public exposure and he likes playing with multiple partners. So the guys definitely explore sex that includes others, as well as a host of other things like light bondage, spanking, and other kinky play. The sex isn’t hard core from a BDSM angle, but there is a lot of sexy kink here. Seriously, like fan yourself hot. I think why it works so well here is because it is not just sex for its own sake. We really see Sam’s growth through his sexual encounters as he learns what he likes, as well as to accept himself for his interests.
So yes, I could talk about this book for days, but I will just leave it at this. Special Delivery is a fabulous book. So romantic that the ending is like a fairy tale. Makes me tear up every time. So sexy that your ereader might catch on fire. And so sweet and uplifting that you will be rooting for Sam and Mitch all along the way. I love Special Delivery and highly recommend it.
Be sure to check out part one of my interview with Heidi about the series. She has a great surprise for Special Delivery fans she mentions at the end. Also, you can leave a comment there for a chance to wins a copy!
P.S. I have been asked a bunch about whether or not you should get this new version if you have the original. And I’ll say it depends a bit. The changes in this edition are largely editorial rather than content based. This is a better book: crisper, tighter, and with more energy. But story-wise it is basically the same. If you are like me and waited with baited breath for this new version, then buy it. If you want the matching set with Special Delivery, the upcoming rerelease of Double Blind, and the upcoming Tough Love, then buy it. And if you haven’t read it at all, then DEFINITELY buy it. But otherwise, if you already have the original version, you probably don’t need this one too.