After suffering a devastating attack and severe injuries as a teen, Baz Acker has chronic pain and a number of health issues that provide a daily challenge. But Baz has been holding it together at college with the help of his friends, not to mention his parents’ financial support. But now his closest friends are graduating and moving on and Baz still doesn’t know what to do with himself. There is a lot of upheaval as new roommates move in to the house, but one in particular Baz finds he can’t quite stay away from.
Elijah Prince has his own issues to deal with. After barely escaping with his life after his religious nut job parents tried to kill him (and ended up shooting Baz instead), he is still adjusting the fact that he has a new life with people who care about him. But it is still hard for Elijah to accept help and let people in, though he is slowly letting down the protective walls he has built. Still, letting Baz in is difficult, no matter how attracted to him Elijah is. Everyone warns Elijah that Baz won’t stick around and will ultimately hurt him, but Baz is doing everything he can to convince Elijah he is serious.
As the guys spend more time together, Baz begins to earn Elijah’s trust and Elijah begins to open up to Baz. Despite what everyone has told him, Baz is really there for Elijah, offering his love and support and insistence he will never hurt Elijah. Things are finally going well for both of them and each young man is beginning to find their way forward, as well as happiness together. But Baz’s political family begins to place demands on him that affect his life and those of the people he cares about. Not to mention that as Elijah’s father’s trial looms, attention is focusing back on him as well. With the media on their tails, stress piles up for Baz and Elijah. It is only with the support from their friends and the love that they share with each other that the two will be able to make it past all the craziness and find their way to happiness together.
Ah, Baz and Elijah! As with many of you, I have been waiting for their story since Fever Pitch and this book really does these guys justice. Both of these young men are broken in their own ways, yet incredibly strong as well. When we first meet them, it is hard to imagine either of them softening and opening themselves open up to a real relationship. Both Baz and Elijah put up walls to keep others out and protect their fragile hearts and we can’t quite see how anyone will break through. But what starts as a hot hookup slowly grows into more as we see these guys begin to count on one another and provide real love and support. Cullinan does such a wonderful job here showing both the fragile sides of Elijah and Baz, and also the incredible strength they each have. Somehow with each other’s support they manage to really grow and find themselves, and realize how strong they are together.
The story is called Lonely Hearts and that is what really defines both Baz and Elijah. They both have suffered trauma that makes them shut other people out. But at the same time, they are both so lonely and in so much pain and craving love, even when they can’t admit it. So it is so rewarding to see them here finding happiness together.
This book is really everything I wanted. Elijah and Baz are hot and sexy, naturally. There is such fire and passion in both of them I can’t imagine anything else. We get the snark and the banter, the shows of strength and of vulnerability. We get to see all our old friends from the Love Lessons series, not to mention some great appearances by Ed and Laurie from Dance with Me. This story felt like coming home to me and I loved every minute of it.
This book really should be read as part of the series because the shooting that ties these guys together happens in the previous book, Fever Pitch. And seriously, this series is so so good, a standout among Cullinan’s stable of fabulous works. I firmly believe everyone should be reading it and once you start, you will not want to miss this latest installment. I am so hoping that there will be more set in this world because I adore all these characters and Baz and Elijah in particular. Fabulous story that I just adored and I highly recommend Lonely Hearts and the whole Love Lessons series to everyone.
P.S. Once again I am dying at this cover. Cullinan hit the jackpot with the amazing covers for this series and this is another gorgeous one that totally captures the story and is so engaging. Love it!