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Nicci - TWLIB Reviews

I might have a current fascination for M/M Romance, but I do read across genres, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, History, Contemporary, Murder Mysteries, Thrillers, and those other romance novels. 

Currently reading

Double Full
Kindle Alexander
Progress: 25 %
The Children of Gavrilek (Volume 1)
Julie Kirton Chandler
Progress: 7 %

Double Blind

Double Blind - Heidi Cullinan Rating 4.5Review originally posted at http://twlibreviews.comIn Heidi Cullinan’s Double Blind, I fell in love with Randy Jansen.We meet Randy in the author’s book, Special Delivery, as he was a close friend to Mitch, one of the main characters in the story. As his character fills the pages, I realized I did not like Randy much. Part biased, because the image of a grease-stained fingers did absolutely nothing for me. And part Randy, I did not like his sexual mind games and the way they affected Mitch. Overall, Randy’s image and actions were just not appealing to me. I couldn’t make the effort (and I tried) to read a book devoted to his character.A year later, I load up the book on my kindle to give the book another try. And wow, what a difference a year makes. Double Blind is truly an enjoyable and delightful book. The story unfolds as Randy reaches out to Ethan, coercing him into a game of roulette and then later, poker. Randy has this uncanny ability to read people. By Ethan's body language and actions in playing the roulette table, Randy surmises Ethan is at a dark place in his life.Randy shines like a brand new sun in this story. He is not well educated but intelligent, thoughtful, and sometimes a lonely man, who hides behind scandalous and outrageous behavior. He’s endearing in his selfless acts trying to save Ethan. He draws on my sympathy when he lets his lack of confidence in his own worth show through. He is the epitome of being more than what you see. Bottom line, though, Randy is simply fun.Ethan is a bit of a dark horse similar to Mitch in Special Delivery. We know little about Ethan but can envision his background from the details of his story. As an investment broker, immediately I think upper class. When he comes to Las Vegas to bite the bullet, I think the man is nuts. Caught up in affair with a very married, closeted gay man is a no win situation.Hooking up with Randy is like Mutt and Jeff; they are so different in background and education. It was a joy reading how they evolve through the story. It hit home how simple we are as humans. Money, education, style of living cannot substitute for love and compassion. It is all about who we are to each other.Crabtree is a gem. Almost steals the show from Randy and Ethan. He is the type of man you admire six blocks away. His association to the old Las Vegas mob makes him dangerous and yet Crabtree is smooth and mysterious. It’s fascinating how he relates poker to the human psyche. Crabtree categorizes all poker players as either Ace, Parasite, Underling, Cannibal, or Joker. With a talent as great as Randy’s, Crabtree manipulates the characters as strings on a puppet. “Randy,” Crabtree said, sounding proud, “is wild. He's the joker: he's every card at once, but unlike the ace, he doesn't feel the structure of the deck. In fact, he defies it, which is why he isn't allowed in formal games—or if he is, he must be very clever how he hides.”Author Heidi Cullinan is quite the storyteller. The characters in Double Blind are well rounded and compelling. The plot moves along in a nice pace going from the casinos, Randy’s home and to Randy giving Ethan the tour of Las Vegas. There are both action, Ethan does take off in mind games with Crabtree, and drama with Randy. The sex scenes are well done, hot with a light BSDM. If you love Mitch and Sam of Special Delivery, they are back full force in Randy’s story.