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Tough Love

(Special Delivery #3)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,236 ratings  ·  235 reviews
Crescencio “Chenco” Ortiz pulled himself up by his garter straps after his father’s will yanked the financial rug from under his spank-me pumps. He doesn’t need anyone, yet when Steve Vance steps into his life, the prospect of having a sexy leather daddy on tap begins to take on a certain appeal.

There’s a hitch when he learns Steve is friends with Mitch Tedsoe—the half-bro
ebook, 312 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,236 ratings  ·  235 reviews

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~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
I love this book.

I love it so hard.

I want Steve to be my leather daddy and Chenco to dance for me. Serious kudos to the fabulous Ms. Cullinan for dealing with drag queens and hard-core kink in such a subtle, sensual manner and for weaving a lovely, sweet story at the core of edge and play. Nothing here was weird or wrong; there was healing in the pain.

I loved seeing Mitch find his brother and Chenco find a home. The situation with Steve’s friend Gordy was intense, and the final act was the onl
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: BABY! and the world
Recommended to Optimist ♰King's Wench♰ by: SheReadsALot
Daddy kink? - check

Cross dressing Queen? - check

Sadomasochism? - check

A bear/twink romance? - check

Heidi Cullinan? - check

You bet. Where do I sign?

It's official Ms. Cullinan has breached my Top Ten favorite authors list. This was glorious. Let me tell you why.

You know how you read a book, listen to a song or see a movie and maybe you're entertained by it but you forget about it shortly thereafter? Then you have those experiences with something from the entertainment realm and think, 'my God'. Th
Jenni Lea
Dec 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bmbr, favorites

I got to read this with a few of my fellow unicorns! We did a group review on the blog. Here's my two pennies.

Well. Lemme just tell you about this here little story. First, we have Chenco. Chenco the scared little rabbit who hides behind his alter ego (Caramela the Fierce One) because he doesn't know how else to deal with the shit life has thrown at him. He meets Steve The Badass Dom soon after his asshat of a father dies and leaves him abso-freaking-lutely nothing. Nothing but a headache, that
Vanessa North
Feb 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow. I don't think I can give a full review of this without including spoilers. And I don't want to use spoiler tags because people will clicky-clicky all over that shit and then be pissed at themselves, and that's no way to start a day, so this is an abbreviated review.

One, this book is intense, and not necessarily in a sexual way, though there are several very intense sexual scenes. This book is intense in the way it examines fear, in the way it examines shame, and in the way it examines the
Jul 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: erotica-contemp, own
Daring and shy and PRETTY.

I have mixed feelings about this story. Anything I didn't like--No. So the Stoic in me should be happy. But, there's the other part of me, the one that wants, that has ideas before reading something that won't shut the fuck up.

Loved It
Chenco's character and the discussion about cross-dressing. His manifestation is beautiful, a creation greater than himself

Bold choice of kinks: some better displayed than others, but the pain play was GORGEOUS


Hated It

Untreated me
"Bossy McBosserpants. Big old Dom, don't-you-fuck-with-me, I-run-the-room Steve Vance."


Yup, I liked Steve. A whole hell of a lot. I completely agree with Lori's take on him, he was safe. Chenco and Caramela were safe with him. He helped them discover things about themselves that they didn't even know existed. Things they didn't know they wanted, let alone needed.

I'm talking about Caramela and Chenco as two separate people, because really, that's what they were. Of course, Caramela was a
Emma Sea
It's ridiculous to yearn for a fictional relationship, but goddamn I wanted to be Chenco. I don't want to be a drag queen, I just want Steve. I want what Steve and Chenco have, and no, it does not help that they are fictional and none of it's real. Cullinan made something between them that is just . . . well, fucking UNF, but also the touching of souls. When this part of the book is at its best it's incandescent.

Inside Chenco's head was very beautiful: I think Cullinan's best writing ever. There
The characters: More Mitch, Sam, Randy, Ethan, and Crabtree? Sign me up! Add in Chenco and Carmela, who I loved, and I was feeling a little giddy. Steve was likeable, and at first, I really liked him, but later on, I felt disconnected from him as he struggled with different worries. Also, Steve's BDSM preferences were outside my comfort zone, which made it even more difficult for me to connect with him. All in all, though, these were interesting, complex personalities that contrasted with each o ...more
4.5 stars
Drag queens, kink, Sam, Mitch, Randy, Ethan! Be still my beating heart!

Chenco and Steve are a great addition to the Special Delivery cast. Chenco has been rejected by his family numerous times and is at a low point when Steve finds him. Steve only wants to help, but Steve has his own problems and is dealing with crushing feelings of guilt revolving around his old friend and lover Gordy. When Steve and his friends show up at Chenco's job and are faced with his alter ego Caramela, thing
HC can make every kink and taboo acceptable and all about love and respect.

Loved it!

Tough Love is pretty much the epitome of why I love reading Heidi Cullinan’s books. The characters have SO many dimensions, that no matter what their kink is, be it needles or Disney princesses, I get it. I don’t have to understand it for myself, but I so understand it for her characters.

Reading the “warning” at the bottom of the blurb, I should think I would say, “Oh, hell no!” And yeah, for me, “Oh, hell no!”

3.5 stars

I’m a big fan of this Special Delivery series. We get to peep in on some memorable, quirky characters who really come to life on the page. I have to admit that this addition is a little different. It feels darker, digs a little deeper into relationship dysfunction and sexual kink.

I really like how the author sets these working class guys up in glitzy Las Vegas. Edgy, twisted guys who fit so well in Sin City. True, Tough Love starts in small-town Texas, but its inevitable wind-up is the
Kaje Harper
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
In this third book in the Special Delivery series, we meet two new men - "Chenco” Ortiz, who is Mitch's unexpected 24-year-old half-brother, and Steve Vance, a friend of the guys' who is Mitch's age. We also get small glimpses of Mitch with Sam, Randy with Ethan, and a little more of Randy in his role as fixer and master manipulator.

Chenco is great - a young man, but one who has had no one but himself (and his drag-queen alter ego Caramela) to depend on for a long time. He's afraid, a lot of the
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt
The boys are back in town!!!

 photo ToughLove1.jpg

Over the last three months with the re-release of both Special Delivery and Double Blind, I have loved, loved, loved revisiting this series, with Special Delivery being one of my all time favourite books and Randy… well, that man has my heart for sure. Tough Love is the new edition to the family, introducing Steve, all bad ass, leathers AND tattoos! a Dom he has a commanding presence and Oh. So. Very drool worthy. Chenco is our drag queen… all sparkles and sequ
2.5 stars. (Possible spoilers ahead.)


Sam and Mitch. I still love them.

Chenco and Steve. These are great characters. A Latino drag queen and a leather daddy? Yes, please.

Heidi's willingness to push boundaries with kink. I loved that she wrote open relationships for the first two books in this series, and I was looking forward to seeing what she did with the heavier kink in this story.


The kink itself. It manages to be both too much and not enough. Serious pain is just not my thing, so tho
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! This book just steamrolled through my day. I was delighted to have the boys back again (Sam, Mitch, Ethan, and Randy......ohhhh Randy, can't get enough of him). Now we get to meet Chenco and Steve, languishing in Texas. It's a fun ride from Texas to Vegas (especially in the truck).

Chenco has some self doubt to overcome, and Steve has a serious monster of guilt riding him by the name of Gordy. Gordy had a huge role offstage in this book, which I didn't quite understand. This was the onl
Dan C.
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm one of only a handful of people that can add this to the "read-in-2013" bookshelf here on Goodreads. Eat your heart out.
A common thought I have when I read a book this good is “How am I going to review this?” How am I? How can I say what reading Tough Love did to me without spilling secrets about myself that you don’t want to know? I can’t and this may be the most babbled review of a Heidi Cullinan book I have wrote yet.

Tough Love, the third book in the Special Delivery series; the deepest and the most intense one for me. This was different. With Sam and Mitch we got this kinky fairy tale in a blue semi. With Ra
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bdsm, kinky, thank-you
Yes, it was. But I will try to elaborate that a little later.

This was a story between Chenco and Steve, two new characters from the Special Delivery universe that didn't exist from the previous books. When I first noticed this, I was wary. Until I get to know them both.

Steve, the leather daddy of your dreams. Bald, sexy, and very sadistic. But his sadistic side is not revulsive, it's actually very endearing. He like to please himself and his lovers by hurting them. He's very
After Mitch’s proposal in Special Delivery, and Randy’s declaration of love to Ethan in Double Blind, I never expected Tough Love to surpass that.

But as incredibly kinky as Chenco and Steve can get, their love declarations were even more powerful, more romantic, needy, unexpected and sexier than anything else.

These two can light a fire with just one look. Sexual tension that drips off the pages of this book.

A whole new world, the drag queens world. Completely unexplored for me, learning the ins
Blue Bayou .
I don't know if I am going to rate this one or not. I love most of Heidi Cullinan's work so right now I am at stalemate.
(If I decide to finish the story, I may go ahead and rate.)
In Special Delivery there was a whole lot of internalizing that Sam did that said 'hey this is really what I want and need to get there and if I could find someone to love that part of me and me.....'
In Double Blind Randy was all cards and decks...And I watched him finally use that skill to stack his own deck for a win
For my honest and true view of this book, please read …MORE

Goodreads TOS-compliant review (I think, let me know when they tell us what the rules are):

"The book I just read is about two (or three) lovely people, written in beautiful language, by a very good and prolific author. I liked it very, very much.
It is for sale on Amazon.”

DISCLAIMER: My reviews now all have this pretty face, so that all and everyone on Goodreads can stay happy and beatific. I’ll let you know if I change my mind. See the
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bmbr-reads
Review previously posted at

So we're back with the series that made me realise I like a little kink in my reading. *cough* a lot of kink if it involves Randy *cough*

And this gem was certainly no let down. Before I start I will echo Sunny's thoughts that I may not have read/enjoyed this so much without having read the previous two in the series - who knows I may have done, but, as I had already read them and couldn't unread them, it'll forever remain a mystery.

So as well as Sam, Mitch, Randy,
~ Lei ~ Reading Is An Adventure ~
1/2019 Reread ~ I still don't care for this one ~ made it to 42%. As far as I'm concerned the Special Delivery series could have ended with The Twelve Days of Randy. This is not a reread like the others.

I should have loved it - cross-dressing, Sam/Mitch/Randy/Ethan especially after reading Hooch & Cake (Special Delivery, #1.5) by Heidi Cullinan recently and kinky sex.

But, this had a different vibe than SD, H&C and DB and I can't put my finger on it, other than to say, although I liked Chenco, especially, and Steve, I didn't love th
I so loved this story. Heidi Cullinan is a queen in her own right with an amazing capacity to delve straight to the core of her characters.

Chenco was so sweet and his alter ego Caramela was a force to be reckoned with. Now I usually go ga-ga for the leather daddies but I have to admit that Steve was a hard nut to crack for me at first. Sadists in general tend to scare me a little but this was so well done that I actually learned quite a bit reading this book.

A drag queen and a sadist leather dad
Rissa (an M/M kinda Girl!!)
You woulda thought this would have been perfect for my likings...
Watersports = YES! My first time for this. When it's something the MC wants. (view spoiler)
And all the other kinky goodness...Needles, Drag Queen, Bald Headed Leather Daddy...hell yes. Please & Thank You!!
So why did this book leave me feeling let down?
First, Gordy. I understand that he was a huge part of who Steve is but there was way to
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Some heavy bdsm in this third novel in the series, great characterizations. Not so keen on the age gap, leather daddy Steve being forty-one and drag queen Chenco twenty-four; or perhaps it was just the cover that put me off. The guys' relationship deepens despite interference from crazy ex, Gordy.

"Well, he's not a madwoman in your attic anymore, Mr Rochester. I think it's a good start." Steve looked at him like he'd grown an extra head, and Chenco slapped lightly at his neck. "Hey. I'm not so st
Justin Nova
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
There is some seriously outside the "norm" stuff in this book and while I would still never be tempted to try some of it, Heidi does such a wonderful job describing it that I can see why some would choose to engage. She really made this book (as well as the others in the series) about the couples involved and finding what works for them. It wasn't just a book to exploit taboo and kinky behaviors but a look into the lives, hearts and emotions of all the people in this little family. I'm not a hug ...more
Heidi Cullinan knows her kink, that’s an established fact. She also knows how to take her readers to places we never thought we’d go. And not only do we do so with interest, but we move through her stories with a intense sense of familiarity. Her characters are people we know, people we care for. They are vulnerable, broken, resilient, unapologetic, but mostly…MOSTLY they want and DESERVE what we all do, good love. So yeah this one, Steve and Chenco’s story it took me far beyond places I thought ...more
JustJen "Miss Conduct"
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm, bdsm-d-s, ebook, bgirls

3.5 star review by The Blogger Girls.

I will start by saying that I have not read the other books in this series but was told this could be read as a stand alone. While this was the case, I definitely wished I had read the previous stories.

This one is about drag queen, Chenco, or Caramela, the drag persona, and Steve. Chenco has been on his had it pretty rough. His mother died, his father was a horrible man, even after he dies, leaving Chenco homeless and basically kicking him in the teeth from
4 Stars

I definetly cried in the end. Happy cried. Loved the HEA.

I appreciate this about Heidi Cullinan: I know I'm not going to read the same book I've read before. So far there is always a new kink or dynamic I haven't seen somewhere else. Even if it's a kink that turns me off I will still read it because I want to learn something new.
This is my first edge play book. I'm fairly certain that is not my thing but I love what it meant to their relationship. I really loved them together and indivi
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Heidi Cullinan has always enjoyed a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. Proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality, Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. She writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. When Heidi isn't writing, she ...more

Other books in the series

Special Delivery (3 books)
  • Special Delivery (Special Delivery, #1)
  • Double Blind (Special Delivery, #2)
“Jesus, Steve hated cats. “They’re so precious.” Chenco crouched to love on the calico’s belly. “I always wanted one, but my mom said no, and of course Cooper would have killed it for fun.” Fuck, Steve was going to have to get a cat.” 8 likes
“What’s Mitch’s better-than-love?” Randy snorted. “He and his slut-bunny husband are those disgusting nougat-center people who just flat out like being in love best. And fucking. Which, I gotta admit, is hot as all hell to watch.” 4 likes
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