Reviewed by LauraLou
Title: Cinderella in the Sheets
Author: Reece Pine
Heroes: Presley and “the guy” (actual name is a spoiler because Presley is trying to figure out who he is for most of the book)
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 131 pages
Release Date: January 26, 2018
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Prince on the streets seeks Cinderella in the sheets.
Presley has a problem. It’s not that his evil stepdad is President of the USA, and he’s tired of traveling the country to stealthily sway right-wing governors & senators over to the side of good. (Well, besides that.) It’s that the escort Presley hired for a night of fun turned out to not be an escort after all, and now he can’t find the guy. Damn his habit of always wearing a blindfold whenever he hooks up with strangers!
Half his Secret Service detail are after the guy for the security threat he poses, half are on team #finallygetPresleyaBF, and Presley himself just wants to see the guy once more to figure out if what he felt that night was real. All they have to go on are a couple of clues and the glasses the guy left in Presley’s hotel room, but by using all the surveillance they can get away with, they’ll find him somehow.
This story was funny, warm, and kept me guessing – the words “romp” and “caper” leap to mind. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Presley, our MC, is the estranged, closeted stepson of an unnamed U.S. president described as a homophobic and generally nasty dude. Nevertheless, Presley cashes in on the connection to open doors and try to persuade the rich and soulless to support better policies. His Secret Service code name is “Snake Charmer.” All the manipulation and self-denial leaves Presley pretty pent up, so every so often he asks Rico, a member of his Secret Service detail, to secure a discreet escort to give him a nice hard tumble. In order to maintain his anonymity – and also because he kind of likes it – Presley always ties a blue silk scarf around his eyes for these encounters.
As the story opens, Presley’s escort for the evening – henceforth referred to as “the guy” – throws him for a loop by bringing take-out, engaging him in meaningful conversation, and speaking with a thick Southern accent that pushes all of Presley’s buttons. The author (who is Australian) has a lot of fun with this by spelling some of the guy’s pronouncements phonetically. For example, “I’d like to hear” becomes “Ah’d lahk tuh hae-yaah.” I really enjoyed experiencing the U.S. Southern accent through the ears of someone less familiar with it.
Presley and the guy eat, talk, have excellent sex, and play a game of Battleship before falling asleep together. When Presley wakes up, the guy is gone. He left a note – but failed to sign it – and forgot his glasses (there’s the Cinderella tie-in for those keeping score at home). Presley can’t get the guy out of his mind and quickly decides he has to see him again, but there’s a problem – Rico doesn’t have his name or contact information, either (for reasons that are spoilery).
What follows is a cross-country search involving DNA tests, SWAT teams, hazmat suits, a porn convention, and a Secret Service team dedicated to protecting Presley’s happiness as well as his security. The Secret Service team was one of my favorite parts of the story. Earle (the taciturn head of security) and Rico (a goofball rulebreaker always trying to get his attention) have a slow-burn, off-page romance that was very funny and sweet. I also found the daily hassles of life as a politician with a security detail to be very persuasively illustrated. This was a good story for a DC nerd like me.
My quibbles were mild copyediting errors throughout and a superfluous character introduced at the very end who distracted from the main relationship. But these issues weren’t enough to keep me from enjoying this story very much. I look forward to reading other books by Reece Pine.
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*