Author ~ Megan Erickson
Publisher ~ Entangled's Brazen imprint...
Published ~ 4th January 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
A sexy new M/M romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint...
Between love and hate, there's a whole lot of trouble...
Chad Lake only showed up at his sister's party for the free food, but when he spots an uptight nerd at the edge of the crowd, he can't resist trying to ruffle the guy's perfect bow tie and impeccable hair. The hottie's ready for him, though, and in the end, it's Chad who's left wide-eyed, his ears still ringing with the filthy things Bow Tie whispered in his ear. No one gets the upper hand on Chad. Ever.
Owen Hawkins has heard all about the cocky Adonis from Chad's sister--the same sister who holds Owen's career advancement in her hands. He has every intention of steering clear of the other man...until Chad's sexy taunts push him too far. There's something intriguing about Chad, and even though Owen knows that getting tangled up with the infuriating man is trouble, he can't seem to stay away...
*This book can be read as standalone*
Megan Erickson has done it again, produced another gay romance novel whose characters are so endearing, you just can’t get enough of them: Owen and Chad. Chad is the super-stud, the hot, athletic, devil-may-care Adonis who always fits in, who always rises, like cream, to the top. He’s never made a commitment, either to a career or to another person. Owen, on the other hand, is the quintessential nerd: dark horn-rimmed glasses, hair neatly parted and combed, and the pièce de résistance: a bow tie. In fact, Owen has a massive collection of bow ties, pretty much a different one for each occasion. Yet he is one sexy guy - despite his attempts at camouflage and his desperate desire to fade into the background.
Ms. Erickson sometimes opens her books with a “meet-cute with a reason”, an auspicious beginning that subtly telegraphs what’s about to come, and a little upfront insight into the personalities, hearts and quirks of the main characters. “Tied to Trouble” is one of them. It starts, innocently enough, on the streets of Willow Park, Pennsylvania. Chad is racing astride his hot and oh-so-cool Honda Interceptor, but not making much progress. That’s because he’s boxed in by a Toyota driving at exactly one mile over the speed limit. Not two, not five, not ten, just one single solitary mile over the limit – which is trying Chad’s patience to no end. Chad wants to fly. He’s due at a party that has food at it, great food, and he doesn’t want to miss either the food, or his sister, Marley, an executive at Gamer’s Magazine. Chad gives a dirty look to the young nerd who’s holding him back and speeds past him using the oncoming lane until, at last, he’s on the open road. He refers to the guy as “turtle” for his ridiculously conservative style of driving. This guy’s the “turtle”, Chad is the hare, and he’s not going to let anything or anyone delay him getting where he wants to go.
Who’s one of the first people he runs into at the party? You guessed it: the “turtle”, Owen. Owen is not only another valued employee of Gaming Magazine; Marley is both his boss and dear friend. So much for the “meet-cute” when Owen confronts Chad and scolds him mercilessly for risking his life speeding in and out of traffic on a motorcycle without a helmet.
Chad finds Owen’s anger awfully cute, and he’s suddenly interested in finding out who this nerd-who-doesn’t-know-he’s-hot is - and perhaps even getting to know him intimately. Chad only does one-night-stands, but wouldn’t one with the Turtle be huge fun?
With that, “Tied to Romance” is off and running. The budding relationship between the two men, forced together because of the coincidence of family and magazine, is huge fun to follow.
Two themes run through the entire book. First, the old “opposites attract” thing. These men are good for one another. They each provide what the other lacks and what the other needs. Second, no one is ever exactly as they appear. For instance, Owen, the shy guy, is a well-endowed, energetic and uninhibited lover. Chad, the guy who refuses to get involved, turns out to be much more caring and sensitive than anyone ever thought. His secret vice is that he’s a truly talented artist – a talent he’s kept under his hat, for years. He cares a great deal more than he’d ever let on.
The two men bring out the best in each other, Owen opening up Chad to the possibilities of a relationship, Chad encouraging Owen to find and enjoy some newfound confidence and spontaneity. One of the best scenes in the book is the one in which Chad convinces Owen to mount up on the back of his motorcycle and fly, with him, over the roads and fields. Owen starts off in abject terror, but comforted by his arms tightly around Chad’s middle, he quickly grows to love the wind in his hair and the landscape rushing by.
Of course, the two men are beginning to care for each other, both terrified of it, both refusing to acknowledge they’re falling in love. It’s a bumpy road, but perhaps each one can bring the other to the point of accepting and reveling in the affection that seems to be growing, day-by-day, between them.
Ms. Erickson is an immensely talented writer, and “Tied to Trouble” is a beautifully-written book. She manages to develop - seemingly effortlessly - two fascinating and distinct voices, voices so recognizable that you don’t need to be told who’s speaking. The characters’ internal voices are just as unique and recognizable as their dialogue. The action moves apace. There’s rarely a dull moment, and you’ll spend a lot of your time with a smile on your face, rooting for the two young men. There’s more humor than angst, more fun than hand-wringing - though there is a bit of both. But the angst is minimal. Oh sure, they regularly decide not to see each other due to some real, or imagined, slight. They’re haunted by their assumptions of incompatibility. And the book does have its requisite share of miscommunications. But there’s never a moment you won’t be absolutely sure that these two are fated to be together. And lest I forget to mention it, the sex is hot, but light, and doesn’t dominate the story. That’s a good thing. I love characters who have time to talk to each other.
“Tied to Trouble” is both fun and charming, but still manages to wring the occasional exclamation of “aww”, or a little moisture welling in the eyes, from even the most jaded reader. This book will not change your life, but it will give you a few hours of light and airy enjoyment, a little time with a couple of instantly-beloved characters, and a respite from the worries and cares of the real world.
What more can be asked of a good gay romance?
Meet Megan Erickson
Megan worked as a journalist covering real-life dramas before she decided she liked writing her own endings better and switched to fiction.
She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. When she's not tapping away on her laptop, she's probably listening to the characters in her head who won't stop talking.