Author ~ Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
Published ~ 13th February 2017
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
My FallenCon agenda is simple: sit on a couple of panels and let people meet the real me. Jesse Garvy—mod of a famous Twitch channel and, if I ever come out of my shell, future vlogger. I definitely didn’t plan to sleep with a moody tattooed fan-artist, but he’s gorgeous and can’t keep his hands off me. There's a first time for everything, and my first time with a guy turns out to be the hottest experience of my life.
But the next day, I find out my moody fan-artist is Ian Larsen AKA Cherry—someone I've known online for years. And he'd known exactly who I was while shoving me up against that wall. Before I figure out whether to be pissed or flattered, the con ends.
Now we're back online, and he's acting like nothing happened. But despite the distance between us, and the way he clings to the safety of his online persona, we made a real connection that night. I don't plan to let him forget.
Introverts unite! At home, behind a screen if at all possible. Cherry/Cerise/Ian and Jesse Garvy, the mods of Kai’s Twitch chat are the focus of this installment of the Cyberlove series. They are finally going to meet face-to-face at a con they’re attending in Kai’s place (the con we saw at the end of Fast Connection). Cherry has seen Garvy in some online videos, resulting in a huge crush on the sweet and sexy blond, but Garvy has no idea who Cherry is. When Garvy sees Ian at artists’ alley and admires the man and his art, he has no idea what he’s getting into, but the two hit it off right away. Now if Ian could only salvage things once he comes clean to Garvy about his true identity, it could be his dream come true.
Jesse is your all-American, California surfer type. His childhood may have been unconventional, with parents who constantly disappointed him, but the only thing really holding him back from growing up and moving forward are his own fears of putting himself out there and standing up for himself. Although he considers himself an introvert, he has nothing on poor Ian. Ian has a load of baggage and is doing his best to get through each day without a panic attack. He’s been living his life fragmented behind so many online personalities, he’s almost forgotten how to be Ian.
Both are insecure about whether the other sees them for who they really are, all parts of them, public and private and those that cross. Jesse is finding it hard to understand why Ian is hanging onto the sexy slutty Cerise persona now that they are together and he is falling for the real Ian. He also worries that Ian sees him as the idealized version of Jesse he has crushed on since before they met. Meanwhile, it bothers Ian that Jesse can’t accept all his sides and understand why Cerise is so necessary.
The huge amount of angst in the story was definitely draining at times, but these two are so sweet when they aren’t in the midst of a misunderstanding. I could relate to Ian’s need to keep portions of his private life separate from his online life and his need for the armor he wears in the public manifestation of his online persona, just as I could relate to Jesse’s fear of taking a leap out of his comfort zone.
Even though Ian and Jesse are separated a lot of the time, the story again makes great use of their online interactions to further their relationship. As the two get to know each other are over chat and Skype it leads to some pretty hot phone sex and the occasional difficulty getting their feelings across without coming off with the wrong tone. Jesse is surprisingly straightforward about his feelings even if it doesn’t come out right and he likes to talk things out, while Ian’s first instinct is to run. It’s not easy for these two, but it’s so worth it when they do get it together.
There are some new characters introduced including Jesse’s cousin Beau, a popular YouTuber who spreads positivity and inspiration to his fans, Trashy Zane, the complete opposite and somewhat nemesis of Beau (who I am hoping will be paired up soon!) as well as the usually drunk and always appalling Lyrix. Kai and Garrett also have some page time and Kai is as adorable as ever offering support to his mods.
The writing is solid as it has been in all of the prior books. I know nothing of gaymer culture, but I felt immersed in it in an understandable way. It was an angstier read that had a bit more of a New Adult feel than the prior books, but still it was another fine entry in the series from this amazing writing team and I am really hoping that there are more to come.
Strong Signal (Cyberlove #1)
I was counting down the months until the end of my deployment. My days were spent working on military vehicles, and I spent my nights playing video games that would distract me until I could leave Staff Sergeant Garrett Reid behind.
That was when I met him: Kai Bannon, a fellow gamer with a famous stream channel.
I never expected to become fixated on someone who'd initially been a rival. And I'd never expected someone who oozed charm to notice me—a guy known for his brutal honesty and scowl. I hadn't planned for our online friendship to turn into something that kept me up at night—hours of chatting evolving into filthy webcam sessions.
But it did. And now I can't stop thinking about him. In my mind, our real life meeting is perfect. We kiss, we fall into bed, and it's love at first sight.
Except, like most things in my life, it doesn't go as planned.
*Strong Signal is a standalone, full-length novel with no cliffhanger*
Fast Connection (Cyberlove #2)
After a decade of serving in the Army, everyone still expects me to be Dominic 'Nicky' Costigan--the skirt-chasing player. They don't know I've been spending my days trying to figure out my post-military life. Including how to pick up guys.
When I meet Luke on a hookup app, he makes it clear it's for one-night only. That's fine with me, because I'm down to see what this silver fox can do. But after I arrive at his doorstep, it doesn't take long to realize we have serious chemistry, and we end up meeting again.
He's got more walls around his heart than a military base, but I think he's as addicted to me as I am to him. He can't resist me for long. I mean, who can? Except Luke's rules exist for a reason, and when I test his limits, things get complicated. Maybe too complicated.
*FAST CONNECTION is a standalone, full-length romance novel with no cliffhanger*
Connect with the Authors
Megan Erickson worked as a journalist covering real-life dramas before she decided she liked writing her own endings better and switched to fiction. She's a multi-published author with Avon, Berkley, and Entangled. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats.
Santino Hassell is a writer of queer romance heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences