To say I've been anticipating HARD WIRED's release is like saying Henry Cavill is just okay looking. Check out my review, then enter the giveaway!
Hard Wired (Cyberlove #3), by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
Publish Date: February 13, 2017
Format: e-ARC, provided by the authors
Genre: adult contemporary m/m romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Rating: 5 STARS
(Synopsis) 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.
It was so easy to fall completely in love with these two boys, and subsequently, this book. There was so much to read about - so many different layers to get through. Their relationship certainly wasn't easy, but honestly, that was the best part. The best things come to those who work hard.
We've met both Ian and Jesse in both Strong Signal and Fast Connection, although prior to this book, we knew them both by their gamer names - Cherrycakes and Garvy. It seemed in previous books that they played off each other with Cherry playing good copy and Garvy playing bad cop. Hard Wired is absolutely a study in how people are rarely what they seem to be on the surface or online, and that has never been more apparent than when Ian and Jesse meet in person at a con.
Jesse is just coming into his sexuality and realizing who he really is, while Ian has known all of that about himself for quite some time. It's Ian's sexual orientation, along with his art and his dislike of strangers and large crowds that has caused him to adopt different personas in order to deal with the people he meets - Cherry is his online mod persona who is happy and bubbly and Cerise is his artist persona who is broody and confident and wildly talented. He's been someone else for so long, he has forgotten who just Ian is. It takes Jesse to remind him.
I did owe him. A lot more than an admission that he'd already pieced together. I owed him pure, unadulterated Ian - all the weird parts of myself and not the fragments that I tended to show to specific audiences.
But, that's part of the problem. Ian initially buries himself in his art and in his games to escape from his life and the people in it. He doesn't think very highly of himself and doesn't think of himself as lovable. Jesse Garvy gets uncomfortably close to the heart of who Ian really is, and that scares the crap out of him. Even more unnerving is that Jesse really, REALLY likes who he sees.
"You're talented and smart and so beautiful. Sometimes I wonder if I could ever be enough for you, or us together, if you don't even see your own value... when your value is infinity plus infinity greater than mine."
Jesse is determined to bring Ian out of his shell, though he doesn't know how to go about doing that. There's a lot of false starts and stops between the two of them as they learn about each other and each other's limitations. It's definitely not easy, and it's not always pleasant either. Jesse, in particular, feels a lot like a fish out of water when it comes to Ian. He thinks it should be easy to just be who you are, but Ian has learned the hard way that who you are sometimes gets you in serious trouble. It's hard for Jesse to know what to do with Ian and vice versa.
Every conversation with Ian was another puzzle piece. I'd see enough to know Ian was someone I wanted in my life. I just hoped he felt the same.
The one place where they seem to know exactly what to do with each other is in the bedroom. Holy moly. As only Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell can, the sexual connection between Jesse and Ian was incredible. They never had problems connecting in that way, and as the book went on, it only got better. Even when they were separated by many miles and states - seriously, after reading this series, I know that Skype sex is a seriously hot thing.
Buckle your seat belt for a ride of feels. Hard Wired is told in dual POV, so we get all the angst, all the emotion and all the frustration times two. Santino Hassell and Megan Erickson are an incredible writing pair, though. Their transitions are flawless and their voices are so strong. It's one of my favorite parts of this series. And, luckily, it seems like the series will continue, as we met a few new characters that definitely seem to have a story to tell.
She lives in Pennsylvania with her very own nerdy husband and two kids. Although rather fun-sized, she’s been told she has a full-sized personality. When Megan isn’t writing, she’s either lounging with her two cats named after John Hughes characters or… thinking about writing.
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Santino writes queer romance that is 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.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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