Sunday, February 19, 2017

Review: Hard Wired by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Hard Wired

Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell


Excuse my gross over the top flailing enthusiasm for this series but I'm just minutes off of reading Hard Wired and I'm all *heart eyes* emoji for this series and these characters and especially Megan and Santino (I hope it's not rude to call you by your first names?).

Okay. So. You know what? Ian and Jesse are kinda a hot mess. Both of them. They're both this interesting mix of confidence and insecurity and longing and it totally works. Having these characters show us, immediately, who they are was comforting and relatable. They both have things they're working on or working through and they both have things they're almost scared to hope for and I love that Megan and Santino let them be flawed and stay flawed. There were no magic fixes and no perfect answers; these characters moved through each rough patch in moments of honesty and awkwardness and tension and funny conversations and through these they grew to know, understand, love, and support each other. None of this happened without the growing pains every relationship has and that's why I loved this novel so much--I could imagine each of these moments playing out in real life and I know that many people have experienced similar growing pains.

Other things I loved? I enjoyed that in this book (and the series) Megan and Santino give us a chance to explore the cyber world and all of its glory and nastiness. The segments of the online community that are toxic as well as the ones that are supportive seemed, in my limited perspective, to be accurately reflected and while it's only a taste of the vastness that is the online world, it gives this novel (and series) that much more relevance. I know that I'm not the most widely read person in the world, but I read a lot and I feel like we don't see nearly enough of how relationships of all sorts are formed and evolve online; I love that each book in this series shows us different aspects of that part of our world. I also love that each book in this series gives us characters that represent diverse backgrounds. I very much appreciated how Ian was depicted--his need to be who he needed to be--and how Jesse responded. It wasn't always pretty or easy but it was real. I've felt exactly how they've both felt--the hesitation to respond and wondering if I'm saying or doing the right thing, and the anxiety of waiting to hear back once I've hit send on something that I hope I said right. And not to be overlooked in all of this is how sexy these two are together; Ian and Jesse are hotness personified *fans self*. Also having Kai and Garrett sneak in there every once in a while is just the icing on the's fun to go back to the two who first started this series.

Maybe not the most important thing I have to say, but something I feel is important, is that I love that Jesse and Ian get to have the HEA that is perfect for them--that their being together is a blending of who they are and who they want to be; that it's supportive and not erasing. Megan and Santino, you guys are such a good team and I love what you've done in each novel in this series. I selfishly want more. I'd love to see Beau, among some of the other personalities you've introduced, have a shot at some CyberLove but if that's not in the cards, I hope to see more of your collaborations because I've loved everything you've done.

Title: Hard Wired 
Series: Cyberlove, #3 
Authors: Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell 
Publisher: Megtino Press 
Release Date: February 13, 2017 
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance / Gaymers   

Blurb: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.

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About the Authors

Megan Erickson

  Megan Erickson is a USA Today bestselling author of romance that sizzles. Her books have a touch of nerd, a dash of humor, and always have a happily ever after. A former journalist, she switched to fiction when she decided she liked writing her own endings better. 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. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | FB Group        

Santino Hassell

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author. 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. Social Media: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | FB Group | Patreon   

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