Review: Fast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

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Title: Fast Connection (Cyberlove #2)
Authors: Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
Genre/Themes: Contemporary mm romance / bi characters / ex-military
Release Date: 11 July 2016

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My rating: 4.5 Stars




Blurb


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.


Review


This is the second book in the Cyberlove series and I enjoyed it just as much as the first.

Santino Hassell and Megan Erickson once again show how well they work together as a writing team creating yet another engaging contemporary romantic story. It had everything I look for in a romance - great chemistry, hot sex, intimacy, humour, some drama, some real-life issues, memorable characters and at the heart of it, a love story, not a perfect, once-in-a-lifetime true love, but a real one with setbacks and fights and doubts and gradually making things work out for everyone. We get the dual POV of Dominic and Luke and I loved how it revealed their different takes on love, sex, relationships and life in general.

I found Dominic a really interesting character, not what I expected after meeting him in book 1. He was this complex mix of laid-back and easy going, seemingly confident and knowing about life, but inside he was insecure and directionless.

Dom's struggles with adjusting to life after leaving the army were presented in a way that made it easy (for me) to relate to him. His family situation, his lack of clear direction in life (both personal and professional) is something most people face at some point in their lives. It gave a certain NA feel to Dom's character but actually one can feel a little lost and ready to try new things at the same time at any age.

Luke was Dom's opposite in many ways but they also had a lot in common - the military past and they both had to face the tough decision what to do after leaving the army. What I liked especially is that with Luke the authors explored a set of very real issues but ones not often the subject of romance - teenage kids, divorce, relationship with the ex. Oh, I'm so glad the trope of the evil ex-wife/girlfriend which, unfortunately, is so common in m/m romance was not used here., What we get instead is ex-spouses who have a healthy, friendly relationship and do their best to care for their kids.

Both Dom and Luke are bisexual and I liked how their previous relationships with women were presented as part of who they are without judgement or contempt. I wish there was more of that portrayal of bisexuality in contemporary romance, both m/f and m/m.

Luke and Dom have scorching hot chemistry but they complemented each other outside the bedroom as well. Dom's easy going nature helped Luke loosen up and start enjoying life more. At the same time Luke gave Dom a much needed boost of confidence and support to make some important decisions about his future.

I loved that we saw both characters deeply involved in their families. I also loved how they progressed from from Grindr hook-up to just sex to having a real relationship. Their romance had its moments of doubts and insecurity and wild passion and domesticity and it all felt natural and believable.

The family dynamics were also very important in the story. The romance didn't exist on its own, it was very much entangled with the life of the those closest to Dom and Luke and this was yet another element that made it real and authentic to me.

Fans of Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell will definitely enjoy this book which can be read as a standalone, though I highly recommend to start the series with Strong Signal.

Purchase links: Amazon | ARe | BN | kobo | iBooks

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