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Friday, 8 July 2016

Bloo's Reviews | Fast Connection by Megan Erickson, Santino Hassell

"Yeah, you're necessary."
Fast Connection

I received an arc in exchange for an honest review. 

Fast Connection, Megan Erickson, Santino HassellRating: 5/5
Author: Megan EricksonSantino Hassell
Series: Cyberlove
Release: 11/07/16
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance

You may remember a while back I reviewed another of Santino Hassell's books, First and First. I was introduced to his work by Megan Erickson when she collaborated with him in the first of the Cyberlove series, Strong Signal. A book I completely fell in love with. I was overjoyed when I found out there would be a second book in the series and we would learn the story of a character that had intrigued me, Garrett's army hand-job buddy, Dominic. Sometimes you just come across a character and you hope they get a book of their own. You want to know them more. Well, Megan and Santino delivered in spades.

Fast Connection is the story of Dominic 'Nicky' Costigan. After eight years in the Army - where we meet him in book one - everyone expects Dominic to be the guy he was before enlisting, chasing anything that looked good in a skirt. But Dominic couldn't feel further removed from his old life or his old self. So he spends his days trying to work out what he wants to do with the rest of his post-military life, because it sure as hell isn't working in his family's bagel store. And on top of that he has to figure out how to pick up dudes.

"If I never saw another bagel in my life, I'd die a happy man. Even happier if I could get some dick."

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After newly discovering his bisexuality Dominic broadens his horizons and heads to Grindr to check out what's on offer. He meets Luke, an older man who knows what he wants and where his boundaries lie. A one time hookup. Dominic is fine with that, until he isn't. They both soon realise their explosive chemistry means neither will be satisfied with just one meeting. As one hookup becomes multiple hookups they start to form a real bond that neither wants to give up.

"But those guys wouldn't be this hotly grumpy with crazy blue eyes and a stingy smile. They wouldn't be this genuinely intense. They wouldn't be Luke."

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But Luke has his life carefully balanced in neatly packed boxes and the walls around his heart aren't easily toppled because they are not only there to protect himself but more importantly those he loves most. If there is one man that could make Luke second guess his rules it's Dominic but when that very thing happens things get complicated and neither are sure there's any going back or moving forward.

"As if the sight of him wasn't already like a sledgehammer to my gut, he had to open his mouth. "I just want to know what I did wrong.""

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As I said, we met Dominic in the first instalment of the Cyberlove series, Strong Signal. The little bit of interaction we saw between him and one of the main characters in that story totally grabbed me. What can I say? I'm a sucker for annoying, cocky guys. I want to get to know them more. See what's underneath that cocky douchiness. As much as I loved Garrett and Kai from Strong Signal, Dominic very much stayed with me. I also wondered what kind of man would be his match.

I was not disappointed with Luke at all. He's everything I would have wanted for Dominic and more. I loved the contrast between their personalities and together they gave me a little bit of everything I look for in characters. Dominic brought the fun and the funny. Throughout the book he had me smiling and laughing and I lived for their Grindr conversations. But we also got to know him on a deeper level. His background, insecurities and just how lost he felt after time in the military. This is where Luke's strengths came in. Luke is one of those strong, silent types that I love. The type that doesn't say much but when they do it's always the right thing. I fell in love with him right along with Dominic but he came along with his own baggage too. I truly felt I could relate to both men. I related to Dominic's rut. The fact he didn't know what he wanted to do with his life or worse, doubting if he could achieve it. I related to his smile and putting on a brave face. With Luke I related to his reluctance to let someone in. Both characters were so real and I loved that.

Luke and Dominic's chemistry is off the charts and Megan and Santino depict this chemistry as hot as ever. I can completely understand why both parties kept coming back for more.

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The book is from a duel point of view, which happens to be my favourite. I hate feeling at the end of a book that I wish I knew what was running through the other character's head. I feel like to invest fully in the relationship I have to get to know both characters equally and that is what Fast Connection gave me. 

Something that really stood out to me while reading Fast Connection was that I was never sure where the conflict was going to come from. It would have been very easy for this book to have fallen into predictable tropes but thankfully it didn't and the story didn't play out exactly as I thought it might. I should have known Megan and Santino better than that. 

While this book can be read as a standalone I cannot recommend checking out Strong Signal, the first in the Cyberlove series, enough. I loved that book so much and it was highly relatable to a lot in my life. Fast Connect had big shoes to fill after that but it really stood up.

Overall I just loved Fast Connection. Usually I try to do a well rounded review, providing both things I liked and disliked about whatever book or item I'm reviewing. I'm sorry but I just cannot fault this book... well, apart from the fact it had to end. I guess maybe I wished we could have seen Dominic and Luke in the same room as Garrett and Kai but in the context of the story and what we know of Kai especially, that wouldn't have made sense. So I'm glad they kept true to the characters involved and that did not happen. So yeah, I can't even complain about that! I would like to say though we do see the couples together but over Skype. So if you're a fan of Garrett and Kai, no worries. They do feature.

I commend Megan and Santino's writing. Their ability to right real characters and real stories is something I'm in awe of. I hope one day I can write fiction in a way that leaves an impression on people. In a way that leaves them missing these people they have gotten to know with each page they turn.

If you're interested in Fast Connection check out the links below:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/29lzgnJ
Are: http://bit.ly/29zDuwv
BN: http://bit.ly/29riq9U
Kobo: http://bit.ly/29pmYzn
GR: http://bit.ly/29qTxJk

1 comment:

  1. This sounds really good and very different to what I'd usually read so I should give this a go. I'm trying to branch out and read different genres at the moment so this review came at a good time! - Tasha


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