Sunday, July 10, 2016

ARC Review: Fast Connection (Cyberlove, #2) by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

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*

Jewel's rating:

​Megan Eric​k​son and Santino Hassell are a fantastic ​authors all by themselves. But put them together, and they are beyond perfection! Flawless story telling with characters and situations that feel so real, you'll ​more than ​feel their journeys every bit of the way. This is a fantastic series and Fast Connection is a worthy addition to it.

In Strong Signal, Staff Sergeant Dominic Costigan seemed cocky and arrogant and a bit of an ass. ​I'd easily say he was not ​really likable. I had a feeling his outward appearance was more due to him feeling a bit insecure with his self identity, but it wasn't easy to figure out, since he wasn't in Garre​t​t's focus. We get the full picture in Fast Connection and Dominic becomes a fully fleshed out character and we see his hopes, and his ​fears and he becomes a person I could not help but root for.

Dominic is struggling to adjust to civilian life and to show everyone that he isn't the same skirt-chasing, good-for-nothing-but-a-fuck guy he was as a teenager. He's starved for actual affection, and though he joins Grindr to explore the gay side of his bisexuality, he doesn't really want endless strings of hookups, anymore. ​So when the chemistry with Luke is off-the-charts-hot, Dominic wants more.

Watching Dominic struggle​ with civilian life and his family issues​ was a touch heartbreaking. His family is falling apart, and fighting all the time. He's worried about his sister. He wants to get out of the house and find his own place​ in the world and be a real adult​, but until he figures out a direction for his life and finds a real job, he feels adrift. Working for his parents at their deli for free isn't helping at all. And his father just ​yells and ​puts him down all the time...​father of the year? Yeah, not so much.​

​And ​Luke starts off kind of cold. He doesn't ever fuck the same guy twice and he keeps his sex life very separate from family and work. Though his ex-wife, Nadia, encourages him to find an actual boyfriend, Luke is more than reluctant, insisting that he doesn't need the complications. He's closed off, even to his family, to an extent. And how could he not be? His insistence on his boxes, for life, sex and work aren't going to foster anything else.​ He's let an admittingly life changing experience of the past dictate how he lives his life now, and it isn't healthy at all.​ But try telling him that...

When he unceremoniously tossed Dominic out on his freshly fucked ass after their first hookup, ​I kind of wanted to shake him. ​Sure, maybe it was just a fuck, but you shouldn't treat people that way. ​But Dominic is tenacious and he is determined to get a round two as soon as he can manage to talk Luke into it.​ And for that, I applauded him.

Luke was contradictory a lot. He clearly wanted to keep things casual, and when he felt himself getting too close, he would back off. But he liked Dominic. He liked his smart ass attitude, his sense of humor, his passion. He encouraged Dominic to pursue his dreams and Luke believed in him. Of everyone around Dominic, Luke really saw him. So Luke would let himself get close and then he would push Dominic away. And Dominic let him, mostly.

​I do think, though, that Dominic took a bit too much shit from Luke. He let Luke make all the rules in their relationship and he backed down pretty easily when Luke gave resistance for more. There was definitely more to them than just sex; Luke needed time, but I hated how he took Dominic for granted and how he kept stuffing him (figuratively) into the fuck-buddy box.​​​ And once Luke finally admitted that he wanted an actual relationship and just when things were really going well...​his son Micah and Dominic's sister take off and Luke uses Dominic as a scapegoat, because his family is troubled. Luke let his fear of past events reoccurring speak for him through anger and he and Dominic broke. I was pretty proud of Dominic for finally standing up for himself. Standing ovation for that.

In the end, Luke does come around to the fact that he was very wrong and he not only showed his remorse for being such an ass, but he proved that he changed his outlook. And I really appreciated that. Their HEA is gorgeous and well deserved, and Fast Connection goes straight to my Favorites shelf!

Highly recommended.

ARC of Fast Connection was generously provided by the authors, in exchange for an honest review.

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