Monday, September 19, 2016

ARC Review: Overexposed (In Focus 4) by Megan Erickson


Blurb:
Levi Grainger needs a break. As a reality show star, he’s had enough of the spotlight and being edited into a walking stereotype. When he returns home after the last season of Trip League, he expects to spend time with his family, only to learn his sister is coming back from her deployment in a flag-draped casket. Devastated, Levi decides the best way to grieve will be to go off grid and hike the Appalachian Trail—a trip he'd planned to do with his sister.

His solitary existence on the trail is interrupted when he meets Thad, a quiet man with a hard body and intense eyes. Their connection is stronger than anything Levi has ever experienced. But when Levi discovers the truth about what Thad is hiking to escape, their future together looks uncertain, and uncertainty is the last thing Levi needs.




Dani's rating:




I can't pick a favorite book in this series. I just can't. It's like asking me to pick a favorite dessert: keylime pie, tiramisu, apple crumble . . . mmmm, all tasty.

Overexposed can be read as a standalone, although that would be foolish because the first three books are fanfuckingtastic.

We first met Levi in book 3. He was the token gay boy on a reality TV show and was planning on hiking the Appalachian trail with his sister when the show ended. And he does hike the trail but alone . . . until he sees a man by the light of the moon.

Thad is a man of few words, but he's a good listener and makes Levi feel safe.

"I'm not looking at the moon right now, Le," he said. "I'm looking at you. Those gorgeous eyes. Those lips. That body. You're the moon I get to see during the day."

The sexual tension in this story is a living, breathing thing. Levi longs for Thad's touch, but Thad keeps his feelings close and doesn't let Levi in. Even after the first kiss, the first moment of passion, Thad pushes Levi away.




This isn't a light and fluffy story, but the sense of loss never overwhelms the romance. Levi has to come to terms with his sister's death, and Thad is still healing from a betrayal.

Levi is the first-person narrator, but the texts Thad sends to "M" are enlightening. As the story progresses, Thad is willing to say more, BE more. Never mind that he's still keeping secrets—secrets that could destroy the trust he's built with Levi.

"You're enough," I said. "You're so fucking enough. And no one gets to tell you that you're not."

These MCs are complex and real; the dialogue is genuine and rings true. The story is about journey and self-discovery. It's about pain and healing and realizing that you don't have to go at it alone.

Thad saves Levi more than once, and in the end Levi realizes that he's willing to risk his heart for the man he loves.

"I'm not perfect."

"You don't have to be perfect. Perfect's boring . . . But you're perfect for me. You fill in all of my cracks, all the places where I'm not whole. I can only hope I do the same for you."

He lifted his head, eyes wet. "You do. You so do."



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A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.
~Neil Gaiman






An ARC of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Download links are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with the book, author, publisher, or website listed.

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