Love runs wild on the Appalachian Trail in the latest from the author of Out of Frame and Focus on Me...
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...
'Overexposed' is book 4 in Megan Erickson's 'Focus' series and I have to admit as it turns out it's also my favorite in the series which I realize is not a very obvious thing considering that for me they've all been 5 star reads but trust me until now if I had to name a favorite for this series it would have been 'Focus on Me' Colin and Riley's story. I loved that one and I still do but 'Overexposed' wormed it's way into my heart and so far it's refusing to leave.
It's about Levi, who we met in book 3 'Out of Frame' and who we get to see is so much more than his reality show character, it's about Thad who Levi meets as he walks the Appalachian Trail in memory of his sister who was suppose to walk it with him and instead came home with a flag draped over her coffin. It's about how these two men see each other and find themselves drawn together as each man tries to find the person they want to be, the person who has gotten buried in the crush of lifes pressures and demands.
As Levi and Thad continue hiking the AT getting to know each other their attraction grows. Levi likes to talk, Thad likes to listen, Levi likes cake, Thad likes pie, Thad likes to look at the moon, Levi thinks it looks like cheese. Levi needs rescuing, Thad rescues him...more than once. These two men fit. Their hearts wrap around each other effortlessly until Levi is confronted with the knowledge of what Thad's been trying to escape."Because that's just not me, " he answered quickly, "...That wasn't what I was to you, and it was so fucking refreshing. I was just a guy who you hiked with. And you seemed to like me just for who I was. Which was crazy to me, because I wasn't sure there was much of me left.."
When an unexpected emergency forces Levi to return home Thad goes with him determined to be there to be the strength and support that Levi has felt from him since they first met. Thrown back into the real world Thad and Levi continue to explore their feelings. But it's when Thad leaves that Levi has to face the tough question and determine how much his heart can take.
Start to finish I loved this story and while my head knows that this is a delightful, well crafted work of fiction. My heart ached and I cried more than once as I read. I gave this one 5 stars because that's all they let me give but truthfully this one gets the stars and the moon from me.Because I love you, Levi. I love you so much that I can’t deal with seeing you look at me with pain. I don’t want you to have to see me walk away and wonder if I’ll come back.
********************An ARC of "Overexposed" was graciously provided by the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
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