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Author: Megan Erickson

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Review: Leveling the Field by Megan Erickson

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Leveling the Field by Megan EricksonLeveling the Field by Megan Erickson
Series: Gamers,
Also in this series: Changing His Game, Playing for Her Heart, Tied to Trouble
Published by Entangled Brazen on 02 May 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, People of Color, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 162
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: Trust the Focus, Focus On Me, Make it Count, Changing His Game, Playing for Her Heart, Tied to Trouble, Out of Frame, Strong Signal, Fast Connection

Place(s) Traveled To: Willow Park, Pennsylvania

First Line(s): The guy was late. Lissa Kingsman glanced at the clock on the wall of the office and tried not to look as irritated as she felt.

Ever since we first meet Ethan in Megan Erickson’s PLAYING FOR HER HEART (my reivew). I always love a good tortured hero story and I couldn’t wait to meet the girl who would break Ethan out of his shell. And Lissa did not disappoint. LEVELING THE FIELD is the final book in Erickson’s Gamers series and Ethan is the perfect character to conclude the series. I loved getting to know more about him and I loved watching as Lissa helped to break him out of his self-imposed solitude. Lissa is a fierce, strong heroine who doesn’t put up with any of Ethan’s bullshit and I loved that about her. I also loved her family and so it kind of makes me sad that this series is over because we won’t be able to see more of them, particularly her brother who I just adored. As with the other books in this series, the secondary characters really help to make the story and I loved being able to check in with characters from the previous books.

LEVELING THE FIELD is a short book and I do wish that it had been longer but this story totally sucked me in and kept me up into the wee hours of the night. I liked the tension between Lissa and Ethan and their chemistry but do with that they had more time together to be with each other and not just hooking up. Seemed liked they’d meet up, hook up, get into a fight and then part for a couple of weeks and then repeat. It was frustrating to me because I just wanted them to be together and find that happily ever after that I knew they each deserved. Although Ethan did have a lot of emotional baggage to deal with first and I think that Erickson handled that aspect of the story well. But I do think if could have been better if LEVELING THE FIELD was longer and if maybe Ethan saw a therapist. The man’s issues ran deep and I think that having him talk to a therapist would have been more realistic.

The writing, plot, and pacing in LEVELING THE FIELD is everything that I’ve come to expect in a Megan Erickson book but for me this one didn’t pack the emotional punch as some of her other reads. I think that this story, while dealing with some serious issues, stuck close to the surface and so I didn’t get as emotionally attached as I sometimes do. LEVELING THE FIELD is a good book but its not my favorite of Erickson’s or in this series. But I do think that it is worth the read because Ethan really deserves that happily ever after. I enjoyed LEVELING THE FIELD and I do recommend it I just think that, in this series my heart will always belong to Chad and Owen. <3

irishdarkblue

IR - Leveling the Field

 

Add The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

 

three-half-stars
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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Review: Fast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Fast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino HassellFast Connection by Megan Erickson, Santino Hassell
Series: Cyberlove, Book 2
Also in this series: Strong Signal
Published by Self-Published on 11 July 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, GLBT, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 260
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Trust the Focus, Focus On Me, Make it Count, Changing His Game, Playing for Her Heart, Tied to Trouble, Out of Frame, Strong Signal, Leveling the Field

Place(s) Traveled To: Staten Island, New York // Boston, Massachusetts

First Line(s): The smell of bagels permeated the entire shop.

FAST CONNECTION is the second book in Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell’s Cyberlove series and features a minor character in that book, Dominic Costigan, who I will freely admit I didn’t like all that much in STRONG SIGNAL (my review.) But I shouldn’t have doubted the Erickson/Hassell writing team because they sure did deliver on a character with a lot of heart and lovability and oh how my opinion of him changed. In fact, this time around I found myself getting annoyed with Garrett and how he treated Costigan in this story! Boy did some of those text/phone conversations just break my heart because Costigan really needed a friend and Garrett was just being an ass.

Good thing that Dominic met Luke because oh my stars did those two have chemistry!! I just loved the two of them together and it just about tore me in two when they had drama. Which then made me want to glower at Garrett some more since Dominic didn’t have someone that he could rely on. FAST CONNECTION was such a heart achy read and I had so much trouble putting it down. I loved the connection between Dominic and Luke and their story was so real and raw and just everything that I love in a romance book. And its so hard to talk about everything that I love about FAST CONNECTION because words are hard and I don’t want to spoil.

Quote from: http://meganerickson.org/

Just know that FAST CONNECTION has it all. There are likable characters, even when they do stupid stubborn shit that makes you just want to shake them. There are real storylines that make your heart hurt. There are secondary characters that flesh out this story and just add to its depths and layers. There is emotion and romance and ALL THE FEELINGS!!! So many feelings and its a book that can be read as a standalone even though its listed as part of a series. Yes, there are connections and allusions to STRONG SIGNAL but I don’t think readers will be all that lost if they haven’t read that book yet (though you should be cause its awesome) but for me FAST CONNECTION was even better because to me it just felt more real. The issues that Dominic and Luke face are ones that I can relate to more and these two don’t enable each other. Instead they tend to call each other out on their bullshit which is part of why they have drama.

FAST CONNECTION is a book that kept me up as I couldn’t put it down. I was so sucked into this story and as I’ve said in various different ways just hit all the right notes with me. There really isn’t anything that I would change in this story….well except the stupid angsty drama that tore a hole in my heart…but other than that FAST CONNECTION was a wonderful roller coaster read and one that I know I’ll be re-reading a time or two (or a dozen) in the future. I really like the Erickson/Hassell writing team and I can not wait to see what these two have in store next. Because they need to co-write more. It’ll make me a sad little blogger if they don’t they just mesh so very well together.

irishdarkblue IR - Fast Connection

 

Add Flat-Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy to Goodreads.

Add All Note Long by Annabeth Albert to Goodreads.

four-stars
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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Review: Strong Signal by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: Strong Signal by Megan Erickson and Santino HassellStrong Signal by Megan Erickson, Santino Hassell
Series: Cyberlove,
Also in this series: Fast Connection
Published by Self-Published on 15 Feb 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, GLBT, Health & Daily Living, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military
Pages: 235
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Trust the Focus, Focus On Me, Make it Count, Changing His Game, Playing for Her Heart, Tied to Trouble, Out of Frame, Fast Connection, Leveling the Field

Place(s) Traveled To: Unnamed, Afghanistan // Philadelphia, Pennsylvania // Rickston, Pennsylvania // Peoria, Illinois

First Line(s): There’s only one thief in the Army, and everyone else is just trying to get their shit back.

Recently I’ve been on a contemporary romance kick, especially contemporary MM romance, and also blitzing through most of Megan Erickson’s catalog of works. So I was very excited to see that she co-wrote STRONG SIGNAL an MM romance with Santino Hassell. I pre-ordered this baby as soon as I was able and began to read it the moment it was available. I had initially intended to alternate between STRONG SIGNAL and other read but once I started this book I couldn’t put it down and was up late as I couldn’t stop reading. I just loved the story of Kai and Garrett and thought that they had some amazing chemistry. I loved how their story developed and how they really got to know each other by talking on line. I adored their meet cute and well just everything about them!

I liked how accepting that Kai and Garrett were of each other and of their issues. On one hand, I do think that Garrett enabled Kai a bit too much but on the other it was really nice to see that Garrett never tried to cure Kai of his agoraphobia. Garrett accepted him for who he was and would have made things work as he knew that any changes made had to come from Kai in order for their to be any success. I loved how these two characters really supported one another and how they both became better people for the meeting. And oh how they both made my heart ache!!!

Strong Signal Quote

I loved how Kai and Garrett really talked to each other and oh how their separation slayed me!! No pointless breakups here just the realities of life that are sometimes hard to overcome. STRONG SIGNAL is as real as it gets for a book that still remains on the page. I know there are times when I don’t like too much reality in my books, especially the romances, but it worked so well in STRONG SIGNAL and I really wouldn’t change much at all about this story. Well, other than the need for the two leads to have to separate in the first place but that is all part of the romance formula so its needed. Plus, its sometimes takes a parting for characters to really know just how much the other person means to them.

STRONG SIGNAL was well plotted and well written and I am looking forward to the next book in the series, FAST CONNECTION (Goodreads), which will be out later this year. FAST CONNECTION will involve, Dominic Costigan, who we meet here in STRONG SIGNAL and its his character that may have annoyed me the most in this book. He was just mentioned and used way too much. While I’m curious on his story, Costigan was just too much of a distraction in STRONG SIGNAL and wish he’d been edited down a bit more. But other than that I did adore STRONG SIGNAL. Its a fresh, fun, heart achy story that I think will appeal to many a romance reader. Just be warned…you may needed a lot of coffee the day after starting this one as it really is hard to put down.

irishdarkblue

IR - Strong Signal

Add There You Stand by Christina Lee to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Lonely Hearts by Heidi Cullinan to Goodreads. (Review Coming Soon.)

four-stars
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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Review: Out of Frame by Megan Erickson

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Out of Frame by Megan EricksonOut of Frame by Megan Erickson
Series: In Focus,
Also in this series: Trust the Focus, Focus On Me
Published by Intermix on 15 March 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, Movie Stars, New Adult, People & Places, People of Color, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 202
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Trust the Focus, Focus On Me, Make it Count, Changing His Game, Playing for Her Heart, Tied to Trouble, Strong Signal, Fast Connection, Leveling the Field

Place(s) Traveled To: Plymouth, North Carolina // Atlantic Ocean // Fort Lauderdale, Florida

First Line(s): I wanted to pretend I was Kate Winslet, gazing at the large cruise ship from under the wide brim of my black-and-white hat.

OUT OF FRAME by Megan Erickson is the newest book in her In Focus series which feature new adult LGBT characters. The main character in OUT OF FRAME, Quinn, is BFFs with Colin Hartman’s sister and you may remember him from FOCUS ON ME (my review). I like how Erickson’s books, at least with this series, all have characters that are loosely connected but that the story can be read as a standalone if the reader wants to do so. Another thing I like about Erickson’s In Focus series is that they have all been road trip books and while OUT OF FRAME is set on a cruise ship it still fits that bill. And you know how I love my road trip books. OUT OF FRAME was an anticipated title for me this year so I may have rushed through what I was reading and pushed my TBR pile aside to get to it. But while I liked OUT OF FRAME, I didn’t love it as much as the previous books.

For me, the romance just progressed too slowly. Quinn and JR have just a limited time together while on this cruise ship so while I’m glad that Erickson didn’t rush them into anything it just left me unsatisfied. There really wasn’t time in this story for a relationship between Quinn and JR to be realistic and there wasn’t a ton of character development. All in all Quinn and JR may have had 2 days to be together with the rest of the short cruise feeling each other out and getting to know who they were. Quinn may have though he knew JR as JR was on a reality show but that isn’t really who he is. So I just didn’t buy that they fell in love that quickly which left me a little disappointed in the ending. I get that love at first sight can happen but this one just left me feeling a bit meh.

Out of Frame Quote

I also found the secondary characters in OUT OF FRAME to be a distraction. Not in a bad way but they often seemed more lively, fun and interesting than the two main characters. I wanted to know more about all of JR’s cast mates and more about Jess as well. While I did like how these secondary cast members fleshed out the story and brought it to life I shouldn’t want to know more about them than I do the main characters. I guess that Quinn and JR were just a little two-dimensional for me and they fell a bit flat that I was so easily distracted away from their story.

OUT OF FRAME isn’t a bad book but it is defiantly not my favorite in the series nor is it my favorite new adult or LGBT read. Its a good book to read to while away a few hours and perfect to bring with you to the beach. Its an uncomplicated story with a happily ever after and sometimes thats really all you need in a book. I am also glad that I read it as I did get to meet Liam who I adored and who will be getting his own book this fall with OVEREXPOSED which promises to be a bit of an emotional read.

irishdarkblue

IR - Out of Frame

Add There You Stand by Christina Lee to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Out of Play by Nyrae Dawn and Jolene Perry to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Review: Tied to Trouble by Megan Erickson

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Tied to Trouble by Megan EricksonTied to Trouble by Megan Erickson
Series: Gamers,
Also in this series: Changing His Game, Playing for Her Heart, Leveling the Field
Published by Entangled Brazen on 04 January 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, GLBT, Love & Romance
Pages: 175
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Trust the Focus, Focus On Me, Make it Count, Changing His Game, Playing for Her Heart, Out of Frame, Strong Signal, Fast Connection, Leveling the Field

Place(s) Traveled To: Willow Park, Pennsylvania

First Line(s): Chad leaned over the candy apple-red fuel tank of his Honda Interceptor and prepared to gun the engine.

My stars where do I even begin when it comes to TIED TO TROUBLE by Megan Erickson? This is the book that was the whole reason why I started to read her Gamers books. And after meeting Chad and Owen in CHANGING HIS GAME (my review) I couldn’t wait to get to know them even better. Chad and Owen are like oil and water at times and yet they compliment each other so very well. These boys are seriously so OTP that it hurts. The push and pull between just made my heart ache and their chemistry was seriously off the charts!!

TIED TO TROUBLE is an opposites attract story and so there is much butting of heads between Chad and Owen but it works well as they really are each others yin and yang. They balance each other out even as they are driving each other crazy. Another thing that I loved about TIED TO TROUBLE was that we finally got all those cameos of Austin and Marley that I felt were missing from PLAYING FOR HER HEART (my review). I loved seeing where they were and how their continuing story was woven into the budding relationship of Chad and Owen.

Tied to Trouble Quote

As with the previous books in the Gamers series, TIED TO TROUBLE is a short book which then makes for a fast read. But despite its short length it feels longer. Erickson has a way of really building her world and her characters that more pages aren’t necessary. That isn’t to say that I don’t want more pages because I most definitely do! But TIED TO TROUBLE is a full and complete story and as a reader I don’t think that anything is missing. Well, except for those 100 or so more pages that further detail the roller coaster ride that is Chad and Owen’s relationship.

As with CHANGING HIS GAME, TIED TO TROUBLE is oh la la hot when it comes to the sexy times! These boys like to play and I swear I’ll never look at a bow tie the same way again! The story isn’t perfect there were things that I think could have been avoid if these two knuckheads just COMMUNICATED a little better but over all I loved TIED TO TROUBLE and it was so worth the read for me. This is a book I know I’ll be re-reading and also bullying others to read as well. So do yourselves a favor just go out and read it now and make me a happy little blogger.

irishdarkblue

IR - Tied to Trouble

Add Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The Baller by Vi Keeland to Goodreads. (Review coming soon.)

four-stars
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Friday, January 29, 2016

Review: Playing for Her Heart by Megan Erickson

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Playing for Her Heart by Megan EricksonPlaying for Her Heart by Megan Erickson
Series: Gamers, Book 2
Also in this series: Changing His Game, Tied to Trouble, Leveling the Field
Published by Entangled Brazen on 11 Aug 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Pages: 186
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: Trust the Focus, Focus On Me, Make it Count, Changing His Game, Tied to Trouble, Out of Frame, Strong Signal, Fast Connection, Leveling the Field

Place(s) Traveled To: Willow Park, Pennsylvania // Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

First Line(s): He was the perfect Beck.

 

PLAYING FOR HER HEART is the second book in Megan Erickson’s Gamers series and picks up almost exactly where CHANGING HIS GAME (my review) leaves off. PLAYING FOR HER HEART is the story of Grant and Chloe. Grant we met in CHANGING HIS GAME as Austin’s BFF and business partner and Chloe is a new introduction but she’s connected to the group through Ethan, who is a friend of Grants. I loved Grant in CHANGING HIS GAME so was happy to read his story but it took me a bit to warm up to Chloe. Chloe just ran a bit too hot and cold for me and she just seemed to be a walking contradiction. On one hand she was very shy and almost reclusive but then on the other she was bold and experimental when she was engaging in various role plays. She never really seemed to mesh the two sides of herself either.

Grant was a sweetheart and everything that I expected he’d be from CHANGING HIS GAME and then some. I also loved getting to know Sydney more and seeing their interactions and that is saying a lot from me because kids are so hard to capture realistically in books. I’m usually not a fan of child characters but in this case it worked and that says a lot of Erickson’s writing and characterization. But what I was disappointed in with PLAYING FOR HER HEART was the lack of scenes with Austin. It seemed like his parts were given over to Ethan and while I get that Grant and Ethan are good friends they aren’t best friends like Grant and Austin. There were just moments that it seemed would have worked better if they’d played out with Austin instead of Ethan.

Playing for Her Heart Quote

Even though I didn’t think that Ethan was always the right person for a scene I loved him as a character. I loved his relationship with his sister, Chloe and oh how he made my heart ache! For me, Ethan was a distraction in PLAYING FOR HER HEART because he stole every scene that he was in. He and Sydney tended to steal the lime light from the two main characters, Grant and Chloe so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I didn’t like PLAYING FOR HER HEART as much as CHANGING HIS GAME. Chloe was just too inconsistent a character and her love story was overshadowed by secondary characters which is never a good thing.

But like CHANGING HIS GAME, PLAYING FOR HER HEART is a quick read. It makes for a great escape for an afternoon is an enjoyable story but not one that wows me. I think that might be in part because I’m not really into the whole role play aspect of the sex scenes between Grant and Chloe. I get the escapism of it all and even the appeal to become someone else but I am more or a realist and so that’s why CHANGING HIS GAME is my favorite of the two Gamers books that I’ve reviewed. PLAYING FOR HER HEART is worth reading and its an important book in the series, mostly because we learn more about Ethan, but its not going to be my favorite.

irishdarkblue

IR - Playing for Her Heart

Add Call on Me by Roni Loren to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Seven Day Fiance by Rachel Harris to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-half-stars
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Monday, January 25, 2016

Review: Changing His Game by Megan Erickson

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Changing His Game by Megan EricksonChanging His Game by Megan Erickson
Series: Gamers,
Also in this series: Playing for Her Heart, Tied to Trouble, Leveling the Field
Published by Entangled Brazen on 28 April 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Love & Romance
Pages: 172
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Trust the Focus, Focus On Me, Make it Count, Playing for Her Heart, Tied to Trouble, Out of Frame, Strong Signal, Fast Connection, Leveling the Field

Place(s) Traveled To: Willow Park, Pennsylvania // Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

First Line(s): Marley Lake hated the spinning rainbow wheel.

Holy hotness batman!! CHANGING HIS GAME by Megan Erickson is one sexy ass read! I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up CHANGING HIS GAME. What I did know was that it was the first book in a series and I really wanted to read the third book, TIED TO TROUBLE. When I can I like to read a series in order and so I grabbed myself a copy of CHANGING HIS GAME and was very happily surprised. This book is smart and funny and off the charts sexy.

I loved this cast of characters and Marley and Austin are so OTP that it hurts. They made me smile throughout this entire book, well, that is when they weren’t busy breaking my heart as they go through those pesky trouble times that are part of the romance formula. The secondary characters really help to flesh out this world and I hope to see more of them all in the books to come.

Changing His Game Quote

 

CHANGING HIS GAME is a short book and as such its a quick read. I got lost within its pages and I hated to put it down. It was filled with a great story line that was realistic and it made my heart ache in all the ways that I love. The push and pull between Austin helps to fuel their chemistry and it just sizzles off the page. This is one book that I hated to end because I hated to leave this world and these characters.

With every book that I read of Megan Erickson’s I become more and more a fan of her work. Her stories are so diverse and real and so very easy to get lost in. I am really looking forward to discovering the other books in this series and learning the stories of the other characters. Erickson is also fast becoming an autobuy author from me. Her stories are crack in the best sort of way.

irishdarkblue

IR - Changing His Game

 

Add Lead by Kylie Scott to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Fight with Me by Kristen Proby to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

 

four-stars
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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Review: Make it Count by Megan Erickson

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Make it Count by Megan EricksonMake it Count by Megan Erickson
Series: Bowler University,
Published by William Morrow on 03 June 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Trust the Focus, Focus On Me, Changing His Game, Playing for Her Heart, Tied to Trouble, Out of Frame, Strong Signal, Fast Connection, Leveling the Field

Place(s) Traveled To: Bowler, Maryland // Cross keys, Maryland

First Line(s): Kat chewed on her pen and studied her tutor’s bent head.

MAKE IT COUNT by Megan Erickson is the first book in her new adult series series set at the fictional Bowler University. The story alternates between Kat the stereotypical beautiful girl who isn’t considered to be the smartest by all those around her. She dates a lot and goes through a lot of tutors and just seems to have trouble settling on something. Though at the start of MAKE IT COUNT she does have a steady boyfriend, Max although he’s a bit of an ass throughout the entire book. He doesn’t treat Kat the best and I don’t know why she puts up with it except that she does have poor self esteem and has been conditioned to be pretty and not smart. That’s where Alec comes in. Alec is Max’s roommate, best friend, and math geek. He becomes Kat’s new tutor and the two of them start to connect.

This is where a gray line begins to form in MAKE IT COUNT and although Kat and Alec have an attraction and become closer they don’t cross the line until after Kat and Max break up. Though its a very fine line that they walk until then. But you know me, I am not a fan of books with cheating or love triangles and I can honestly say there is no cheating in MAKE IT COUNT. That’s not to say that MAKE IT COUNT doesn’t have its frustrations. Kat is particularly frustrating because I find it hard that she made it as far as she did in life without people learning a certain thing about her. Though at the same time you do have to admire how far she’s come despite all the difficulties and struggles she’s had to deal with.

Make it Count Quote

MAKE IT COUNT was filled with stereotypes and the dreaded…oh so dreaded lack of communication. I know that there needs to be drama and conflict in a novel but MAKE IT COUNT had enough of that without adding in obtuse characters who refuse to speak to each other. And like many a book the ending of this one felt a little rushed. I am also concerned with the fact that Max is supposed to be the hero of the second book in this series, MAKE IT RIGHT (goodreads), because he’s just such an absolute ass throughout this book and he’s a terrible friend to Alec. Though I also thought that Jimmy and Silas were irredeemable characters and they have both become two of my favorite romantic heroes.

While MAKE IT COUNT isn’t my favorite new adult novel it is a quick read and filled with that romantic tension that Megan Erickson is so good at. Her books are always very readable and easy to get lost within its pages They are quick reads and a fun way to waste a few hours without having to think too much. MAKE IT COUNT is a great book to toss in your beach bag as you spend your day by the sea. And while I am on the fence about MAKE IT RIGHT I will probably read it at some point because I do usually enjoy a Megan Erickson book.

irishdarkblue

IR - Make it Count

 

Add The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The Deal by Elle Kennedy to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Monday, June 22, 2015

Review: Focus on Me by Megan Erickson

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Focus on Me by Megan EricksonFocus On Me by Megan Erickson
Series: In Focus, Book 2
Also in this series: Trust the Focus, Out of Frame
Published by Intermix on 21 July 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, New Adult, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 222
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Trust the Focus, Make it Count, Changing His Game, Playing for Her Heart, Tied to Trouble, Out of Frame, Strong Signal, Fast Connection, Leveling the Field

Place(s) Traveled To: Las Vegas, Nevada // Grand Canyon, Arizona // Unknown, Louisiana // Unknown, New Mexico // Unknown, North Carolina

First Line(s): Riley Sorenson, Is that your real name?

Focus on Me by Megan Erickson is the second book in her In Focus series and like with most contemporary romances this is more of a companion book than a direct sequel. The first book, Trust the Focus (my review), tells the story of Landry who had invented a boyfriend and the picture he used for that subterfudge was Riley who is one of the main characters in this book. Like Trust the FocusFocus on Me is a road trip book but unlike the first one Colin and Riley are just meeting at the start of the trip. There is something about Riley that Colin is drawn to and so he offers him a ride when he sees that he’s in need. Along the way they form a bond and overall this was a very raw and powerful story.

Focus on Me was a book that I didn’t mean to start when I did. I was just going to check out the opener and then before I knew it I was turning the final page and it was way past my bedtime. The loss of sleep was worth it though because this was such a wonderful heartachy story and I just could not put it down. Focus on Me is a different book than Trust the Focus, its more serious and raw but I think that those elements only add to the story. I was totally invested in Colin and Riley and I couldn’t wait to see how it would all end. Erickson takes the reader on an emotional journey through many ups and downs but its so worth the ride.

Trust the Focus Quote

Focus on Me is told primarily through Colin’s eyes but there are these short glimpses via emails into Riley’s brain and I just loved how Megan Erickson told this story. Though I would have loved to see more from Riley’s POV I did like what we got and thought that it only added to the tensions of the story. Focus on Me is a quick and powerful read and I am so glad that I read it. Even if it left me sitting a pile of my own tears and emotions. My heart, oh how this book hurt my heart!!

At its core, Focus on Me, is a good romance and a good story of friendship. I liked how Erickson wove in the characters from Trust the Focus with just enough info that you don’t need to have read the first book to enjoy this one. I like how Focus on Me wasn’t all light-hearted and fluffy and that it had some serious undertones. I liked that the drama was real and not some manufactured angst because the characters refused to talk to each other and make assumptions about the other person. This story felt real and the so the feelings you feel as you read it are like you are the one living the story. I’m a big fan of this book and I recommend it to all.

 

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Focus on Me

Add With This Heart by RS Grey to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

 

four-stars
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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Review: Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Trust the Focus by Megan EricksonTrust the Focus by Megan Erickson
Series: In Focus,
Also in this series: Focus On Me, Out of Frame
Published by Intermix on 17 March 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, New Adult, People & Places, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 219
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Focus On Me, Make it Count, Changing His Game, Playing for Her Heart, Tied to Trouble, Out of Frame, Strong Signal, Fast Connection, Leveling the Field

Place(s) Traveled To: Redding, California // Pike’s Peak, Colorado // Unnamed, Idaho // Chicago, Illinois // Nashville, Indiana // Lewis, Kansas // Cape Elizabeth, Maine // Jefferson City, Missouri // Unnamed, New Hampshire // Unnamed, Oregon // Unnamed, Pennsylvania // Toutle, Washington // Buffalo County, Wisconsin // Moorcroft, Wyoming

First Line(s): More than a thousand graduation caps flew into the air behind me, but I was already walking down the aisle between the concrete bleachers.

 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Megan Erikson’s Trust the Focus when I requested the title for review but I did know that it included two of my favorite book tropes: the road trip and a friends to lovers romance. Trust the Focus starts off with Justin and Landon graduating college and embarking on a cross country road trip taken in memory of Justin’s dad who had passed away. They plan to visit some of the places that Justin’s dad photographed and re-rake the pictures with the his ashes in them. Along the way Justin has decided to confront the feelings that he’s always had for his best friend, the openly gay Landry.

There are many ups and downs throughout this story and it made my heart ache on numerous occasions. There were also times when I wanted to reach into the pages and shake these characters as they weren’t doing the things that I wanted them to do when I wanted. In other words, I was invested in this story from the start all the way until the end. I cared what happened to Justin and Landry and really wanted them to find their happily ever after. Where this book would lose me was when it got a bit preachy with other characters coming onto the page seemingly just to validate Justin and Landry as a couple. It was almost always the same phrasing and just made me sigh a bit as it just seemed a bit much.

 

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Trust the Focus isn’t a deep story but it was a fun, quick read and just what I needed at the time. Its a book that would make a great pallet cleanser between heavy reads as you just just lose yourself in the story without having to think too much. Landry and Justin are realistic characters and readers will cheer for them to find their happily ever after. Best of all there is no pointless breakup. Yes there is conflict and tension because no romance is without that but its all realistic in its execution and it will make your heart ache.

While there were parts of Trust the Focus that frustrated me I did enjoy it and I couldn’t stop reading when I started. In fact, this was a book that I didn’t mean to read at all. I’d accidentally deleted my current read off my kindle and then accidentally opened this one when I was trying to move another book into a folder. Then before I fully realized what was happening I was staying up way past my bed time hurriedly flipping through the pages as I raced to the end of the story. Thrust the Focus was my first book by Megan Erikson but it won’t be my last as I enjoyed her writing and the characters that she created.

irishdarkblue

IR - Trust the Focus

 

Add There You Stand by Christina Lee to Goodreads. (Review to come.)

Add The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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