Thursday, December 28, 2017

Fast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell (Cyberlove #2)

Rating: ★★★★ | 8 hours 54 minutes | Self Published (Tantor Media) | M/M Contemporary| 9/27/2016

What was supposed to be a fast connection over Grindr has Luke Rawlings breaking all his rules.

Not  quite over the fallout of his last  relationship 39-year-old Luke has decided his sex life is going to consist solely of quick Grindr hookups while his teenaged kids are spending weekends with their mother. It’s a system that has worked well for him-- until 27-year-old Dominic Costigan shows up at his door. Newly separated from the army, Dominic is living back with his verbally abusive father and exploring his bisexuality for the first time.

After I read the first Cyberlove book I was hesitant to continue the series because something about it left me cold and I wasn’t sure I even liked Costigan’s character but Fast Connection is everything; romantic, funny, sexy, and heartfelt.

 Luke and Dominic are loners who connect using the internet but they inhabit the real world in ways the guys in the first book didn’t. Luke and Dominic have fully developed lives and have to balance their IRL expectations and complicated family obligations in order to be together. There is also this interesting dynamic that part of Luke’s backstory is he was discharged because of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and he has this “you don’t know what it was like back then” thing with Dominic because he only served after it was repealed….although if this book takes place in 2016 (the year is came out in) then chances are Dominic would have served under DADT.

This audiobook is good but it can be a little bit spotty at times--there are a few moments where you can really hear the edits. 98% of this book takes place in our heroes' neighborhood in Staten Island. Eric London , Dominic’s narrator, went all in with the accent for most of the characters and has this  easy going delivery that is fun to listen to. Guy Locke, Luke’s narrator, didn’t bother with accents but has this great deep, gravelly voice that fit the Luke character to a tee. Locke had this weird habit of pronouncing the name of Luke’s son, Micah, as Mee-ka, which drove me nuts....Now that I think about it, I do kind of wonder why M/M books even have two narrators. I feel like London could had carried this.

There is a really great subplot about Luke’s teen son and Dominic’s teen sister being really into a video game fandom and the way teens in this book talk about and relate to fandom felt so authentic and well done. I liked that they made our main characters “normies” who didn’t quite understand it but still respected it. I’ve barely scratched the surface of all the things Hassell and Santino unpack throughout this delightful story but I can see why it was on so many top lists last year. They’re writing some authentically modern millennial minded romance and I’m here for it.

My biggest nitpick of this book is that Luke and Dominic both like to keep their private lives private but Dominic lives a three minute walk from Luke’s house and Luke knows this yet they seem shocked when they realize people in their lives know each other. Like, how did they not think that would come up ? I know it’s New York but he lives three minute walk from your house ?

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