Today we’re thrilled to celebrate the release of Strong Signal, a brand new, stand alone m/m romance from Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell! If you love m/m romance as much as we do, this is one story you won’t want to miss, in case you can’t tell from our five star review below. Enjoy!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
I was counting down the months until the end of my deployment. My days were spent working on military vehicles, and I spent my nights playing video games that would distract me until I could leave Staff Sergeant Garrett Reid behind.
That was when I met him: Kai Bannon, a fellow gamer with a famous stream channel.
I never expected to become fixated on someone who’d initially been a rival. And I’d never expected someone who oozed charm to notice me—a guy known for his brutal honesty and scowl. I hadn’t planned for our online friendship to turn into something that kept me up at night—hours of chatting evolving into filthy webcam sessions.
But it did. And now I can’t stop thinking about him. In my mind, our real life meeting is perfect. We kiss, we fall into bed, and it’s love at first sight.
Except, like most things in my life, it doesn’t go as planned.
*Strong Signal is a standalone, full-length novel with no cliffhanger*
This story captures exactly what it’s like to connect with someone online. While I don’t know about it from a romantic perspective, I did meet some of my closest friends online. At first it seems strange, kind of like an out-of-body experience. You have these ideas of who people are based on your very limited interaction and shared interests. For me, it was books. Many of the ladies I consider among the most important people in my life live around the country – around the world – and I owe it to Twitter parties celebrating our favorite books and authors for bringing us together. For Kai and Garrett, it’s video games and Kai’s famous stream channel that bring them together. I will say Garrett has an advantage, because at least the channel offers a glimpse of what Kai looks like. For most of us, it’s just profile pics and avatars and praying we’re not being catfishes. Wondering what Garrett sees? Check it out on Kai’s fan-created tumblr page.
I love the way Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell develop the connection between Kai and Garrett slowly but steadily, an easy attachment that seems safe. It would’ve been really easy for this to get creepy and stalkerish, but Strong Signal‘s dual POV gives us both sides which is key to keeping it on the level. We see that each guy’s in control of his involvement, and that’s exactly how the online world works. Online relationships are precarious; they can become more, less or hold steady all depending on the perspective and desire of the end user. Kai and Garrett are in very different places with different needs – this interaction fills very individual voids for them. I find it interesting to watch them find common ground and work through all the phases of their unconventional relationship. Throw in some more common LGBT themes like coming out and homophobia, and it makes for a very complex, engaging story with a complete emotional spectrum and some hot, hot sexy times. All I’m going to say is if you thought phone sex was hot, just wait.
While this is a standalone story, I’m eagerly awaiting the next book in the Cyberlove series, Fast Connection. I’m not going to lie, I found Dominic Costigan more than a bit annoying in the first book, but I’m hoping Erickson and Hassell can redeem him. No matter what, I’m certain they’ll make it an interesting ride.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Megan Erickson is a former journalist who switched to fiction when she decided she liked writing her own endings better. She likes to pretend she has control now, but usually her characters are the ones who hold the reins. Her romance novels have a touch of humor, a dash of nerdy, and always a happily ever after.
She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and two cats named after John Hughes characters. She’s still waiting for the party she was promised when she grew to five feet… maybe because she never got there.
CONNECT WITH MEGAN:
Other Works by Megan Erickson:
In Focus series:
Trust the Focus
Focus on Me
Out of Frame (Coming soon)
Bowler University series:
Make it Count
Make it Right
Make it Last
Mechanics of Love series:
Changing His Game
Playing for Her Heart
Tied to Trouble
Leveling the Field (coming soon)
Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.
Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.
CONNECT WITH SANTINO:
Other Works by Santino Hassell:
Five Boroughs series:
Book 1: SUTPHIN BOULEVARD
Book 2: SUNSET PARK
Book 3: FIRST AND FIRST coming in April 2016
Standalone books by Santino Hassell:
STRONG SIGNAL (with Megan Erickson)