REVIEW: Fast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

30415154Title: Fast Connection (Cyberlove #2)

Author: Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell

Publication Date: July 11, 2016

Publisher: Megtino Press

Rating: ★★★★★/ 5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, m/m relationship

After a decade of serving in the Army, everyone still expects me to be Dominic ‘Nicky’ Costigan–the skirt-chasing player. They don’t know I’ve been spending my days trying to figure out my post-military life. Including how to pick up guys.

When I meet Luke on a hookup app, he makes it clear it’s for one-night only. That’s fine with me, because I’m down to see what this silver fox can do. But after I arrive at his doorstep, it doesn’t take long to realize we have serious chemistry, and we end up meeting again.

He’s got more walls around his heart than a military base, but I think he’s as addicted to me as I am to him. He can’t resist me for long. I mean, who can? Except Luke’s rules exist for a reason, and when I test his limits, things get complicated. Maybe too complicated.

I’d never expected to meet the person I want to spend my life with on a friggin’ hookup app.

Trigger Warning: Queerphobia (challenged on page), dysfunctional family

Welcome to another review in which I’m gushing about the series that sort of ended all other series for me… Edition: “Dominic can set me on fire and then douse me with water.”

This series’ unique point was that the world was the same and had some reoccurring characters, but every book had a very different couple with its own problems and solutions, growing and romancing.

I could easily say that Fast Connection was the book I looked forward to the most since Leah, again my most favorite, talked so much of the age-gap in this. I am not a big fan of age gaps, believe me, but this one was so fantastic that it opened up so many opportunities.

The theme of cyber relationships was less crucial in this book as an app introduced Dominic to Luke and while their conversations in the app were intense and adorable and hella fun to read, their contact was mostly in person as they lived very close. I loved the thrilling parts of this as the couple kept their relationship, which started as fuck-buddies level, a secret.

I intensely enjoyed the boundaries that the two men kept in their lives. Luke was a divorced father in his late thirties, overprotective of his two kids, now teenagers with lives of their own, and was still untrusting of people in his life who could put Chelle and Micah in danger again.

While Dominic’s need to keep the fact that he’s a vet working for free at his parents’ bagel shop stemmed mostly of his shame for not doing much with his life especially since he’s in his mid-twenties.

As expected from the authors, this book was rifled with incredibly steamy scenes that got my toes curling. I swear, I was happily surprised whenever they fucked but… the best moments for me were when Dominic and Luke were sweet on each other.

I loved how physically equal the two men were. Often in m/m, the dynamic of top and bottom always felt awfully heteronormative in some books but not in Fast Connection (and neither in Strong Signal). The men were on equal footing but that did not stop them from being very sweet with one another.

I especially enjoyed how Dominic allowed himself to be very vulnerable with Luke and vise versa. The tearing away at very old insecurities concerning one’s education and future was great too. I was rooting for Dominic to follow his dream as well as get a better living situation.

What really hurt was how relatable his troubled home background felt. Money was a big problem in my life growing up and it still is at times and reading Dominic hating being at home because of how money turned his father into a monster was a bit too close to home.

Dominic’s insecurity did not turn him into a monster, however, rather it motivated him and opened his eyes to ways that could help his future advance. Of course, that’s also where Luke played a part.

Luke was nothing short of super supportive and encouraging of Dominic. The reluctant liking he had towards Dominic was not seen as anything but good in Luke’s eyes. I expected the slow burn but the way their relationship progressed felt so healthy and beautiful that it made me get really attached to their story in particular. Despite both characters’ on-page flaws, which made them ever alive and real in my eyes, they didn’t hold back from checking one another when they did not like what they heard. That to me was a sign of a very excellently written relationship that didn’t only have fluff but also hardness.

The cast of minor characters in this book is definitely wider than the other book. The theme of family dominates as both Luke and Dominic come to terms of how different and similar their backgrounds were, hence giving them both trouble and grounds on coming together. Luke’s ex-wife and he had such a good relationship in which she acted more of his friend than a bitter ex. Also, it’s cute to note that Nadia is a black woman hence making the kids biracial. The kids Luke and Nadia parented are also very vocal in this book. They play a big part in Luke and Dominic’s relationship and I enjoyed seeing how Micah and Adriana (Dominic’s sister) let aside their own insecurities to be good friends. The joining of both families was done so subtly and beautifully that I honestly can’t name another m/m book that did it this nicely.

Things I enjoyed reading in this book:

  • DOMINIC LOOKS LIKE CHRIS EVANS?
  • I can’t believe Dominic did not dress up as Captain America for Halloween. @Megan and Santino: how dare you?
  • “Older not old”
  • BISEXUAL MAINS. Both of them are bisexual and they talk very openly of their pasts. No biphobia here!
  • Owning up to one’s mistakes
  • Healthy casual sex
  • Fluffy post sex rituals
  • Luke is a silver-fox whose age is never made to be something bad
  • Protective Dominic
  • “I was a one-man Buzzfeed article on slutty costumes.”

 


About the Authors

Megan Erickson

Megan Erickson is a USA Today bestselling author of romance that sizzles. Her books have a touch of nerd, a dash of humor, and always have a happily ever after. A former journalist, she switched to fiction when she decided she likes writing her own endings better.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her very own nerdy husband and two kids. Although rather fun-sized, she’s been told she has a full-sized personality. When Megan isn’t writing, she’s either lounging with her two cats named after John Hughes characters or… thinking about writing.

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Santino Hassell

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family but grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a grumpy introvert and unlikely romance author with an affinity for baseball caps. His novels are heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, and his desire to write relationships fueled by intensity and passion.

He’s been a finalist in both the Bisexual Book Awards and the EPIC Awards, and was nominated for a prestigious RITA award in 2017. His work has been featured in BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Washington Post, RT Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

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