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Strong Signal by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell Review

Strong Signal (Cyberlove Book 1) by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell 4 Stars! 

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.

Review

I was charmed by this romance which takes on heavy issues of growing up in the rust belt, being queer in the army, middle eastern wars, anxiety, and panic and also thinks carefully about love connections over the internet and still manages to be sexy as hell with enduring and endearing characters.

Kai and Garrett are a wonderful pair of heroes. All the long distance and remote courting is well done and then the reconciling the demands of money, time, and mental health take this love story to the next level.

There are all sorts of intersting ideas explored from introversion to sex work but the story telling is engaging and compelling and they really earn that Happily Ever After.

I am thrilled we get to see them in more books in this series.

One True Pairing by Cathy Yardley Review

    One True Pairing   by Cathy Yardley  3 Stars!

They couldn’t be more opposite, the Hollywood actor and the hometown girl, but all they need is a little convention magic to become the perfect ship in Cathy Yardley’s One True Pairing.

Jake Reese needs a decoy girlfriend. Fast. The lead actor of the popular TV show, Mystics, is tired of losing his shirt to overeager fans. Literally. Which is why a chance meeting with gothabilly bookworm-slash-barista Hailey Frost seems almost too perfect to be true. Hailey is not impressed with his TV fame and is desperate to save her family’s bookstore. It’s a match made in Hollywood, but as the two pretend to date, fan fiction becomes reality. Can this OTP become canon?

Review

I love Cathy Yardley’s writing. I love it in this book too. Her words just pop off the page.

She creates great characters. Jake is such a lovely sexy human. Halley is fierce and loyal and funny.

My favorite parts of the book are the most feminist ones. Yardley does a great job thinking about the small oppressions and aggressions on selfhood and imagine a world in which the heroine calls them sees them and calls them all out. Loved it.

She is sexually assertive and clear about her sexual needs. She calls Jake out when he tries to “do” for her when she can handle things herself or it really isn’t his business.

Jake is reflective and apologies. He has never been told these things and really processes what she says. That is hot. There is also a good bit that deals fandom and the objectification of Jake.

I love Haley’s sisters and Jake’s fellow actors. I adore pretend dating plots though really they just should have dated.

However, the rest of the plot was wonky, tired, and unneeded, I don’t want to give out spoilers but it would have been a much better book if it stayed with the basic conflicts and not pour all the extra sauce on.

I am really interested in the sisters getting books and I will read them happily.

I was given this book for my honest review. So there you have it!