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4.5 stars Angst Level artists Audiobook Book College/University coming of age Contemporary DA Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased

Focus on Me Audiobook by Megan Erickson Narrated by Marc Bachmann

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51DJox6LbVL._SL300_Blurb
Colin Hartman can now add college to his list of failures. On the coast-to-coast trek home from California, Colin stops at a gas station in the Nevada desert and can’t help noticing the guy in tight jeans looking like he just stepped off a catwalk. When he realizes that Catwalk is stranded, Colin offers a ride.
Riley intended only to take a short ride in Colin’s Jeep to the Grand Canyon. But one detour leads to another until they finally find themselves tumbling into bed together. However, there are shadows in Riley’s eyes that hide a troubled past. And when those shadows threaten to bury the man whom Colin has fallen in love with, he vows to get Riley the help he needs. For once in his life, quitting isn’t an option.

Review
This is book two in the series, but it’s absolutely a standalone, there is a link through some characters to book one, but not necessary to have read it first.
From the blurb you get the idea that Colin and Riley meet at a gas station and begin a unique friendship that develops into a meaningful relationship over time.
What you don’t see is the depth of emotion and pain that Riley has. Riley has so many body issues and so much pain in his past as well as other psychological issues that make Colin’s low self-esteem issues really look paltry.
There is a lot of pain and healing in this book as both men help the other to see one another with fresh eyes. It’s beautifully written and the audiobook is just tremendous. Marc Bachmann gives Colin a lovely drawl without being OTT with it and he gives Riley a nice, lighter voice that suits his personality so well.
I really enjoyed listening to this and thought it was a great way to experience this book. To me, listening to a book forces me to really slow down and experience it at a greater level than reading because the listening itself is so much slower than I can read. Therefore the words speak to me longer and more profoundly. This is a great story for that type of listening.
I loved the pet name “Catwalk” as it fit Riley so well. I also loved all the secondary characters (who we get to see in book 3 – yay!) as well as the re-visit with Justin and Landry from book 1.
This is a much “broodier” book than book one and definitely hard to read at times. Be prepared that though the ending is wonderful and fully happy – there are rough roads ahead for these two and for most of the book these guys make you want to cry.

All in all I thought the writing was amazing, the narration really good and the overall story excellent.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

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