Hard Wired (Cyberlove #3) by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Blurb

My FallenCon agenda is simple: sit on a couple of panels and let people meet the real me. Jesse Garvy—mod of a famous Twitch channel and, if I ever come out of my shell, future vlogger. I definitely didn’t plan to sleep with a moody tattooed fan-artist, but he’s gorgeous and can’t keep his hands off me. There’s a first time for everything, and my first time with a guy turns out to be the hottest experience of my life.

But the next day, I find out my moody fan-artist is Ian Larsen AKA Cherry—someone I’ve known online for years. And he’d known exactly who I was while shoving me up against that wall. Before I figure out whether to be pissed or flattered, the con ends.

Now we’re back online, and he’s acting like nothing happened. But despite the distance between us, and the way he clings to the safety of his online persona, we made a real connection that night. I don’t plan to let him forget.

Review

What an amazing writing duo these guys are! I’ve been so ecstatic with each book in the series and I keep thinking – the next one won’t be as good – but then it is!

Though technically a standalone, I think this is a series best read in order. There are overlapping characters and this book, specifically runs a little parallel to the events in book 2. When Costigan goes to the convention to help rescue Luke’s daughter, that’s when we first meet Cherry and Garvy. Now, we see that meeting from their perspective. So – knowing all the stuff leading up to their meeting is helpful, but not necessary.

I’m going to assume you’ve been following along with the series – it’s awesome, so if you haven’t been reading it – you should! – and start off with WOW. Cherry was not at all what I was expecting. Garvy is and isn’t what I thought he’d be. In the mods Garvy is pretty “rules oriented” and staid while Cherry is very peppy and perky and full of emojis and encouragement. When we meet these two in real life we find out that Garvy isn’t nearly as confident as he seems and Cherry isn’t really all that peppy.

These guys are not necessarily New Adults, but a lot of the story reads that way. There is a lot of what sometimes feels like teenage angst between them, but they handle themselves a whole lot better than I’d expect teenagers to act. (They’re both in their mid 20s). However, that angst between them is what colors most of the story. They spend most of the book apart – not unlike Kai and Garrett – but they do really work on developing their relationship through their texts, skype chats, etcetera. (This is a modern world and relationships can exist in more ways than one!)

One thing I applaud loudly (both authors) is the lack of a “big misunderstanding”. There is a moment when it looks like that might be a “thing” but it isn’t and I was so happy for that! These guys – generally speaking – talk to one another and get their shit out of the way. Amen!

The smexy times are – as usual – smokin’ hot! Cherry/Ian and Garvy have some awesome chemistry and it manifests in several ways.

I really appreciated the fact that, though both of these guys have their issues, and both of them have really no experience being in a relationship, they continue to be open about their feelings and communicate the entire time.

Kai and Garrett are super cute together the few times we see them again and all the gamer stuff was fun to read. If I have any complaints it’s this: I really appreciated how in book one Kai’s problems don’t disappear because he fell in love. It’s still there and real. I think that too many loose ends tied up way too easily for Cherry and Garvy in just a few pages and I didn’t necessarily need that – though, of course, it’s lovely that things worked out.

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

I’m looking forward to Beau and Zane’s? story next. Whoever stars in the next book – it’s bound to be amazing!

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

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