Tuesday 21 July 2015

Review - Focus on Me by Megan Erickson

Title: Focus on Me
Series: In Focus #2
Author: Megan Erickson
Release Date: July 21, 2015

A sexy new romance from the author of Trust the Focus.

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 Catwalk is stranded, Colin offers a ride.

Riley only intended 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…

Oh, this book! It was so much bigger than I expected it to be. More intense, deeper, sexier and darker. Also, gorgeous. And tender. And just…wonderful. It was everything I love about a Megan Erickson book, kicked up a notch. 

Riley and Colin fill a hole in each other’s lives. They’re both sitting at rock bottom, trying to find their way out the other side when a chance meeting at a gas station ends with a cross country road trip that allows the two to get to know each other. This process is handled with Ms. Erickson’s trademark tenderness and humor. I repeatedly found my heart clenching with emotion at the same time a laugh burst forth. 

“Well, you’re kind of a ninja.”
I barked out a laugh. “A ninja?”
He grinned at me. “Yeah, you kinda have this Aw shucks, I’m just an ol’ Southern boy thing going on. All harmless and unassuming and easygoing. But you’re persistent and thoughtful and so damn hot that before I knew it, I was attached to you.”

The relationship that they build is formed relatively slowly and, once it catches fire, it basically left scorch marks all over my Kindle.

These boys are H-O-T.

No, really. These boys made me lose my panties. And the irony that neither one of these boys is interested in my panties is not lost on me. I practically threw my panties at them anyway. Their physical chemistry is off the charts.

“Riley liked it when I talked. He liked my mouth, he’d told me. Whether I was sucking him or telling him harder.”

*shiver* Dirty talkers are my ultimate favorite.

But, physical chemistry alone does not a relationship make.

Colin and Riley are broken - separately, and together. Ms. Erickson has described this story as a tribute to the 90s movie Mad Love and – that is a spot-on comparison. Her portrayal of co-dependence and mental illness is heartbreaking and breathtaking. Riley’s issues were handled with such honesty and care – he’s a broken person, but he’s still irresistibly loveable. 

Likewise, Colin has piles of his own baggage that he needs to sort through, but there’s never been a more worthy hero. Ms. Erickson broke my heart, over and over again and then she pieced it back together and lit it up with rainbow pig lights – leaving it happy and overflowing with all the ooey gooey feels.

“I love you, Catwalk. I love every part of you. All of you. And I’ll be there every time you need to be picked up. You hear me?”

Goddamn – these boys! My heart! They stole it! This story was so rich, and deeply layered. In parts sweet, sexy, heartbreaking, dark, funny, and swoony. In a word – it is everything. A stunning love story, and a new favorite.

P.S. Landry and Justin, also! I love them! I missed them! I was so happy to see them here! I can’t stop fangirling!
~ Review by Shelly

Oh, Megan Erickson, what are you doing to me? Aside from turning me into a hopeless fangirl, of course? After an awesome series of sexy, funny reads from Ms. Erickson, I opened Focus on Me with high expectations. It may not have been as funny and as light-hearted as some of her previous works, but it was just as sexy, and just as awesome. With this soulful, emotional book, she didn’t just meet my expectations, she exceeded them.

This was probably the best and the worst book I could have picked up at the moment. With its deep subject and sharp ups and downs, my already hurting, overly hormonal heart felt like it was taking a bit of a beating. Or maybe that’s just the damn fine quality of Ms. Erickson’s writing. 

Focus on Me was, simply put, spectacular. The characters were real, human, emotional and raw. I loved Colin; he was strong and focused, stubborn and persistent, but he was also a little na├»ve and a little blind. He was real. I loved Riley, too. I sympathized and empathized with him. Together, they felt whole and right, complete, even when they were at their most broken. 

Their chemistry was undeniable, and they absolutely burned up together, but there was so much more to this book. It touched on a subject matter that had a personal resonance for me, and it was handled both beautifully and sensitively. There was good (really fucking good) and there was bad (still really fucking good), there was even in-between. And through all of it, my heart and my head were both telling me I NEEDED to keep reading. 

My eyes welled up and spilled over, my heart ruptured and broke. Ms. Erickson built me up by throwing in some hot moments, tender moments, and funny moments. Then she kind of shattered me, only to piece me back together with a hopeful ending and some awesome cameos from Trust the Focus’ Justin and Landry. 

Yep, expectations definitely met and exceeded.

~ Review by Beth

This book. AHHH. THIS. BOOK!!! It is absolutely amazing! It gave me all the feelings. ALL. THE. FEELS!!!

Colin is a sweet southern boy with a “caretaker” gene. After failing out of college he makes the cross country trip from California to North Carolina. He didn’t plan to have a travel buddy for the trip, but he can’t say no to Riley when he finds him stranded in a gas station. A simple ride turns into so much more in this book. 

“I had a travel buddy. Who happened to star in my jerk-off fantasies, but that was information I didn’t plan to disclose.”

Riley just wants to feel. He has a bucket list that he wants to complete that he thinks will help him. He didn’t expect a friend to help him complete his bucket list. He certainly didn’t expect to be attracted to his ride. When the two finally give in to their attraction – wowza!

“Riley. On his knees. Shoving my pants down my thighs. Pressing his face along the length of my cock, his tongue licking one long swipe up the underside.”

This book had it ALL! It made me laugh; it made me swoon; it made me cry; and it made me feel. When a book can invoke that much emotion in me, it becomes an all-time favorite!

“We were fucking enablers, and I doubted I was strong enough to quit Riley.”

I absolutely loved that we got to see Justin and Landry in this story as well. The emails were great, but the ending was even better! 

While I feel like I can’t even do this book justice with this review, I will tell you that you NEED to read this book NOW! It is by far Ms. Erickson’s best work and I can’t wait for more! 
~ Review by Tiffany

I honestly don’t know where to start with this review. This book. OH. MY. GOD, this book… Heartbreaking, beautiful, haunting… 

Oh my heart. Colin and Riley. Sigh, I just loved them. Colin trying to overcome his “failures” and Riley just trying to make it through the day. Together they’re magic. Colin is so much stronger than he gives himself credit for and Riley just needs someone to make him feel. And that someone is Colin. 

There are so many issues that are touched upon in Focus on Me, but none of it feels false or glazed over. Nothing is prettied up—their emotions come through as real. I felt every bit of angst, sadness, happiness, love, lust... Add in Landry and Justin from Trust the Focus and this book was perfect.
~ Review by Missy

Megan worked as a journalist covering real-life dramas before she decided she liked writing her own endings better and switched to fiction. 

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. When she's not tapping away on her laptop, she's probably listening to the characters in her head who won't stop talking.

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