Tuesday 15 March 2016

Review - Out of Frame by Megan Erickson

Title: Out of Frame
Series: In Focus #3
Author: Megan Erickson
Release Date: March 15, 2016

Romance trades the open road for the high seas in the latest from the author of Focus on Me and Trust the Focus...

Perpetually shy, Quinn Mathers is content to remain in the shadow of his brash best friend Jess Hartman. But before their college graduation, he and Jess have planned one last hurrah: a spring break Caribbean cruise.

And it won’t be just any cruise. On board are members of the reality show Trip League, which follows young twenty-somethings on adventures around the world. Since the show’s beginning, Quinn has been fascinated by J. R. Butler, with his amazing body, warm eyes, and killer grin. Unfortunately, he’s straight—or so the world thinks.

At nineteen, J. R. signed a contract to play straight for the show, and there’s no way to get out of it now. Yet with each passing day, Quinn and J. R. find it harder to keep their hands off each other and to keep out of the camera’s frame. But when the lens finally focuses on them, J. R. must decide if he’s willing to risk his career by admitting his bisexuality, and Quinn must determine if he's bold enough to stand in the spotlight with the man of his dreams... 

I want to write a love poem to Megan Erickson. It will be about how she writes the best books, with the best characters, who have the best dialogue. How every single character she's ever written makes me want to carry them around in my pocket for hugs and smiles. How she must have the best heart in the whole world because her books make mine smile so big. And I will present it to her with all my *flails* and *squees* because…OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS, SHE DID IT AGAIN!


I loved sweet, shy Quinn with the red hair and the freckles. I loved angsty, misunderstood J.R. with the unexpected sweetness and the giant heart. Their whole story worked for me. I loved the idea of the cruise where regular Joes get to mingle with the cast of a popular reality show. I love the portrayal of the reality show cast and how everything is not always what it seems. I loved the friendships they formed and, of course, most of all, I loved Quinn and J.R. together. 

Ms. Erickson has this way of capturing the exquisite first moments of a relationship. Those moments that seem suspended in air, where you're not quite sure that you're both feeling the same thing but you think you might be, and if you're right, things are about to get fucking amazing. The breathless anxiety of it all. The unending hope. She captures all these things the exact way that you would experience them in real life, so you feel everything right along with the characters. Every subtle twist and turn. Every heartbreak and pitfall. Every sizzling, pulse-pounding, sexy encounter. And every sweet, bubbly butterfly twirling around in your stomach making you feel like you’re actually—literally—falling in love.

I loved how Quinn and J.R. helped each other grow (with the assist of their friends and family, of course). I loved their banter—the way they effortlessly flowed from sappy sweet to affectionately sarcastic and back again—it's so authentic and fun to read. I loved how when they finally got their happily ever after, it was baggage free. I loved the epilogue—the best part of investing in a series is getting updates on the characters you've loved along the way. It's all here. It's all wonderful. 

If you're not reading these books yet, consider this review me shoving the books under your nose and insisting you read them. Immediately. Go! Your heart will thank you! 
~ Review by Shelly

I cannot believe I've finished this book. I swear, I JUST started reading it—and now it's over? 

That can't be right... Can it? 

*stares at clock* 

Oh. Oooooh. It's 1:30am. 

*cringes* Whoops. #NOREGRETS, though. Seriously, none. I may have started this book with the intention of reading a couple of chapters, and then getting some shut-eye, but this was better. Way, way better. 

Because this was J.R. and Quinn—and Casey and Jess—and it was divine. Funny as hell. So funny, in fact, I snorted at least once. (Titanic reenactment. That's all.) 

It was also sexier than sin and hotter than fuck. But I think we all knew it would be, given that it's Megan Erickson, and she's perfected combining panty-melting moments with feels

Because, OF COURSE, there were feels. Not over-the-top, crazy ones. Nope, just that sort of sweet tension that has you so invested in the characters that you don't realize you're holding your breath until something makes you gasp. Or sigh. Or snicker. 

And oh, how I gasped, sighed and snickered. Oh, how I was invested in these characters. J.R. was a heartbreaker—misunderstood, trying to take care of his people, and struggling to just be HIM. And Quinn? Freckly, ginger-haired Quinn...I noticed you, Lucky. I LOVED you. 

I also loved the secondary characters. Hard. All of them, but especially Levi (please say he gets a book next!), and Jess and Casey (they can also get a book, okay?) These friends of (swoon) J.R. and (smile) Quinn brought extra humor and heart to Out of Frame, and I would happily read more about Every. Single. One. 

So, where does all this leave me? Apparently, awake in the middle of the night, trying to work out how I got so lost in a book, I didn't notice time passing. And wondering how long I have to wait for another book by this author to do it all over again... 
~ Review by Beth

Quinn Mathers is a shy, quiet, rule follower. He’s happy living in his best friend’s shadow—Jess is outgoing enough for both of them, so Quinn believes. He has always been the one to listen to his parents, followed the motto that school comes first. A risk taker, Quinn is not. Until Quinn and Jess take a spring break cruise their last year in college. A cruise that just so happens to include the stars of their favorite reality show—including J.R. Butler, the “bad boy” of the show, the one who’s fascinated Quinn the most. It doesn’t matter to Quinn that JR is straight—a man can still fantasize, right?

J.R. Butler is tired. Tired of hiding his true self. He’s been okay living his life “straight” since he signed on to the show—until Quinn. With Quinn, he’s risking everything if they get caught—which may be sooner rather than later because they just cannot keep their hands off each other. As the cruise draws to an end, J.R. needs to decide if he’s willing to give up his career for love and admit he’s bisexual. Is he ready to come out to the world and will Quinn be ready to stand by his side?

As a reader, there are just some books that hit you in the “feels” harder than others. Books that make you feel happy, sad, mad, love, hate, hopeless and hopeful. Out of Frame is one of those books. I loved every minute of time spent with J.R. and Quinn. Loved their growth as individuals during the short period of time on the cruise—they focused on themselves, their own wants and desires without outside influences, and they both became better men because of it. 

I also loved catching up with Landry and Justin, and Riley and Colin. Gah, now I cannot wait to know whose story is next. Maybe Levi? 
~ Review by Missy

Megan Erickson 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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