Review: Out of Frame by Megan Erickson00:00
Title: Out of Frame (In Focus #3)
Author: Megan Erickson
Date of publication: 1 March 2016
Genre / Themes: Romance / New Adult / MM
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My rating: 3 Stars
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...
This is the third book in the In Focus series and I have to say that it's been a hit or miss for me so far. I thought the first book was Ok, loved the second and have mixed feelings about this one again.
Starting with the good. I generally like how Ms Erickson creates her young characters - confused, sometimes lacking confidence and experience, just normal young people figuring their lives out. They make mistakes, they do impulsive and often stupid things but ultimately it's a learning curve and they get the HEA/HFN that is just the right one for them.
Reading the blurb for this for I was excited to meet Quinn and R. J. but even though I enjoyed some elements in their story in the end it failed to grab me and win me over.
Though I generally liked both main characters I also had a lot of issues with them and their story. The setting didn't quite work for me. A reality show coupled with a spring break on cruise read too much like stereotypical NA which I don't particularly like. It make things distant for me and I couldn't really connect with the characters in the way I wanted to.
While I like and appreciate the intricacies of both characters (J. R. being bi, yet inexperienced with guys), Quinn in all his adorable gingerness, I still felt their romance rushed and unrealistic. I very much liked how Ms Erickson's presented the issue of bi-erasure and the process of exploring being bi which I have to admit unfortunately is not very common in contemporary mm romance, still there was something lacking for me. The characters felt superficial to me and I wished their issues were explored in more depth.
I think this story was the case of good intentions (and positive messages) which somehow failed to deliver to their fullest potential. At least, that's is how I read it. If you have read and enjoyed the previous books in the series, you might want to give this one a try and it could turn out to work much better for you.