Review: Connection Error by Annabeth Albert00:00
Author: Annabeth Albert
Genre/Themes: MM romance, military, gamers
Release Date: 5 Sept 2016
Author links: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads
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Rating: 4 Stars
It's typical of video game programmer Josiah Simmons to be the last one on the plane on the way to the biggest meeting of his career. Though he's (mostly) coping with his ADHD, he can't handle another distraction. But he also can't ignore his rugged seatmate—especially once he learns the military man's a fan of his game.
Ryan Orson refuses to let his severe injuries pause his career as a navy SEAL. He's got hours of grueling physical therapy ahead of him, and no time for anything that might get in the way of his return to active duty. But that doesn't mean he's above a little first-class flirtation with geeky-cute Josiah.
When a delay strands the pair in St. Louis, they agree to share a hotel room and a night of gaming. Neither expects their new connection to move to the next level in the light of day. Opposites may attract, but is this game over before it's even begun?
I read the first book in this series and didn't not enjoy it as much as I expected, so I skipped the next one. I was drawn to this story (book 3) because of the blurb - two people dealing with some serious health (mental and physical) issues come together despite all odds.
I found this to be a very emotional, complex story, told in a compassionate and engaging manner. Ryan and Josiah are as different as two people can be and what brings them together initially is their love for gaming. That and a storm which forces them to share a hotel room.
Ryan is a war vet with some serious injuries who is the process of rehabilitation and trying to adjust to his new situation. Josiah is a hyper active game designer with ADHD who has trouble adulting.
Despite Josiah's strong physical attraction they become friends first and foremost and over time and over email and online gaming their friendship slowly grows into a romantic relationship. I liked how real the characters felt to me. There is also no unnecessary drama but just enough of serious issues both Ryan and Josiah have to deal with in order to make things between them work.
Despite being different, they complement each other. They turn out to be just what the other one needs - understanding, support, appreciation, respect, love. Neither really expects to fall for the other, though Josiah is the first one to admit to himself he has feelings (other than physical attraction) for Ryan.
All the frustration and difficulties the character face were made palpable, real. Ryan's physical therapy was brutal, all his myriad of emotions - anger, desperation, determination, loss of purpose, guilt were there in the text for the reader to experience. It was the same with Josiah - his fear, the difficulty of being on his own, his ADHD and his need to be loved were presented so convincingly.
We meet the main characters at crucial points in their lives, in a way the worst time for them to try being in a relationship, yet it happens and it's the best thing for both of them.
I loved how rich this story was, all the little subplots with Josiah's family and friends, Ryan's ex, his family and his doctors, they all gave depth to the story.
As a minor weakness, I'd say I expected to get a little more insight on the psychologcal impact of Ryan's injuries on him. I feel this is important aspect of his recovery and should have been present in the story.
In the end, I really enjoyed this military/gamers romance. I found it tender and sensual, serious and light-hearted at the same time!