Review: Hard Wired by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell00:00
Title: Hard Wired (Cyberlove #3)
Authors: Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
Genre/Themes: Contemporary mm romance / online personas / fandom
Release Date: 13 Feb 2017
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My rating: 3 Stars
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.
I've enjoyed both previous books in the series and was looking forward to reading this one. It was nice but sadly not as good as I expected it to be.
I liked the chemistry between the characters and writing symbiosis between the two authors was on point as usual. The world of fandoms, online streamers and vloggers is really far away from me and I found it intriguing and engagingly presented. We have already seen some of it in the first book in the series and the additional details here were rather enjoyable to follow.
Jesse was nice but ultimately he didn't stand out with anything for me. His wholesome nature was the reason for Ian's attraction to him but it was not enough to keep me invested in him deeply enough.
Ian was much more intriguing and his different personas were interesting to read but up to a point. From a certain moment in the story they became as confusing for me as they were for Jesse.
Their chemistry was strong and loved their interactions both in person but especially online via texts and skype. Still, both Jesse and Ian felt too young and imature, so this gave the story a rather NA feel compared with the previous in the series.
What I found distracting and uncomfortable in the story is how many of the situations and jokes between the characters were things the authors had previously shared online on different social media. I won't go as far as to say that they were autobiographical but they were familiar and using them in the story felt like lazy writing to me.
Another issue I had was the whole final quarter of the story and way the most of the conflicts were resolved. It was rushed, too good to be true, sugary sweet ending which didn't fit the realistic nature of the rest of the story, While I was happy with the way things worked out for Jess and Ian, all the rest didn't reading as convincing and authentic.