Well then. Another double review so soon. (I read them too fast…) AND another one dealing with online gaming and stuff. I’m on a role! (This was completely unplanned. Could’ve been a mixture of liking online gaming stuff and wanting Santino Hassell’s work!)
Both were so cute!
Genres: m/m romance // contemporary
- Strong Signal (Cyberlove #1)
Pages: 229 | Read: Oct. 2nd – 5th, 2016
I appreciated the social anxiety/agoraphobia aspect! Seriously. I like finding rep for things like that. Now, I know no one with such a problem nor have I experienced it myself, SO I can’t say it’s 100% accurate because I have no idea. But it seemed pretty legit to me! And it wasn’t one of those I show up in your life and now you’re cured all of a sudden tropes (I honestly have only really seen those in manga, among other tropes, which could be why I’m having trouble reading yaoi). They work with it!
So we have social anxiety going on agoraphobia. A very real thing for some people, panic attacks included. Then, we have online relationships. They’re hard. It shows how they can be hard. And no one should go in with naivete because things can go wrong. But it also touches on veterans’ return home – how they may struggle to find their future. Where do they fit in, where can they work? Garrett struggles to find his place back home. And Kai struggles o step forward in life with his anxiety. Very real, great aspects to the story.
Garrett, our army mechanic, is good for Kai. He’s not one to shy away just because of a social anxiety/phobia condition – he’s ready to listen and help. He sees Kai deeper than that. He’s stoic and a fantastic listener. He’s ready to help Kai calm from a panic attack, ready to give him space, and so patient. I loved Garrett. You can feel the love he has for Kai.
Kai, our ga(y)mer, is adorable and imperfect. He has so many insecurities about his social anxiety. He’s so sweet, though. He helps Shawn out and vice versa. He loves all of his Twitch followers (the nice ones). And you can feel his love for Garrett – his strong protective, patient wall. I like all his little quirks, too, which you can just find out as you read. Points for being a dancer!
How they met was fantastic, too. I’ll let you see for yourself. But after that, a spark ignited. They had sweet, open conversations behind there screens and some steamy Skype sessions *fans self* And when they finally meet in person, you better not have to leave the book because you’ll want to keep going.
Real characters, real life, no over-the-top (OTT) stuff, and humor peppered throughout – great book.
- Fast Connection (Cyberlove #2)
Pages: 260 | Read: Oct. 6th – 7th, 2016
I appreciated the family dysfunction dynamics in this one. No one is perfect. We see that in our main characters. No family is perfect. We see that with the families involved, specifically Dominic’s. And it was handled well with the human reactions to life problems, the strength of another human connection in times of need, and the changes the family goes through. All of this handled respectfully.
Aside from the family aspect, we have Dominic also struggling big time with finding his place after returning from Afghanistan. And Luke struggling with his well-meant shells being torn down. Past hardships and teenage problems ensue, as well.
You come into this realizing you don’t know Dominic at all from the 1st book. I fell in love with him so hard. He’s adorable, quirky, strong, nervous, heart-breaking and heart-warming. He gets through Luke’s grump because he just doesn’t let it get to him. He’s also so loyal when he cares about you – does what he can to help. Selfless and forgiving.
Luke is relatable with his “separate” lives and boxes in his mind. People do this all the time, I’ sure. And yeah, we get frustrated with him (with both at times), but you can’t help but fall in love with the Luke that lives in each of those boxes. He’s a father, a lover, a friend, a grump, a guardian. He’s had some hardships – things he had to give up. But Dominic is good for him. And with all his encouragements for Dominic, he’s great for him, too.
I loved the humor, the realistic family issues, and the amazing characters.
Both books touch on several realistic life struggles. I enjoyed them!
(I have a hunch the next book will be about Cherry and Garvey, Kai’s mods?? I loved their descriptions!)
Ta-ta for now, worms!
Did you read these books? How did you like the realistic issues? (Careful of spoilers, though)
~Cover photos from Goodreads~