Welcome to What-To-Read Wednesday! This week Angela recommends:
Overexposed by Megan Erickson
My first introduction to Megan Erickson was the first book in the In Focus series, Trust the Focus. Since then I’ve read every single release of her’s that I could get my hands on, both writing alone and with Santino Hassell. I’ve enjoyed each and every one. Some are sexier than others, some more intense, and a few just about broke my heart before putting it back together again. But it all started with this series, and because of that In Focus holds a special place on my keeper shelf.
Overexposed is Levi’s story, who was introduced in Out of Frame. Fresh off a stint as a reality TV star in Trip League, he is determined to honor his sister’s memory by taking the trip they planned together hiking the Appalachian trial alone. He hopes to take this time to grieve a life cut short and hopefully just be Levi.
I liked showers and hot food and soft beds. This had been Layla’s idea. She’d wanted to sleep under the stars and make s’mores over a campfire.
Since she couldn’t do it, I was doing it for her.
Then one evening he wakes in the middle of the night to find a man not far from his campsite just sitting, and staring at the moon. Thad is quiet, a man who doesn’t talk much and rarely shows emotion, but he listens and Levi can’t help but feel a little pull toward him. When morning finds him gone, Levi realizes he didn’t find anything out about his mystery man. But when they run into each other again in the next town they form a tentative bond and decide to hike the trail together.
From that point on their chemistry and sexual tension just about incinerates the pages. Levi wants Thad and Thad gives in, only to pull away the next morning. There’s anger and sadness and Thad keeping everything inside so neither Levi or the reader really knows why he acts the way he does or keeps his distance. And because this story is told in Levi’s first person POV, the only glimpses into Thad’s head are through mysterious texts included at the end of each chapter which are exchanged with someone nicknamed M.
If you are looking for something light and easy, this may not be for you. As with each and every book in this series, it deals with heavy themes. Levi’s grief over his sister’s death overseas while serving in the military first and foremost. Thad has his own internal issues he’s working through, which means that it’s hard going for this couple. Especially since Thad is also keeping a secret that could potentially tear them apart just when they’ve found each other.
I won’t get into any more than this in my review because the beauty of Ms. Erickson’s books IS the whole experience. Working through emotions along with her characters, watching them find their footing and overcome their internal and external obstacles. Of course, the sexy times are off the charts hot and this couple really can’t keep their hands off each other. I loved their hard won HEA and the epilogue with the previous couples in this series was a lovely added bonus.
I do believe you can read Overexposed as a stand-a-lone, but I’m not sure why you would want to. Every book in this series is wonderful. I’m a little sad that it seems to be coming to an end but will keep hoping that this author revisits these characters again in the future.
“I’m not looking at the moon right now, Le,” he said. “I’m looking at you. Those gorgeous eyes. Those lips. That body. You’re the moon I get to see during the day.”