Monday, September 19, 2016

[ARC Review]: "Overexposed"

Overexposed by Megan Erickson
Publisher: InterMix (September 20, 2016)
Series: In Focus, 4
Genre: M/M Romance -- NA

Love runs wild on the Appalachian Trail in the latest from the author of Out of Frame and Focus on Me...

Levi Grainger needs a break. As a reality show star, he’s had enough of the spotlight and being edited into a walking stereotype. When he returns home after the last season of Trip League, he expects to spend time with his family, only to learn his sister is coming back from her deployment in a flag-draped casket. Devastated, Levi decides the best way to grieve will be to go off grid and hike the Appalachian Trail—a trip he'd planned to do with his sister.

His solitary existence on the trail is interrupted when he meets Thad, a quiet man with a hard body and intense eyes. Their connection is stronger than anything Levi has ever experienced. But when Levi discovers the truth about what Thad is hiking to escape, their future together looks uncertain, and uncertainty is the last thing Levi needs...



Where to Buy*:
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Reviews of Erickson's Previous Novels:

Changing His Game (#1) -- TBQ
Tied to Trouble (#3) -- TBQ
Leveling the Field (#4) -- TBQ

Trust the Focus (#1) -- TBQ
Focus on Me (#2) -- TBQ
Out of Frame (#3) -- TBQ

Strong Signal (#1) -- TBQ
Fast Connection (#2) -- TBQ


My Review:



I'm going to do something a bit different with today's review: a quick bullet list of why I loved it. Plus some favorite quotes thrown in because you know how I am with quotes. :)


Why I Loved Overexposed -- And Why You Will Too!

  • Thad identifies as demisexual (and gay, obviously). Demisexuals usually require an emotional connection to someone in order for them to feel/act on attraction. (This is a very quick definition and by no means complete, I'm sure.) 
      • This is only the second romance I've read with a demi MC; I hope we get more showing up, and not just in M/M (where I've encountered both), as we need more accurate representations of all things in our romances.
    • Thad's also quiet, a bit grumpy at times, very intense, and a bit of a loner. He has his reasons for some of that, though a lot of that is just who he is, period. Basically you'll want to give him a giant hug through most of the book. 
  • Levi is carefree in comparison and sometimes does things without thinking about it first and ends up in a spot of trouble. Especially while on the trail. Luckily Thad is his own personal hero. :)
    • You might recall Levi from book 3. He was on the cruise ship reality show with J.R.


For two heartbeats, I almost asked him for a hug. A kiss. A naked wrestling match in my tent that would lead to a good hard fuck.


  • Both guys are on the Appalachian trail to find themselves, to get away from and forget their (recent) pains. It's very much a story about self discovery and finding peace, as well as love. This is a common theme in this series, as it is NA, and Erickson handles it perfectly.
    • Compared to book 2, Overexposed isn't as "OMG, my feeeeeels" angsty. But there are still some twist-the-feels worthy moments here. Because it's Erickson and I'm pretty sure she likes torturing her characters and her readers. :P


"I don't know yet what my goal is. I don't know what I'll get out of this yet. All I know is that I want to be a different person than I was when I started."


  • There are a lot of great scenes and lines -- another common theme with Erickson's novels. (Have I mentioned I love everything she writes? Ahem.) 
    • Some scenes are fun,
    • Some are a bit on the steamy side:
      • Note, it does get steamy than this quote, trust me. But I just loved this one for its simplicity.


The thing about making out with Thad was that any part of skin-to-skin contact was gloriously perfect. I didn't need him inside me or me inside him to feel connected. Every single brush of his fingers and press of his lips was pure sex.


    • And most will make you happy sigh over these two guys. Examples:


"The moon's all right. But I like watching you while you watch it." My voice was soft but sincere, and his muscles tensed beneath my palm. "It's the only time you seem content and at peace, and I don't want to miss that look on your face."

He didn't move or make a sound, and I risked a glance at his face. He was watching me steadily. "How do you think I'm looking at you right now?"

I was locked into his gaze, and it seared me all the way to my bones. I swallowed, my mouth dry. "I don't know."

"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."



And this:



"I'm closed off and broody and don't give enough." He shot back quickly, and I knew those words had been said by someone else so often that he'd internalized them.

I pressed on his shoulder until he turned his body to face mine. "You're quiet and caring and a good man."

The fishing forgotten, his arm holding the rod dropped to his side. He cupped my face and rubbed a thumb along my cheek. "What did I do to deserve you looking at me like this with those beautiful green eyes of yours?"

I gripped his forearms, thinking about what Sadie had said. "You've made this a journey. You've made me realize I still had it in me to care about someone again."

He bumped our foreheads together, then brushed our noses, and then touched his lips to mine.



And also this very important quote that everyone needs to remember:



"You're enough," I said. "You're so fucking enough. And no one else gets to tell you that you're not."



Set in the wilderness with a bit of a "road trip" vibe, this is a beautiful story of one quiet man finding his own "moon" in the equally emotionally bruised ex-reality star. The epilogue was great, and I loved seeing the guys all together like that. I'm very much holding out hope that Matty, Thad's ex, gets his own book. As I told Erickson on Twitter, you can't tease readers with bits about his shitty run with relationships and such and NOT have us want his story told. :) I highly recommend this entire series, and you can read them out of order without too much problem.



4 1/2 STARS! 


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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley.

*Note: The quotes used belong to Megan Erickson; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them. Any mistakes or typos in the quotes are my own fault.

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You're probably tired of me raving about Erickson's books but they really are that great. I've yet to read one I didn't love. :)



Remember, since this is a Royal Pick, come back on September 29th for a chance to WIN an ecopy of your own!




Enjoy!


Until Next Time,


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  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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