Friday, February 12, 2016

[ARC Review]: "Strong Signal"

I am aware of the situation with Santino Hassell. While I will no longer be promoting or recommending Hassell’s books, I am leaving up my reviews and ratings for the books I’ve already read. My feelings and experiences with those books at the time are valid and were never connected to my view of the author anyway. Please disregard any mention of “own voice” or similar remarks that may be in these old reviews, as that is no longer true.
Danielle (TBQ)

Strong Signal by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
Publisher: Megtino Press (February 15, 2016)
Series: Cyberlove, 1
Genre: M/M Romance

I was counting down the months until the end of my deployment. My days were spent working on military vehicles, and I spent my nights playing video games that would distract me until I could leave Staff Sergeant Garrett Reid behind.

That was when I met him: Kai Bannon, a fellow gamer with a famous stream channel. 

I never expected to become fixated on someone who'd initially been a rival. And I'd never expected someone who oozed charm to notice me—a guy known for his brutal honesty and scowl. I hadn't planned for our online friendship to turn into something that kept me up at night—hours of chatting evolving into filthy webcam sessions.

But it did. And now I can't stop thinking about him. In my mind, our real life meeting is perfect. We kiss, we fall into bed, and it's love at first sight.

Except, like most things in my life, it doesn't go as planned.

*Strong Signal is a standalone, full-length novel with no cliffhanger* 

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Reviews of Erickson's Previous Novels:

My Review:

Kai had once said not reading the comments was Internet 101 but for me? This was Internet 101. Never expect the person you’re chatting with to be the same person they are in real life. And it wasn’t always about catfishing.

When I heard that Megan and Santino were teaming up on a project, I *may* have done a happy dance. With minor fangirl screaming thrown in. Maybe. Then I heard what the story would be about and my excitement increased even MORE. By the time the cover was revealed, there might have been a bit of drooling. Classy drooling, of course. :)

With all that in mind, to say I was thrilled to get an ARC is an understatement. I knew I was going to love this book. How could I not? And thankfully, I was right. I loved every moment of Garrett and Kai's story, every up and down, every sexy kiss and sweet message. Just all of it.

Garrett: I just fantasized about you for a solid few hours.

Kai: What did you fantasize about?

Garrett: Watching you. In person. Steady escalation from there.

Kai: Escalation in increments? ;)

Garrett: Yup. First I watch. Then I jerk off with you. Then we jerk each other. Then I kiss you.

Kai: That seems like a de-escalation.

Garrett: Not the way I kiss.

Kai: That…is…somehow the best thing you could have ever said to me. You hot bastard, you.

Garrett: I try.

Kai: You succeed.

The premise behind these two meeting was great, and different from what I've read before. But it also brought up a very interesting question about para social relationships and the general difference between a person's online persona and who they are IRL.

Before Garrett, I’d only used the real world as a bridge to gap the times I was online. Now, I got online when I wanted to waste the time between when I saw Garrett.

My life had been status quo for three years, until Garrett Reid busted in like a tornado.

From the start, I wanted to give Kai all the hugs and that feeling only intensified as the story went on. While I can't say I can identify with Kai in terms of diagnosed social anxiety, I could still easily connect with many of his struggles and feelings. Which just made me want to hug him even more, of  course.

And Garrett . . . well, what can I say? He was sexy on his own, yes, but his love and care for Kai made him even more irresistible. :)

I'm not sure which I loved more: seeing these two work out a relationship, first online and then in person, or the extremely hot sex scenes. Actually, I loved both, and the combination is what made this such a great book. A real connection to the characters (and a solid connection between the two characters) + sexy times = happy reader.

With each knee on either side of my hips, Kai buried one hand in my hair and braced the other against my shoulder while he did his best to suck my tongue into his mouth. It was no longer possible to figure out which moans belonged to whom, or whose heart was racing the fastest. When I wrapped my arm around his hip to slide down to his ass, we were completely wrapped up in each other. And when I delved my finger into his ass, we were connected in more ways than one.

“Oh fuck,” Kai breathed against me. “It’s been so long since anyone touched me like this.”

I withdrew my finger and slicked it with saliva before returning it to his ass, fucking it faster as he continued writhing and humping me like he couldn’t get enough. My nuts tightened and my toes clawed at the sheet. Already I could feel the sharp lance of fire burning inside me – the desperation to get off fast and hard because this was almost too much teasing for my starved body to handle. 

“You like when I play with your ass?”

“Yes,” he panted. “Please, yes.”

“Please what?” I stilled my finger and shuddered when he released a protesting growl.

“Please don’t stop fingering my ass, Garrett.”

I could have burst right then and there. The sound of my name on his lips, when he was squirming and panting and flushing with desire, nearly pushed me over the edge. It didn’t help when he yanked my head back and sank his teeth into the side of my neck, or when he began grinding against me in earnest, like he wanted me to blow my load early yet again.

I was very happy that Garrett and Kai worked things out in the end. Such a perfect HEA and one that was very much deserved. I cannot wait for book two; we met one of the heroes in this book and I'm intrigued as to who he will end up with. If you're already a fan of either Erickson or Hassell, then Strong Signal is no doubt already on your list. If not, well, you are seriously missing out -- both in their solo releases and now with this book.


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I received an e-ARC of this book from the authors in exchange for my honest opinion.

*Note: The quotes used belong to Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them.

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This book . . . Damn. I knew it was going to be great, since I'm already a big fan of both authors, but I wasn't expecting something so sexy and emotional. I should have known better; both Megan and Santino are great at delivering both of those things in their books. :)

Have you read Megan Erickson OR Santino Hassell? If not, you should, trust me! 

Remember, since this is a Royal Pick, come back on February 25th for a chance to WIN an ecopy of your own!


Until Next Time,


  *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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