Friday, July 8, 2016

[ARC Review]: "Fast Connection"

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)

Fast Connection by Megan Erickson + Santino Hassell
Publisher: Megtino Press (July 11, 2016)
Series: Cyberlove, 2
Genre: M/M Romance

After a decade of serving in the Army, everyone still expects me to be Dominic 'Nicky' Costigan--the skirt-chasing player. They don't know I've been spending my days trying to figure out my post-military life. Including how to pick up guys. 

When I meet Luke on a hookup app, he makes it clear it's for one-night only. That's fine with me, because I'm down to see what this silver fox can do. But after I arrive at his doorstep, it doesn't take long to realize we have serious chemistry, and we end up meeting again. 

He's got more walls around his heart than a military base, but I think he's as addicted to me as I am to him. He can't resist me for long. I mean, who can? Except Luke's rules exist for a reason, and when I test his limits, things get complicated. Maybe too complicated. 

*FAST CONNECTION is a standalone, full-length romance novel with no cliffhanger*

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

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

Reviews of Hassell's Previous Novels:

Strong Signal (#1) -- TBQ

First and First (#3) -- TBQ

My Review:

Dominic is tired of the military. He went in because he had no other plans for his future but after 8 years and some shitty deployments, he’s finally out. Trouble is, he still has no idea what to do with his life; everyone sees him as only ever being a “hero” (i.e., cop), but after the reality of war, he doesn’t want to carry a gun anymore. Now, back at home at 27 and trying to find a path that will lead him out of the dysfunctional chaos that is his family life and into a life he can call his own, Dominic never imagined that a Grindr hookup could be just the thing he needs -- and the person he can’t live without.

"I can never stick to my guns when it comes to you, Dominic." Luke tilted his head back against the wall. He guttered out a sigh. "Whenever I try, it just takes one look, on touch, one fucking taste, for me to cave."

Luke has very strict rules about his hook ups – no repeats, only on the weekends when his ex-wife has their teenage twins, and there’s no after-sex cuddling or friendly hanging out. Get in, get off, and get out – that’s Luke’s motto. He has his own reasons for being so uptight about avoiding any sort of relationship after a previous relationship nearly cost him his kids (literally). But Dominic, with his smartass remarks, near constant talking, and love of random jokes and messages, is tempting Luke. Tempting him to open up, to smile and relax a bit, and to keep Dominic. Forever.  

I love Erickson and Hassell’s books. All of them. They’re both amazing authors on their own, but when they co-write, something *even more* magical is created. This is their second co-authored book, and it might be my favorite – by just the teeny, tiniest bit – over book 1. Maybe. It's hard to pick favorites when both favorites are so damn good! 

Reading Fast Connection threw me into a book hangover like I haven’t had in a long, long time. I alternated between wanting to flip the pages faster (because it’s just that good) and trying to savor it because I never wanted it to end. All signs of an amazing book, and one that you shouldn’t miss!

I love E and  H’s writing styles, their snark and jokes and fun scenes, and they deliver all of that with Dominic and Luke’s story. Their text convos are truly fantastic and I can’t tell you how many times I found myself smiling – or even laughing – at them.

Luke: Hey, nice pic.

I paused. Normally I'd say, got a face pic? But Prince Abs probably expected full sentences. 

Luke: Do you have one of your face and ass?

I sent it and waited. 

StaffSgt: In the same pic? Dude that's hard. I don't do yoga.

I loved so much about this book. I loved that the heroes were both bi and proud. I loved that Luke was a bit older. I loved that they both felt a strong connection and responsibility to their family, even if that sometimes created problems between them. I loved Luke’s grumpy, dominating ways (GAH, so much so – what is it about that combination in a hero?!?!) and Dominic, almost his exact opposite, always trying to make Luke smile (through random texts and jokes and everything else). It was just . . . perfect. All of it.

As I said, there’s a fair amount of angst and problems popping up before the HEA is reached. What I loved about that was Dominic and Luke always seemed to talk to each other when things were going wrong, rather than at each other. Oh, they had a few moments each where they said things they regretted in the heat of the argument, but I also kind of loved their arguments -- even when they nearly gutted me, because emotions: I have them for these guys -- because they tried to talk things out. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t – at least until one or both realized what they were doing wrong – but their arguments always felt real and not just fabricated filler to add tension.

"And you agree to continue to complicate the fuck out of my life?"

"Yes."  Dominic smiled fondly. "I can't wait. So much fucking up. So many complications."

"And I agree not to give up when there is fucking up and complications."

And yes, Dominic and Luke were freakin’ hot together. Seriously hot. Again, both E & H know how to write the sizzling chemistry, and these two men had it in Super-Size Amounts. A+++ smexy in this book.

His nostrils flared, and then he advanced on me. I didn't know if he intended to fight me or fuck me, so I meet him halfway, gripping his face and pulling him toward me until our lips met.

We both stumbled to the side until we crashed into the wall. I turned, slamming his back into the wall as I lifted him by the backs of his thighs.

He wrapped his legs around me, gripping me like a vice as we devoured each other, as we poured every I missed you into the kiss. I ground against him, and he arched his back, biting down hard on my lip. I reached between us, shoving down the waistband of my sweats and taking both our cocks in my fist. 

There’s also the right amount of sweet moments to balance out the heat, emotional angst to balance out the light, fun scenes. When I say that Fast Connection has it all, I truly mean that. I can’t think of one thing to complain about. Not one. Hence the rare perfect – and totally deserved – rating. It just doesn’t get much better than this. Erickson and Hassell are both auto-buy authors for me, and I can’t recommend their books enough. I hope that there are more MegTino books in our future. Preferably a never-ending supply because I am a greedy, greedy reader. 


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I received an e-ARC of this book from the authors.

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

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If you have not read either author yet: DO SO NOW. 

If you have not started this series: DO SO NOW. 

Also: once again, I had a hard time picking quotes because there are just so many great passages and lines I highlighted. Trying to pick a few nearly resulted in me rereading the whole damn book. Which I wouldn't have complained about, though my review schedule might have. :P

Remember, since this is a Royal Pick, come back on July 28th 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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