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*
Im at the point in my reading/reviewing life where I have a few solid favorite authors. The ones who are automatic one clicks. You know the ones im talking about. Those who could write their names repeatedly with a dull crayon and you would throw money at them. Megan Erickson is one of those authors for me. I have read a lot of her stuff and never been disappointed. When I read she was pairing up with Santino Hassell for Strong Signal I was super excited because he is a well known author also, but he is brand new to me. SIGN ME UP!
Garrett Reid is a sexy, surly Staff Sergeant in the Army who is deployed for his last tour before coming home. He is a gamer (or gaymer) with a high tech laptop so he can keep his hands and mind occupied while he is away from home.
Kai Bannon is a hermit who doesnt leave his apartment. He is a gaming genius who makes his living beta testing video games for companies and live streaming the results on a Twitch channel. His loyal subscribers pay to watch him play and interact with him while his watchdog moderators protect him from the gay bashers and stalkers.
The story starts with Garrett’s character being killed by Kai’s character in an online game. Garrett is unhappy about the way it goes down so he goes online to research who Kai is and proceeds to do a bit of harmless cyber stalking.
Im not sure what the proper word is to describe the relationship that develops between these two men so im going to go with the one I overuse the most and just say it was beautiful. Garrett.. bless his heart. He TRIED SO HARD. He was so big and manly and tough. But he wanted Kai sooooo much. Garrett was the one that, while reading the book, you would think would fight the feelings. Since even he referred to himself as “closeted”. But nope. He would have chased Kai to the end of the world and back. And im pretty sure he did. Kai, the more… ummm… out (?) of the two, was actually the one who ended up fighting the relationship at first. Until Garrett’s overwhelming cuteness and sexiness and just… perfectness got the best of him. I mean, Im a straight married woman and I fell in love with Garrett.
There are several underlying themes in this book that caught my attention besides the love story. Kai’s social anxiety and how the two of them ultimately had to deal with it. Homophobia and Shawn’s mother’s crazy boyfriend. The dudes in the Army bullying Garrett for his lifestyle. There were a lot of touchy subjects brought up in the story and the authors did not shy away from them. Kudos to both of you for that! In today’s ultra PC world, its nice to see these subjects addressed head on.
I basically loved everything about this book. It was a definite 5 star read all the way around. I want to thank the authors for allowing me the opportunity to be on the tour!
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28561501-strong-signal
Megan Erickson is a former journalist who switched to fiction when she decided she liked writing her own endings better. She likes to pretend she has control now, but usually her characters are the ones who hold the reins. Her romance novels have a touch of humor, a dash of nerdy, and always a happily ever after.
She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and two cats named after John Hughes characters. She’s still waiting for the party she was promised when she grew to five feet… maybe because she never got there.
In Focus series
Trust the Focus
Focus on Me
Out of Frame (Coming soon)
Bowler University series
Make it Count
Make it Right
Make it Last
Mechanics of Love series
Changing His Game
Playing for Her Heart
Tied to Trouble
Leveling the Field (coming soon)
Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.
Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.
Five Boroughs series:
Book 1: SUTPHIN BOULEVARD
Book 2: SUNSET PARK
Book 3: FIRST AND FIRST coming in April 2016
Standalone books by Santino Hassell:
STRONG SIGNAL (with Megan Erickson)