Title: Hard Wired (Cyberlove #3)
Author: Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: February 13th 2017
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 260 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
My FallenCon agenda is simple: sit on a couple of panels and let people meet the real me. Jesse Garvy—mod of a famous Twitch channel and, if I ever come out of my shell, future vlogger. I definitely didn’t plan to sleep with a moody tattooed fan-artist, but he’s gorgeous and can’t keep his hands off me. There’s a first time for everything, and my first time with a guy turns out to be the hottest experience of my life.
But the next day, I find out my moody fan-artist is Ian Larsen AKA Cherry—someone I’ve known online for years. And he’d known exactly who I was while shoving me up against that wall. Before I figure out whether to be pissed or flattered, the con ends.
Now we’re back online, and he’s acting like nothing happened. But despite the distance between us, and the way he clings to the safety of his online persona, we made a real connection that night. I don’t plan to let him forget.
I love this series and this writing duo so much.
When Jesse Garvy — one of the mods of Kai Bannon’s famous Twitch channel meets his co-moderator Ian Larsen AKA Cherrycakes he doesn’t know who Ian really is, and because Ian’s had an #unrequited crush on Garvy for years, Ian waits too long to confess that he actually has two alter-egos, Cherry and Cerise, a hard shelled, strong and confident in his sexuality artist.
I’d definitely never expected to develop a big ol’ whopping crush on Jesse Garvy. And allowing myself to be suckered into attending a panel as Cherrycakes—when I’d never once revealed to anyone that Cherry had a dual persona named Cerise the slutty fuckboy fanartist—had been a huge mistake.
Hard Wired is definitely more angsty than Strong Signal or Fast Connection. It absolutely walks a fine line but manages to stay on just this side of too much.
Told in dual POV there were a lot of things I loved about these characters, like that Jesse and Ian are both flawed but willing to work on their issues, how they both end up bringing out the best in each other. I really loved how in the chat rooms Garvy was the hard ass and Cherrycakes was the sweet bubbly one, but IRL Jesse had a hard time standing up for himself, or anything else, and Ian had a more sarcastic, salty personality and was dealing with his anxiety and need to self-protect.
“You know, I keep trying to understand why you need Cerise. You’re talented and smart and so beautiful. Sometimes I wonder if I could ever be enough for you, or us together, if you don’t even see your own value…when your value is infinity plus infinity greater than mine.”
I just love how the characters feel real and don’t devolve into caricatures. Erickson and Hassell write the characters in such a way that they’re recognizable to the reader. You feel like you could meet these characters in the real world, and that is a really special gift.
Ian sighed as if it were all too much, but was obviously biting back another growing smile. He pulled out a matching T-shirt that said Achievement Unlocked across the chest.
“That’s, uh, my claim on your heart,” I said. “Because I love you, and you love me. I do accept you. All of you. So, happy birthday.”
All in all, this was another winner for me and I’m looking forward to see what else comes out of the Hassell/Erickson collaboration.