Title: Fast Connection (Cyberlove, #2)
Author: Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
Release Date: July 11, 2016
Page Length: 235 pages
Reviewed by: Renée
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5
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.
One sitting! Are you surprised? Hassell’s writing and I have a bond that will never be broken – throw in some Erickson, and you have guaranteed success!
We met Dominic Costigan in Book 1 as Garrett’s sometime-hand-job-buddy while they were deployed overseas. Dominic came across as a complete douche, but we see why in this story. Dominic is coming to terms with his newly discovered bisexuality. He’s been a skirt chaser his whole life, and being ok with liking dick didn’t happen smoothly in the military, of all places. I can buy that.
Dominic is now back home on Staten Island and determined to get some m/m experience and action through Grindr. It’s through the app that he hooks up with the stoic Luke Rawlings, who is 12 years his senior and lives only a few blocks away.
I love that this story is set in NYC – a fact that makes me reminiscent of the Five Boroughs series. Dominic has no idea what he wants to do with the rest of his life now that he is no longer in the Army. He has no interest in being in law enforcement or the like, and living back in his parents’ basement, with no prospects for a future, makes him feel like a loser. And Luke is a father to two teenagers who has been burned badly by a past boyfriend, affecting his family life. He is not going there again. He keeps his family in one box and his sex life in another. NEVER the two shall meet.
This story feels so fucking REAL. That is what I want when I read this genre, people. I want to feel REAL, and then give me my HEA. These two authors nail it. We get alternating POVs here (loved it!), so we get to see the lives of both these men, which included the character development with them and their families. This was integral to the story. Dominic’s relationships with his sister, father, and mother are front and center the whole time, as was Luke’s relationship’s with his children and their mother (and no ex-drama from her, thank fuck, she rocked my socks).
As any of us are in a new relationship, we don’t exist in a vacuum. There is family to meet, perhaps kids. Career interference. Maybe some of that external drama will spill over into our brand new relationship. Of course it happens. What I LOVE about Hassell and Erickson is that they don’t make these side plots overwhelm the story. They make them compliment the relationship in a way that feels so organic that I couldn’t have had the story without them.
I wanted to beat certain people with a baseball bat *cough, Dominic’s father, cough*, but…….here’s the reality and this is how the authors nailed it again. When it’s close family and they’re redeemable, you work at it. You talk. You try. There were times in this story that I wanted to do nothing more than write Duffy Costigan off, but this played out in a way that should’ve happened. It was perfect.
These two men, who seem so completely opposite of each other, manage to fit in the simplest way possible. They make each other happy. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Highly recommend.
**Favorite parts: Jealous Luke and we get lots of media messaging!