Title: Hard Wired (Cyberlove #3)
Author: Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
Publisher: Megtino Press
Release Date: February 13th 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary, New Adult
Page Count: 260 pages
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 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.
Hard Wired by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell can easily be considered my most anticipated release of the year. The Cyberlove Series is one that is special to me for personal reasons. Sometimes when we anticipate books so much, they disappoint, but this story lived up to all my expectations.
We first met Garvy (Jesse) and Cherry (Ian) in Strong Signal- they’re Kai’s mods. Garvy assumed that Cherry is a girl and they’re meeting for the first time. Ian has held a torch for Jesse for two years and is nervous about meeting and his reaction upon learning the truth. They meet unexpectedly and spend the night together, but Ian never tells Jesse who is. Unfortunately, Jesse learns the truth before Ian can tell him himself. Jesse was hurt, angry, and confused. After the con, they go back to real life and back online.
-The characters. They are complex, raw, and real.
-Ian went through a lot as a child and to help him with his past, and his anxiety created three versions of himself. Cherry, the mod who is feisty and cheery. Cerise, who is strong. And Ian- a vulnerable, witty artist. Three personas, one man. Ian is messy and exhausting but worth falling in love with and fighting for. And he wants Jesse, but he’s afraid.
Jesse is a regular guy. He’s like many of us- he’s kind of going through the motions. He has things he wants to accomplish, but between his parents leeching off him and fear of putting himself out there, he’s stuck in a rut. When he met Ian, he decides for the first time to just go first it- to take that chance and fight for what he wants.
-Relationship development was perfectly executed. From their initial attraction to the hurt and anger, and then getting to know each other and falling in love. Simply outstanding.
-The story was narrated through a dual POV.
-Their messages to each other. They were funny and sweet and gave me butterflies. You know those moments where you realize you’re grinning and hadn’t realized it? It’s going to happen to you here.
-The pace of the story was smooth, fast, and at times tiring. When I say tiring, I don’t mean that as a bad thing- it’s a compliment. This book is the angstiest of the series, and you will feel it, but it will be worth it in the end.
-I appreciated the array of emotions this book evoked in me. I must’ve looked like a lunatic while I was reading. Smiling, scowling, crying back to smiling. You have to give props to a writer or in this case writers who can make you feel so much emotion.
-Smexy times. This book is not as steamy as the others- but don’t get me wrong the scenes it has are delicious- but it wouldn’t have made sense for it to have had many sex scenes. There was too much going on, and it would’ve just come across as gratuitous.
-The end. After being put through the ringer, your heart will be mended, and you’ll be left feeling warm fuzzies.
Can this be read as a standalone? I wouldn’t. This series is bloody fantastic, and you’ll be cheating yourself if you don’t read the first two. Please don’t do that to yourself.
For me- Megtino writes, I read. It’s that simple. Nobody writes raw, edgy, sexy, swoon-worthy romance like Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell. 5 Stars.
For anyone interested Megtino had art work commissioned for the book as Cerise by Smoxt: