Series: In Focus #2
Published by Intermix Release date : July 21st, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, LGBT, New Adult
Source: The Publisher | Format: eARC
Purchase at: Amazon (Affiliate Link)
Add to: Goodreads
Colin Hartman can now add college to his list of failures. On the coast-to-coast trek home from California, Colin stops at a gas station in the Nevada desert, and can’t help noticing the guy in tight jeans looking like he just stepped off a catwalk. When he realizes Catwalk is stranded, Colin offers a ride.
Riley only intended to take a short ride in Colin’s Jeep to the Grand Canyon. But one detour leads to another until they finally find themselves tumbling into bed together. However there are shadows in Riley’s eyes that hide a troubled past. And when those shadows threaten to bury the man whom Colin has fallen in love with, he vows to get Riley the help he needs. For once in his life, quitting isn’t an option…
I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
There are quite a few things I expect – and get – when diving into a Megan Erickson novel:
- Unique characters
- Witty dialog
- Realistic plot
- Sexy times
- Heartache for daaaaaaaaays
I have said it time and time again, she has this way for writing such realistic and relatable characters. Each character is unique and genuine, and she is a master at bringing those characters to life. How she does it time and time again is just mind-boggling.
What I didn’t expect was the dark undertone of Focus on Me. Riley has a lot of deep-rooted issues that are brought to the surface and his struggle was just heartbreaking. I can’t imagine how tricky and painful it is to write a character with not only one, but two mental health disorders.
Not only was Riley suffering from said issues, Colin has his own struggles to which Riley’s tie into. Colin’s self loathing as a failure mixed with the realization that he couldn’t FIX Riley brought on the flood gates. As hard as it was, I appreciate how we got to see the struggle of how these mental illnesses can affect everyone, not just the person suffering. Colin wanted to be enough for Riley and wanted to fix everything but the reality is, you can’t.
Riley’s mental state was never glossed over by any means. Yet, TO ME, the book’s focus was on both characters, not just Riley.
The romance build up was slow, to which I loved. Both Colin and Riley slowly let each other in and their even though they had plenty of challenges to overcome, they worked through it. Their story isn’t over yet – both have many things to overcome but I am happy where things ended.
The secondary characters were minimal but played such an integral part. The families are SO supportive of each other, and helping Riley get the help that he needs, all the while, supporting Colin as well. And just in case you were wondering — Justin and Landry make appearances and even play a major part in Riley’s life and recovery.
All in all – I loved everything about Focus on Me. The characters, the romance, the road trip! Best of all, I love the message behind it. Focus on Me is a gem and one to be cherished. Highly recommend.
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