Overexposed (In Focus #4), by Megan Erickson
Publish Date: September 20, 2016
Format: ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: new adult m/m contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Rating: 5 STARS
(Synopsis) Levi Grainger needs a break. As a reality show star, he’s had enough of the spotlight and being edited into a walking stereotype. When he returns home after the last season of Trip League, he expects to spend time with his family, only to learn his sister is coming back from her deployment in a flag-draped casket. Devastated, Levi decides the best way to grieve will be to go off grid and hike the Appalachian Trail—a trip he'd planned to do with his sister.
His solitary existence on the trail is interrupted when he meets Thad, a quiet man with a hard body and intense eyes. Their connection is stronger than anything Levi has ever experienced. But when Levi discovers the truth about what Thad is hiking to escape, their future together looks uncertain, and uncertainty is the last thing Levi needs...
I love road trip books, and Megan Erickson's In Focus series has taken us on more than one of those. But, in Overexposed We actually go on an OFF-road trip. And I think I might now love those even more.
Levi's determined to hike the Appalachian Trail in memory of his sister, who was supposed to do it with him, but died before they had a chance. And, after spending so long on a reality TV show, in front of millions of people, a few months of solitude sounds like a good idea to him. At least, initially it does. But, hiking and eating and sleeping alone gets... lonely. So, when he sees a hot, equally lonely guy on a rock in the middle of the night, all of a sudden, he has a traveling companion.
Thad was looking forward to the solitude of the trail after what he had been through. And yet, when Levi comes into his circle of awareness, everything changes. And, the more time he spends with Levi, the more he wants from him. But, where he's been and where he's going are details that Thad needs to keep to himself if he wants any chance with this guy who lights up his life.
We met Levi in the third In Focus book. He was J.R.'s openly gay cast mate on the reality show that made him a household name. He was sweet and kind and it was easy to want a happy ending for him. Despite his sister's untimely death and the toll that has obviously taken on him, Levi still has this air about him that says he's someone you want to be around. He doesn't take things too seriously. He wants to make people happy.
Maybe that's what Thad was drawn to. Goodness knows he needs some happy in his life. And it takes no time at all for Levi to get under his skin. Even though, after hanging out with Levi for a little while, he knows that his days with him are numbered.
I think Levi and Thad may be my favorite couple in this series. These two - man, both of them squeezed my heart. They were the perfect yin and yang, and they each needed the other for different reasons. Overexposed was deliciously angsty and oh-so satisfying. It was the perfect way to spend a day.
For a moment, we locked eyes, and the air between us crackled with the promise of what could come next if we let it. I didn’t breathe—didn’t move—because this rubber band tugging at us could snap any minute, and I had no idea which way it would go.
Thad’s jaw clenched, then his hand shot out and gripped the side of my head. I sucked in a breath as
he pulled me toward him. The heat of his palm seared my scalp as he closed the distance until our mouths were inches away. The tent was filled with panted breaths, pounding hearts, and every cell in my body was screaming want want want.
I licked my lips, the very tip of my tongue brushing his, and that was the last encouragement he needed, because then Thad slammed his mouth onto mine. His body crashed along with it, so my back slammed onto the ground and Thad landed on top.
But I didn’t care about any of that, because Thad was devouring me. His mouth moved against mine, opening me up, demanding to be let in, and I obliged. Thad swept his tongue inside, kissing me like he couldn’t get enough, would never get enough, like kissing me was better than breathing.
Kissing Thad was better than breathing.
I held on as best as I could, clutching his broad shoulders, the muscles shifting beneath his skin. With his knees, he spread my legs and slotted himself between them, grinding his hard cock against mine.
It was a frenzy of tongues and lips and saliva and good, hard, need-you-now kind of sex. Thad broke the kiss to suck hard on the skin along my jaw, and I arched beneath him as he hit the spot below my ear that always got me going.
My cock was achingly hard, my balls already drawn up tight, but I needed something more. Thad’s hands fumbled between us until my boxers were shoved down. A fist wrapped around both of our cocks and began stroking them together.
My brain short-circuited, my lungs screamed for air as I gasped at the firm grip. Thad wasn’t fucking around. This was down and dirty and about getting off on each other.
My hips churned with each stroke of Thad’s hand; his hip bones dug into my inner thighs as each stroke shoved my legs further apart. I had no time to imagine what we looked like, what we sounded like, because Thad bit down on my shoulder, hard, and I came like a fucking rocket. I couldn’t even cry out, as I pulsed soundlessly in his hand. His hips froze on one more powerful thrust, sending my head smashing into the side of the tent, and then he let out one small groan against my skin.
I squeezed my eyes shut, relinquishing my grip on Thad’s shoulders, belatedly noticing my nails had etched crescent-shaped marks in his flesh.
He rose off of me slowly, his eyes skittering away, not meeting mine. He grabbed my pack of wipes, and cleaned himself, then me, wordlessly. I bit my lip, unsure what to say. What did one say when they were dry-humped in the middle of the night by a man who spoke in sentence fragments?
Nothing apparently. Because Thad rose, pulled on a pair of pants and a shirt, and with one last look at me, left the tent.
Without a word.
She lives in Pennsylvania with her very own nerdy husband and two kids. Although rather fun-sized, she's been told she has a full-sized personality. When Megan isn't writing, she's either lounging with her two cats named after John Hughes characters or... thinking about writing.