Please note this book was reviewed prior to the revelation of author’s identity and actions. Please read this statement from Riptide Publishing for more information.
Strong Signal, by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
Release Date: February 15, 2016
Genres: Gay, M/M, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: I’ve chosen to remove my rating for this book.
I was counting down the months until the end of my deployment. My days were spent working on military vehicles, and I spent my nights playing video games that would distract me until I could leave Staff Sergeant Garrett Reid behind.
That was when I met him: Kai Bannon, a fellow gamer with a famous stream channel.
I never expected to become fixated on someone who’d initially been a rival. And I’d never expected someone who oozed charm to notice me—a guy known for his brutal honesty and scowl. I hadn’t planned for our online friendship to turn into something that kept me up at night—hours of chatting evolving into filthy webcam sessions.
But it did. And now I can’t stop thinking about him. In my mind, our real life meeting is perfect. We kiss, we fall into bed, and it’s love at first sight.
Except, like most things in my life, it doesn’t go as planned.
Do I even need to write a review of this book? I’m pretty sure just having Erickson and Hassell on the cover is synonymous with Guaranteed to be fucking amazing.
Strong Signal is about the connections we make, and about the way video games and gaming culture play into forming friendships and building relationships. The point of view alternates between Garrett– a deployed soldier who relies on games to keep him sane while on his final tour overseas– and Kai– a professional gamer whose primary interaction with the outside world comes through his computer.
This book is phenomenal. Full stop.
I love how the relationship between Garrett and Kai sparks and builds. I think there’s a stigma attached to internet relationships, but Megan and Santino show the slow, organic build of friendship, physical attraction, and eventual emotional connection that forms a romance as real and genuine as any “face to face” interaction.
Look, unless you’ve been living under a rock, or you’re new to the M/M genre, you probably have an idea about what you’re getting into with this book. And I definitely felt at times like I could pick out which author wrote which, because they both have such distinctive voices! But they blend together really well, and you can see their influences in both characters.
This is a romance for the twenty-first century, and a look into the way relationships are changing as technology helps to bridge distances and bring people together. Garrett and Kai are fantastic characters, and their romance is absolutely gorgeous!
I can’t wait for the next book in the series, and for more from these two incredible authors.
I received an advanced copy of this novel from the authors in exchange for a fair and honest review.
And stop by JLR on February 16 for an exclusive interview with Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell!