Monday, July 20, 2015

Review + Excerpt: Focus On Me by Megan Erickson

Series: In Focus #2
Release Date: July 21, 2015
Publisher: Intermix
Genre: New Adult - M/M Romance
Source: Copy provided for honest review
Rating: ★★★ ½


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…


Focus On Me is my first Megan Erickson read, I don't think it will be my last. Erickson delivered characters that were easy to want to support. They are far from perfect, challenging at times, but worm right into your heart.

Colin took his football talent from North Carolina to a big university in California. Thinking he needed to escape the small town, country life. But like so much else in his life, it wasn't what he wanted enough to stick it out. After a couple of years of trying, he's packed up and on the road back home.

Running into an enigmatic, yet totally hot, guy in need of a ride - was not on Colin's list of things to do. Something about Riley had Colin needing to help him though.

That's just who Colin seemed to be. The type of guy that didn't live for himself. He sees a responsibility to others first. Colin is an easy guy to love. I think it took me all of about two pages. He's very laid back, easy going. Yet, he's just figuring out life and love and the responsibilities that come with that.

Riley was harder for me to enjoy. Part of that may come from the story, almost fully, being told from Colin's point of view.  Part of it were the letters that are told in Riley's.  I had a hard time with those.  They often felt too juvenile. Riley is going through some pretty major hard times, mentally. So, stable wasn't something I expected, but a certain maturity was. That was a bit lacking, I thought.

However, that didn't diminish my need to continue reading. I was involved enough to finish it in only a few hours. 

I admire Erickson for taking on the mental health issue and for treating it with the care it deserves. I could feel the struggle with Colin between wanting to fix Riley but knowing he wasn't a cure all. It made me love Colin all the more.

Focus On Me is a tender telling of one fragile guy and one broken one, who find hope for a future in each other - where before, there was only darkness and uncertainty. What more could you want from a romance?




“Why’d you come back?” I asked, my voice hoarse.

He licked his lower lip, the underside of his tongue running across the ridges on the surface. I wanted that to be my tongue. I wanted to feel those ridges when I kissed him, when those lips rasped over mine. He took his bottom lip and sawed his top teeth over it, abusing the skin. I reached up and gripped his chin, pressing below his lip until it popped out between his teeth.

He met my gaze and blinked. “Because you’re the first person in a long time to make me feel anything. And because I want you.” His voice was barely a tone, just a series of sounds skating up his throat. I hadn’t realized how badly I wanted to hear those words, said in such a desperate, pleading way. And not just from anyone, but from Riley, with his eyes locked on mine while my fingers gripped his chin.

I leaned in and brushed my lips across his. My eyes drifted shut, and when I opened them, our noses were touching. “Show me, then.”

His breath rushed out, fanning my face, and then he slammed his lips onto mine, the force of it banging my head on the door behind me. I groaned and speared my fingers into his hair, clutching the strands with both hands as he ravaged my mouth.

And God, what a kiss. Those full lips bruising mine, that wicked tongue doing crazy things in my mouth. He made soft moans in the back of his throat, like he was finally getting his favorite indulgence, that first blessed bite of rich, dark chocolate. He plastered his body to mine, gripping my hips and grinding his hardness into me.

I could barely keep up with his kiss as he licked into my mouth and dueled with my tongue. I gripped his head and held on, letting him take whatever he wanted, because fuck, I was finally getting to taste Riley.

When he finally pulled way with a loud smack, his hips were rolling into mine with gentle thrusts, and we were breathing hard, chests bumping. He nuzzled against my neck, nibbling below my ear. I closed my eyes as goose bumps raced over my skin.

“Can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted to do that,” he whispered.

“Can’t or won’t?”

He paused and then he nipped my earlobe. “Smartass.”

“Riley?”

“Yeah?”

“Kiss me again.”

This kiss was less frenzied but no less intense. And now his hands were moving, sliding under the hem of my shirt. He brushed his knuckles over my abs, and I sucked in a sharp breath through my nose.

He pulled back and eyed my chest hungrily. “Take your shirt off, Col.”

I reached back with one hand and fisted my shirt at my upper back, tugging it over my head, then down my arms before I tossed it to the side.

He laid his hands flat on my pecs, then ran his palms over the smattering of hair I had on my chest. “I love how you look,” he said quietly, almost reverently, his gaze on his hands. He tugged a little on the hair around my nipples, and I grunted. He smiled.

If this were anyone but Riley, I would have been uncomfortable, maybe even embarrassed at the way I was being studied. But with him . . . I was almost proud of my size and my chest. Especially because of the way his eyes took me in, like I was a chocolate dessert. “You know I love how you look too, Catwalk.”

His gaze lifted to mine, and then he kissed me. Slowly. Like he was savoring the moment and my taste.

Fingers dipped into the waistband at my jeans. My belt rattled and loosened. Riley leaned back and pulled it from my belt loops, the leather slapping together as he tossed it to the side. He flicked open the top button of my jeans with one finger and lowered the zipper. He made a strangled noise when he found me commando. And then he sank to his knees.

Riley. On his knees. Shoving my pants down my thighs. Pressing his face along the length of my cock, his tongue licking one long swipe up the underside.

“Fuck, Ri,” I moaned, thunking my head back on the door and gripping his hair. “Fuck.”

Then that long tongue again, this time licking the seam of my balls, and I snapped my eyes open, because I didn’t want to miss a single moment of this. I wanted it burned in my brain, behind my eyelids, this sight of Riley between my legs, sucking one of my balls in his mouth, eyes closed, expression one of pure bliss.

His hand gripped my cock, pressing it up and into my belly while he licked and laved the skin of my balls. I loved this, always had, but not every guy was into this. It was like Riley was made for me.

And then his hand shifted, and a wet, hot mouth descended on the tip of my cock. I sucked in a breath and then watched as Riley slowly, ever so slowly, lowered his head, my shaft disappearing into his mouth as he took me down his throat.

My fingers flexed in his hair at the heat of his mouth and the swirl of his tongue. “Oh shit.”

He moaned, the vibration nearly bringing me to my knees. And then he began to work me. Like a fucking blow-job expert, he bobbed his head in time with his fist and rolled my balls with his other hand.

I watched my spit-slick shaft disappearing between those beautiful full lips. His cheeks hollowed as he sucked, rotating his wrist along with his head in a twisting motion that had me immobile. I could feel the orgasm starting, my balls tightening.

But there was one thing missing.

“Look at me,” I whispered.

He kept his eyes closed and didn’t react to my words.

“Ri, look at me.”

Still nothing.

I reached down and cupped his chin, my thumb pressing into the corner of his mouth, where my shaft slid in and out. “Baby,” I said softly, my accent thicker with arousal. “I want to see your eyes.”

He paused, then his eyelids raised as he pulled back. When only my tip remained in his mouth, his gaze met mine.

There was so much there, swirling and whirling, all his emotions—his need—right at the surface, and he knew it too, as the color rose on his cheeks. I saw why he wanted to keep it from me. And like the selfish bastard I was, I wanted it anyway. I’d asked for it.

With his eyes on mine, he bobbed his head once, twice, and then I was done. With a cry and a tightened fist in his hair, I shot down his throat. It felt like I came for five minutes straight, because Riley kept on sucking and swallowing, wringing every last drop from me.

Riley let my softened shaft slip from his mouth, a small smile on his lips as he kissed the wet tip. I leaned my head back against the wall, closing my eyes because my head was spinning. My hand was still in his hair, but my fingers slipped as he moved. My feet were lifted as he pulled off my boots and socks, one by one, then removed my pants. I opened my eyes as I stood in front of him, naked.

I licked my lips. “You gonna let me return the favor now?”

His eyes were at half-mast, his lips red and swollen.

He stepped closer, still in his T-shirt and jeans. He gripped my hip and then slid his hand around my waist to palm my ass. He leaned in close and pressed a kiss to the hinge of my jaw. “You gonna let me have this?”


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