{Review} Focus on Me by Megan Erickson

{Review} Focus on Me by Megan EricksonFocus on Me by Megan Erickson
Also by this author: Make It Right, Changing His Game, Dirty Talk, Dirty Deeds, Tied to Trouble, Strong Signal, Out of Frame, Leveling the Field, Fast Connection, Hard Wired, Mature Content
Series: In Focus #2
Also in this series: Out of Frame
Published by InterMix on July 21, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance, New Adult
Pages: 204
Goodreads  Buy the Book

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…

Erin: Focus On Me is the stellar and MUCH anticipated follow up to Megan Erickson’s road trip love story, Trust the Focus. When I say anticipated, I mean more like grabby hands, jumping up and down, shouting ‘is it time yet?’, marking down each day on the calendar anticipation. While Trust the Focus’ Justin and Landry captured our hearts and filled us with all the good feels, Colin and Riley from Focus On Me will take your hearts and feels, put them in a blender, toss them with irreverent dialogue and impeccably developed characters, a pinch of humor, and splashes of hot, intense sex, and leave you wanting more (even though this ride is much bumpier than in Trust the Focus). Yes, there’s another road trip. Yes there’s some fun and laughs at stops along the way. Yes, there are sexy times. But don’t go thinking you’re reading Trust the Focus, part 2. This one is completely different.

This book is in a word, spectacular.

Colin is like someone you know, maybe even yourself. He’s floundering, knows college isn’t for him, but isn’t sure what exactly he’s supposed to do with his life. He’s started a lot of things, but his follow through leaves a bit to be desired. He has a great family, he’s kind and a pretty calm, cool collected guy. He loves his Jeep named Butch, can frequently be found with a toothpick in his mouth and barefoot (he hates wearing shoes) He’s an all-around good guy. The kicker is, he doesn’t think very much of himself.

This was so not my thing. “What kind of demons do you need to get rid of?”

Riley was quiet for a moment. “Don’t we all have some sort of demons? Some type of negativity that follows us around that we want to get rid of?”

I chewed the inside of my cheek and thought about that for a minute. “I guess I never thought of it that way.” I shrugged. “I kinda suck at finishing things.”

Then we have Riley. Catwalk as Colin first nicknames him due to his magnetic presence. Beautiful and poised, he gives off an air of aloofness. A bit clueless, he’s sweet and endearing, though it’s quite obvious from the beginning he’s got lots of secrets and is carry way more baggage than the backpack on his back. When Colin offers him a ride from a middle-of-nowhere gas station in Nevada, it is the beginning of a journey that will change both their lives.

The book is told from Colin’s POV, but don’t worry, you learn plenty about Riley. It’s piece by piece, but Colin is persistent … and very intuitive. Long hours in a car leaves plenty of time for conversation, and these two make the most of it. The relationship between these two is just beautiful. Quiet at the beginning, though full of intensity and powerful moments.

His fingers flexed in mine, and then he rolled over, so we were on our sides facing each other. He stroked the stubble along my jaw. “Well, you’re kind of a ninja.”

I barked out a laugh. “A ninja?”

He grinned at me. “Yeah, you kinda have this Aw shucks, I’m just an ol’ Southern boy thing going on. All harmless and unassuming and easygoing. But you’re persistent and thoughtful and so damn hot that before I knew it, I was attached to you.”

As sweet and hot and just *sigh* as a lot of the interaction is between Colin and Riley, it doesn’t take long for Megan Erickson to start with the paper cuts to your heart. Bits and pieces of Riley’s personality start painting a bigger, clearer picture and it’s obvious Riley is dealing with some major issues. Poor body image, depression, anorexia … there’s some big trouble on the horizon and no matter how Colin feels about Riley, no matter how much he wishes he could “fix” Riley by himself, it becomes quite obvious Riley needs more help than Colin can provide on his own.

Eventually he fell quiet, but I kept a firm grip on him. “Baby?”

He didn’t answer but his fingers flexed where they clutched me.

“I want that too,” I whispered. “I want to swim in the ocean with you. And I want to show you my mom’s pigs, and I want to sit at Patty’s with you and watch you try every damn thing on the menu. But you gotta get better first. Please tell me you’ll get help.”

A shudder ran through his body. “I can’t stand thinking about people bothering me or giving me drugs or—“

“We all need help sometimes.” I remembered his parents told me he was resistant to any sort of treatment. “You can’t do this yourself.”

It’s this aspect of the book that really just sets it apart from others. Erickson approaches these heavy hitting issues with delicacy and respect and it’s simply incredible. I absolutely LOVE that the issue of anorexia is addressed in relation to a male MC, and seeing things from Colin’s perspective really gave the whole issue a perspective that is both brilliant and important.

In case you were wondering if you get to see Justin and Landry, worry no more. The answer is a resounding yes and I can promise you, the way in which Megan has let them play a part in this story is original and lends a depth to the story that was so unexpected.

There’s so much hope and joy mixed with the heavy topics that this book is truly a journey. From beginning to end, there’s not one thing not to love in Focus On Me. This is a must read book, truly one of the best of the year so far. Do yourself a favor and find out why you don’t want to miss this one. You’ll thank me, promise.

He smiled.

Not just a I’m happy to see you smile. Not a I missed you smile.

This was a I can breathe again now that you’re in front of me smile.

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    Overall: 5

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