First off I feel I should specify that no, m/m romance is not all I read, but yes I went on a Santino Hassell reading binge last month and am trying to get all of T.J.Klune’s books read within the year. Cyberlove is a series of books (that I dearly hope will be continued), which all revolve around romances that start in some way relating to the cyber world, but none of those ways include Cyberdating / dating websites. All of the books I’ve read in this series have been phenomenal, rating from 3.5 – 4.5/5 stars. Before I go any further, I need to mention that this series is actually cowritten by both Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell. I’m excited to eventually aread more of Megan Erickson’s stuff, given how much I’ve loved this series. If you want some mini blurbs/reviews of them please continue reading, onwards and upwards!
Strong Signal was admittedly my least favourite out of the four books. Not that it wasn’t enjoyable, it was very much so. I think part of it is me having sometimes having somewhat of a history of not loving the main couple in a series most. What I loved about this book was that the concept was unlike any I’d seen before. Garrett, one of the male protagonists is a soldier overseas. The only truly expensive thing he has to his name is his computer, which he uses for gaming. One day he’s playing one of his favourite games and is owned by / killed by another character. He’s not pleased, as he thinks that it was a cheap shot and the other player shouldn’t have been in that area because he was so highly levelled. Through a series of events, he finds out that the guy who whooped his ass in the cave is actually a gamer with a ton of followers, who’s name is Kai. He can’t stop watching Kai’s videos or livestreams, because Garrett thinks Kai is totally cute. One day he’s on a Tumblr where he stumbles upon some videos Kai took of himself jacking off. Garrett is concerned and messages Kai, thinking he might want to be aware that people online have connected his XXXTube and “gay”mer personas. Kai is already aware of this, but it’s that message that starts them emailing/instant messaging each other and then eventually emailing each other. Garrett dreams of nothing more than showing up at Kai’s door and living happily ever after, but of course things don’t go quite as planned.
I do like that this one dealt with mental illness really well and Garrett was such a rock. I won’t say anything more than that as I feel I’ll get into spoilery territory, but this was a very solid start to the series. I also liked how eventually the two got their HEA but they did so through compromise and neither one selling themselves short in their professional life.
This was my favourite book in the series, and I think it’s a lot of people’s. In Fast Connection you get introduced again to Dominic, who appeared in book one. Basically Dominic was Garrett’s “gay for a day” hook up for sex in the army. The thing is Dominic is basically a giant bag of dicks during parts of book one. He kind of sort of almost a little bit redeems himself near the end of their tenure overseas when he says he’s bisexual and was jealous of Garrett’s connection with others at the base. He also says that he’d like to remain friends with Garrett when he goes back home because he has no other queer friends.
So he’s back home and he decides he wants to start getting together with men. He hooks himself up to Grindr and because he’s got some nice abs, immediately gets a bite. Middle aged father and “silver fox” Luke wants Dominic for a quick, fast and dirty. Luke doesn’t do relationships because of things that have happened in the past. Dominic is somehow able to get through Luke’s many defenses, and convinces him to hook up again, as it’s clear that they have smouldering chemistry. Eventually Dominic grows on Luke, and it’s clear Dominic is into Luke right from the get go. The two start to get to know each other and encourage each other to grow and develop in the ways they need.
I loved this, and I also loved the family relationships and drama that came out of this. It was really well written. Also Dominic was completely redeemed in this. If you enjoyed this book (or others in the series) there is a free short story called The Visit, which occurs after book 1.
Many say this was the angstiest book in the series. I’m not sure if I agree, though it’s not that it wasn’t angsty at all. I guess I’m kind of numb to it as I’m reading some stuff that’s way angstier than this at the moment.
In any case, this book follows “Cherrycakes” and Garvey, the two mods from Kai’s channel that show up during the convention in book 2. Basically “Cherrycakes” aka. Garvey aka. Cerise has had an online crush on Jesse Garvey for forever. When Ian sees Jesse at the convention, he’s initially at a fanartist stall. He sees that Jesse is into him and takes the opportunity to talk to him and invite him out on a date later that night. He knows he should tell Jesse that he is Cherrycakes, but it just doesn’t happen. Cue them having a steamy night of hot sex and then Jesse Garvey finding out Ian’s identity as Cherrycakes the next day. Garvey feels betrayed and Ian runs away.
Ian does a lot of growth in this book, and I’m so happy he was able to find love. I was happier still that Jesse, who sounds like an amazing human being, was able to man up in the ways Ian needed him to, in order to defend himself and his man. These two were made for each other. *happy sigh*
Spoiler alert: This book contains Mature Content (I’m sure you never would have guessed! 😉 )
I just finished this one today. It was lucky timing on my part that I finished book 3, just a few days before book 4 was coming out. In my humble opinion, this is probably tied with book two for hottest sex scenes. It was also my second favourite book in the series. Let’s get into the nitty gritty about what this is about, shall we?
Beau Starr is a youtube star and a resident “inoffensive gay” who uses his channel to promote different aspects of queer life and the queer community. He wants to provide content for all kinds of people, including young viewers who need valuable information. The trouble is he doesn’t always seem to be real.
TrashyZane, on the surface, appears to be Beau’s opposite, he’s messy and talks loudly about how much he likes sex, what he likes to do in bed, and is very genuine with a “fuck what y’all think” kind of attitude. On the surface the two appear to hate one another.
One day TrashyZane pushes enough of Beau’s buttons, that he wants to prove to Zane exactly how he is in bed (nothing “vanilla” about him). The two end up going at it and have spectacular chemistry. The trouble is they still hate each other, until little by little they start opening up and getting to know each other in more ways than just one.
This book was incredibly hot, but there is certainly nothing Vanilla about it. Both Zane and Beau developed a lot as characters, but Beau was the one who I was more impressed with in terms of character growth. I love seeing realistic stories of hate changed to love once the two in question actually start to communicate and make realizations.
I would recommend reading these books in order, as it will make more sense that way (characters for the next book appear in the previous book), but choose any book in this series and you can’t go wrong! : )