Book Review: Overexposed (In Focus #4) by Megan Erickson
Overexposed In Focus #4 By: Megan Erickson Release Day: Sept. 20, 2016 Publisher: InterMix Add to Goodreads Source: eARC from publisher in exchange for a honest review GR's Summary: Love runs wild on the Appalachian Trail in the latest from the author of Out of Frame and Focus on Me... 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...
In Focus Series: My Review of Trust the Focus Here My Review of Focus on Me Here My Review of Out of Frame Here
The In Focus Series has been such an amazing reading experience. I love how the author connects all of the new characters to the previous ones, and with each new book, my connection to every single one of them becomes that much stronger and real. Each of these books can be read as a standalone, and you will not be lost in the slightest. However, it's wonderful to read all of the books in the series because they are simply amazing. Also, so that when the characters interact, (briefly), your connection and enjoyment of the story as a reader, becomes that much more profound.
In Overexposed, we get another gritty, raw, and powerfully authentic story that pulls at the heartstrings. We met main character, Levi Grainger, in the previous book, Out of Frame. Levi was a reality star, who was part of the show, Trip League, along with J.R. Butler. He played the token gay male, and much of the footage was edited to make him come across as a more feminine version of himself. He was a fun and easygoing secondary character that I enjoyed getting to know.
In Overexposed, Megan Erickson, delves deep with Levi, and exposes his many complex layers. She gives us a complete picture, and we see Levi as real as if he existed in this life. Levi is mourning the death of his beloved sister and best friend, Layla. Levi decides to hike, The Appalachian Trail, just as he and Layla had planned to do together before she died. As Levi begins his long trek in to the wilderness, he grieves Layla. He remembers moments that they shared, wishes she was on the hike to tease him and give him crap, and talks to her (he believes her spirit is being made happy seeing him fulfill the hike, and that she is watching him.)
Unfortunately, Levi is not very good when it comes to the outdoors. He is a bit high maintenance, and lacks the know-how and common sense in dealing with the danger that the rugged wilderness can present. Fortunately, Levi meets fellow hiker, Thad Connors. Thad is Levi's opposite. He is the strong, silent type, and very proficient at survival. Thad too is in mourning, and Levi is exactly what he needs. Where Thad is serious, grumpy, and keeps to himself; Levi is talkative, shares a lot, and brings levity to life on the trail, and life in general for Thad.
I loved watching the friendship and intimacy grow between Levi and Thad on the Appalachian Trail. They really needed one another, and balanced each other perfectly. Both men were loyal, caring, compassionate, and wounded. The romance between them was a beautiful thing to witness. I cried my eyes out a few times while reading their story. These two main characters touched my heart, and I yearned for their healing.
Overexposed was a story that echoed real life. There were moments of pain, as well as moments of joy, laughter, beauty, love, and healing. If you enjoy LGBT romance, the In Focus Series is a must read. I have loved every single story in this series, and the way that Ms. Erickson brings all of the characters together at the end for a fun and happy vacation.
I give, Overexposed, by Megan Erickson, 4.5 Painful Loss, Introspection, A Surprising Love, Healing, & Happily Ever After Filled Stars!
Megan Erickson is a USA Today bestselling author of romance that sizzles. Her books have a touch of nerd, a dash of humor, and always have a happily ever after. A former journalist, she switched to fiction when she decided she likes writing her own endings better. 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. She is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency.