Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Out of Frame by Megan Erickson

Out of Frame (In Focus #3)****

Romance trades the open road for the high seas in the latest from the author of Focus on Me and Trust the Focus...

Perpetually shy, Quinn Mathers is content to remain in the shadow of his brash best friend Jess Hartman. But before their college graduation, he and Jess have planned one last hurrah: a spring break Caribbean cruise.

And it won’t be just any cruise. On board are members of the reality show Trip League, which follows young twenty-somethings on adventures around the world. Since the show’s beginning, Quinn has been fascinated by J. R. Butler, with his amazing body, warm eyes, and killer grin. Unfortunately, he’s straight—or so the world thinks.

At nineteen, J. R. signed a contract to play straight for the show, and there’s no way to get out of it now. Yet with each passing day, Quinn and J. R. find it harder to keep their hands off each other and to keep out of the camera’s frame. But when the lens finally focuses on them, J. R. must decide if he’s willing to risk his career by admitting his bisexuality, and Quinn must determine if he's bold enough to stand in the spotlight with the man of his dreams... 


I can’t resist a new title by Megan Erickson.  Ever since I read Make It Count, I’ve been a fan.  When I saw that a third book from the In Focus series was coming out I couldn’t get my hands on it fast enough.  All of the books in this series are “road trip” stories and I found the use of a cruise as the “trip” to be fresh and entertaining.  Rather brilliant when you think about it.  It opens a world of possibilities since you can do almost ANYTHING on a cruise.  And, of course, it didn’t disappoint.

If you have been reading this series, you met Quinn Mathers towards the end of Focus on Me.  A shy gangly guy that just wants to meet the love of his live.  Eventually.  First he just wants to let loose with his BFF, Jess, while they celebrate their last spring break on a cruise with a bunch of reality stars and their biggest fans.   Quinn is looking forward to getting a look at his TV crush, J.R. Butler.  Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine that J. R. Butler might want to get a look at him too.

Unlike Quinn, J.R. Butler is just waiting for this cruise to be over.  When the cruise is done then so is the reality show and he can hopefully sneak out of the closet his agent shoved him into a couple years before.  But a prospective job and a hot redhead have the very real ability to complicate things in ways he definitely hadn’t planned.

I really liked both of these characters.  Quinn was my kind of guy.  Super cute and geeky and a bit awkward.  And J.R. was the guy of my teenage dreams.  Talk, dark and brooding.   Together they were a combination of cute/awkward and hot/sexy depending on the scenario.  As a couple they hit all the right buttons for me as a reader.

The conflict in this story brings the characters and the story together effortlessly.  Quinn has already had the boyfriend that was in the closet and he isn’t interested in doing that again.   Even if it is with someone hot and famous.  Not an uncommon theme in LGBT romance but never a dull one.   To complicate Quinn’s determination to have an out and proud relationship, he is falling for a guy that is contractually obligated to stay in the closet.  J. R. has a lot to lose (not just career-wise) if he breaks that contract.  Needless to say, both of them have to decide if the mere possibility of a future together is enough to take some huge emotional and financial risks.

Megan Erickson succeeds yet again in delivering an original and entertaining New Adult romance.  If you are a fan of New Adult stories definitely grab this one.  If you are new to the series, that’s okay.  This one definitely stands on its own.  And if you are already a fan of the In Focus books, you will be happy to see a bit of both Justin & Landry AND Colin & Riley.


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