Title: Overexposed (In Focus)
Author: Megan Erickson
Length: 177 Pages (Kindle)
Category: Contemporary, New Adult
At a Glance: Overexposed had so much heart and emotion, and the perfect amount of heat—fantastic stuff!
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: 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…
Review: At last! Overexposed is here! I’ve been waiting for this book ever since falling in love with Levi in Out of Frame, and I loved it even more than I thought I would. The setting of the Appalachian Trail was so unique and cool; I love that Megan Erickson chose it as the backdrop for this book. I haven’t personally been there, but Erickson’s spot-on descriptions and all of the obvious research that went into the story put me right there on the trail and made it come alive. Not to mention making me want to go check it out someday!
Ok, first, let’s talk Levi—who I truly do adore. Levi’s persona on Trip League, the reality show he was on when we met him in the last book, was basically a caricature. Sure he’s high maintenance—he did sneak some hair product into his pack so he could stay groomed while on his hike, after all—but the real Levi is so much more. He’s intelligent and warm and insightful, not just the effeminate gay stereotype he was made out to be on the show. And, of course I love the fact that he’s hiking the trail in his sister’s memory.
Every single mention of Layla, and moment Levi spends remembering her, honoring her, talking to her, talking about her, touched me so, so much. His relationship with her was incredibly special, and Erickson does such an amazing job with every aspect of this part of the storyline. This book definitely made me cry. Like five times. Or so. (I am a massive crybaby, but still!) But, it also made me laugh quite a lot, and swoon too many times to count.
The swooning would be on account of Thad. And lines like this…
“I’m not looking at the moon right now, Le,” he said. “I’m looking at you. Those gorgeous eyes. Those lips. That body. You’re the moon I get to see during the day.”
That little gem also leveled Levi of course…
“The breath left my chest in a whoosh at his words. I couldn’t speak, only stare, non-breathing, at the man who’d single-handedly said the most romantic thing to me I’d ever heard in my life.”
So, yeah, Levi never stood a chance.
Thad is brooding and quiet—truly saying almost nothing for hours at a time—but Levi discovers that Thad likes listening to him talk, so he begins chatting him up and soon gets under his skin. As the blurb says, their connection is strong, and I think it takes both of them a bit by surprise. I know it does Thad. And, though it happens fairly quickly, it’s actually very organic and perfectly paced. I love the way things develop between them. These guys had chemistry for dayyyyyys, and the author wrote them some beautiful and unbelievably sexy love scenes. Everything about them together was fantastic.
The epilogue was sweet. I do love that she stuck to series form and showed us all the guys at the end. I definitely see what she was trying to do with tying everything together, as Erickson has said that this would be the last book in the series—though I could absolutely see a story for Matty, and potentially others, so I hope that’s not true!—but I would have actually liked to see more Levi and Thad instead, maybe. I felt like their ending, after the conflict was resolved, rushed by too quickly.
That teeny tiny complaint aside (and, really, that’s totally just me being greedy and wanting more Thad and Levi), and a few small errors and inconsistencies that I hope were caught in final edits, I absolutely loved this book. LOVED. It had so much heart and emotion, and the perfect amount of heat—fantastic stuff!
You can buy Overexposed here: