By Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
Cyberlove Series Book 4
4 Be You CROWNS
The Cyberlove series is one of my favorite MM romances EVER! I love the different and incredibly unique characters, the gaming and YouTube world, and the underlying message of embracing who you are that runs through all the books! These books always bring romance, heat, and social awareness that this world so desperately needs, and Mature Content exemplifies everything that I revere about this series of standalones.
Beau and Zane’s epic rivalry and hatred has been apparent from the get-go, but, of course, with any Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell novel, there is more hiding below the surface of each character. Although Zane never hides who he is and embraces what he likes, there is still a part of his sexual proclivities he doesn’t always trust to share with people, and he still struggles with familial issues. What is most surprising about his character is that softness that is lying below this brash man, and, similar to Ian, a previous character from the series, Zane has his YouTube persona that can act as a shield for him at times. The Zane readers see when he is with Beau becomes a combination of TrashyZane and the man they see when he is with Beau, and this is the man readers love the most. Unlike Zane, Beau has spent his life trying to be perfect, but never as much as now due to his need to atone for his past relationship and placing trust in the wrong person. His persona became his shield and his place to hide away from his mistakes. Zane ruffles his perfection, and thank God he does, because this is the Beau readers love. This man who doesn’t just want great sex but a connection, someone to love and trust. While neither of these characters are perfect, they are perfect together.
The pacing, yet again, is fantastic. The hatred and underlying sexual tension is apparent with the dual point of view utilized by the authors. With each scathing remark and jab, it is clear they want to rip each other’s clothes off, and once they do…WOW!! Once they get past their misconceptions of each other, though, is when they begin to build something real, making the romance between these two shine. Of course the conflict is painful to witness and the groveling is beautiful and heartfelt, but what will hit readers most is who these two wonderful and incredibly different men become together, united and unashamed of who they love and who they are.
This series has such an incredibly unique and important voice in the romance genre that should be heard around the world. It opens eyes to different people, relationships, desires, but what makes it really special is that underlying message that is the same for everyone no matter their sexual orientation, gender, preferences, desires, etc. Everyone just wants to be loved and accepted for who they are, and that tolerating isn’t good enough anymore. We need to accept, and what better message could a book offer?
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
My life plan is to be brutally honest all the way to the bank. Don’t believe me? I run a popular YouTube channel called TrashyZane, and my claim to fame is oversharing about every aspect of my personal life. Sometimes while tipsy. Not everyone loves my style, but I have a long history of icing out people who can’t handle me. I have no time for judgmental foolishness.
Except, apparently, when it comes to Beau Starr. His channel is the polar opposite of mine, and so is he. Wholesome, inspirational, and clean-cut. Everything about him should turn me off, but when we hook up following a confrontation at a convention, my world flips upside down. Not only does Beau Starr turn me on, he uses the exact combination of dirty talk and roughness needed to turn me out.
But we still hate each other. I think.
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“Look, if I go clean up are you going to run out the door?”
“Would it bother you if I did?”
Beau frowned. “If I say yes, is it guaranteed you’ll do it just to bother me?” My mouth twitched. He rocked against me. “I’m serious.”
“Fine.” I sighed exaggeratedly, like he was really hassling me. “I’ll stay for a few.”
“Good.” Beau stood up, and I was suddenly eye level with his taut, sculpted stomach. “There’s another bathroom in my bedroom. And…you can grab some shorts from the chest if you don’t want to sit around naked.”
I almost asked him what the hell we were going to be sitting around doing, but kept my mouth shut. He went to the bathroom between the living room and kitchen, and I explored the rest of his apartment while slathered in jizz. It was almost as nice as mine, but nowhere near as artsy. My grandmother had helped me furnish it after shopping at thrift stores and refinishing furniture, but Beau’s apartment was kind of like a showroom. Eerily perfect.
Either way, his bathroom was on point with the lighting and shower, so I jumped in quickly after tying my hair in a knot. I rinsed off, wrapped myself in a super-plush towel, and then snagged a pair of cut off shorts and a T-shirt that had his fucking face on it, which was too funny to not wear.
I waltzed out in my new outfit and found him on the phone with…a menu in his hand. Freezing, I fucked up my entrance and gaped when he waved it in my face.
“Do you like Mediterranean food?”
Beau looked at me like I was an idiot. “Zane. Tell me what you want to eat.”
“Oh. Um. I don’t know. I don’t not like any foods.”
He rolled his eyes and rattled off enough food to feed an entire family. When it was done, and he told them to charge his account, he pointed at the shirt I’d procured.
“Just so you know, I didn’t have that made.”
“Uh-huh. But before I mock you relentlessly, why are you ordering food? Like, just because you’re trying to make up for being a dick doesn’t mean—”
Beau grabbed the front of the shirt and a ripping sound filled the room. He didn’t even pause. Just jerked me against him and kissed me so hard I lost my train of thought. Fuck, I lost my sense of self. Fell headfirst into the intensity of his kiss and then wrapped my arms around his neck because… I really could not get enough.
His soft lips were perfect, his tongue lashing at mine with such finesse my dick started to swell again. Especially when he tangled his hand in my hair and tugged just hard enough to make my knees weaken.
“Fuck me before the food gets here,” I blurted.
Beau pressed our foreheads together, panting against my face. “We just washed up. And I want to talk to you.”
“We can talk later.” Fuck, was I whining? I was whining. “Please, Beau?”
Check out All the Books in the Cyberlove Series
About the Authors:
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 liked 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.
Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.
Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.