Book Review: Focus on Me by Megan Erickson

Focus on Me by Megan EricksonTitle: Focus on Me
Series: In Focus, Book 2
Author: Megan Erickson
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy provided by publisher
Published: July 21, 2015 by InterMix

Colin Hartman can now add college to his list of failures. On the coast-to-coast trek home from California, Colin stops at a gas station in the Nevada desert, and can’t help noticing the guy in tight jeans looking like he just stepped off a catwalk. When he realizes Catwalk is stranded, Colin offers a ride.

Riley only intended to take a short ride in Colin’s Jeep to the Grand Canyon. But one detour leads to another until they finally find themselves tumbling into bed together. However there are shadows in Riley’s eyes that hide a troubled past. And when those shadows threaten to bury the man whom Colin has fallen in love with, he vows to get Riley the help he needs. For once in his life, quitting isn’t an option

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Reviewed by: Crissy and J9

Joint Review

In a Nutshell:

Crissy: As a strong New Adult fan, this book owns my heart!

J9: Though not a New Adult fan, I really enjoyed this romance with its realism, heart, and heat!

What We Liked:

Crissy: Oh God! Where do I begin? This book is as powerful in its structure as it is in its plot. I love that this is Riley’s story. In the first book (my review), he was so insignificant, he wasn’t even technically seen on page. And even better is finding out that he is so much more that those pictures Landry had. This story is the peeling back of those pictures to really see the real Riley. And what a beautiful, heartbreaking, amazing man he is.

I love Colin’s character. He’s a bit lost. In reality, he’s tragically lost until Riley happens into his life and he ends up practically following Riley across the continent – even though he’s the one driving. Colin finds himself in that trip, finds his true purpose, I think. Although he’s not aware until much later.

This story is so real. I think there’s a line in the book about how life and love is not a fairy tale. It’s angsty and heartbreaking, and I’m not ashamed to admit I cried. While the real aspects outweigh the light and fluffy of fairy tale princes, the author managed to keep the connection and intensity between the characters on point. The heat between these guys – and especially from quiet-as-a-mouse Riley – is through the roof. I loved it!

J9: I totally agree this is a well-crafted story. It’s told first person by Colin, a young man who failed out of college and is returning home to work at his family’s BBQ restaurant. Colin is a wonderful, honest, warm narrator. But...I needed some internal dialogue from Riley since he’s just as mysterious to readers as he is to Colin and I got that in Riley’s emails to a friend. This was a compelling way to tell this unique story.

I’m not sure how to discuss this without spoiling the book but Riley’s issues are very unique in romance – and all too common in the real world. How the author dealt with Riley’s issues was so realistic and made this book more complex than most New Adult romances I’ve read. There’s a scene where Riley’s issues and Colin’s inexperience collide and the emotional intensity was almost more than I could bear. Lest you worry, the ending, though realistic, is totally a HEA that I needed for these two wonderful characters.  And as Crissy says, the eroticism of this book took me by surprise—in a totally good way!

What We Didn’t Like:

Crissy: There’s nothing I didn’t love about this one. Head over heels--that’s me.

J9: As I said, I’m not a fan of New Adult romance and that’s definitely what this book was. Personal growth/acceptance is just as important here as the romance which isn’t usually my thing. Still, I totally fell in love with these characters and their romance so the fact it was NA wasn’t too big of an issue for me.

In Our Opinion:

Crissy: Focus on Me is a beautiful story of unexpected friends and lovers with real issues. It’s a must read and read again in my book.

J9: This is a powerful story of personal growth and love between two compelling characters – a must read for character-driven-angsty romance fans.

Crissy’s Rating:
5 Frogs

J9’s Rating:
4 Frogs

About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


  1. oh looks like both of you really had fun with this book!! I love a story that deals with real issues you can easily relate with.

    1. Yeah, it was a powerful book but still romance--complete package even if you're like me and don't read New Adult romances!


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