Reviewed by Morgan
Title: Connection Error
Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: Gaymers #3
Heroes: Josiah Simmons/Ryan Orson
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 66,000 words
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: September 5, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: It’s typical of video game programmer Josiah Simmons to be the last one on the plane on the way to the biggest meeting of his career. Though he’s (mostly) coping with his ADHD, he can’t handle another distraction. But he also can’t ignore his rugged seatmate—especially once he learns the military man’s a fan of his game.
Ryan Orson refuses to let his severe injuries pause his career as a navy SEAL. He’s got hours of grueling physical therapy ahead of him, and no time for anything that might get in the way of his return to active duty. But that doesn’t mean he’s above a little first-class flirtation with geeky-cute Josiah.
When a delay strands the pair in St. Louis, they agree to share a hotel room and a night of gaming. Neither expects their new connection to move to the next level in the light of day. Opposites may attract, but is this game over before it’s even begun?
Review: This can absolutely be read as a standalone, but Josiah is in the earlier books and the other books are AWESOME so I’d read this series in order.
Josiah has ADHD, is a programming genius, and has terrible people skills. He’s finally heading up his own team, and at 23 he’s feeling a bit overwhelmed and young, even in this young field.
When he ends up next to a hot SEAL on an airplane trip cross country, the two end up talking about gaming and forming a fledgling bond. However, Josiah’s worship of the hotness of said SEAL is evident, while Ryan (the soldier) doesn’t really find Josiah to be his “type”.
Ryan is going cross country to Walter Reed for some medical treatments (to say what they are would spoil the story) and though Josiah is entertaining, he definitely doesn’t trip all of Ryan’s buttons. In fact, Josiah puts his foot in his mouth more often than not and by the end of the flight, Ryan is ready to never see the geeky programmer ever again.
But… the two end up stranded together over night due to weather and somewhat hitting it off as friends who love to game.
The next several weeks see their relationship advance through emails and texts and before you know it, Ryan and Josiah are friends – maybe even best friends– though Josiah makes it clear he’d like to become lovers, too.
Eventually, they meet again in person, and Ryan can’t deny that his feelings have changed toward the romantic – well, at least toward sexual. But Ryan has some important issues to overcome, one of which is his bad past experiences with long-distance relationships. The other: his future.
Josiah has never had a boyfriend and really wants one now, but doesn’t ever feel comfortable with Ryan and doubts his ability to keep this hot SEAL forever.
I love this series! Give me a geek any day! The banter and dialog are real and refreshingly awkward. This felt like the most realistic love story I’ve read in a long time.
It seems so common that in a relationship, especially a new one, one person “likes the other” more than the other does – or at least it feels that way. In this case, Josiah is falling for Ryan hard and has no ability to hide it. But that plays in his favor as Ryan can’t handle any subtlety or manipulation at this point in his life and Josiah’s openness really helps to cement him into Ryan’s life.
I really, really felt for both these guys. On the one hand, Ryan’s life is absolutely torn up by his new situation and he (rightfully) doesn’t know how to react. He has no experience with someone like Josiah, but Josiah’s bald optimism and candor are exactly what Ryan needs, and he’s smart enough to hold on to that.
I also really felt for Josiah. Between work, his mom and Ryan, he doesn’t know where he stands and that’s a terrible feeling. He wants to keep hoping – but he also fears it’s a lost cause. That was so evident in all his actions and words.
The steam is pretty low in this story – but what’s there is full of feels and dirty talk!
I didn’t love Ryan for most of the story, as I was definitely on Team Josiah FTW and it felt like Ryan didn’t appreciate him fully til almost the end – BUT – we get a lovely – really lovely!- epilogue that proves that Ryan finally clued in and that saved him for me.
I wish we’d gotten to see these guys together in person more – nearly 80% of the book sees these guys on opposite coasts if not opposite continents – but there was enough contact via email/text dialog to see the relationship build organically enough. (I deducted ½ a star for them being separated so much, but it’s a small deduction 🙂 )
Highly recommended to fans of geeks, this series and war heroes.
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*