Early Review: Out of Frame by Megan Erickson

Out of Frame by Megan Erickson
Series: In Focus #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: March 15th 2016
Links: EbookGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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 adore Megan Erickson, but Out of Frame is actually the first book in the In Focus series I’ve read. From how much I enjoyed this one, I’ll definitely need to go back and read the previous books in the series! Quinn and J.R.’s story is a quick read, but it’s full of all the FEELS, and even though it was a bit too short for me taste, I absolutely adored it. Megan Erickson characterizes what it means to be a new adult SO well in her books. I love the way she’s able to balance the humor and heart with the painful and raw emotions – if you’re looking for a well-rounded, well-written new adult novel, Out of Frame is for you!

Quinn Mathers and his best friend Jess are spending the spring break of their last year of college on a Caribbean cruise. Sounds like the perfect college spring break right? It’s the chance for Quinn to finally let loose and have some fun in his life when all he’s known is order and staying within the lines. Maybe he’ll even meet a guy and have a little fling with him… except the moment Quinn meets reality show star J.R. Butler, his spring break gets a whole lot more complicated.

He treated me like . . . a normal guy. In the last couple years, people did one of two things when they met me—picked a fight to get on TV, or kissed my ass to get on TV. It was never about me. As a person. With Quinn, I felt almost human.

All J.R. Butler wants is to be an actor and be able to support his sick brother, so when he was first cast in the reality show Trip League, he thought it was the right decision. Now? Not so much. He’s had to hide his bisexuality and become the clichéd angry black man for the show – he’s never truly able to share who he is to anyone. But with Quinn, he’s different, because he can share who he is and he can just be. Of course, there’s a hot hot HOT chemistry going on between them that had me fanning myself. J.R. and Quinn want each other bad, and the fact that they could get caught by the cameras is scary and a little titillating.

“I want you. Like I haven’t wanted anyone in a long time.”

Quinn and J.R. only have a week together on the cruise before they go their separate ways, but with emotions running high, is it possible to have… more? I loved the way Megan Erickson played out their romance, the way these two were so freaking sweet and adorable at the same time they were sexy as hell together. And even better, the individual journeys of these two men were just as meaningful. Quinn and J.R. both help each other discover and grow into the men they’re meant to be, and I found this the most beautiful aspect of Out of Frame.

“It’s not even just about wanting to be with Quinn, or another guy. This is about me. It’s about being black and queer and compromising because that’s all I’ve ever done in my fucking life, you know?”

Megan Erickson captures the beginnings of a newfound relationship so perfectly – everything about J.R. and Quinn and their romance felt genuine and real. Thankfully, Out of Frame can be read completely as a standalone, since I haven’t read the previous books, but the other couples from the series do make their appearances. I would’ve loved if this book were longer, if we had more time with Quinn and J.R., but otherwise, this book was pretty freaking wonderful. I’m so excited to read the rest of the series!

4 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: In Focus series

  

#1 ~ Trust the Focus: EbookAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Focus on Me: Ebook • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Out of Frame: EbookGoodreads (March 15, 2016)
#4 ~ Overexposed: EbookGoodreads (Sept. 20, 2016)


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