“But you’re perfect for me. You fill in all of my cracks, all the places where I’m not whole. I can only hope I do the same for you.”- Levi, Overexposed
*I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Synopsis via Goodreads: 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…
After having spent months in the public eye, Levi Grainger is ready to step out of the spotlight and return home to his small town life with his mother and sister. Levi and his sister, who is serving in the Army, had planned to hike the Appalachian Trails once they both returned home, but she never made it home. To honor her memory, Levi continues with their original plan and hikes the trails himself. While on the trails, he meets a stranger, Thad Connor. Thad is not much of a talker, but Levi feels connected to him and decides to continue his hike with Thad. But when Levi learns the truth about why Thad is hiking the trails, Levi will have to decide whether or not he wants to continue on this path with Thad, or go their separate ways.
Having spent the last few days binge-reading the In Focus series, I can honestly say that this series has now become one of my favorite series and Megan Erickson has made her way onto my FAVORITE AUTHORS list! I have fallen in love with all these character as I watched them go on adventures in hopes of finding themselves. Overexposed, the final book in this series (for now), is very similar to Focus on Me, the second and also my favorite installment in this series. Like Focus on Me, Overexposed deals with a number of heavy themes as both our characters hike the Appalachian Trails hoping to gain some sense of self and heal open wounds. Levi is mourning his sister’s death and is also trying to decide what he wants to do with the rest of his life. He’s a bit lost and he hopes this hike will help him to gain some perspective. Thad is a man with many secrets and even though I saw the plot twist coming a mile away, I was still taken aback by Thad’s revelation. Just the way things unfolded had me on edge because Thad was keeping a lot bottled up so when everything came to a boil, it was just so much emotions all at once.
This romance was full of angst as two strangers grew closer and became something more. I said it before and I’ll say it again, Megan Erickson tackles sexuality in such a positive way and I can’t get enough. Thad identifies as a gay, demisexual male. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I’VE EVER SEEN THE TERM DEMISEXUAL USED IN A BOOK BEFORE! Demisexuals require a connection with their partner in order to feel a sexual attraction to them and we see that in this book. Thad and Levi are cut off from civilization as they hike these trails and with being on their own, they learn how to trust each other and Thad slowly starts to let down his guard around Levi. When these two finally do get together, it was real, it was raw, it was emotional.
BUT THE ENDING SLAYED MY FEELS! The epilogue, WOW! All our characters throughout this series came together and to see them all in one place finally happy and sorted with their lives BROUGHT ME TO TEARS! I think I would be okay if this book was indeed the final book in this series because the ending was satisfying and I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Overexposed was a beautiful ending to an already amazing M/M romance series. I urge everyone to read these books because you will find yourself connecting with at least one of the characters. I’m looking forward to checking out Erickson’s other series and I hope they are just as honest and emotional as the In Focus series was!