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Hard Wired (Cyberlove, #3)

Hard Wired (Cyberlove, #3)

4.7 6
by Megan Erickson

My FallenCon agenda is simple: sit on a couple of panels and let people meet the real me. Jesse Garvy—mod of a famous Twitch channel and, if I ever come out of my shell, future vlogger. I definitely didn’t plan to sleep with a moody tattooed fan-artist, but he’s gorgeous and can’t keep his hands off me. There's a first time for


My FallenCon agenda is simple: sit on a couple of panels and let people meet the real me. Jesse Garvy—mod of a famous Twitch channel and, if I ever come out of my shell, future vlogger. I definitely didn’t plan to sleep with a moody tattooed fan-artist, but he’s gorgeous and can’t keep his hands off me. There's a first time for everything, and my first time with a guy turns out to be the hottest experience of my life.

But the next day, I find out my moody fan-artist is Ian Larsen AKA Cherry—someone I've known online for years. And he'd known exactly who I was while shoving me up against that wall. Before I figure out whether to be pissed or flattered, the con ends.

Now we're back online, and he's acting like nothing happened. But despite the distance between us, and the way he clings to the safety of his online persona, we made a real connection that night. I don't plan to let him forget.

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Megan Erickson
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Cyberlove , #3
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478 KB

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Hard Wired (Cyberlove, #3) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
toniFMAMTC 6 days ago
Ian has different online personas. I get it. He has some baggage from his childhood, and these outward shells are what he needs to protect himself. Jesse is a classic good guy. He worries about everyone else and always tries to help others even if it's at his expense. Ian needs to work on opening up some to the people who are worth his trust, and Jesse needs to learn that sometimes it's necessary to put yourself first. These guys are more than obviously attracted to each other, but their personalities aren't an instant smooth connection. One is set to help fix all potential problems. One is set to block perceived intrusion. The guys do have a bumpy way to go. Hard Wired kept my attention the entire time. There is drama, but it feels necessary, not ridiculous. It's easy to cheer the guys on in their life ventures and their relationship. I loved this book and definitely recommend it. I also enjoyed getting glimpses of previous characters in the series. The entire series is definitely a must read, but even if you haven't read the others, you shouldn't be confused trying this one as a standalone.
tradermare 11 days ago
When Kai's two mods, Garvy and Cherrycakes, meet at FallenCon, things will never be the same for both of them. Traveling with his cousin Beau (who was terrific and needs his own book), Jesse Garvy finally hooks up with a guy at the con. It's a mind-blowing experience for him, and all is good until he finds out who he really hooked up with. Ian has had a difficult life and to cope he's had to create multiple personas like Cherrycakes and Cerise. They help him through his anxieties and Ian needs them. . But Jesse likes the "real" Ian and wants him to be himself, only it's not quite that easy. I really liked how this book examined in depth how Jesse and Ian deal with what's going on in their lives and how it makes them feel. It's not always easy to read the anguish, anxiety, elation and confusion the young men experience in this story, but it's what got me really invested in what was going to happen to them. I liked that things didn't always work out like they were in some fantasy world, and it made for a very powerful story. I love this series. The characters are so well defined, and their emotions so beautifully drawn in all of the books so far in this series. Recommended.
Maria-Rose 14 days ago
Jesse ‘Garvy’ is excited to attend FallenCon as his mentor and friend Kai Bannon’s representative, not the least of which being that he’ll finally get to meet ‘Cherry’, his co-moderator on Kai’s Twitch channel. But before they meet, it’s lust at first sight when he catches a glimpse of ‘Cerise’, a dark and emo (and sexy!) fan-artist, an alter-ego of Ian Larson. Their mutual attraction leads to a steamy one-night stand, one Jesse hopes will be repeated. But when it turns out that Ian’s other alter-ego is Cherry, Jesse is left feeling betrayed and angry that Ian didn’t tell him the truth before they slept together. Ian knows he screwed up. He wanted to tell Jesse who he really was, but worried that the revelation of his identity as Cherry would blow any chance of being with a man he’d fantasized about for so long. Now they’ve gone back to their respective States and he doesn’t know how to fix things, to work with Jesse on Kai’s channel as co-mods when they can’t even speak to each other. But Jesse doesn’t hold a grudge for long, and his attempts to re-establish a connection with Ian mean the lines of communication are open. Ian is in the process of applying for a scholarship to a school close to where Jesse lives, giving them the opportunity to see each other in person again. After their rocky start, can they find some common ground to build a real relationship on? This is a very enjoyable read that takes a look at the highly popular video game industry and how it’s evolved into a whole other business of conferences, cosplay, social media channels like Twitch, YouTube and Tumblr and the personalities therein. Like a giant popularity contest, ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ and social media pages translate into advertising dollars, so can mean a real income for the people involved. And then the fan side of things takes it to a whole new level. From an outsider’s point of view like mine, it’s a fascinating world and I enjoyed reading about it, as much as the romance between Ian and Jesse. Ian’s a complex character, having come from an abusive foster child background. His identities as Cerise and Cherry are protective mechanisms, both part of his true character. It’s Jesse who can see how Ian is a sum of these parts and he wants Ian to be able to be with him in person no matter the guise he’s wearing, causing some of the conflict between them. Jesse is a much more easy going guy than Ian, and unlike Ian, his character online is the same as he is in real life. It’s not to say he doesn’t have problems, as his relationship with his hippie parents causes him some personal drama too. Ian and Jesse’s relationship isn’t a one sided one and they both have advice and strength to offer the other. Of course this wouldn’t be a Cyberlove story without the sexy times! Ian and Jesse have that insta-lust connection that leads to a very steamy first encounter and even though it takes a while for them to get back together again due to living in different places, it doesn’t stop them from some long distance shenanigans. The emotional connection between them is strong and though they have their ups and downs, the happy ending they achieve is very satisfying. There are some interesting secondary characters in this one, which I hope is an indication that there are more stories to come in the series! Hard Wired is is an emotionally intense and sexy romance that will definitely have you checking out gaming social media channels if you aren’t already a fan.
BookWorm221 14 days ago
I’m completely obsessed with these characters, every single book and character that we meet in this series is so interesting to me. I wish we could get books for every one we meet, especially in this book because we meet some pretty amazing new characters that I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of. Garvy and Cherry, Garvy and Cherry!!!! If you read their interactions in the past books, it’s pretty apparent that there’s something going on with them and then as individuals Garvy always made me question his true personality, like when he was being overprotective of Kai and jealous of Garret. But I never imagined that Jesse and Ian could have the lives they have, both are shouldering hurts from the past and even present. Jesse and Ian stole my heart, Jesse is just a cuddle bear, he was so nice to Ian, so attentive and just wasn’t afraid to put himself out there and express his feelings and what he wanted from Ian, and Ian, oh broken beautiful Ian, my heart went out to him every time he struggled with himself and this new found relationship with Jesse. One thing that I love about this series is that we meet these character that seem so real, they deal with past traumas but also on a day to day basis they have doubts about the future, about work, about school about the rest of their lives and that to me just means that both authors really work at making the characters believable to put them in settings that we can relate to or at least understand and recognize in real life. And the thing I love the most is that at the end of the book those issues are still a part of the characters, just because they found love and stability it does not mean that those deep rooted issues are going to magically go away, no, they are still flawed and looking to get better while sharing a life with the person that loves and supports them. I adore this series and can’t wait to read about whoever Megan and Santino decide is next.
amatate 14 days ago
4.5 stars- A heavy dose of angst in the third Cyberlove book Hard Wired isn’t exactly what I anticipated when I eagerly opened this ARC. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book, but readers expecting the wit, banter, and more light-hearted read like Fast Connection will likely be surprised. The writing is still very good, the sex hot, and the emotions palpable. I didn’t get as much cohesiveness in the dual POV as I felt in Fast Connection. I’m not sure if it was due to typical dual author writing style differences or if it was more apparent because the characters were pretty dissimilar; but the contrasts and transitions were jarring at times. Hard Wired certainly has the most angst of the series, tapping into more conflicting emotions and uncertainties than even Strong Signal. Those doubts led to a lot of back and forth for the characters in their individual lives as well as their coupledom. At first, I had difficulty connecting to the story. I liked Jesse and Ian. Their history as co-moderators for Kai’s Twitch channel and the premise of them meeting the first time at a convention was different and exciting. Both men were interesting with unique backstories and struggles. However, there is a lot of depth to their personas and it took time to flush it out. The details were vital to the story, but my attention waned. Once the individual characters were developed, I enjoyed their interactions as they explored a friendship that morphed into more. In many ways Jesse and Ian’s personal conflicts were the central theme of the story. They had very different life experiences and handled challenges in ways the other didn’t entirely understand. I especially liked the explanations of Ian using different online personas to protect him and allow him to fit in among his intended audience. Obviously that’s not an uncommon practice, but reading about it as a personal experience intrigued me. Seeing his turmoil endeared me to Ian more so than Jesse, and I felt frustrated or protective when Jesse didn’t get it or pushed Ian to “be himself”. While this and the other personal conflicts were really interesting, it also kept the romance in the background. Additionally, as in Strong Signal, much of the book and start of their relationship is online. The physical distance made it difficult to “witness” the chemistry between characters and I didn’t feel the sparks until later. As the book progressed, I found myself smiling over the characters more and more. After they acknowledged their feelings for one another and started moving toward trying to start a relationship, things fell in place and I couldn’t get enough of them- both individually and together. I loved the ending, it felt comfortable and “right”. Reflecting over the three books, I have to acknowledge that though the Cyberlove series and characters are interconnected, Megan and Santino do an excellent job at crafting individual stories that don’t follow a cookie cutter pattern. Once I finished and considered how different each book was, I appreciated the differences in tone more. So while I may not have immediately connected with this book, I definitely ended with a contented sigh and a warmness in my heart. *Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*
DiverseReaderMK 15 days ago
This is book three of Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell’s Cyberlove series. In Hard Wired we are getting Garvy and Cherrycakes story…. And it’s deep! When you mix these two authors together you are going to get one Hell of a story. It’s not going to be all surface; it’s going to be immersing. Garvy and Cherrycakes, as you likely know, are Mods for Kai’s Twitch channel. Now I don’t want to get all synonymous synopsis on you. I want to talk about the depth of these characters and the message I took away from it. Cherrycakes aka Ian is also an aka someone else. The layers to this character were many. He’s so relatable it’s not even funny. I think we are all someone else. We use clothes, make-up, and our environment as camouflage from all that can hurt us. For those who have been scarred by society and our stories that make us who we are tend to fall deeper into this self-illusion. That’s Ian. I found it also really interesting that we don’t get but glimpses of what Ian endured growing up and I thought it would annoy me but it didn’t. It was like the authors wanted us to fill in the blanks. To find the thing in your life to take the place of all we don’t hear so we can understand Ian. So we can relate. Jesse Garvy… So he’s just like the sweetest man ever! I can’t even say his name without smiling. He overcomes a lot in this. Self-esteem (though I think that’s something that will always linger) He stands up for himself and for Ian. Here we see a character grow. His evolution is inspiring in a lot of ways. He moves out from under that crushing thumb. It’s terrific. I found this to be such an awesome addition to this series. I love how each book is its own but they all connect. There’s a brief overlap from book 2 and when we see it (well I did anyway) there was awwwwwww!!! There was a lot to take away from this story and I loved how I related to it and how it affected me in the best kind of way.