Chad Lake only showed up at his sister's party for the free food, but when he spots an uptight nerd at the edge of the crowd, he can't resist trying to ruffle the guy's perfect bow tie and impeccable hair. The hottie's ready for him, though, and in the end, it's Chad who's left wide-eyed, his ears still ringing with the filthy things Bow Tie whispered in his ear. No one gets the upper hand on Chad. Ever.
Owen Hawkins has heard all about the cocky Adonis from Chad's sister—the same sister who holds Owen's career advancement in her hands. He has every intention of steering clear of the other man…until Chad's sexy taunts push him too far. There's something intriguing about Chad, and even though Owen knows that getting tangled up with the infuriating man is trouble, he can't seem to stay away…
Each book in the Gamers series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Book #1 Changing His Game
Book #2 Playing For Her Heart
Book #3 Tied to Trouble
Book #4 Leveling The Field
About the Author
Megan worked as a journalist covering real-life dramas before she decided she liked writing her own endings better and switched to fiction.
She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. When she's not tapping away on her laptop, she's probably listening to the characters in her head who won't stop talking.
For more, visit meganerickson.org
Read an Excerpt
Tied to Trouble
A Gamers Novel
By Megan Erickson, Heather Howland
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Megan Erickson
All rights reserved.
Chad leaned over the candy apple — red fuel tank of his Honda Interceptor and prepared to gun the engine. The Toyota in front of him had been going exactly one mile over the speed limit for the last five miles, and if Chad didn't blow this Popsicle stand soon, he'd explode into a mass of impatient flames.
His sister had said there'd be food at this party where he was heading, and he'd be damned if he passed up that — or the chance to see his sister's smiling face — because of some lame-ass driver he'd already dubbed Turtle Toyota.
He flicked his wrist, building up speed, relishing the wind on his face and in his hair. The weather in Willow Park, Pennsylvania, was finally warming up and there was no better way to celebrate than flying down the highway with a huge hunk of powerful, vibrating machine between his legs.
When there was a break in traffic on the two-lane road, Chad took his shot, crossing the double yellow lines into the lane of oncoming traffic and screaming past the slow-ass turtle of a Toyota, making a point to shoot a daredevil grin at the driver of the slow sedan. He caught a glimpse of big blue eyes and then he was back over on the correct side of the road, in front of the Toyota. And ahh, the open road.
In a matter of five minutes, he slowed to a stop in front of Austin Rivers's house. Well, it was Marley's house, too, now that she'd moved in with her boyfriend. They were sickeningly perfect in a way that stirred a longing in Chad's gut. But instead of dwelling on that bit of suckage, he spent his time lobbing tech puns at the two nerdy lovebirds.
It felt a hell of a lot better than focusing on everything he didn't have.
Yet, he told himself. Everything he didn't have yet.
Unless he chickened out. Again.
Not thinking about it.
He parked his bike, checked to make sure his wallet was tucked into the back pocket of his jeans, and straightened his black leather jacket. His sister and her boyfriend were throwing a party for the employees and associates of Gamers magazine, a company Austin used to co-own and where Marley still worked. Apparently the guy wanted to thank them for all they'd done the years he'd been a part of the company. Chad guessed that was pretty cool — he'd never held a job where his boss wanted to spend extra time with his employees, let alone thank them.
He slipped through the door and headed straight for the kitchen. He probably should've found Marley first and given her shit for inviting him to a stuffy work event, but he really was hungry. And as his sister liked to say, a hungry Chad was an obnoxious Chad. He'd just grab a few things and find her when he was fit for human company. Honestly, he was doing everyone a favor.
When he walked into the room, angels sang and the heavens shined down from above. Food. Glorious food. Meat and cheese platters, fruits and vegetables, and some little pastry things that looked Greek and delicious.
Chad didn't bother with a plate, just began to dig in. He was shoving a huge strawberry in his mouth when a throat cleared and his turned his head to see his sister with her arms over her chest, eyebrows raised.
Busted. He tried to say, "Hey," but because of the strawberry, it came out more like a grunt.
"Really?" Marley asked.
He chewed and swallowed, which took some effort. "Where'd they get these strawberries? They're mutant."
Marley rolled her eyes and popped a cube of cheddar in her mouth. "Who knows where Austin gets anything? But seriously. You couldn't come out and socialize before stuffing your gullet?"
He surveyed the strawberries for another massive one and spotted his prize. He grabbed it before his sister could steal it. "I'm a growing boy who has to leave for work in a couple of hours. Let me fill my poor starving belly, and I'll be out in a little bit."
Marley snatched the strawberry out of his hand. "Speaking of you finally having a job, you can afford your own food."
"Hey!" he protested. The finally dig bothered him, but as always, he didn't let it show. It was his own fault, in a way. He'd always played in to the part of the job-hopping, fun-loving guy. He couldn't expect to be treated differently than how he treated himself.
Marley took a dainty bite off the tip. "How is the job by the way?"
He shrugged. He'd been to Blue Moon Bar enough that it made sense he should get paid to be there, plus he made a mean Screaming Orgasm. Sure, the work uniform was a little weird — tuxedo pants, a bow tie, and a pair of white cuffs, no shirt — but his nipple rings were tip magnets, so whatever. "It's fun."
"How about this one lasts, yeah?" Her voice was softer now, kinder.
Chad resisted the urge to bristle. He knew his sister was just trying to be nice and watch out for him. It wasn't like he didn't know that hopping from job to job was ridiculous. He'd been doing it for so many years at this point, it was almost second nature. He hated being tied down, doing the same thing, talking to the same people. Hell, he hated wearing the same clothes. So what if he had a new job every couple of months? He paid his bills.
He ignored the voice in his head telling him that wasn't quite enough for him anymore, and said, "Sure, Mars."
She smiled at him and he felt a swell of warmth and love and mushy feelings. Marley was his best friend, and the only one who seemed to see him as anything other than a throwaway. He'd thought so many times of talking to her about his recent discontent, of his desire for more — a challenge, something to be proud of, just more. But it was never the right time (like now), or he chickened out (like now). He leaned in and kissed her forehead. "Go make out with your boyfriend. I'm going to grab a beer and I'll be outside."
She gave him a quick hug and walked out the back door with a, "You better not eat and leave!"
He'd been contemplating it, so maybe it was a good thing she'd given that order. There was really no reason for him to be here other than his sister had invited him and, well, food. So he popped some sort of pecan tart in his mouth, grabbed a beer out of the fridge, and followed Marley out back.
The backyard was full of people. Other than Marley and Austin, he knew two of them — Grant Osprey, the owner of Gamers, and Grant's girlfriend, Chloe.
He tilted his head with the bottle of beer up to his lips. The familiar tang of liquid hit his tongue and the comforting glug sounded in his ears. Ah, yes, beer. Nectar of the gods, really. No fancy wine or scotch in a highball glass for him.
A fidgeting man standing on the outer fringes of the crowd drew Chad's attention. Then the man turned, and big, round blue eyes behind horn-rimmed glasses met his. He tipped his bottle toward the guy in a cheers gesture. He meant to look away, he really did, except those blue eyes blinked at him, and Chad couldn't tear his gaze away. Everything about the guy screamed geek, from his perfectly parted and slicked-back blond hair to his button-down shirt and pressed slacks. He even wore a bow tie, for God's sake — and not in the tacky Chippendales homage way like Chad sported at Blue Moon Bar.
But there was something about his eyes, those perfectly pouted lips, that had Chad wondering what the guy would look like on his knees at Chad's feet.
Oh, shit, his sister would laugh her ass off if she found out he was perving on Bow Tie.
Chad watched as the guy's eyes did the exact same thing to him. He braced his feet apart, let his arms fall loosely to the side and cocked his head, like, yeah, you know you want this, Bow Tie. Except when Bow Tie's gaze returned to Chad's face, there was ... nothing. Blank slate. No blush staining his cheeks or lust burning in his eyes.
Nope, Bow Tie — who was clearly into guys, because no straight man checked out another guy like Bow Tie had just done — had rated Chad and found him lacking.
Chad frowned. No one found him lacking. At least not physically. He was a solid eight and a half, maybe a nine and a quarter on a good day. He could use a haircut. But Bow Tie was ... was ... Chad growled. He didn't know, but Bow Tie was something. And just when he was about to open his mouth and figure it out, Bow Tie lifted an uninterested eyebrow and turned around.
Which only succeeded in making sure Chad's gaze dropped right to the guy's ass, and even encased in uptight khaki pants, said ass looked spectacular.
Damn it, why couldn't Bow Tie have a flat ass? Chad huffed out a breath. It was like karma hated him.
He took a sip of his beer. Forget it. Forget that bow tie he wanted to unravel with his teeth and that hair he wanted to mess up with his fingers.
And anyway, those mini sandwiches he'd passed over earlier in the kitchen were calling his name. Unlike the stuffy bow tie — wearing hottie across the yard.
* * *
What were the odds Crazy Illegal Motorcycle Man was in fact his boss's wild child brother, Chad Lake?
Or that a guy like that would ever check out a guy like him?
Owen Hawkins carefully schooled his face, pretending to listen as his coworker went on and on about ... something. He wasn't even sure how he'd gotten roped into this conversation with five of his peers — two of whom he bet didn't even know his name — but there he was, trapped in that awkward position where he couldn't walk away without excusing himself.
Although, maybe he should so his coworkers actually noticed he was there.
Gamers was a quarterly magazine specializing in all things gaming. They posted reviews and news and all things gamer geek. Which fit Owen, and was why this job was just about his dream job.
And yet, dream job or not, and despite the fact he was the lead copy editor at Gamers, no one outside his small copy-editing team knew he existed. He needed to somehow find a way to change that if he was going to move up in the company. Except he didn't know how, and the thought of stepping into the spotlight terrified him. Being invisible in high school and college — especially as a gay man in a conservative area — had been perfectly fine. But as a professional adult? Not so much.
His gaze drifted to the door that led to the kitchen. The same door through which Chad had disappeared — right after undressing Owen with his eyes.
He had immediately recognized Marley's brother from the photos on her desk. What he hadn't gleaned from the pictures was that Chad was downright hot. There was a presence to Chad that hadn't come through in pictures. This effortless swagger, this posture of confidence. Which was just about the opposite of Owen. He could never pull off the tight jeans, the motorcycle boots, and the leather jacket. Those big gaudy earrings and dyed black hair that was a tad too long, brushing along the guy's infuriatingly long eyelashes.
Marley had told him plenty of stories about her brother — stories that left Owen intrigued but wary. He hadn't even met the man yet, and he was living up to those stories. When Chad had driven past Owen (illegally!), he'd shot him that sexy grin, all teeth and charm and sex. And no helmet. Which made Owen fucking crazy. What if Chad had gotten in an accident? Sure, it wasn't illegal in Pennsylvania to ride without a helmet, but it was a damn good idea to wear one. He certainly didn't want Chad's head cracked open on the road.
The man in question breezed back into the yard, beer in hand.
Chad was trouble and drama and everything Owen definitely didn't need in his life.
And now he was staring at Owen like he was formulating a plan.
Owen quickly turned away, heat crawling up his cheeks. Why did Chad have to be the hottest guy he'd ever laid eyes on? And why, when he was practically invisible to everyone, did he have to somehow be visible to him?
He sucked it up and mumbled some awkward excuse to his coworkers, who barely even looked in his direction, then made his way inside the house. He needed to escape the crowd, be by himself, and buy some time before he had to come up with an excuse for why he needed to leave early.
A hand grabbed his arm as he moved through the kitchen. Marley, thankfully. She held a half-full wineglass, which he promptly snatched out of her hands and drained.
"Hey!" She frowned at the empty glass. "Actually, knowing you and social situations, you probably needed that more than me."
"I would say so." He set the glass on the counter.
She pointed a finger at him. "Still, I'm writing that up and putting it in your file at work."
That made him grin. "Oh, yeah? Is that a check box on the employee disciplinary action form? 'Underling stole my beverage'?"
She huffed. "There's a write-in option."
He might be invisible to many of his coworkers, but not Marley. Never Marley. When she was lead copy editor, she had considered him her second in command. Their partnership had always been smooth, probably because their friendship was easy, although ripe with banter. Marley said it kept them sharp.
Owen gestured vaguely to the crowd outside the door. "So, uh, nice party."
She chuckled. "Wow, that took a lot of effort for you to say, huh?"
"Nice and party don't really go together in my world."
Marley's face brightened, and she held up a finger. "Hey, did you meet my brother yet?"
He didn't dare say too much, lest he blurt out that her brother was hot as hell. "Um ..."
She frowned and glanced outside. "Hmm. He must have left. He came for the beer and free food." She rolled her eyes, but Owen had to agree with her brother. Free food and beer were really the only reasons to attend parties. Marley shrugged. "Another time, maybe."
It was time to bail before Marley pushed this whole meeting-her-brother thing. Owen wasn't in the mood to stammer and fidget in front of the insanely hot Chad Lake, who would probably steamroll him with his leather-and-smirk pheromones. "Yeah, I'm probably going to, uh, head out soon."
She smiled and kissed his cheek. "I'm just happy you lasted this long. See you on Monday."
He blew out a breath. As soon as he used the bathroom, he was out of there. Straightening his bow tie, he made his way through the living room and down the hallway. About five feet from the bathroom door, though, he stopped abruptly, because something was blocking his way.
Or actually, someone.
Chad leaned against the doorframe, preventing Owen's entry to the bathroom. He was even hotter close up — all wild hair and hazel eyes and full, sensual lips. The T-shirt under his jacket was stretched across his broad chest. Those long legs were encased in worn denim and his ankles crossed casually. His gaze slowly worked its way down Owen's body, then back up to his face. Chad tilted his head and stuck his tongue out to wet his bottom lip.
Owen had a fleeting thought that this was an act, probably a whole series of seductive gestures Marley's brother had down to a science, but it didn't matter. Owen's body heated, his cock beginning to perk up in his pressed khakis.
He needed to get away from this guy before he did something stupid. Like kiss him. Or fuck him. He should turn around, find another bathroom. There must be a bathroom upstairs, but that wasn't polite, was it? To traipse around the second floor of someone's house without permission?
So there he was, staring at those sexy lips twisted into a smirk.
Owen clenched his jaw and gestured over Chad's shoulder. "I, uh, was heading in there."
But Chad didn't move, and those hazel eyes grew heavy lidded as his gaze dropped to Owen's mouth.
Which made him look at Chad's mouth, imagining all the things it could do.
He made to brush past the other man, but that was a mistake, apparently, because instead of finding himself in the bathroom, he was pressed against the wall beside the door, Chad's hands fisted on the wall on either side of Owen's head.
His eyes went wide, and he choked back a curse. Chad's face was inches away. Owen could see he'd missed a spot shaving, right there on the corner of his right jaw. He could lean forward, just a bit, run his tongue along that stubble ...
Excerpted from Tied to Trouble by Megan Erickson, Heather Howland. Copyright © 2016 Megan Erickson. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
## FANTASTIC read. Wow, how I adored Owen. Chad irked me a little with his hurtful words, but that was the main conflict in the book. And without conflict, there IS no book. Someone needed to tell him that words DO hurt, so be careful how you use them. The author did a marvelous job conveying that point. These two characters were really good together and I loved that the author gave them such a complete ending. It's the absolute pits when you spend several hours reading a book only to have it end abruptly. I laughed out loud when I saw the picture of "Dapper D*ck" on the last page. Too funny! I will read again. 150 pages and hot m/m sex.
This is a fun read about two men, who have major differences, getting under each other's skin. Chad is the up for whatever type. He drives a motorcycle without a helmet, changes jobs frequently and flirts his way through life. Owen wears bow ties and is all about security and safety. Being around Chad brings Owen out of his shell. He becomes bold when hit with Chad's shameless teasing. Chad has never been put in his place like Owen does. It's a big turn on for him. Also, it gives him that extra bump in the right direction. Chad has wanted a career for sometime, but knowing someone else believes in him strengthens his resolve. Tied to Trouble is heavy on the sexy adventures and backs that up with great heart. I enjoyed reading it.
4.5 stars — Winner winner chicken dinner!! Even though this one had a bit of a lack of communication problem, it fit with the characters and struggles more, so it didn’t bother me as much as it might have. And Chad and Owen just totally won my heart! Chad was actually pretty much exactly as I was expecting. Sometimes his childishness would surprise me, but then I would think about what I know of him, and it would actually fit. I could honestly feel his insecurities, and his fear of living down to the expectations everyone had of him…expectations that he cultivated, but still. It’s hard to break out of that cycle, you know? And I thought we got a great look at that with Chad. I wanted to smack him so many times for the way he lashed out at Owen, but that didn’t mean I didn’t also feel for him and what he was struggling with. I get paralyzed by fear a lot, so I can vibe. I loved his snarky, smart-alecky personality. He may have done a lot of smirking, but it suited him. I think I got a bit of a different feel to Owen in the first book, but since we barely saw him, it was OK that he was somewhat different than I was expecting. He struggled with his own set of insecurities, worried that his tendancy towards uptightness would prove not enough for Chad. I couldn’t help but kind of wonder what his youth was like, but it didn’t affect my enjoyment of his story. I love that in general he didn’t let Chad walk all over him…for some reason Chad brought out a strength in him he didn’t know he had. I also appreciated that he was struggling with overcoming his own shyness/introvertedness at work, trying to make more of a difference and get the notice he deserved. His introvertedness felt much more authentic and natural compared to Chloe in book 2. The two of them together were even kind of different than what I was expecting! I didn’t expect them to have an almost adversarial vibe at the beginning. I mean, I guess it’s sort of hinted at in the blurb, but it went on for longer than I expected. You could really feel the opposites part of the opposites attract in this one…and it was interesting to see how they had this strong pull towards each other, but because they were so different, neither of them trusted that there could be more…it really brought out each of their insecurities in full force. I’m not always good with so much push and pull, but it worked for Chad and Owen for some reason. I think because we got to see these moments of hope…these moments of connection that were more. And it doesn’t hurt that they were smoking together. While this isn’t the last in the series, I read the last one first so it’s *my* last one. And I ended my reading of the Gamers series very satisfied. I felt like the nerdy aspects were well done and not gimicky like they could have been. And I loved that in each book we got a very satisfying epilogue. It was nice to see glimpses of our previous two couples in the background, and I was so happy with the way Owen and Chad’s story resolved. I’m a happy girl.
I absolutely LOVED Chad and Owen. These two characters were so well written. Chad with his cockiness that hides his insecurities, and Owen who peaks out of his "shell" when he gets around Chad. I really enjoyed the way these two men played off he other. The book had the right amount of hawtness and substance to make it sooo amazing. All of the drama that was in the story made sense with the personalities of characters and kept me engaged in the story. I was definately rooting for these two throughout this book.
I hadn't read a Megan Erickson book in a long time and I'm so glad I pulled this book out my TBR! It was the perfect book to read after a reading slump, I couldn't stop reading, the characters and plots were both funny and interesting. The way these two meet is super hot and every encounter after that just get hotter and hotter, it was a lot of fun to read how they found a way to get in each others lives and accept the support and care of the other. Truly a wonderful book, I'm so glad I decided to read this series, I knew Miss Erickson would never disappoint me.
Megan Erickson just BLEW MY MIND with this book! I probably shouldnt even be allowed to write a review about Tied to Trouble because there is no way I can even be objective about it, I LOVED it that much. I am fairly certain that it is the first M/M book that Entangled Brazen has published and they absolutely knocked it out of the park by having Megan Erickson write it. WOW! Her characters, Chad and Owen, could not have been more perfect. I dont want to give away any spoilers but dear Lord.... OWEN.OWEN.OWEN. He makes me want to be a g*y man so he can be my boyfriend. There is not enough space in this box nor time in the day to write all the good things about this book. Just please, take my word for it. Its a wonderfully written story with complex, fully developed characters that you will fall in love with. Oh yeah, the sexy times are really hot too. ;) 5*****wickedgoodstars for Tied to Trouble and a million more if I had them. Way to set the bar high for the rest of 2016, Megan Erickson! Kudos to you!
My Review: There are books that immediately when you start to read them, you know they are going to be fantastic. This was that book for me. I cannot tell you how much I loved this book (but I'm gonna try.) And I'll admit I felt that way from the very first page. The first scene between these two men is explosive...wow, talk about chemistry! But they are a very unlikely pair. Owen is very straight-laced. He works for Marley (Chad's sister) at Gamers. He's a shy, introverted guy who wears bow-ties and follows the rules...always. Chad is a bit of a wild child. He's never stayed at a job for long, drives a motorcycle (without a helmet), and doesn't have much focus in his life. He's a bartender known for being flirty and vivacious. Everyone likes him, although he doesn't have much respect because he's always been perceived as a little flighty. And that perception is one he has of himself also. Chad is at the point in his life where he wants more. He knows he needs to settle, find ambition, make something of himself. He's an incredibly talented artist and dreams of studying design, but is afraid to put himself out there. What happens when you fail at the one thing you really want? He's failed at sticking at everything he's tried. Rather than risk it, he continues the way he's always gone. That is until he begins to hang out more with Owen. Owen is the first person to really see Chad as more than just a screw-up. It allows him to dream of more...but that doesn't happen immediately. No, at first these guys are serious oil and water. They fight...like vicious snarking...and then their explosive chemistry gets to be too much and they sink into it and each other...wherever they are, much to rule-following Owen's chagrin. This book was so good. These characters were so amazing. I ADORED their story. This is one of those books that I wanted to read slow because I didn't want it to end, but couldn't put it down because I was dying to know what happened next. I loved every single moment of reading it. And this should be obvious, but I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS ONE. Note: This book is #3 in the Gamers series. The first two books were m/f (good reads also), but if you don't read m/f or aren't interested in a 3 book time commitment, you easily can read this book as a stand-alone. But sexy nerds all around...they're a GOOD THING! I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review, but note, I will be buying a print copy as soon as it's possible to do so because I NEED this book on my keeper shelf.
Superheros. Bow Ties. Feelings. Oh my! This book was so much fun to read. Chad and Owen are both fantastic characters and I loved getting to know them and watch them fall for one another. This is a classic story of two people who cannot stand one another, don't think they have anything in common except for mad chemistry and then bam... feelings emerge! I loved the way you saw them gradually open up and see things in one another that they liked beyond the physical. The slow build of feelings beneath the surface that neither one quite knew what to do with. The unsettling realization that there was something there between them. It felt true and real that each of them was uncertain at times and that they didn't exactly handle things right. It was true to the characters and it fit the story. I loved the way they made up though and set things moving in the right direction. I fell in love with Chad and Owen as they fell in love with each other.
Since I first heard Megan was writing a M/M book in her AMAZING (and fantastically nerdy) Gamers Brazen series, I knew I needed this book in my life ASAP. And believe me, when I got my hands on it, I wasted no time jumping in. On Christmas Day. With my family. This book is HOT and I was admittedly a little uncomfortable reading some of the scenes with my mom, dad and extended family nearby. But it didn't stop me! I loved Chad and Owen's story. They couldn't have been more different, but those differences are what made the book really work for me. Chad was more reckless, adventurous and less tied down than Owen. He was more into fun than responsibilities and being all serious. Now, don't get me wrong, he had talents, goals and ambitions, but he also recognized the value of frivolity and flirtation. And flirtation is exactly what he got with buttoned up, more serious Owen when they first met. It was far from instalove, but there was definitely chemistry there. (And a healthy dose of hostility, at times.) But it worked. It worked so very well. It could probably go without saying that this book was hot as hell. Let's just say Owen was far more adventurous than you would think upon first glance. And their sexytimes were smoking. But, this book was a lot more than just that. I loved how Chad and Owen came together and how they complemented each other. I really enjoyed how them coming into each other's lives made them each realize they wanted more out of life and how they began to grow and change together. It made for a great story. One I couldn't put down once I started. I love the Gamers series. I'm already waiting for the fourth book. (Ethan!) I really enjoyed revisiting Austin and Marley and seeing how their relationship has progressed since the first book. I love this nerdy, sexy series and recommend it to anyone and everyone who reads romance. There's a little something for everyone here. And seriously, who knew bow ties could be so versatile... and hot? I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
TIED TO TROUBLE by Megan Erickson is an erotic M/M romantic comedy that made me cry sappily whenever the main characters hurt each other with their miscommunications and misunderstandings. I laughed along with the funny parts, shamelessly devoured the naughty scenes, and wholeheartedly approve of the couple’s public and semi-public sex kink. Not to mention bow tie-wrapped erections kink and topping from the bottom kink and angry hate-you sex kink. Chad is the guy who tops from the bottom, and Owen is the guy who wears nerdy bow ties, usually around his neck. Opposites who attract, Chad and Owen both have self-esteem issues, and hate-lust each other at first sight. Owen works for Chad’s sister as the lead copy editor at Gamers Magazine. Owen wants to move up in the company, but has anxiety about being in the spotlight. He is a private, cautious person, while Chad is happy-go-lucky, incorrigible, and gregarious. Chad drives a motorcycle on one speed–fast–while Owen drives what Chad dubs a Turtle Toyota. But for some irrational reason, Chad revs Owen’s engine like no other. Chad brings out a sexually aggressive and dominant side of Owen that Owen never knew existed and excites the hell out of them. It’s hilarious and hot how they fight over who’s in charge. It’s adorable when their satiated lust is followed by tender affection. It’s fun when they joke around and sweet when they cuddle. And it tugs at the heartstrings when they’re vulnerable and feeling all broken up, while tentatively declaring their feelings for each other. However, they both have reservations about exploring a relationship. Though they’ve been recruited by Chad’s sister’s fiancé to plan his marriage proposal, they don’t tell anyone that they’re seeing each other. The sex is great but they hardly get along and apparently don’t have many things in common. Chad sees himself as a 27-year-old drifter; he has never settled down and committed to a job or lover. Lately, though, Chad has been feeling unhappy, as if something were missing from his life. A self-taught graphic artist, he has been thinking of going back to college and getting a respectable job, but he’s daunted by the challenge. Owen on the other hand is a relationship kind of guy, but for the first time in his life, he’s taking risks and having hot, dirty sex with a guy he doesn’t think he likes. They don’t think they’re compatible. Yet, they keep going back to each other and almost too late discover they’ve fallen in love. TIED TO TROUBLE is a well-rounded, sexy, funny, and breezy read. It’s low on angst, plenty emotional, and full of heart. It’s my favorite book in the Gamers series. Because dragons. Because M/M. And because crushing on hot, geeky blonds is so my not guilty, guilty pleasure. *ARC received from NetGalley
The characters in Tied to Trouble prove why you should never judge a book by its cover. On the outside Chad Lake is all fun and games. He never takes anything too seriously. He seems to just coast through life, drifting from job to job. On the surface, Owen is a nerdy, bow tie wearing guy, who wouldn't know fun if it bit him in his rear. He seems square and boring. Man oh man, these two are so much more than they appear to be. Owen is nerdy but he’s passionate. He’s an alpha in disguise with a dominant side. He thinks he’s boring and doesn't have a lot to offer to anyone. Chad is the guy you go to for a good time. He’s a free spirit, who’s never found himself in this world. Chad has a very bad viewpoint of himself and how people see him. Owen and Chad are about to find out they are a whole lot more than they think they are. I loved that the characters surprised me with the fact that they weren't one dimensional and had substance. Owen and Chad have a love-hate relationship which at times is fun to watch. It definitely made their non-intimate moments fun. Speaking of intimate moments, while they were hot, at times they sounded clinical, thus taking away from the moment. The pace of the story was good, and I find myself enjoying the journey Chad and Owen were on. The story has a happy ending and characters from the previous two books are brought back. If you’ve read book one, Changing His Game, this book will make you happy. If you are new to the series, don’t worry, Tied to Trouble is a standalone read. Now, all I can say is bring on Ethan!!! **Received a copy from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**
First of all, congratulations to Megan Erickson for the first male/male romance in the Brazen line! That's a wonderful accomplishment, and just goes to show the diversity of romances that people are enjoying reading these days. This is the third book in the Gamers series, and stars Chad, geeky and fun loving brother of Marley from book 1 (Changing his Game) and Owen, Marley's assistant and the complete opposite of Chad. Where Chad is a go with the flow kind of guy, Owen is a responsible and dependable adult. But opposites attract, and despite the initial animosity between them when they meet at a house party (where Chad doesn't know who Owen is, but Owen is fully aware of Chad's identity), it's just a cover to mask the attraction that sparks between them, an energy that soon leaves them unable to keep their hands off each other. But while a fling might be fun, their lifestyles seem rather incompatible - can they find a way to compromise and make a relationship work or will the thought of getting serious be too much to handle? I really enjoyed this story! I'm a fan of opposites attract love stories and these two really couldn't be more opposite if they tried. Owen is a little bit shy, sometimes hesitant, an 'always does the right thing' kind of guy. He's actually quite horrified to find himself attracted to the easygoing, lazy (from all appearances), rule flouting but hunky man that is Chad, his boss's brother and definitely someone who should be hands off! But Chad catches his eye, and when he taunts him, Owen finds himself losing his cool, and giving as good as he's got. Chad on the other hand, finds it kind of amusing that a nerdy, upright, bow tie wearing, guy like Owen even catches his attention, never mind that he finds himself attracted to him. He loves pushing his buttons, especially when he gets the kind of reaction that stimulates them both into overdrive. The result is a steamy, sticky affair, with lots of hot sex. But, Chad's personality as a fun loving and carefree man really masks some hidden insecurities, the ones that have him hiding his real talents for fear of actually having to do something worthwhile with them. While his sister Marley has never pushed him too far, Owen is the opposite, making Chad want to prove himself and better himself too. And Chad does a favour to Owen too, making him become a little more spontaneous, applying the assertiveness that's been waiting for an outlet to both his newfound relationship with Chad and his career. They both bring out the best in each other, and while there is conflict in their relationship with the thought of bringing it out into the open (not from a gay standpoint but because of their respective relationships with Marley) the plot is well handled and moves smoothly along to a very satisfactory ending. I loved the cameo appearances of Marley and Austin too. It's a delightful, entertaining and sexy story. 5 stars.
*Copy provided by author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* Chad isn't too sure what he wants to do out of his life, he has been unable to commit himself to anything for more than a couple of months at a time, but now at 27 he's finally ready to do something about it. Owen is responsible, mature, and hot in a nerdy way. They are complete opposites and don't see eye to eye on most things, despite the attraction burning hot from the moment their paths cross. Lust and hate give way to a tentative relationship, but their insecurities and distrust might ruin things before they can solidify anything between them. I absolutely loved this story! I also had the worst book hangover ever after reading it, too, but it was sooooo worth it! * happy sigh* While this book is part of a series, it may be read as a standalone. Chad and Owen are amazing, both by themselves and as a couple, although I have a certain weakness for Chad. He showed so much growth during the story, from the slightly irresponsible bad boy into someone he and Owen could feel proud of. His insecurities at feeling he might not be good enough for Owen just made me want to cuddle him. The two of them together were unbelievingly HOT, and every scene with them made the room temp go up a few degrees. *fans self* They were also funny and sweet and so very stubborn, which certainly kept things interesting. I've read other stories by Megan Erickson, but I can safely say this is my favorite of hers and probably my favorite from any other author ever, too. The brilliant, fun and sexy writing, with an engaging set of characters and a fantastic enemies-to-lovers premise makes this one hell of a way to start 2016! You definitely can't go wrong with it! Rating: 5+ Bow Tied Stars!!!
3.5 stars--TIED TO TROUBLE is the third installment in Megan Erickson’s contemporary, adult GAMERS erotic, romance series. This is bartender Chad Lake, and GAMERS magazine copy editor Owen Hawkins. TIED TO TROUBLE can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from previous storylines is revealed where necessary. NOTE: TIED TO TROUBLE is a M/M storyline with graphic, sexual imagery and text. Told from dual third person perspectives (Chad and Owen) TIED TO TROUBLE focuses on the building relationship between Chad Lake-Marley Lake’s (Chasing His Game #1) younger brother, and Owen Hawkins-Marley’s coworker at Gamers Magazine. Chad is a twenty seven year old sexy, bad boy who is struggling to find his place in the world. Working as a bartender but hoping for something else, Chad finds himself attracted to his sister’s co-worker Owen Hawkins-a copy editor, eye glass wearing, bow tie wearing nerd who pushes all of Chad’s buttons. What ensues is a push and pull romance between two people who want something more from life and love. The relationship between Chad and Owen is one of immediate attraction but Chad and Owen are opposites: Chad is the sexy, bad boy; the bartending partier who has failed to follow a successful life path. Owen is a successful copy editor with some issues of low self esteem; a man who believes he is not worthy of a man like Chad. When Chad and Owen are asked to work together on a surprise for Marley, the sexual attraction between our leading couple increases but a lie and a misunderstanding push Owen and Chad in opposite directions-once again. The $ex scenes are erotic, intense and seductive. All of the previous story line couples play a secondary and supporting role. Part of the story line focuses on Marley and Austin’s (Changing His Game #1) continuing relationship-their future and their love, and Chad and Owen’s connection to their possible TIED TO TROUBLE has a little bit of everything: $ex and romance; lies and betrayal; forgiveness and fun. The premise is spirited and sexy; the characters are dynamic; the romance is impassioned but there were a couple of questionable moments with Chad’s behavior towards the man that he loved.
I absolutely loved Chad in the first book, so I was beyond thrilled to see that we were getting his story. Chad and Owen couldn't be more different and that's why they're so adorable. They have a serious love/hate relationship and it was so much fun seeing it evolve into something more. Not to mention all of the delicious banter and snark. Of course there's a little insecurity, a bit drama, and just a tiny bit of angst. Megan always gives us the HEA and she delivers in a few ways. Overall, a quick and fun read. I love this series and I really hope we get to see more from them. **Huge thanks to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Adored this! Owen with his bow ties and his geeky self and Chad with his leather jacket and motorcycle bad boy self are my favorite m/m couple I've read this year. They are complete opposites and outwardly appear to hate each other when the reality is pure sizzling heat laying beneath. Still bickering even when they can't keep their hands off each you can't help but wonder what the attraction is. But once they both let down their walls and start showing their true selves you completely get it. This is a great read. It's hot, sexy and definitely one I would recommend.