Josiah Simmons is headed to Germany to meet with the new team he is leading for his video game company. He ends up sitting next to a hunky guy with biceps to die for on his connection to DC. Ryan Orson is headed back to Walter Reed to continue his rehabilitation after a bomb led to double amputation of his legs. Ryan is determined to work as hard as necessary to get back to active duty and hopefully an instructor position at Coronado. He is frustrated that things are not moving as fast as he had hoped, but he is sure with enough hard work he can make it onto his new prosthetic legs and get back to duty.
Josiah and Ryan have a great time together during the flight and chat most of the way across the country until the plane is grounded due to bad weather on the East Coast. Fortunately, Ryan has a hotel room and invites Josiah to wait out the time before their rescheduled flights together. The guys act on their attraction to one another, and Josiah would love more between them, but Ryan is still a little wary. He has done long distance before without success, not to mention he still has some anxieties about his missing limbs when in bed. But despite his intentions, Ryan finds that he continues to be drawn to Josiah and the two maintain their friendship even after they make it back onto their flights.
As time passes, the guys grow to become the closest of friends, talking regularly and spending evenings gaming (and some dirty Skyping). Josiah would love things to grow to more, but Ryan still is wary about a relationship, especially as his rehab is not progressing as he hoped and he is increasingly frustrated. Josiah is hopeful that Ryan will see him more than a close friend and instead as someone who can be there when Ryan needs him. But Ryan has a tendency to want to handle everything himself and is shutting Josiah out, despite his growing feelings. Now Ryan has to let himself accept that Josiah can be a real partner to him, and he must open up to Josiah or risk losing him for good.
Connection Error is the third book in Annabeth Albert’s fabulous #gaymers series. While the other two books had a little more overlap in characters, this one is pretty independent, although there are some cameos from past books as Josiah works at the same video game company as many of the others. So I think this could stand alone well, but I am really loving this series so I’d encourage you to start at the beginning.
I really loved both the storyline here and the way Albert develops the characters. Both these guys face some struggles that make them doubt themselves along the way. Josiah has ADHD and has some trouble with focus. He is leading his first team with this new project, and he has some stumbles as he gets used to his new position. Ryan is facing a rough rehabilitation and is trying to get out of his wheelchair into prosthetic legs and ultimately back to active duty. He is determined mentally, but his body is not cooperating. Ryan just wants to be useful, and he feels that without being a SEAL, he doesn’t have a purpose.
Albert really does a nice job showing us the vulnerabilities both of these guys face and the way it affects them as a couple. Josiah at times needs help with structure and tasks like bill paying due to his ADHD. And Ryan has a need to help and take care of things. So Josiah struggles with Ryan seeing him as an equal partner, not just someone to take care of. And Ryan is frustrated because all he wants to do is help and Josiah won’t seem to let him. Albert really explores these issues so well.
I also think she does a great job with Ryan’s issues being in a wheelchair. We can see his frustration and impatience that things are not moving forward as fast as he wants. He is weary of everyone treating him differently when he is in the chair — either that or he seems to be invisible. He doesn’t want pity and he doesn’t want help, he just wants to be treated normally. And Josiah somehow strikes that perfect balance of being there when Ryan needs him, but also never treating Ryan as anything less than an equal. In fact, Josiah sees Ryan as strong and powerful and sexy in ways Ryan really needs as he goes through the frustration of rehab. The guys are super sexy together and their scenes are incredibly hot, and also acknowledging of some of the adjustments they need to make due to Ryan’s physical condition.
Overall I found this one just really well done. I was drawn to these guys from the very start and this story captured my attention right away. I loved Ryan and Josiah together and the way Josiah slowly breaks down Ryan’s walls. They are so connected to one another, almost before they realize it. And Albert just really shows us so much depth in both of these men that I found them really fascinating characters.
So I really loved this book and continue to be enjoying this series. I would definitely recommend both Connection Error and the whole #gaymers series.