Connection Error is the third book in the #gaymers series, which is both a fun and surprisingly heartrending look at gay gamers in romance. In this instalment, we follow two men from their first meeting, past several potentially relationship-ending issues (both mental and physical), and finally, finally get to see them eke out their happily ever after.
When the reader first meets Josiah Simmons, he seems a bit flighty, and more than a bit anxious. Josiah is running late for his flight back to the United States, and the flight is basically just sitting on the tarmac waiting for him. Needless to say, he isn’t the most popular guy on the plane. But that doesn’t stop him from striking up a conversation with the handsome guy seated next to him, Ryan Orson. They spend the flight avidly discussing video games – the one that Josiah works on in particular – and then as they are disembarking from the flight, Josiah basically says the first thing that pops into his head. It turns out that exclaiming over loss of limbs to a soldier returning from overseas is basically the worst possible thing he could have said. Well, Josiah isn’t exactly known for his tact.
But then when both Ryan and Josiah are stranded in St. Louis, Ryan decides to take pity on Josiah and invites the other man to share his hotel room. And while Josiah is absolutely gaga over Ryan already, the feeling is not really mutual.
The connection lasts, however, even once Ryan gets back to the VA hospital for his course of physical therapy, and Josiah gets dragged into managing a project on his game (which would probably be easier for someone without severe ADHD). The original bond over video games continues, and really just acts as a gateway to conversation, with Ryan confiding far more than he ever expected.
Ryan and Josiah are an incredibly solid couple, and I was absolutely rooting for them the entire time. Josiah has a horrible case of foot-in-mouth disease that makes things a lot more difficult for both of them, but in some ways Ryan is even worse. Ryan is not physically perfect, and, at the beginning of the story, is just starting to reconnect to the outside world. This gives a really interesting backdrop to their relationship – Ryan is used to being the supportive one, but he has to learn to accept Josiah’s help. The character development for Ryan was absolutely 100% what I wanted. His story arc impressed me even more than Josiah’s even though he has issues to deal with as well.
And speaking of Josiah, I was definitely cheering him on! As a guy with ADHD, he is used to depending on others for routine and for any kind of daily reminder you can think of, from eating to taking his meds to doing the things he needs to get done. Watching him blossom into an independent man, becoming more confident in himself and his abilities, and setting boundaries for Ryan in their relationship was just what I wanted.
There’s definitely a good dash of angst in here, so if that’s not your cup of tea, I’d steer clear. Personally, I love some well-done hurt/comfort stories, and I really enjoy the characters and relationships that emerge from them. The only downside for this kind of story – which was an issue for me with Ryan and Josiah – is that I spent a lot of time not really knowing where things were going going. At 66,000 words, there seems to be a lot of padding as the main story is just too short to stretch to a book of that length, and there are parts that really drag.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed Connection Error. It isn’t necessary to read the previous books in the series – I was able to follow along just fine, and I haven’t yet read the second. I’ll probably go back and pick it up at some point, though – as a gamer myself, I just can’t resist!