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Publisher Description

From the author of Make it Count comes the first novel in the In Focus series…
With his college graduation gown expertly pitched into the trash, Justin Akron is ready for the road trip he planned with his best friend Landry— and ready for one last summer of escape from his mother’s controlling grip. Climbing into the Winnebago his father left him, they set out across America in search of the sites his father had captured through the lens of his Nikon.
As an aspiring photographer, Justin can think of no better way to honor his father’s memory than to scatter his ashes at the sites he held sacred. And there’s no one Justin would rather share the experience with more than Landry.
But Justin knows he can’t escape forever. Eventually he’ll have to return home and join his mother’s Senate campaign. Nor can he escape the truth of who he is, and the fact that he’s in love with his out-and-proud travel companion.

Admitting what he wants could hurt his mother’s conservative political career. But with every click of his shutter and every sprinkle of ash, Justin can’t resist Landry’s pull. And when the truth comes into focus, neither is prepared for the secrets the other is hiding.

Megan Erickson 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.

March 17
Penguin Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

Cheryl SDS ,

Beautiful story of self-discovery.

4.5 Stars
I truly wasn't expecting to fall in love with this M/M romance but I did. It's the story of two 22 year old best friends. Landry is gay and has always been in love with Justin but thought he was straight. Justin is straight but we soon learn that it had always been an act. After he confesses his feelings to Landry, the story becomes about how these two deal with these new feelings for each other and how Justin deals with others knowing he's gay. In the background, happening throughout the book, is the cross country trip to spread Justin's fathers ashes.

I enjoyed reading this very real and beautiful emotional story of self-discovery, acceptance and love.

Received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

2kasmom ,

Learn to trust the focus

Justin Akron has been best friends with Landry Jacobs for a long time. For the last 8 years or so, he has been in love with him too. He just did not know how to tell him. Landry is an openly gay man. Justin is a closeted collegiate athlete, who is afraid to "come out".

Justin's father died a couple years ago while he was attending college. His father left him his RV to travel in and have his own adventure. As soon as they graduate, Justin and Landry leave for the summer to travel and say a final goodbye to his father - whose ashes they will place in the 12 locations that were his favorites.

Landry is living the life he is supposed to. Just without Justin as open as he is. He does not know that Justin has lied to him this whole time. Can he tell Landry and still be best friends? Is it possible that this summer trip is the time to find out if they can be more than friends also?

Justin has a had a lot to lose in the past. He also has had good reasons for not telling anyone he is gay. Now he wants to share his life with Landry. For the first time, he feels like a future could be possible as a gay man with his best friend and love of his life. Can they work it out?

I was impressed by how the subject matter was approached. Not every one with a straight best friend will find that they return their feelings. In this book, however, it is almost obvious to those around them that they are meant to be.

Robert Zimmermann ,

Review: Trust the Focus, by Megan Erickson

Having read Megan Erickson's first book in her Bowler University series, Make it Count, I had a strong feeling that I'd enjoy this book just as much as that one. What I didn't predict was that Trust the Focus would blow that one out of the water. However, I'm not here to compare the two books, or series, more than that. It's just more proof that Erickson's a great writer.

Going into this book, I knew I was in for a new experience. Aside from some short works, this is my first novel featuring gay main characters. I've been wanting to expand my reading experience for some time, and now that I've read Trust the Focus, I'm glad I chose this as my first.

Erickson stepped up her writing in this book. The way she portrays Justin, the narrator, makes him seem so real. Landry, his best friend who's traveling along on this cross-country road trip with him, is no different. I haven't felt this in touch with characters in a long time. There wasn't a time in this book that anything felt forced. Their actions, inner commentary, consequences, was all natural and helped in my enjoyment.

Aside from strong characters, and the even stronger and passionate romance throughout the book, the story itself was one I loved. A road trip is a great device to bring in a wide-range of settings, but can also lead to each scene being weak or feeling lacking detail. I felt like in many of the stops on this road trip, I was there. I was with Justin while he took these pictures in places that were so important to him.

Overall, the tone of this story is what gripped me the most. It was the combination of the characters, story, and the conflict that arises from it all that had me turning page after page wanting more. But I fought the page turning urge, and savored this book. I didn't want it to end and it'll stay with me for some time as a favorite.

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