Where did you get the book: e-ARC from publisher
Release date: Out now
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.
*blurb taken from goodreads*
Trust the Focus was a lovely and inspiring road-trip story about a courageous young man dealing with his sexuality, the death of his father, and dealing with his love and new romance with his best friend. This book touches upon Justin’s fears because of his conservative mother who disapproved of his gay best friend Landry, and what Justin’s former team-mates and friends would think if he ever went public with the fact he was gay. Justin had known for a long time he was gay but he buried it so far down. He also loved Landry since highschool and the two of them were the bestest of friends. Even though people made comments about Landry, Justin stuck by him and defended him.
This book was what I call a journey book. Justin’s character arc changed, and through the bumpy rides, he came out the other end true to his heart. Justin was so confused and angry and he took out his feelings on the adorable and very funny Landry who loved and crushed on Justin big time. I wanted to smack Justin at times for how he treated Landry but he buried his feelings down for so long that he simply exploded. Justin and Landry are made for one another. What I adored about this book was that their friendship was the main focus as well as the romance and it wasn’t a smooth ride for either of them. Landry is upset and heartbroken over the fact Justin kept his sexuality secret from him. Both of their actions felt really realistic.
The romance is both sexy and sweet. Being in such close quarters made for some very sexy scenes. But Justin’s fears meant he made some errors in judgement and poor Landry ended up being the punching bag at times. But Landry always challenged Justin back and I thought Erickson had the right balance between the two of them. Justin did come across as hurtful at times but he was frightened of how people would react to him being gay. Justin knew he was hurting Landry with his reactions and it became a pattern until it became the breaking point for Landry.
How Justin deals with the issues with Landry was so inspiring and quite emotional, especially when he carried on with his trip, honouring his father, and winning Landry back. Though the romance is central to this story, what I loved was that Justin was also true to himself and it wasn’t easy at times, especially his very public reveal towards the end and I was happy with what happened between Justin and his mother.
Trust the Focus was a lovely and sexy friends-to-lovers romance with two wonderful heroes that didn’t have an easy journey on their road to romance but all the twists and turns made it a very satisfying HEA.