Title: Beta Test (#gaymers, #2)
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: May 30, 2016
Page Count: 178
Reviewed by: Vallie
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Player vs. Player. Fight!
Brilliant graphic designer Ravi Tandel is ahead of the game—he’s just been asked to present a top secret project at a huge conference in Seattle. All systems are go…until he learns his buttoned-up office nemesis is coming along for the ride.
Tristan Jones isn’t really the gamer type, but he knows the back end of the video game business inside out. Together, he and Ravi will give an awesome presentation. If they survive the cross-country trip first.
Tossed together in close quarters, Ravi’s shocked to see Tristan’s sexy, softer side emerge from such a conservative shell. He’s less shocked to learn his handsome colleague’s prominent family would never support an out-and-proud son. But Ravi didn’t struggle through his own coming out to hide who he is now. To be together, Tristan will have to push past his fear and ultimately decide: Does he want a future with Ravi? Or is it game over before they’ve even begun?
Book Two of the #gaymers series
This book is approximately 64,000 words
Yes! Fantastic sequel to the Gaymers Series!
Ravi and Tristan –both amazing character names btw, bravo author –met on their first day working for the company that developed the uber popular Space Villager online game. Ravi is a graphic designer, laid-back, and the kind of guy that has a million friends within minutes of wherever he goes. Tristan works for the marketing department and is the epitome of old-fashioned professionalism –pressed slacks, tie, and diligently organised.
They don’t exactly hit it off right off the bat, mainly because Ravi does not realise Tristan is gay and mistakes Tristan’s uptight attitude to homophobia. However, after spending time together on a road trip that was sprung upon them out of the blue, sparks fly and the rest is history. While they begin a ”What happens in Seattle stays in Seattle” sort of deal, the can’t exactly let go of each other when they’re back in LA and at work.
I loved that they bonded naturally over their respective problems with their families after coming out. Their attraction was not restricted to the physical; rather, they found traits in each other that were unexpectedly appealing, especially because they are so different on the surface. I thought this was explored very well and their romance developed organically. Tristan’s nearly obsessive nature for planning revealed its positives as he very quietly and unobtrusively took care of Ravi –physically and emotionally, showing how loving Tristan could be in a relationship. Similarly, Ravi accepted Tristan for who he was and found him irresistibly endearing.
This is a low-angst book with just enough family drama to give the characters substance. The story flows very well and I was not bored for one single moment. Their banter is funny with Ravi teasing Tristan about his ”spreadsheets from Doom” and Tristan exploring his sexuality with no reservations for the first time. He was not a virgin, but a previous boyfriend had left him with serious self-esteem issues about his performance in bed, which was quickly rectified by Ravi.
Which brings me nicely to their intimate scenes. So hot! And emotional too. The best kind there is. Tristan likes his dirty talk all right and Ravi delivers every single time. No porny cheesiness in sight either!
The HEA was wonderful and although I was hoping some events would take place on page rather than be quickly summarised in the epilogue, I was majorly satisfied with how the boys came together in the end. No complaints anywhere. I can’t wait for Josiah’s story. He looks like a handful and after reading the blurb from the 3rd book, I can only imagine what a navy seal would do with a hyper Josiah on his hands. Gimme gimme!