Title: Level Up (#gaymers universe)
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: May 17th 2018
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Word Count: ~40,000
Reviewed by: Tosha
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Landon can’t believe he’s let himself get roped into participating in a charity calendar, let alone one that features tastefully photographed nudes. The genius physicist is hardly model material and he’s dreading the nude part of the photoshoot. Amid his reluctance, the one bright spot is his emails back and forth with the photographer.
However, Bailey ends up being not quite what Landon expects, and their first meeting is decidedly awkward. Bailey’s persistent though, and gradually Landon warms to the burly photographer, and they discover they have a shared love of gamer culture.
A tentative friendship is born, but the road from friends to lovers isn’t easy. Landon’s battling past trauma and must decide how much of a risk he’s willing to take. A sexy connection may not be enough to keep them together unless both are willing to put their hearts on the line.
Approximately 40,000 words. Previously released as part of the EXPOSED anthology, and loosely linked to the #Gaymers universe, this friends-to-lovers, hurt/comfort story stands alone with a guaranteed happy ending. Contains a brief mention of a prior assault, but no on-screen violence or flashbacks.
This book was an alright read. I was kind of expecting more out of Annabeth Albert after reading some of her past books but this one just did not completely hit the spot for me. I enjoyed this read but I felt that there was unresolved issues between the two main characters that instead of explaining how they overcome their differences and difficulties, they were glossed over and just got their happily ever after.
Landon finds himself doing something that he never expected to do much less pictured ever being comfortable with doing… taking nude pictures for a calendar. But after emailing back and forth with the photographer, Bailey, Landon actually finds himself looking forward to the shoot and meeting the amazing woman that he is starting to get to know over the computer.
To Landon’s surprise, Bailey is not a woman and is everything he has been avoiding in a man since college. More of a bear, Bailey is bigger built in stature but is a complete teddy bear as far as personality goes. Even though Landon is nervous and slightly scared, he still finds himself attracted to Bailey.
When Bailey realizes that Landon thought he was a woman, he is discouraged that something more may not come of the two other them friends but he keeps hoping because Landon is an incredible man.
Landon has his past and present issues that he will needs to deal with if he wants to be able to have a chance at more then just friends. Can Landon overcome his past pain to work toward a future?
This was a good read but like I said, the issues that Landon had to deal with is a serious issue and I felt that the outcome of it is what the story is about and that Annabeth glossed over that. I wish there would have been more of how the two had to work together to overcome it but there just wasn’t. Regardless it was a good read. I look forward to more books by Annabeth in the future.
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