by Annabeth Albert
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?
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4.5 out of 5 stars
Beta Test is the second book in the #gaymers series by Annabeth Albert. While this is a series the books could be read as stand-alones. The characters from the previous book are mentioned but are only a small part of the current book.
Ravi and Tristan both start new jobs with the same gaming company, but they're both very different. Ravi is a outgoing, slightly disorganized but brilliant graphic designer. Tristan is a introverted, lives by spreadsheets and lists for everything, and is on the back end as a part of the marketing team. Tristan however is hiding his inner gamer geek from everyone. While on the surface it appears that these two are very different underneath all the bravado and hiding they have a lot of the same issues they deal with through the story.
At work these two are frenemies while they work on the same special team together. Then they get stuck having to road trip their project booth to a gaming convention. That trip is a bit of an eye opener for both of them. They learn they might actually like each other and that they are both dealing with family drama. It impacts them though in very different ways.
Ravi embraces who he is, he loves his job, loves dressing to fit his personality, and handles his sexuality well. His very traditional Hindu family, in particular mom and grandma want to believe that being gay is a phase or that they can find the right girl to introduce him to and that will change Ravi. Tristan's family is very conservative and wants him to hide who he is, they'll 'allow' him to be gay but he must be discreet and keep everything quiet. This just causes Tristan to not want to involve anyone in his life and he keeps everyone at a distance.
I loved that these characters are multifaceted. Tristan hiding that he's a gamer geek until a LAN party with his co-workers one night was awesome. I loved the confidence boost that it gave him. That he and Ravi were total opposites that you wouldn't expect to end up with each other was a sweet and sexy twist in the story. They ended up working well because each had something in their personality that the other one needed. The drama with their families really did shape their story in a lot of ways. Tristan telling his family off was one of the highlights of the book, so was his and Ravi's relationship finally being out in the open. I have to say the first kiss between these two is so freaking HOT!!
This series is pure fun for this reader. I'm a long time MMORPG gamer grrrl, and have friends that are programmers so these stories are lots of gamer geekdom crammed into a sexy m/m romance. I can't encourage you to read this series enough. I think it's a well written, fun yet serious and sexy romance series. The characters are complex and show growth throughout the book, and the story is engrossing and perfectly paced.
So if you haven't read the #gaymers series yet, you need to dash out and grab the first two books right now and read them!
The Gaymers Series
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About The Author
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.
Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.
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