[630]: Beta Test by Annabeth Albert

27286868 Series: Gaymers, #2
Carina Press | May 30th, 2016
Source: Net Galley via Publisher
LGBTQIA | Adult Fiction | Romance
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Ravi Tandel is ahead of the game. He’s a top video game developer and he just got asked to present a top-secret project at a huge gaming conference in Seattle. All systems are a go…until he learns his office nemesis is coming along for the ride. Player vs. Player. Fight!

Newly minted MBA Tristan Jones doesn’t seem like the gaming type but he knows the business inside-out. Together, they’ll give an awesome presentation – they just have to survive the cross-country trip. Ravi’s opinion of Tristan is rebooted when he discovers a softer side to the conservative charmer and a new tension builds between them.

Despite their best efforts to keep it casual, things heat up quickly. Tristan is hiding his true self for fear of what his parents might think. Ravi knows that feeling all too well, but he didn’t disconnect from his family years ago only to hide who he is now. To be together, Tristan has to push past his fear and ultimately decide, does he want a future with Ravi? Or is it game over?

The second instalment to Annabeth Albert’s Gaymers series is pretty much what you would expect if you have any familiarity with the first book. It features a romance between two people who would have to answer a question about personal sacrifices. Nothing earth-shattering, mind you. Just what the other would give up for them to be together.

Their relationship wasn’t one of those flash fire types. It was a slow build due to the professional competitiveness they had towards one another. Though they admired each other’s work ethics, they were after peer recognition since they were both newbies at the company.  One can’t help but notice the telltale differences between the two, though. While Ravi was a social butterfly liked by many, Tristan took a while to warm up to anyone. He’s a deliberate person who comes off aloof.

Ravi is an out and proud artist whose family tentatively embraced him being gay. And on the other hand, you have Tristan Jones who comes from a conservative upbringing with a political background and whose parents threatened to cut off financial support should he flaunt his sexual identity. He lives in a very organized world so being with Ravi threw him in a loop.  In the end, Tristan would have to make a choice; one that’s as difficult as it is freeing.

Overall, I enjoyed this book; it was relatively angst-free. But, unfortunately, unremarkable. I just didn’t make a stronger connection with the characters here as I did in Status Update. I still would like to see the rest of this series, though.

  • I like that they were two different types of people and their relationship built slowly.

  • Wow. All those puns in the synopsis, bet someone was proud of themselves for coming up with them lol

    I’m sorry this one wasn’t as great as the first 🙁 I have the first one on my TBR because it sounds like fun, so I’ll see how that goes!

  • Hahaha … gaymers …. clever! I like when there’s competitiveness between the potential love interests.

  • Hmm interesting, I’ve never heard of this series before but from the sounds of it, it seems like a pretty standard romance story. Enjoyable but nothing that’ll go on the favourites shelf. Glad you enjoyed it overall Joy!

  • Awwww! I LOVE that cover! And I always love the cross country road trips because we all know that something awesome is going to go down the characters! <3 I wish you would have been able to love this book more, too bad you weren't able to make a stronger connection with them. :() I hope your next book is better! 🙁

  • I have read a few Annabeth Albert stories and found them to be pretty good. I haven’t fallen in love with any of them though. I haven’t read this new series and I may not get in any kind of rush for this one. Great review!

    Carole @ Carole’s Random Life

  • Jazmen

    Not really my cup of tea but at least it wasn’t a terrible read.

  • Can I just say how much I dislike the cover? Sorry this wasn’t a great read for you. Frustrating to look forward to a book in a series and it not deliver.

  • I remember seeing a similar review a few months ago on another blog Joy and basically had the same issues as you have. It sounds pleasant enough, but you need a bit more spark between characters especially two that are establishing a relationship. It’s supposed to be new and fresh and hot, not like having a lukewarm cup of tea with your nanna.

    Incredible review nonetheless Joy and glad to hear that you’ll still be continuing on with the series <3 <3

  • Ever since I read Him, I’ve been a fan of M/M so I’ll have to check out Gaymers. In no little part because I love games, too! Also, I recently read an M/M that’s been gathering TONS of buzz..Have you heard of Captive Prince, by CS Pacat? It’s a “fantasy” but only because it’s set in an alternate mediterranean world. There is no magic system. Anyway, I’d love to know what you’d think of it. It was… quite honestly the hottest books I’ve ever read, books two and three of the trilogy.

  • Okay, I had to laugh at the name of the series – very clever. Sounds like this was one of those middle of the road books that are so hard to review!

  • Despite your naming this book unremarkable,
    I like the sound of this romance. I especially appreciate that it’s low on
    angst. I haven’t heard about this series before, Joy. I think I’ll check out
    the first book, since you enjoyed it more. Lovely review, Joy!

  • Great review! Angst free is always nice.

  • Oh, that’s right! I forgot you read LGBT! I actually, I didn’t know you read ”MM Romance”. Have you tried Captive Prince? 😀

  • Gorgeous review Joy 🙂 Yay for liking this one. But ugh, I’m sorry it was nothing special : That’s disappointing. But still seems a bit good, just not for me, lol 🙂 Thank you for sharing sweet girl. <3 I hope you are having the best week 😀

  • kindlemom1

    Yay for the angst free-ness but boo for it being unremarkable. Wonderful honest review!

  • Gaymers, nice one

  • shootingstarsmag

    Sorry you didn’t connect with these characters as much. I really loved the first one. I do have this to read/review though, so I’ll get to it soon. It comes out on my birthday too!! hah


  • Althougb your review is still lovely, I left feeling eh about this book and it doesn’t sound like anything special. I want to only actively be picking up those books I know I am really going to enjoy, or at least can expect that from. So while this one does sound nice enough with a slow burn romance that i love, I just think I am going to skip out on this one…

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    I’m sorry to hear this was unremarkable! It’s hard for me to pick up a book knowing that it’s going to be just alright. Hmm… I might still give this series a try but maybe I’ll wait to see how it picks up in the future installments. Lovely review, as always, Joy! 🙂

  • I know what you mean by this being a book you liked but it not being that remarkable! I’ve had that happen with far too many books lately. It sounds like a good book, but probably not one that I’m going to rush to read.
    Lovely review, Joy!

  • Jenny @ Supernatural Snark

    Too bad this one didn’t leave more of a mark on you Joy, but it sounds like an enjoyable read overall! I do love a slow build type of romance, there’s always so much tension! I live for tension in my romances:) Definitely need to check out book one!

  • Melliane

    It sounds like a nice one even if it looks like it’s nothing more in a whole

  • It definitely sounds like both of the characters here were contrasted against each other and subsequently their development was the same. A shame it was kind of lacklustre still. Lovely review Joy!