Monday, December 7, 2015

ARC Review: Status Update by Annabeth Albert

Adrian Gottlieb is winning at life. He's a successful video game designer with everything a man could ask for, including a warm comfy ride to Denver and a date for his sister's wedding. But he finds himself in need of a total reboot when he's left stranded at a snowy campground in Utah. Holiday plans? Epic fail.

That is until Noah Walters offers him shelter for the night and a reluctant cross-country ride. Nothing about the ultraconservative geoarchaeologist should attract Adrian, but once he discovers Noah's hidden love for video games, the two connect on a new level. Soon, a quiet but undeniable chemistry sparks.

Something doesn't add up, though. As the miles accumulate and time runs out, Noah must face the most difficult choice of his life. Meanwhile, Adrian must decide whether he's ready to level up. Is their relationship status worth fighting for, or has this game ended before it's even begun?

Dani's rating:

The last time I played a video game was in the mid-80s when I was in elementary school and obsessed with the Ms. Pac-man handheld game.

I am so not a gamer, people. But I am a GEEK: a huge, unrepentant geek. I love it when people get passionate and intense over stuff that matters to them, be it games or science or BOOKS.

And nothing makes me happier than two adorkable geeks coming together ... especially when they have hot sex and amazing chemistry.

This book checked every one of my Perfect Story boxes:

- believable, slow-burn romance

- sensual first-times (the kissing, the touching, the fucking; oh, yeah, it was all there!)

- hard-fought coming out

- alternating third-person POV

- dogs (two mutts: one big, one little; Pixel, all eight sassy pounds of him, who just wants to play, and Ulysses, sweet but as anti-social as his daddy)

- flirting! (Adrian is incorrigible, and Noah so damn cute when he blushes.)

- friendship FIRST (Noah rescues Adrian after all, and the two have more in common than they ever imagined, including a shared passion for the crowd-funded game Adrian is working on. I had no idea this was a thing, but apparently it is, and it's huge!)

- dogs (These men love their dogs, and I'm convinced: the mark of a man is how he treats the vulnerable.)

- comfort/healing (No one, but NO ONE, needs a good cuddle more than kind, uptight Noah, an archeology professor at a conservative Christian college who's hidden his sexuality for so long, he's not even out to himself.)

- mild angst/conflict that in no way overwhelms the story

- a HEA to swoon over (that epilogue ... it's everything!)


I loved this book so hard that when I finished, I started all over again. I cannot let Noah and Adrian go!

"Hey, you're the one who went fishing for ego stroking, not me."

"I did not. I don't want ... stroking." Noah sounded as prim as Adrian's Aunt Tilda ...

"Oh trust me, lots of you needs stroking."

I am in love with both of these men: Adrian, who's upbeat and quirky, always putting himself second and settling for long-distance relationships; Noah, who lives his lonely life among papers and books, so scared to be himself.

So much sweetness! And steam! And humour!

Adrian kissed like he was in charge. Like he expected to be the one in charge. And something inside Noah opened up and said yes. Yes, in a way he'd never been able to before. Yes, with a thousand small exhales. Yes, with his lips parting, welcoming ... Adrian taking over his mouth, taking over his person.

The secondary characters are outstanding, and both families prove supportive in the end.

This is what matters: trust, CUDDLES, gluten-free waffles, two slightly grumpy dogs who get on like a house on fire, insanely erotic frotting, sisters who LISTEN, care packages, long conversations that MEAN something, and being brave enough to say, "Enough, I want to be true to myself."

Get the book:



We don’t need a list of rights and wrongs, tables of dos and don’ts: we need books, time, and silence. Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever.
~Philip Pullman

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Download links are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with the book, author, publisher, or website listed.

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