Wednesday, May 20, 2020

ARC Review: Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert

Conventionally Yours (True Colors, #1)From the blurb:

When two "big name fans" go head-to-head at a convention, love isn't the only thing at stake. 
Charming, charismatic, and effortlessly popular, Conrad Stewart seems to have it all...but in reality, he's scrambling to keep his life from tumbling out of control. 
Brilliant, guarded, and endlessly driven, Alden Roth may as well be the poster boy for perfection...but even he can't help but feel a little broken inside. 
When these mortal enemies are stuck together on a cross-country road trip to the biggest fan convention of their lives, their infamous rivalry takes a backseat as an unexpected connection is forged. Yet each has a reason why they have to win the upcoming Odyssey gaming tournament and neither is willing to let emotion get in the way―even if it means giving up their one chance at something truly magical.

Heather's rating:

I enjoyed this gamer-geek, new adult read from Annabeth Albert, even though I've read more compelling books from her in the past. Conventionally Yours is a bit different from what I've previously read from Annabeth Albert, but I think it will please many fans of hers, especially those who like her #gaymers series.

Truthfully, I much prefer the tension and faster pace of her military romances, but this story had a lot to like. I enjoyed the diversity of Conventionally Yours, and I'm always excited to get a Jewish MC (even though I wish Jewish characters were shown to be good at cooking things other than latkas, but that's neither here nor there). I know this is a little been there, done that but the stereotype of the pushy, overachieving Jewish parents is a real thing, and I enjoyed seeing Jewish characters I identified with here. Plus, we get a neuro-diverse MC, which I absolutely love in romance.

I know literally nothing about gaming, and I think it might help if you are at least interested in gaming to keep you engaged in this story. The plot is pretty focused on the actual act of gaming, and I found those parts to be a little... boring. It isn't my thing, so maybe it would help if it was your thing, though I don't think it's a requirement to enjoy this story.

Also, I think this is the first new adult book I've read from this author, and I have to say, I missed the heat from her previous books. It isn't fade-to-black, but it's very tame, especially from Annabeth Albert. Perhaps that reflects the younger age of the characters or the more mainstream publisher or just the author's mood, but it's something readers might want to know going into the story.

I found the enemies-to-lovers plotline to be very fun (as it always it), plus we get one of my favorite plot devices ( There is only one bed in the hotel room! ), which is always a winner for me.

The romance itself was just okay, and I wish I felt more sparks between them. I'm not sure if it's because the middle of the book felt very draggy (just a looooong time road-tripping), but the romance and tension between the two MCs wasn't at the level that I was expecting.

A solid new adult romance for those who enjoy gaming and Annabeth Albert, though I don't think this series is exactly my speed. I'm excited for this author to have a mainstream publisher and I can't wait to see where her career goes next.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*

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Enjoy, everyone!

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