Saturday, May 30, 2020

Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert

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.

Book 1
Buy Links

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

4 Geek Road Trip Stars.

Conventionally Yours is the first in the True Colors series, featuring college-aged guys who take a road trip to a gamer tournament. I do believe you should have a basic grasp on gaming (particularly card gaming) to get the full entertainment value, as it was a large percentage of the novel.

The novel was the epitome of slow-burn, turning enemies into teammates into friends then into lovers.

For the first half of the novel, I was enthralled with the realistic chemistry between Conrad and Alden, especially their backstories that were slowly unfolding as the story moved forward. They were drawn to one another, yet were competitive, as well as misunderstood by the other. Preconceived notions of the other's living situation, with a hefty dose of judgment coloring how they viewed one another. It was realistic, in the manner that humans do this to each other on a daily basis.

On the gaming front, Odyssey reminded of forever and a day ago when I was in my late teens and my ex was obsessed with buying a billion Magic The Gathering cards to play. While I thought it was addictive fun, we were broke, so I definitely felt for Conrad. I thoroughly enjoyed all the gaming aspects, but since I understood the dynamics, I'm not in a position to say whether or not a non-gamer would get heads or tails of that portion.

On the road trip front, as someone who has traveled by car from Pennsylvania to New Mexico almost twenty times, there was a feeling of déjà vu while reading. I found it humorous, because most of the stops are exactly where I ended up every night, like we took the same path of travel. A bit of a walk down memory lane for me.

The chemistry between Alden and Conrad was off the charts. Their emotional reactions were realistically portrayed, as well as heart-clenching. The slow-burn truly had me believing in their connection.

All in all, I was highly entertained on many fronts, enjoying the gaming aspects, the road trip through the US in the same path I've traveled myself, but it was the pacing that knocked it down from a five-star read by a star.

Slow-burn is difficult to keep 'most' readers engaged. As an avid slow-burn reader, even I started to get a bit disinterested around the 65% mark. Not much was happening, aside from relationship and character growth (both amazing things) but the stops and the game stores all started to meld together into redundancy – been there, done that, during the last chapter. I needed the pacing to pick up to keep my interests. I read 65% in one sitting, then it took me a week to read the rest, when I was fully rooting for Conrad and Alden, curious to see who won the ultimate prize and the decisions they made for the future, but was quickly becoming disinterested as the days crawled onward.

Highly recommend to fans of the author, slow-burn readers, and gamer-geeks.

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 toddlers.

Connect with Annabeth

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Annabeth's Angels Facebook Fan Group

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Conventionally Yours (True Colors #1) by Annabeth Albert to read and review.

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