Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
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Beta Test (#gaymers Book 2) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 178 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Tristan Jones is used to his spreadsheets, lists, and color coding and this is what makes him so good at his job in marketing for a video game company. But he's not always great at socializing with others, especially the creative, easy going, and flashy graphic designer Ravi Tandel. Ravi is out and proud and as far he's concerned, Tristan is too uptight and stuffy; not to mention Ravi has a no work relationships rule that he doesn't plan to break. But when a road trip for work forces the two into close quarters they begin to realize that sometimes opposites are just right for each other.
What I Liked
I am so in love with this one! I read Status Update several months back and hadn't really planned to read anymore by Annabeth Albert. I'm not sure what I was thinking exactly but I'm so glad for impulse kindle purchases! I devoured Beta Test in one day and couldn't be happier. Ravi was a wonderful character that I wish I could know in person because he seems like a lot of fun. I loved how spontaneous he was and how even when he didn't really like Tristan he still respected his work. Ravi had his hangups about dating a coworker but he muddled his way through them. But Tristan was what I really adored about his book; he was so perfectly cute and awkward. As someone who also loves spreadsheets and organizing things I can totally relate to him and his OCD tendencies. And don't let the cover blurb fool you, Tristan is definitely a gamer he just doesn't go all into the world outside of the actual games. Even through Tristan was out he was trying to be very circumspect about his love life due his mother's political leanings. But even then he still knew what he wanted and wasn't afraid to go after Ravi. Watching them fall in love, but especially Tristan who didn't have as much confidence was so sweet and romantic.
What Needs Work
There is very little to complain about in his one; it hit all the marks for me. It was a bit similar to the first one in the sense that it has the flashy guy and the uptight guy who go on a road trip and have to confront the judgmental sides of their life in order to be together. But Ravi and Tristan, for me, were so different from Adrian and Noah and especially their love story that I wasn't bothered by it.
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!
Content warnings: on page sex (including oral, frottage, anal), homomisia, alcohol consumption, mention of MC’s brother who died in DUI accident, grief undertones, unsupportive family members, family trying to set MCs up with women (despite knowing they’re gay).
Rep: gay Gujarati/Indian male, gay white male