Early Review: Beta Test by Annabeth Albert

Beta TestBeta Test by Annabeth Albert
Book #2 in #gaymers
Genre: M/M, Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: May 30th, 2016
ARC provided by Carina Press

Synopsis from Goodreads: Player vs. Player. Fight!

Brilliant graphic designer Ravi Tandel is ahead of the game—he’s just been asked to present a top secret project at a huge conference in Seattle. All systems are go…until he learns his buttoned-up office nemesis is coming along for the ride.

Tristan Jones isn’t really the gamer type, but he knows the back end of the video game business inside out. Together, he and Ravi will give an awesome presentation. If they survive the cross-country trip first.

Tossed together in close quarters, Ravi’s shocked to see Tristan’s sexy, softer side emerge from such a conservative shell. He’s less shocked to learn his handsome colleague’s prominent family would never support an out-and-proud son. But Ravi didn’t struggle through his own coming out to hide who he is now. To be together, Tristan will have to push past his fear and ultimately decide: Does he want a future with Ravi? Or is it game over before they’ve even begun?

4.5 Stars – A

Beta Test is the second installment of Annabeth Albert’s #gaymers series, and as much as I loved the first book, I loved this one even more. Just like Status Update, Beta Test has a sweet feel to it throughout the entire story. While Ravi and Tristan may have been at odds, it’s clear they aren’t out for anything bad to happen to the other. I was instantly charmed by Tristan. His organizational skills and work ethic were a huge part of who he was. His job, in general, seemed to define his life, as pushing things to the side or keeping the bottled up was something he’d learned from his parents. There was a gentleness and kindness to him that I adored. Ravi’s character seemed a bit superficial to me at first, but that didn’t last long. Like Tristan, there was a lot more to him than he wanted anyone to know. He was definitely the more exuberant of the two, and unlike Tristan, Ravi never lacked for company.

No insta-love here. (YAY!) The feelings between Ravi and Tristan came on gradually, and it wasn’t even until Tristan inadvertently outed himself that Ravi bothered to look deeper. Both are hesitant about relationships. Aside from Tristan’s ultra-conservative family, his last boyfriend seemed to enjoy tearing him down, and Ravi had already been burned by a work-place romance once. He wasn’t about to let that happen again. Their attraction, however, was too strong to be denied. I thought Ravi was good for Tristan. His outgoing nature coaxed Tristan into trying things he would normally have shied away from. And Ravi found it easy to open up to Tristan when he was someone who normally would have kept things inside. Ravi and Tristan had a lot of fun together, but my favorite scenes were when it was just the two of them, and Ravi was able to bring out strength in Tristan he didn’t know he had, and Ravi was able to really talk to Tristan and see things in a new way. The back drop of the road trip was so much fun to read about. Tristan admiring Ravi’s out and proud way when he himself found it so hard was both humorous and a bit sad to read. I couldn’t help but want the same for Tristan. They had amazing chemistry, and I loved how Ravi was so purposefully encouraging and responsive to Tristan in an effort to show him how desirable he (Tristan) was.

Beta Test was a wonderful addition to the #gaymers series, and I can’t wait to read the next installment! If you like books with a slow build where the characters still have a little way to go to find themselves, I think you’ll enjoy this one.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Series Reading Order:
1. Status Update
2. Beta Test
3. Connection Error (Expected Publication: September 1st, 2016)

Thank you to CARINA PRESS for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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