Review: Beta Test (gaymers #2) by Annabeth Albert

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?

Coworkers Ravi Tandel and Tristan Jones have little in common, and little love to spare for one another. Ravi is laid back, spontaneous, popular, and openly gay. Tristan, on the other hand, plays strictly by the book, is highly organized, doesn’t have many friends, and is practically still in the closet. The two clash whenever they have to work with each other, and so keep their interactions to a minimum.

So when Ravi and Tristan are forced to take a road trip together in order to represent their company, a video game developer, at an expo in Seattle, they’re both surprised by the undeniable sexual tension between them. They come to an agreement: what happens in Seattle stays in Seattle. But once they return home, they find it hard to keep their hands off of each other.

I’m all for an opposites-attract romance, especially when the MCs have to learn how to interact with one another. Ravi and Tristan may bicker, but they aren’t openly or maliciously hostile towards one another.

I really enjoyed the build-up of Tristan and Ravi’s relationship. It’s a slow burn romance, one which balances the sexual tension with the emotional aspect well. I hate road trips IRL, and tend to avoid them in my reading too, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Ravi and Tristan’s journey up to Seattle. Once the two were forced to spend time together in close quarters, it became clear that their negative perceptions of one another were false.

And once they reached Seattle and got down and dirty, I was a very happy camper. Tristan and Ravi quickly discover that they’re great in bed together, and I’d have to agree.

This book is as much about the romance as it is about Tristan learning to accept and like himself. Coming from a conservative and politically active family, Tristan let family pressure and guilt force him back into the closet. As the story progresses, Tristan realizes that he doesn’t owe his family anything, especially not when they’re all too happy to endorse homophobic policies.

Even better, we see Tristan learn to like himself, and be confident in his abilities. Between his family and a past dickhead boyfriend, Tristan’s self-confidence is completely shot. But that changes as he and Ravi spend time together.

Ravi and Tristan bond over their work, their families, and their love for gaming. I was glad to see that Ravi wasn’t as clueless as he first appeared, and was actually very aware of Tristan’s limits. I loved seeing Tristan come out of his shell in response to Ravi’s attention.

‘Beta Test’ is a easy, sexy, and nerdy book. It’s a quick read, and doesn’t require much effort to just sit back and enjoy. Perfect for when you’re in the mood for a feel-good read.

If you’re looking for an opposites-attract MM romance, I’d definitely recommend ‘Beta Test’!

A review copy was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads.

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