Monday, May 23, 2016

[ARC Review]: "Beta Test"

Beta Test by Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Carina Press (May 30, 2016)
Series: #gaymers, 2
Genre: M/M Romance

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?

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Reviews of Albert's Previous Novels:

Status Update (#1) -- TBQ

Treble Maker (#1) -- TBQ

My Review:

You may recall that I loved Noah and Adrian’s book (review). While this is the second book in the series, you don't need to read Status Update to enjoy Beta Test. Obviously, I do recommend the book because it was great, but if you wish to jump right into this book instead, you won’t be lost.

“You know, sometimes disappointing your parents is the only way to figure out who you were meant to be.”

Ravi and Tristan both have some Major Family Angst going on in this book, for similar, though different, reasons. Ravi’s parents (and most of his family) does not believe/accept that he’s gay, and they’re still determined to set him up with “the right girl”. Tristan’s family is very much against him having his sexuality out in the open, partly due to his mother’s political standing. But while Ravi has long since embraced who he is, Tristan has spent his entire life being “not enough” for his parents – not good enough, not perfect enough, and not straight. But he’s careful, oh so careful, to follow his parents’ rules: be discreet, don’t be flamboyant, etc., etc.

“And it’s not about you picking your family over us. It’s about you picking your family over you.”

Until, that is, Ravi comes along. Slowly, he helps Tristan to see that he doesn’t have to follow his parents’ demands anymore, that he IS enough, and he’s free to be himself, not this carefully watered-down version that’s been expected of him.

These two start out as . . . not enemies, by any means, but not terribly close. They start to develop a friendship over the course of working together on projects, and then, of course, lovers. It’s a smooth transition, and I felt Albert did a great job – it never felt like they were rushed from one type of relationship to the next.

Like all of Albert’s books, there’s a good mixture of emotions, charming times . . . and, of course, steamy hot ones. You’ll find no complaints from me on that front. There’s a lot of grinding. It was just . . . GAH! YES. I don’t have any particular smexy scene to share, but that’s mainly because they all required the full context of the scene to appreciate the steam level, and I couldn’t find a short sexy excerpt to pull out and share. I guess you’ll just have to trust me. Have I ever steered you guys wrong about a sexy book being sexy? No? Okay then. J

“Everyone fights.” Maria waved her hand again. “The key for you is what are you going to fight for? That’s the whole question, isn’t it? It’s not what you fight over, it’s what you fight for.”

As I said, the family drama and angst from both Ravi and Tristan plays a big role in the overall story. It does lead to some disagreements and issues between the two men, but in the end, they each come to terms with the fact that this is their life, not their families’, and are able to have their HEA. It's definitely worth it in the end.

Another great read from Albert – both sweet and sexy, with angst and a good dash of finding yourself sprinkled throughout. Josiah’s book is up next and I’m very much looking forward to it. (That's putting it mildly. I WANT IT NOW!)


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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley.

*Note: The quotes used belong to Annabeth Albert; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them. Any mistakes or typos in the quotes are my own fault.

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If you haven't read any of Annabeth Albert's books yet (and you're a fan of M/M, of course), I have to ask you one thing: WHY? You need to change that ASAP. :) This is a good place to start, as are all her other books that I've reviewed above. 


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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