📚Review: Status Update (#gaymers, book 1) by Annabeth Albert


cover-annabethalbert-statusupdateAdrian Gottlieb is winning at life. He’s a successful video game designer with everything a man could ask for, including a warm comfy ride to Denver and a date for his sister’s wedding. But he finds himself in need of a total reboot when he’s left stranded at a snowy campground in Utah. Holiday plans? Epic fail.

That is until Noah Walters offers him shelter for the night and a reluctant cross-country ride. Nothing about the ultraconservative geoarchaeologist should attract Adrian, but once he discovers Noah’s hidden love for video games, the two connect on a new level. Soon, a quiet but undeniable chemistry sparks.

Something doesn’t add up, though. As the miles accumulate and time runs out, Noah must face the most difficult choice of his life. Meanwhile, Adrian must decide whether he’s ready to level up. Is their relationship status worth fighting for, or has this game ended before it’s even begun?


Dates read:
Edition read:
December 7, 2015
Carina Press
Contemporary, M/M, GLBT+
189 e-book pages
3rd person
Series, book 1
December 8-9, 2015
Kindle Edition
See the book on GoodReads.

Rating:         ⭐️⭐️

Ratings are 1 to 5 stars and based mostly on GoodReads standards.
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NOTE: There are a few spoilers. I’ve colored the text the same as my background and placed within { }. You should be able to highlight that part to see, or ignore it if you don’t want spoilers. It worked fine for me when I tested this out.

Sorry, but this wasn’t a win for me and I will not be advancing to the next level.

Firstly, I really liked the cover, but in no way is it representative of the character descriptions, including the dog. That’s just a statement and has no bearing on my rating.

The blurb…when I read it a few weeks ago I was intrigued enough to pre-order the book. Reading it again, after having read the book, kind of makes me snicker and wonder what I was thinking.

The story felt like trope after trope after trope all dumped in a crock pot. Unfortunately, the flavors didn’t blend so well for me. And, spoiler: a crock pot nearly has a starring role.

There’s the “snowed in” trope—and it was a little bit of a twist from what we normally see, considering this was in an RV that actually moved as opposed to some remote cabin in the woods. I thought that was done relatively well.

There’s the “I’m stranded and have to get home to a wedding and I gotta have a date or I’m a loser.” So the RV was handy.

There’s the “closeted guy/complete virgin.” I had a hard time with the whys of these.

There’s “insta-love” which I have a really hard time buying into when combined with closeted virgins.

There’s the “age gap” that was never really addressed, not that it really matters. But it was there.

There’s “confrontation with the ex”—which, sorry, but was lackluster, felt forced and far too coincidental to be believable.

The “grand gesture” toward the end on Noah’s part where he {quits his job and races halfway across the country and shows up at Adrian’s work.} I’m kinda tired of this to be honest. Grand Gestures really aren’t needed for believable romance.

I’m not a gamer—and this is a huge undercurrent of the story and the one thing these heroes have in common, along with taste in movies. I wasn’t scared of the gaming element, nor did I find it overbearing. Sometimes it got big, and I’ll admit I skimmed a few paragraphs to get around it. But for the most part, it was fine.

I couldn’t get a good bead on Adrian. His sexy tats drew me in some. But beyond that…he was kind of a flake, but really sweet and nurturing at times. I couldn’t make sense of him, other than he’s just the sort who dances to the beat of his own drum. Nothing wrong with that, but it made it really hard to connect. His family drama seemed to be all in his head because they adored him even when he exasperated them.

Noah—and with him I’ve got to try really hard not to be judgmental. He’s 35, suuuper closeted, and a complete virgin. I don’t judge those things…except the age part, and I REALLY don’t want to judge that either. It’s just, I never bought into the WHY of it all. Why at 35, and such an intellectual, he’s so closeted and inexperienced. And I couldn’t buy into it being “because of his place of employment” because he USED that as a way to hide himself and knew what he was getting into by working there. He’s way far away from family…so getting away was his first chance to be himself. Instead he hid behind religion he didn’t fully buy into, what he thought his family would think, and gaining tenure at an ultra-conservative religious college whose tenets he didn’t believe in. I get everyone’s journey is different…but, the WHYs all piled up fell short for me.

Together, I didn’t get the attraction of anything deeper than looks and common interest in video games. The chemistry was lacking and the sexual tension was…meh.

Their dogs didn’t even like each other much in the beginning, and that’s usually a sign to run like hell.

Yet, within mere days of a snowy RV journey, they’re in love.

Uhhhh… okay.

(Not really.)

The rest is them trying to figure it out, deny it, fight against it, fight for it, etc. with lots of boring talk, talk, talk over text and Skype until the aforementioned Grand Gesture.

As the reader, by this point, I didn’t care a whole lot.

The One-Year-Later epilogue…

*harassed sigh*

I don’t think it’s written in stone that at the end of a romance the people have to {get engaged and plan a family} in order to have a believable HEA.

So no…Game Over.

This review also posted on GoodReads and Amazon.

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