REVIEW, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: STATUS UPDATE by Annabeth Albert

Posted December 10, 2015 by MeliMel in Blog Tours, Book Love, Giveaways, Guest Posts & Reviews, Home, Meli Mel Review, Special Content & Excerpts / 0 Comments

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STATUS UPDATE
#gaymers book one
Annabeth Albert
Released Dec 7th, 2015
Carina Press
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Blurb

Adrian 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?

REVIEW
Meli Mel

♥ ♥ ♥ 4 STARS ♥ ♥ ♥

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‘It wouldn’t last, but for that moment, it was, as Adrian said, everything. Everything he couldn’t have, wouldn’t have, shouldn’t have. But for a few perfect hours, he could pretend.’

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This is the first book that I pick up by this author and I am so glad that did. This story was freaking adorkable that I just couldn’t get enough.

Adrian Gottlieb is a twenty-five year old passionate video game designer to the very popular game, Space Villager. Life is pretty great. He has fabulous little dog, a wonderful family, a date he can take to his sister’s wedding. Nothing could possibly go wrong for him. Things take a turn, however, when his douchebag date abandons him and his dog with just the clothes on his back in an RV campground. It only gets better when he realizes he doesn’t have his wallet and he is freezing in the snow.

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‘His body trembled with the force of his emotions. Nothing had ever moved him like the surrender of this man, like the gift of his trust.’

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Noah Walters is a thirty-five year old geoarchaeology professor for a very conservative university. Noah is nearing tenure, and it seems like what he has been working for his entire life is finally about to happen. He is quite the recluse, and only cares for the companion of his dog. He is also a closeted virgin man. He doesn’t appreciate being disturbed, so it’s just his luck when the ruckus from the RV next to him has shouting coming from it. Noah goes to investigate and finds Adrian has been left behind.

Noah isn’t very warm and welcoming towards Adrian, but he isn’t heartless either. He allows Adrian to stay the night, and then later on agrees to be his date for his sister’s wedding. As they journey towards Denver, a snowstorm threatens to delay their arrival. At least they have each other’s company. These two are such opposites. Adrian is so full of life and very easy going. Noah is a little more reserved and uptight. With moment they spend together the more sexual tension their is between them. I enjoyed watching these two fall for each other, and having Adrian pry and push Noah was really great. They helped each other grow as characters. Another thing I liked was how their dogs complimented their story. It was so darn cute.

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“I missed you while you were gone. I don’t want to miss you.” Noah’s voice was a soft slash of a knife to Adrian’s soul. He knew exactly what Noah meant.

“I don’t want to miss you either.” He nuzzled Noah’s stomach. This is everything I need.

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Something I really appreciate about the author is that she really did her homework. As a follower of the Youtube gaming community, she really understood how it all worked which just put a big smile on face. One thing I didn’t know if I would care for was Noah being a virgin with zero experience, especially at his age. I was scared it would be very ‘The 40 year old Virgin’, but I was so very mistaken. It totally worked here. I loved Noah grow into himself and learn to not care what others think. I loved that Adrian supported him along the way. They sex scenes between them was never odd and clumsy, instead it was sexy and sweet. The secondary characters were also very awesome. They were humourous which made story that much better. Overall, it was cute and heartwarming story, with a bit angst that had my heart hurting. It was a story about self discovery, acceptance, and love. I enjoyed every single moment of it. I cannot wait to see what the next book has in store.

excerpt

Noah knew the dog was trouble as soon as he and Ulysses entered the campground’s off-leash dog area. The little guy—some sort of Chihuahua/mini-pin mix in a yellow-and-green checked coat—stood in the center of the scrubby grass, barking his fool head off. The only human in the dog area sat at the picnic table on the far side, completely absorbed in his shiny phone, oblivious to his dog strutting around like all eight pounds of him would be enough to keep potential threats out.

Ulysses gave Noah a look, like “you really expect me to ignore that?” Noah tightened his hold on the tennis ball chucker. Ulysses never did well competing with smaller dogs for his toys. He unclipped Ulysses with a stern look.

“Be good.”

Still yapping, the little dog rushed over to inspect his new enemy. Predictably, Ulysses wandered away to do his business. He was too old for these sorts of games.

Noah gave a halfhearted wave in the direction of the owner, but the guy didn’t look up from his phone. The young guy was a typical hipster tourist—thick tortoise-framed glasses, artfully messed-up dark hair, with a thick purple streak, falling over his forehead. Slim build, but his wide shoulders stretched his too-thin jacket, making the shiny fabric ripple with his motions. He wasn’t any more prepared for November in Utah than his designer dog. Still, he was a cute guy, if one was the type to notice things like that, which Noah was not.

Noah looked away, studying the sheer cliffs that surrounded the Capitol Reef National Park. Didn’t matter how much time he spent in Southern Utah, he never got tired of the view. Phone guy was missing the light shifting into one of those perfect late fall sunsets that made the early dusk worth the loss of daylight. Pink streaks mingled with gray sky to cast a rosy glow over the scrubby grass and low fence of the dog area.

Rowwwr. Ulysses flopped at Noah’s feet, a deep beseeching whine rattling out of his barrel chest. He was eighty pounds of unhappy. He’d waited patiently all afternoon while Noah worked, and now he was missing out on his ball time thanks to the teacup gatekeeper.

“Okay, but play nice.” Noah threw the ball hard with the chucker toy, going for enough distance to outstrip the tiny dog’s ability to keep up with Ulysses. Not surprisingly, the little guy was tenacious, cutting off Ulysses’s path to the ball. Ulysses gave a warning woof, and Noah broke into a run, heading after the dogs.

“Down,” he called out. Ulysses wouldn’t attack the smaller dog, but he wasn’t above a major tantrum. And despite the smaller dog acting as instigator, people would see the huge black dog and toss out the “aggressor” label. Noah preferred to exercise him late in the day—Ulysses simply didn’t enjoy playing with other dogs, and Noah wasn’t one to force his dog into uncomfortable situations.

The little dog stood over the ball, yapping up a storm while Ulysses barked and growled, ignoring Noah’s command to sit.

Finally, the owner hefted himself off the picnic bench.

“Pixel, baby, what are you doing?” the owner called in a melodic voice that didn’t inspire Noah’s confidence in the man’s ability to control his dog. “Did the big doggie scare you?”

Hah. Typical. Noah snorted. “Can you grab the ball?” He didn’t trust those little dog breeds—too quick to snap. He’d nearly been bitten trying to retrieve a ball more than once.

“Oh sure.” The guy reached under Pixel—typical cutesy name for an annoying dog—and delicately plucked the ball free, but instead of handing it to Noah, he gave it a toss, sending both dogs running.

Oh great. Noah let out a slow breath, little puffs of vapor in the crisp evening air that did nothing to defuse his tension.

“It’ll be okay.” The way-too-handsy guy patted the sleeve of Noah’s parka. “They just need to work it out. Pixel loves to play.”

Noah took a step to the side. Who did that? Touched complete strangers? But the guy kept up his friendly grin, not unlike his dog, who kept gamely chasing Ulysses. Ulysses won the race to the ball this time and hightailed it back to Noah. Not releasing his prize, he whined softly.

“Hey, boy. You got a toy?” The guy knelt to dog level and extended a hand, but instead of sniffing, Ulysses shook his head.

“Sorry. He’s not much on new people.” Neither am I. Noah’s voice sounded rough to his own ears—too many days with only Ulysses to talk to.

“It’s okay.” The guy straightened, then extended a hand to Noah. “I’m Adrian Gottlieb. You been at Capitol Reef long?”

“Couple of weeks.” He returned Adrian’s handshake, hating it when a little buzz shot up his arm. Unlike his own gloved hand, Adrian’s hand was bare, a hint of a tattoo playing peekaboo with his cuff, his grip strong and firm. And Noah had absolutely no business noticing anything more than the guy’s relentless friendliness.

Adrian smiled expectantly as he released Noah’s hand.

“Oh, I’m Noah. And that’s Ulysses,” he added, because dog people always wanted to know all about the dog. No doubt the guy was bursting to tell Pixel’s life story.

“Add-dreeee-an,” a heavily accented voice called from the gate. A beefy guy close to Noah’s age leaned on the fence, bald head gleaming in the setting sun. “I’m lonely. When are you coming back?”

“Coming,” Adrian shouted, then gave Noah a shrug with a “what can you do?” expression on his face. He grabbed Pixel and jogged across the field.

Noah nodded like he knew anything about handling demanding friends. Adrian greeted the mammoth dude with a quick peck. Okay then. Not a friend. He should have guessed, but he was a bit slow about relationship stuff. The country was changing, even way out here, but no one would dare try even that much PDA in his tiny West Texas college town. His stomach gave a weird flip—not quite discomfort, but something else he refused to name. Time to return his attention to Ulysses. He hurled the tennis ball as hard as he could.

Reading Order

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Review Meli Mel v2

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Book 3 in #gaymers Series is set to release on SEPTEMBER 5, 2016

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GIVEAWAY

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About Author

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.

Represented by Saritza Hernandez of the Corvisiero Literary Agency

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