Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Annabeth Albert

Pub Date: June 2nd, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-72820-029-3
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Two young men fall in love on a road trip to Las Vegas for a gaming convention.

Conrad Stewart and Alden Roth’s rivalry has made them the stars of a gaming vlog about a card game called Odyssey. When the local game shop owner who runs the vlog announces he has procured a set of complimentary entries for his players at the national Odyssey convention in Las Vegas, Conrad and Alden each have their own reasons for wanting to win. Alden is socially awkward and feels adrift after failing to get into medical school, and turning into a Odyssey pro would provide much-needed structure to his life; Conrad has been disowned by his family after they find out he’s gay, and winning the tournament would give him the financial security to provide for himself and finish college. Due to a series of unfortunate mishaps, Conrad and Alden end up together on the road trip to Las Vegas for the convention. As they travel thousands of miles cross-country, they work together to navigate a series of minor mishaps and challenges. Once they learn to look past their knee-jerk dislike of each other, they realize that they are a pretty good team. Their romance is sweet and slow, with the more experienced Conrad showing Alden the joys of falling in love. Their romance has the classic hallmarks of the new-adult subgenre, with both of the main characters learning to face the challenges of the adult world while resisting family pressures and expectations. The tight pacing, interesting conflict, and careful characterization make this a great bridge for readers looking to make the jump from YA to adult romance.

A well-crafted romance for fans of the smash hit Red, White & Royal Blue (2019).