Level Up (Fandom Hearts #1) by Cathy Yardley

Geeky introvert Tessa Rodriguez will do whatever it takes to get promoted to video game engineer– including create a fandom-based video game in just three weeks. The only problem is, she can't do it alone. Now, she needs to strong-arm, cajole, and otherwise socialize with her video game coworkers, especially her roommate, Adam, who’s always been strictly business with her. The more they work together, though, the closer they get…

Adam London has always thought of his roomie Tessa as “one of the guys” until he agreed to help her with this crazy project. Now, he’s thinking of her all the time… and certainly as something more than just a roommate! But his last girlfriend broke up with him to follow her ambitions, and he knows that Tessa is obsessed with getting ahead in the video game world.

Going from friends to something more is one hell of a challenge. Can Tessa and Adam level up their relationship to love?

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Pet’s $0.02

I love a good nerdy girl story.

This book speaks to every girl gamer or coder out there. I still don’t understand why the gaming industry is such a boys club, but it is… It’s a shame really.

Tessa is what everyone thinks of when they picture a girl gamer, which made me like her even more. Those girls are my people! I liked that she stuck it out I in a field where it’s not easy for women to succeed. Unfortunately, having skills just gets you in the door. She needs to fight tooth and nail to actually get a chance at her dream job, which she is more than willing to do, she just needs some help. She gets some good advice from Adam on how she can improve her chances for a promotion but telling an introvert to be more social is kind of like teaching a cat to swim. It can be done, but it’s most likely going to be painful.

Adam was fun. He wasn’t at all what I expected. He does have some baggage he’s dragging along from a prior relationship, but for the most part, he’s doing okay. His career is going well and he’s well liked by his team. Tessa has been renting a room from him for almost a year, but he’s pretty clueless to Tessa as both a woman and a co-worker. They share a house, but not much else. He frustrated the hell out of me by overlooking all the coolness that was Tessa.

Fans of geeky characters and anyone who is into any kind of Fandom will feel right at home with this book. There is a certain kind of obsession that fans of a series, or game or show possess that Yardley does a great job of capturing. I loved the group of women that Tessa is adopted into, the nerdiness of the girls and the guys for that matter, and the true clique mentality of people who find they have a common love for things most people find silly.

If you’re a fan of shows like Supernatural, do yourself a favor and pick up One True Pairing after this one. It’s even more fun than Level Up and I can’t wait to get to the rest of the characters from this series.

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