By: Annabeth Albert
When two “big name fans” go head-to-head at a convention, love isn’t the only thing at stake.
Charming, charismatic, and effortlessly popular, Conrad Stewart seems to have it all…but in reality, he’s scrambling to keep his life from tumbling out of control.
Brilliant, guarded, and endlessly driven, Alden Roth may as well be the poster boy for perfection…but even he can’t help but feel a little broken inside.
When these mortal enemies are stuck together on a cross-country road trip to the biggest fan convention of their lives, their infamous rivalry takes a backseat as an unexpected connection is forged. Yet each has a reason why they have to win the upcoming Odyssey gaming tournament and neither is willing to let emotion get in the way―even if it means giving up their one chance at something truly magical.
This book was right up my geeky alley. I’ve never gotten into a card-playing game, but mainly because I’ve never had the time or disposable income. Still, I had no problem following the story or understanding what was going on, which is good because the card game is a major part.
Conrad and Alden are part of an LGBTQ+ weekly card game that is uploaded to YouTube. They hate each other. Conrad trash talks Alden and Alden is borderline condescending. However, they both need a win in their lives, so they jump at the opportunity to go to the Con and win a huge cash prize.
Conrad’s year was rough. Everything that could go wrong did. It was pretty sad, but he never lost his optimism, and having the weekly game session helped with that. His self-confidence took a significant hit because of everything, though.
Alden had two moms that loved him, but at least one was super pushy. She wanted what she thought was best for him, but it was easy to see how stressful she was making his life. While he wasn’t going through the same issues Conrad was, they shared similar challenges. They just had to get over themselves to realize it.
The enemies to lovers trope can be hard to execute, but Albert did a great job. I also enjoyed the inclusion of the having to share a bed trope. Conrad and Alden made a cute couple. Watching them fall in love as they overcame all the pitfalls that come with a long road trip was fun—definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.