Cover Image: Conventionally Yours

Conventionally Yours

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Member Reviews

If this plot seems familiar - two young men meet, dislike each other, end up on a long road trip, get to really know each other and fall in love -   yup, it's been done before.  But do not let that deter you from picking up this book and simply falling in love with the characters and the setting.

Disclaimer:  I know nothing about card-based game play so I'll apologize in advance for my  appalling lack of knowledge. Albert has created a game called Odyssey that can be played online, in a team or individually against a group of fellow players. Card decks are purchased and new decks can be built using components that match the player's strategic plan.

Alden and Conrad are regulars on vlogger Professor Tuttle's Gamer Grandpa channel and when he surprises his team with tickets to Massive Odyssey Con West (MOC) in Las Vegas, Conrad and Alden end up driving a huge black Lincoln to Vegas, stopping in small game shops along the way to film content for the channel. Alden is 23, elegantly built, very smart and lives at home with his two moms who want him to go to medical school.  Conrad is a bit younger, a small town Kansas boy who looks more like a baseball player than a gaming nerd, and he's had a helluva year due to family issues.

As the days and miles go by, Conrad learns that Alden is neurodiverse, hasn't been accepted to any medical schools, and feels very pressured by his moms to find a high prestige career. Conrad slowly reveals his family's reaction when he was outed and his struggle to survive each day.  I love how Annabeth Albert uses elements and strategies from the game as metaphors for Conrad and Alden's lives - play your own game, small moves create big results, work to get just one more turn, one more turn, etc.

If you've read Annabeth Albert's "Out of Uniform" series, this might be a bit tame for you as it is pretty non-explicit (but give it a try, I think you'll reall enjoy it), and if you're a big fan of her "#gaymers" series, dive right in!  4.5 stars for "Conventionally Yours."
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Conventionally Yours is something new from Annabeth Albert, less romance novel and more contemporary romance with more of a slow burn and less sexy times.

The plot was a bit too slow for my taste but this is obviously meant to be a character driven novel. I appreciated the way the characters themselves were revealed to the reader and the way the characters’ relationship with each other was developed. Unfortunately it took me about 50% of the way through the novel to finally really get into it and start to feel attachment to the characters and the story. I wanted them to get their happy ending by the end but wish I could have felt that way from the beginning. 

I think readers who enjoying gaming and prefer something more like YA romance will enjoy this one, unfortunately it’s just not really for me.
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Thanks to Netgalley for a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. 

This is one of my favorite authors and Conventionally Yours did not disappoint. I loved this totally nerdy story with heart. And the easter egg of the #gaymer guys was too cute.

This slowburn enemies turned lovers story featuring a popular role-playing card game and an epic roadtrip is the kind of escapism I need in my life right now. Conrad and Alden were such unique characters, each battling their own individual circumstances and balanced each other out nicely. I loved their journey from seeing each other's surface personas to uncovering the depths each has and being each other's solid support for the tournament and their lives. 

Can't wait to see Jasper's story next!
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Not bad, but not exactly a winner for me.

I was expecting something similar to Annabeth Albert's #gaymers series, which I really enjoyed. That series struck the right balance between gaming and romance for me.

'Conventionally Yours' is quite heavy on the gaming, with a good chunk of the book devoted to actual playing. I have no interest or connection to that world, so I found it difficult to relate to the MCs and to stay focused in the story.

I did like the set-up of Conrad and Alden's romance. Enemies-to-lovers and opposites-attract always make for some funny scenes!

The two are very sweet together, once they put aside their mutual dislike and start sharing bits of themselves with the other.

However, it was all just very...tame. I never truly felt a spark between Alden and Conrad, and found myself pretty bored at times.

Also, the two men come across as quite young. Much more so than their actual age. Again, I just found it difficult to relate to the MCs or be invested in the outcome.

Overall - this book just wasn't my jam.

However, 'Conventionally Yours' may be more to your liking if you're looking for a quieter new adult romance that's heavy on the gaming.
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Erica – ☆☆☆☆
4 Geek Road Trip Stars.

Conventionally Yours is the first in the True Colors series, featuring college-aged guys who take a road trip to a gamer tournament. I do believe you should have a basic grasp on gaming (particularly card gaming) to get the full entertainment value, as it was a large percentage of the novel.

The novel was the epitome of slow-burn, turning enemies into teammates into friends then into lovers.

For the first half of the novel, I was enthralled with the realistic chemistry between Conrad and Alden, especially their backstories that were slowly unfolding as the story moved forward. They were drawn to one another, yet were competitive, as well as misunderstood by the other. Preconceived notions of the other's living situation, with a hefty dose of judgment coloring how they viewed one another. It was realistic, in the manner that humans do this to each other on a daily basis.

On the gaming front, Odyssey reminded of forever and a day ago when I was in my late teens and my ex was obsessed with buying a billion Magic The Gathering cards to play. While I thought it was addictive fun, we were broke, so I definitely felt for Conrad. I thoroughly enjoyed all the gaming aspects, but since I understood the dynamics, I'm not in a position to say whether or not a non-gamer would get heads or tails of that portion.

On the road trip front, as someone who has traveled by car from Pennsylvania to New Mexico almost twenty times, there was a feeling of déjà vu while reading. I found it humorous, because most of the stops are exactly where I ended up every night, like we took the same path of travel. A bit of a walk down memory lane for me.

The chemistry between Alden and Conrad was off the charts. Their emotional reactions were realistically portrayed, as well as heart-clenching. The slow-burn truly had me believing in their connection.

All in all, I was highly entertained on many fronts, enjoying the gaming aspects, the road trip through the US in the same path I've traveled myself, but it was the pacing that knocked it down from a five-star read by a star.

Slow-burn is difficult to keep 'most' readers engaged. As an avid slow-burn reader, even I started to get a bit disinterested around the 65% mark. Not much was happening, aside from relationship and character growth (both amazing things) but the stops and the game stores all started to meld together into redundancy – been there, done that, during the last chapter. I needed the pacing to pick up to keep my interests. I read 65% in one sitting, then it took me a week to read the rest, when I was fully rooting for Conrad and Alden, curious to see who won the ultimate prize and the decisions they made for the future, but was quickly becoming disinterested as the days crawled onward.

Highly recommend to fans of the author, slow-burn readers, and gamer-geeks.
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this book was really cute. i thought the characters were fun and cute and i loved their relationship. i didn't completely understand the game they were competing it and that wouldn't bother me if it wasn't such a big part in this book. like they would be talking about it and i wouldn't understand anything. but this is a cute romcom with some fun tropes.
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Loved this NA gamer road trip romance. 
I'm a sucker for a road trip trope especially one with 'only one bed'. Add to that enemies to lovers and a gamer con as the end goal and you've hooked me in. 
This was good. The romance was sweet and the characters were well rounded and complex. Alden in particular was an interesting character to read. 
It's NA, so whilst not fade to black it was low heat, but this didn't affect my enjoyment of the story at all. 
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Dual POV, third person, New Adult, contemporary, enemies to lovers romance with some angst, miscommunication, but, not to worry, a very happy ending.

I wish the things that happened off page had been fleshed out more (including the love scenes.) To be honest, I loved Albert's #Gaymers series (start with Status Update, it's awesome), and was hoping this would be more in that vein, but it's more new adult angsty and less humorous. I would recommend this to those who enjoy card role playing games and a sprinkling of angst before they make it to the happy ending.

2.5 stars
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3.5 stars. The pace was a bit slow for me, but I like how Annabeth Albert took the time to really show how these people who didn't like each other much could slowly open themselves up to each other within a short period of time using forced proximity and road trip tropes. I was expecting more time at the actual convention itself, rather than the lead-up to it, and I wish there had been more explanation about how the tabletop game worked; not being familiar with that world, I was a bit lost at the beginning. But the story itself is well plotted, with genuine stakes for both characters.
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Conventionally Yours is a enemies to lover romance about two openly-gay men named Alden and Conrad. Both men are obsessed with the card game named Odessey and are on a mission to win the world Odessey convention. On the road to the convention, both men are faced with having to deal with each other, both emotionally and physically. Even though they are known as enemies on their professor's vlog, Conrad and Alden soon form a friendship which turns into something more 

Both men need to win the tournament to prove to their families that their passion is not a waste of time, plus the winnings of the tournament are life changing. 

This story was emotional, funny, and heartwarming. I was rooting for both characters from the first page. I enjoyed the 1st person fuel perspective of the book and felt deeply for both characters. I also enjoyed the way the author handled one of our characters being on the spectrum, while being a gay male. This story is sweet, fun and fast-paced read.
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Oh where do I start with this one? It's funny, its real, its witty, it leaves you wanting more but you're also weirdly content with what you got. The slow burn nature of this rivals to lovers is so incredibly charming and the author has done such a great job of conveying every emotion right from the awkwardness to the simmering feelings of shame and bitterness to the tender feelings of a growing crush. I've come to realise that internal monologues characters have isnt a writing choice I enjoy much, so that was a bit of a damper. Overall though, I really enjoyed the book and felt like it did a great job of portraying a soulful, HEA queer romance, one where the diversity doesn't feel like tokenism. I really appreciate the author including an enby character, I've personally never read a book with nonbinary representation before and I'm glad this book has started to change things for me.

Reviews now up on Goodreads and my bookstagram!
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I love all kinds of games so as soon as I read the synopsis I knew I had to read this.

The story follows Alden and Conrad, two Odyssey (a famous card game) players who seemingly hate each other but are part of the same gaming group under the tutelage of Professor Tuttle, who shares videos of their matches online.

When Professor Tuttle scores tickets for the whole team to attend Odyssey Con, Conrad and Alden find themselves on a cross-country trip to Las Vegas alone. What they expected to be a horrible experience turns out to become one of the best in their life.

This is a very short-lived enemies to lovers situation because despite not tolerating each other prior to the trip, they’re forced to work together and become close as they open up and are truthful about their opinion on one another. Alden is super sweet and blunt. Conrad is confident and fun-loving. One is shy and the other basks in the attention of people.

Their polar personalities makes for really good banter and teasing but also miscommunication and confusion, especially on Alden’s part who doesn’t always get the jokes.

The romance is really sweet and I love that it was a high-stakes romance. They both needed to win and at the same time wanted the other to win too so it made for good conflict. I also thought that the reality of being kicked out after coming out to your parents was handled well. It was heartbreaking to see Conrad slowly coming to terms with the fact that any of it was his fault.

Overall it was very enjoyable and I loved the lgbt+ diversity.
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4.5⭐️. Enemies to lovers, road trip, opposites attract.
🚗 Q: what’s your favorite game?
Here’s what we have: a cross-country trek to a game tournament between two men who are competitors & heavily dislike the other (and also look like Armie Hammer and Kit Harington. This is just speculation but let a girl live). What could possibly go wrong—and right (kissing, kissing, kissing!)?
Annabeth Albert’s Conventionally Yours is delightful & I adored it. Told from dual perspectives, we get to see where Conrad (handsome, brawny, “Disney-hero”-like) and Alden (good with kids but seemingly awkward/grumpy/reserved with most adults, cute) assume or see the worst in each other. We also the moments when they start picking up on the fact that no, the other person is not the worst person ever. They’re actually pretty cute.
Albert compellingly sketches the conflicts both characters are facing in their families & shows how both they’re moved to meet the challenges facing them. I especially love how Albert portrays Alden’s neurodiversity and his anxiety, which sometimes makes him snap at other people. (
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Another ARC I was more than happy to review. #ConventionallyYours is an #enemiestoloversbook which can be some of my favorite storylines. Doesn’t matter how many times it’s done, I still love it. Conrad and Alden are part of the same group that plays the card game Odyssey, but that doesn’t mean they get along.  When they get the opportunity to be a part of the biggest gaming convention and tournament they want to jump at the chance. But a road trip with each other?  Can they survive the trip and hope to make their gamer dreams come true? 
Thank you to #NetGalley and #SourcebooksCasablancaPaperbacks  for this #ARC, which is now available as of June 2, 2020. #bookworm #bookstagram #pridebooks #yabooks
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Conrad is fun, popular, and good looking. Also, he can barely keep a job, had to drop out of school, and now he is about to lose the only place he can afford. The only chance he has to turn his life around and prove his worth is if he wins the tournament. 
 Alden is brilliant, and restrained, and self-controlled, and just perfect. Perfect grades, the best card deck but yet he can't figure out his future. 
 Two rivals, two boys who dislike each other, with the only thing connecting them being their game playgroup, are going to find themselves on a road trip to the biggest fan convention. They both want to win, but what if this journey gives them something so much more than just a win?
 It is a super cute romance but I think it could have been shorter. A lot of things were said twice, that for me if they were deleted it would not have changed the course of the story, rather than make it more appealing. Overall, I really enjoyed it and loved both Alden and Conrad.
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Annabeth Albert continues her great chain of nerdy novels with this geek-filled, dungeons and dragons-esq RPG romance.
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3.5. Very cute M/M romance. If you’re looking for and intro into the genre THIS IS IT. Steam factor of 1, very PG. I liked the story and the road trip aspect. Conrad and Aldens relationship was adorable, and them growing as people and understanding themselves better in those ways (job, self-confidence) wasn’t something you get to see very often in the M/M genre in these ways and this in-depth. I liked that each had their own set of problems, all valid, but came from different backgrounds.

Where it fell a little short for me was the romance, and from what I’ve heard, this is VERY TAME compared to her other books. Which I have noooo problem with. I just kept wanting a little more.

Overall such a cute story, and I did really like the gaming aspect of it.
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I received an ARC from Netgalley and I am happy to give my honest opinion.

I have read some of Annabeth Albert's work but nothing quite like this book. I'm not a huge New Adult fan but I loved, loved, loved this book. I smiled the entire way through and my heart feels full with Conrad and Alden.

Alden is a neurodiverse character whose moms have spent years trying to "fix him." He has anxiety and is incredibly intelligent. The only place he feels like he can succeed is while playing Odyssey, a fantasy card game (similar to Magic the Gathering I presume). He is a part of a group that plays for a YouTube channel called Grandpa Gamer with a professor from the local college. He doesn't know where he wants to go next in life and his moms are pressuring him to decide.

Conrad is a college drop out, nearly homeless, broke, and disowned by his family. He does a good job of keeping his struggles to himself and takes joy in playing Odyssey with their group. Alden is his frenemy and challenges him at every go. Their professor gets tickets for the game's convention where the winning prize could change Conrad's life.

Their road trip starts out with other people but eventually ends up being Alden and Conrad in the car. They talk and become friends then become more. It was so freaking sweet. The scenes at the convention were spot on to my experiences at a Con and I felt like I was there with them. The angst is fairly low in the relationship and is more about the situation they are in rather than themselves.

Honestly, this is one of the best m/m books I've read in recent history. It ticked all of my boxes and I can't wait to read more books like it.
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This was a fun read and reminded me a lot of my partner and his friends. They play Magic and DND together. They’re both extensive games with a lot of rules that I’m not really into learning.  

This book was really cute. However, it wasn’t as good as I expected. The romance was really nice, but the pacing toward the end was just so slow and I wanted the book to be over already. 

I really liked how the characters were so different and complex, however, for a good chunk of the book I couldn’t remember who was who. Their names just kept escaping my brain.
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I was excited about this book and I really loved the premise, but it just fell flat for me. Nothing was particularly bad, it was just blah. I cared about the characters to a certain extent, but halfway through the book and I felt like there was no progress in their relationship and it was a long and boring ride (literally). The writing was good, and maybe if I had gone into it expecting it to be more YA, it would have liked it more.
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