Jasper Quigley is tired of being everyone’s favorite sidekick. He wants to become the hero of his own life, but that’s not going to happen if he agrees to help out his former best friend turned king of the jocks, Milo Lionetti. High school was miserable enough, thanks, and Jasper has no interest in dredging up painful memories of his old secret crush.
But Milo’s got nowhere else to go. His life is spiraling out of control and he’s looking to turn things back around. Step one? Replace the rare Odyssey cards he lost in an idiotic bet. Step two? Tell his ex-best-friend exactly how he feels—how he’s always felt.
Jasper may be reluctant to reopen old wounds, but he never could resist Milo. There’s a catch, though: if Milo wants his help, he’s going to have to pitch in to make the upcoming children’s hospital charity ball the best ever. But as the two don cosplay for the kids and hunt for rare cards, nostalgia for their lost friendship may turn into something even more lasting…
Out of Character is an enemies-to-lovers new adult romance set in the same world as Albert’s previous novel, “Unconventionally Yours.” The story is based around a fictional tabletop game called Odyssey and follows our two main characters, Jasper and Milo. Milo has accidentally traded away his brother’s very rare and expensive Odyssey cards and has turned to Jasper to help him get them back. The kicker is that Jasper and Milo used to be best friends until Milo starting hanging out with the jock crowd — the same crowd who bullied Jasper. Jasper has not forgotten how horribly Milo treated him in high school.
However, Jasper reluctantly agrees to help him, and the two men head off to an Odyssey gaming convention where Jasper will try to win back the elusive cards. Of course, neither boy could have guessed that all the time they spend together would result in them falling in love, and in so doing, the author captured perfectly how simultaneously beautiful and daunting it can be to fall for your enemy.
This ended up being a delightful, heartwarming story of two young men who find their way back to either other. The romance between the two of them was perfect, as was their chemistry. I adore romance redemption/second chance stories, and these aspects were exceptionally well done in this novel.
I also loved the colorful ensemble of friends/found family in this book. Albert does this really well, and I was especially delighted to see cameo appearances by several characters from Unconventionally Yours.
All in all, Out of Character is a beautiful story about love and how it can spring up in the most unlikely of places and circumstances. It’s a lovely, heartfelt second-chance nerdy romance with vibrant characters that I loved. I can’t wait to read more by this author.
A huge thank you to Netgalley for providing a review copy of this book.