Conventionally Yours is a new adult romance follows our two main characters Conrad and Alden, both expert players of a fictional game called Odyssey. This book contained three of my favorite tropes: enemies-to-lovers, opposites attract, and a road trip (complete with a hotel room with only…one…bed). I wasn’t sure about the gaming aspect of it, though, as I’m not a gamer, but I needn’t had worried as the tensions between our two characters along with their hidden pasts rendered this an utterly compelling story for me. This was the first book I’ve read about gamers and gaming conventions, and though I’m not personally a gamer, I found this aspect of the story a lot of fun.
What made this story especially intriguing was both of our characters’ backstories. There’s Alden, who may or may not be on the autism spectrum but who is suffering from crippling anxiety as well as the need to fulfill his moms’ expectations; and Conrad, who has suffered enormous setbacks over the past year and is on the verge of being homeless.
What’s fun is that each character sees the other in a completely different way than the person’s actual reality. And of course, there’s the “I hate you, I hate you….yet I find you strangely attractive” aspect of it, which I always love. So in this way, both of our characters are quite complex and leading complicated lives.
So our two enemies, each who is at a significant crossroads in his life, are forced to travel to a gaming convention together alone and in the same car. And as their trip progresses, they each find themselves developing more than a casual interest in the other, complete with unwelcome romantic thoughts.
I was nearly giddy as I saw them moving toward an inevitable romance, and it was so much fun watching these two fighting their attraction to the other and, ultimately, giving in to it. There was also the extra added intrigue of the uber-important Odyssey Con competition — where both of the men feel that they must win… NO MATTER WHAT.
Overall, Conventionally Yours is a sweet, fun, heartfelt, nerdy romance – an excellent, well-crafted story that was a perfect blend of romance and gaming — a rare find. It’s a heartwarming story of two boys finding their way to each other, and I ended up loving the quirky plot and the endearing secondary characters. A rivalry between two master gamers turns into a whirlwind romance in this charming story about true love and doing what’s right.
A huge thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for providing me with an ARC of this story.
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