Monday, January 25, 2016

Status Update by Annabeth Albert

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Adrian Gottlieb is winning at life. He's a successful video game designer with everything a man could ask for, including a warm comfy ride to Denver and a date for his sister's wedding. But he finds himself in need of a total reboot when he's left stranded at a snowy campground in Utah. Holiday plans? Epic fail.

That is until Noah Walters offers him shelter for the night and a reluctant cross-country ride. Nothing about the ultraconservative geoarchaeologist should attract Adrian, but once he discovers Noah's hidden love for video games, the two connect on a new level. Soon, a quiet but undeniable chemistry sparks.

Something doesn't add up, though. As the miles accumulate and time runs out, Noah must face the most difficult choice of his life. Meanwhile, Adrian must decide whether he's ready to level up. Is their relationship status worth fighting for, or has this game ended before it's even begun? 


I read Status Update in October of last year but never wrote a review.  Not sure why other than life happened (the last couple months of the year were emotionally insane) and I got distracted.  That can be the only reason because this story was wonderful and needs to be shared with romance lovers everywhere.

When Noah sees a young hipster with his tiny dog at the dog area of the RV park, he just wishes he were alone.  Noah doesn’t do people.  And his dog doesn’t do other dogs.  Especially snack size balls of fur.  Noah isn’t necessarily surly.  Just an intense introvert.  After a few words with the outgoing and energetic young man, Noah heads back to his RV.  But his quiet lonesome existence is upset later that evening when the same man he saw earlier is stranded in the cold after an argument with his boyfriend.   Noah is a naturally kind and thoughtful person so he isn’t going to leave the guy and his dog out in freezing rain.  He invites him to stay overnight after which he can head to the RV park office to call his family for assistance.

Adrian is kicking himself for being in a situation that will make his entire family say, “I told you so.”  But he is extremely grateful for the kindness of the quiet stranger he had met earlier.  Before his road trip to visit family spectacularly fell apart.  He’s even more grateful when said stranger takes mercy on his situation and offers to drive him to Denver, giving him a temporary reprieve from hearing the expected familial censure about his current situation and his luck in the relationship department.

What these two don’t expect is to bond over a mutual love of video games during their drive to Denver.  Adrian is a video game designer of a popular crowd-sourced video game and Noah just happens to be one of their financial contributors.   The fact that they are also attracted to each other is not lost on either of them.  On top of all of that they just seem to work together naturally.  Adrian understands Noah’s need to think and consider before doing or saying anything and Noah appreciates Adrian’s tendency to take control of situations.  Unfortunately, Adrian is out and proud.  Noah?  Not so much.  His fundamental Christian upbringing as well as his job as a professor at a well-known conservative Christian college makes it impossible for him to be who he is. 

Adrian’s enthusiasm and hopeful nature allow him to look at this growing relationship as something with potential.  Unfortunately, no matter how much Noah enjoys their time together and no matter how obvious it is that Adrian can give him all the things Noah has wanted for years, Noah is convinced this is just a temporary blip in his normally lonely existence.  But Adrian is determined to find a way to make it all work in a way that will make them both happy.  The question is whether Noah can make a leap that lacks the certainty that he has always required when making any sort of life changing decision.

Even after a re-read (to write this review) my heart shattered and mended itself as if I was reading it for the first time.  But don’t think this is one big angst-y mess.  I laughed out loud - A LOT -  while reading this.  So much I had to share a number of quotes with my fellow Bibliojunkies.  Quotes that were amusing enough to get Shel to read it (AND enjoy it) when she doesn’t usually gravitate towards m/m titles.

So, yeah.  Status Update is a total winner.  If you are looking for a feel good love story featuring some great laugh out loud moments, hot geeks, and some real emotional kissing and sexy time, you must pick this one up.   The only reason this book didn’t make it to my Top Ten of 2015  is because I was limiting myself to one book per author and I had already chosen Annabeth Albert’s Delivered Fast for the list (BTW – order the Portland Heat bundle here – you won’t be disappointed).  So, if you weren’t aware of my feelings after this review, that should give you a better idea.   
Happy Reading! 


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