Monday, 17 June 2013

Review ~ Gaming For Keeps - Seleste DeLaney

Gaming for KeepseARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 10th June 2013

Publisher: Entangled


Pen Holloway’s done with men—in real life. Guys in game are so much less drama. But when her partner from Heroes of Fallen Gods invites her to the convention of the year, she panics. What if he’s another jerk? What if he’s not?Cal Burrows is living his dream of being a spy. One of TRAIT’s misfit spies, but still a spy. It’s the perfect job… until an arms dealer with a taste for blood invades his not-so-secret geek haven. All Cal wanted from ConDamned was to meet his on-line girl. Now, with the threat of mass murder looming, he’s forced to choose between keeping his mission a secret and protecting the girl of his dreams.Despite their attraction, Pen can’t help but suspect Cal’s hiding something. She also can’t shake the feeling he’s not as much of a stranger as he seems.

My Opinion

It was the concept of online meeting and Cal being a spy that intrigued me into requesting this book. I wasn't so keen on the online gaming part, what with having no experience in it, and I was slightly worried I wouldn't understand but I went ahead and took a chance on it and I'm glad I did. Although some terminology was used and real games mentioned I did manage to get the gist of what everything was so I wasn't left confused as the tech-jargon was kept to a minimum. It was however obvious that DeLaney knows her gaming worlds well.

Gaming For Keeps was an incredibly short and fast read and although it kept my interest the whole way through with it's steamy romance, comical moments and action this was where my main problem lay. I wanted more! Because of the novella length everything seemed a bit rushed with little development or explanation. For example details were brushed over such as Cal telling Pen about him being a spy. I for one would have loved to read about her reaction but there was hardly anything written other than a few statements. It was how the whole story went really and although I loved the concept and what was written I just wanted more detail, especially with character development and Cal's job as a spy at the convention. 

Like I said, I had no problem with what was written. In fact I really enjoyed the story and finished it within an hour - it did hold my interest. However I feel there is so much more this story could give and had a much bigger potential than a novella. I would have liked to spend a few more hours reading about the characters and watching them grow and develop with each other, finding out their back stories and more detail of the terrorist. I really didn't want to stop reading.

I really liked the transfer from gaming to real life and how the two find each other without realising  I thought it was an original concept and liked how the author used online messaging to communicate at the start. As well as this I really liked the romance scenes, they were described vividly and it made you fall in love with Cal. As well as this I liked Pen's attitude. She was strong and funny with her wit but because of being hurt previously by a guy she had a vulnerable side and the lack of trust is mostly where the comedy came in which was nice as I could feel myself smiling while reading. She fitted well with Cal's confidence and matched him well in terms of fight skills. 

Overall Gaming for Keeps presents an original concept and a nice romance. I really enjoyed reading it however I just wish there was more as I could see this developing into a great novel or series. I would recommend this to romance and N/A lovers.

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