REVIEW: Level Up by Cathy Yardley


Rating 4 Stars

She cared about him for who he was. Not for what he could do for her.

Working as a woman in the male dominated programming field has pushed Tessa to focus all her ambitions on her career and her determination to make it to one of the programming teams. She might be crushing on her roommate but she needs to focus, especially when she agrees to help some new friends create a video game in just 2 weeks. Getting over his ex was hard for Adam but now he’s starting to move on and is ready to start dating again. The only problem is that he can’t stop thinking about his roommate Tessa — someone who should be off limits for many reasons. When she recruits him to help with her video game, Adam can’t say no even as he’s desperate to say yes — to a relationship.

I really enjoyed this one and appreciated how wonderfully nerdy it was.  I loved the authenticity of the nerdy parts of this story; references to TV, movies, books, games, and fandoms galore. You can really tell that Cathy Yardley is a true nerd herself. However, there were a surprising number of typos for a book that’s been published through a traditional house.

I really enjoyed Tessa’s character and how well Yardley portrayed her. She was strong and independent as well as driven to achieve her dreams. At the same time she wasn’t overbearing or annoying. I’ve read a few romances in the past year that address the inequities of men and women in male dominated fields and the heroine often becomes a walking billboard for feminist values to the point that they’re a caricature. This was not the case with Tessa and I was very pleased her with her characterization.

I love alpha heroes just as much as the next girl, but I adore beta heroes (I married one after all). So I LOVED Adam in this book; he was cute, sweet, understanding, and he appreciated Tessa and her talents so much. My heart skipped a beat every time he backed Tessa up and showed his confidence in her. He was pretty much perfect with just enough confidence flaws to keep him real.

••• Book Details •••

Fandom Hearts #1    Romance, Contemporary    SMP Swerve    April 11, 2017

Geeky introvert Tessa Rodriguez will do whatever it takes to get promoted to video game engineer– including create a fandom-based video game in just three weeks. The only problem is, she can’t do it alone. Now, she needs to strong-arm, cajole, and otherwise socialize with her video game coworkers, especially her roommate, Adam, who’s always been strictly business with her. The more they work together, though, the closer they get…

Adam London has always thought of his roomie Tessa as “one of the guys” until he agreed to help her with this crazy project. Now, he’s thinking of her all the time… and certainly as something more than just a roommate! But his last girlfriend broke up with him to follow her ambitions, and he knows that Tessa is obsessed with getting ahead in the video game world.

Going from friends to something more is one hell of a challenge. Can Tessa and Adam level up their relationship to love?

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