Review: Gaming for Keeps

Reviewed by Janell

This book made me so jealous, you guys. I wish I was more of a geek girl, that I knew my way around online multiplayer games, that I could wear costumes and go to conventions. Alas, I don’t have the time or mental energy for most of it. I just consume the mainstream movies and tv shows and wish I had more street cred. Penelope — Pen — is the heroine in this story, and she plays the games, she walks the walk, talks the talk. I wish I was her. Her dog’s name is Worf, she references Supernatural and makes t-shirts printed in binary code. I caught all the references she made, but I couldn’t confidently make all the references myself, and that makes me sad about my life. But this is a book review, not an analysis of my lack of awesome, so I’ll move on.

Pen plays an online game called Heroes of Fallen Gods, and she’s in a guild with her ex-boyfriend. She has a flirtationship with a player in another guild, who invites her to a convention and suggests they meet up in real life. Pen, having been burned by meeting someone offline before, says she’ll be there but doesn’t set a specific meeting time. Once there, a douche trolling for girls pretends to be her gamer friend, so she hangs out with him, but he’s lame and she has to knee him in the crotch. No one is as cool in reality as they are online, am I right?

Meanwhile, Pen’s online buddy Cal is a hot stud / secret agent who just wants to paint himself indigo and wander around as a Dark Elf without being bothered by work. Unfortunately, a Bad Guy is planning Bad Things at the convention, so Cal has to take phone calls and plan things and stress.

Pen and Cal meet in an elevator, but they don’t know that they already know each other! I know, right?! The heat pooling, the sparks flying, the feeling like they’ve known each other a long time, it all happens. Fast. Did I mention this is a short book? On the plus side, Pen and Cal spend a lot of time bantering and kissing before he has to save the world and rescue the girl. On the minus side, I wouldn’t mind if they’d spent even more time together, delving into more obscure sci fi and then rolling around naked.

There’s a clumsy shower scene acknowledging that shower sex is trickier than the books make it out to be. There’s body paint. Fake sword fighting. A discourse on how a person’s knowledge of Firefly tells you everything you need to know to judge their character. Sigh. I’d better stop before I get the sads again. To sum up: fun, cute, hot, awesome. I just wish it had more, went deeper, lasted longer (…that’s what she said).

Rating: A-

*ARC Provided by Entangled

Click to purchase: Amazon
Gaming for Keeps
by Seleste deLaney
Release Date: June 10, 2013
Publisher: Entangled