Thursday, June 8, 2017

Level Me Up by Lauren Helms 

Title: Level Me Up
Series: A Gamer Boy Novel
Author: Lauren Helms
Genre: NA Romance
Release Date: June 5, 2017
 
 
The last thing Morgan Lawson is looking for when attending Comic-Con is love. But even prior to exchanging first words, Morgan is drawn to Dex, a drop-dead sexy gamer boy who lives and breathes video games. Before she realizes it, Morgan finds herself caught up in all things Dex.
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Dex Roberts knows the moment he sees Morgan, he wants more. He falls hard and fast, but isn’t surprised when his job as a professional video gamer takes its toll on their relationship.
Once Morgan decides what truly makes her happy, there’s no time to waste. But without any warning, life threatens to destroy what both Morgan and Dex want most... each other.
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
Why the heck do I feel like I’m about to do something utterly stupid, like that split second before you realize you’ve missed the step and are about to fall down the stairs?

“Hi,” he says in this perfectly male, deep voice. “How are you ladies today?” 

I distantly hear Ruby reply, “Well, we’re just fine. Thank you for asking.” 

And she nudges me as I realize that while he asked both of us that question, he is only looking at me, and I’m not moving or saying anything. Apparently, I'm a freaking mute. Why can't I form words? Get it together, Morgan!

"Hi," he says again, but to only me this time.

And just like that, I snap myself out of it, slap on a smile and reply, "Hi," as I reach out and offer my hand like it’s some formal introduction. Again, I ask myself, what is wrong with me?

With a smile that reaches his eyes, he grasps my hand in his as I say, "I'm Morgan, and I have no idea what a positive K/D is."

I hear Ruby stifle a laugh beside me. I'm never going to live this down. Somebody should just shoot me now. But to my surprise, Dex doesn't laugh at me. He is still smiling at me and says, “Hi Morgan, I'm Dex. And don't worry about it, this guy sitting next to me," he jerks his head to his right, "doesn’t know what a positive K/D is either, but at least you're honest." 

I quickly glance to his right and see a guy with short blond hair turn toward him glaring, but then turn toward us, smile and says, "He doesn't know what he's talking about."

I slide my eyes back to Dex and realize he is still holding my hand even though the handshake stopped a minute ago. I quickly drop my hand and smile as a big bouncer type guy comes up to us and says, "Sorry ladies, you’re holding up the line. Keep moving." 

Ruby apologizes, and I apologize to Dex because I'm still staring at him. But we move along, and now the gamer to Dex’s right, Simon "SezSimon" Palmer, is signing the shirt. Dex looks back at me as he finishes signing a poster and says, "it was nice meeting you, Morgan," with a warm smile. I can only manage a smile and nod as Ruby finishes getting the last signature. Then we finish and get out of the line.

We walk a little bit before Ruby stops, grabs my arm and doubles over with laughter.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Author Lauren Helms has been an avid reader from a young age. After starting a book review site, that launched her fully into the book world, she decided to take the plunge and write her first novel. Since she was working for a video game strategy guide publisher at the time, she decided to mix what she knew best, video games and romance. Jumping all in, she joined NaNoWriMo and a month later had a 50K word first draft. Lauren lives in Indianapolis, IN with her video game playing husband, two little girl book nerds, and a little boy who will hopefully be a gamer boy too some day!
 
 
  



Level Me Up (Gamer Boy #1) by Lauren Helms was an enjoyable read. It was my first book by this author and I enjoyed the realistic approach in this romance. The story really could happen like this (well maybe except one plot string towards the end). I have visited several convention myself (unfortunately not this one yet) so I know how it feels and I liked the way the author transferred that feeling to the reader.

Unfortunately what was good for one side of the plot was also slightly negative for another. The realistic approach also felt a little shallow when it came to the depth of the characters and more important it made the pace of the story feel slow.

And towards the end it was as if the author noticed that the story needed a pinnacle so she created one … that while it actually might be possible still felt too far away from the realistic way the story was written until then.

Also the story somehow focused on to many of the characters at once. At times I was unsure if it was to introduce the other characters for further books or a planning of finishing their story in addition to the story of the leads in this book.

But still I enjoyed the story in total, also because it was the first one I read that was set in that specific environment. And while my edition still contained some mistakes I am pretty sure that the final version will be one the readers will enjoy


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