Out of Character by Annabeth Albert _ Book Review

Amazon | Goodreads

It’s friends-to-enemies-to-friends-to-lovers in this LGBTQIA+ Romance for fans of Red, White & Royal Blue and The Pros of Cons who enjoy:

• Ex-best-friends falling in love
• Gaming, conventions, fandom & cosplay
• Nerd culture at its finest
• Learning how to be true to yourself

Jasper Quigley is tired of being everyone’s favorite sidekick. He wants to become the hero of his own life, but that’s not going to happen if he agrees to help out his former best friend turned king of the jocks, Milo Lionetti. High school was miserable enough, thanks, and Jasper has no interest in dredging up painful memories of his old secret crush.

But Milo’s got nowhere else to go. His life is spiraling out of control and he’s looking to turn things back around. Step one? Replace the rare Odyssey cards he lost in an idiotic bet. Step two? Tell his ex-best-friend exactly how he feels—how he’s always felt.

Jasper may be reluctant to reopen old wounds, but he never could resist Milo. There’s a catch, though: if Milo wants his help, he’s going to have to pitch in to make the upcoming children’s hospital charity ball the best ever. But as the two don cosplay for the kids and hunt for rare cards, nostalgia for their lost friendship may turn into something even more lasting…

[I received a digital arc for an honest review]

Out of Character 
is the second stand alone in the True Colors series by Annabeth Albert. A series that gives geeky gaming loving sweethearts the happily ever afters they deserve.

“It would be worth it though. I’d bet everything on you. On us.”

Jasper and Milo were the best of friends growing up until high school where it wasn’t cool for jock Milo to be seen with nerdy Jasper. Milo and his bully friends made Jasper’s high school experience a living hell. Now 8 years later Milo needs Jasper’s help, and his automatic response is “No” but when he finds a way to benefit from the situation he decides to help. They go on a hunt for some extremely rare gaming cards that Milo lost while making poor decisions. Jasper realizes maybe Milo didn’t have it as easy as he thought and that he’s trying to change for the better. Milo is making big changes to his life, and he needs Jasper’s help to achieve it. Will the friendship turned relationship that Milo and Jasper form hold up under the stress of Milo’s changes and Jasper’s hesitance to trust those changes.

“I waited twenty-two years to kiss you the first time. I’d rather not miss another opportunity.”

I loved so much about Out of Character. My geeky heart loved all the cosplay and gaming in the book. Jasper , in my opinion, was the star of the book. His optimistic personality, his care for his sister, his supportive nature and even his yearning to be a hero for someone. The only reason I’m not giving this a 5 star is because it took me a moment to warm up to Milo because his apologizes really weren’t cutting it for me. It wasn’t until he proved his regret through his actions that he captured me. His struggles from fear of ruining his relationship with his brother to his struggles with self-confidence and wanting to come out but afraid to do so. Milo and Jasper deal with a handful of heavy topics while Milo sorts through them, but their journey has plenty of bright spots. Jasper and Milo go on treasure hunts and dress up as their cosplay characters on multiple occasions. There’s game nights with Jasper’s friends and an outing to a gaming tournament.

“No one had ever treated me so carefully, so gently, and the pressure in my chest grew with every pass of his lips.”

I can’t write this review and not mention the steam that exists between Milo and Jesper. The first book in the series had a really slow burn romance that results in a few small intimate scenes , this one has the virgin hero trope, so I assumed I was in for another slow burn journey. Boy was I wrong ! There is more than a few quality intimate scenes in this one. While they never went crass wording wise, they were definitely more than a bit steamy. Once Milo embraces his feelings for Jesper, he finds every excuse to kiss him, and when they are alone they have trouble keeping their hands off each other. Not to make it seem like their relationship was purely physical because it wasn’t. They really let their walls down with each other and there are plenty moments of sweetness between them.

“I kissed him until he wasn’t the only one breathless and shuddering.”

Out of Character is an ex-best-friends New Adult romance with a satisfying redemption arc that will not disappoint. I am loving this series, and I’m hoping there will be more books released in it.

—Written by Amanda—

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