cover image Conventionally Yours

Conventionally Yours

Annabeth Albert. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $14.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-7282-0029-3

Two trading-card game players find love in the agreeable first True Colors romance from Albert (the #gaymers series). College age Conrad Stewart and Alden Roth are long-standing rivals in the fictional game of Odyssey. They both have dreams of winning big at the national Massive Odyssey Con West tournament in Las Vegas and using the prize money to improve their uncertain futures. When the other Odyssey gamers they share a vlog with back out at the last moment, they wind up being the only two making the cross-country road trip to the convention together. Uptight, virginal, and neurodiverse Alden is secretly attracted to the more confident Conrad, who is privately coping with money troubles and family estrangement after his father kicked him out for being gay. Road trip bonding turns these enemies to lovers, and before they arrive at the tournament Conrad has given Alden his first kiss. After an overlong setup, Albert generates some drama at the competition as both young men weigh their relationship with their desire to win. The descriptions of Odyssey play are inventive and fun, but Albert wisely focuses more on how the game helps build the characters’ confidence. This sweet, relatively chaste romance will have crossover YA appeal. Agent: Deidre Knight, the Knight Agency. (June)