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Level Up

A Geek Girl Rom Com
Series: Fandom Hearts, Book 1
Length: 5 hrs and 36 mins
Categories: Romance, Contemporary

Non-member price: $28.94

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Publisher's Summary

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?

©2015 Cathy Yardley - Original, 2017 Cathy Yardley - Reissue (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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Profile Image for Brandie Shackelford
  • Brandie Shackelford
  • 05-03-2020

I don't know if it's the narrators or the writing

I don't know if it's the narrators or the writing but the characters just do not stick to their personalities. Adam seems to be most consistent of the two though. I picked the story because I like rom-coms with two narrators. There are two things that ruined the story for me. The first was the dialogue. After every line, there was an "Adam said" or "Rachel said excitedly" or "he said sadly" and after a while it gets annoying. The second is two main characters, especially Tessa. She acts so randomly and out of character a few too many times. Her actions become so erratic and not she, not the character you grow to like in the beginning.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Lenoreo @ Celebrity Readers
  • Lenoreo @ Celebrity Readers
  • 17-09-2018

Awesome relatable characters!!

4.5 stars — I am in love with this book. Heck, I’m in love with this whole series, but I read them out of order so I’m only just now finally getting back to the first book in the series! I have a feeling I’m going to have a hard time elucidating what I loved about it, but I’mma give it a try!! First, let’s talk about the narrators, since I listened to this one on audiobook! I thought they were both solid, but that they both could have done better with their distinctive character voices. I felt like sometimes the different voices weren’t consistent, and so it was a bit harder to figure out who was talking. Now, I have a hard time faulting them, b/c there is a LARGE secondary cast in this book, so I can’t imagine how hard that would be. I also wasn’t enamoured with Ms. St. Clair’s Adam voice…it sounded…muppet-ish. I have no idea how to explain, so that’s what you get. But other than the distinct voices, these narrators were da bomb. The pacing was great, I could hear the different emotions, and they were both voices that were easy to listen to. Now to the book!! The level of fantastic nerdiness in these books is high. As a female programmer, I felt Tessa’s plight at an intrinsic level. I wasn’t her level of geeky, but I fully understand the challenges of being a female developer in a male-dominated industry. I felt like that aspect of the story was very well done, and while I can’t completely verify all of the coding references made, because I’m only a little g geek, not a big G Geek, from context it felt accurate. I also totally empathized with Tessa’s introverted nature. Seriously, there were so many aspects of her that are ME. Making friends, putting myself out there, joining in the antics at work…those were all things that I did not excel at, and that I had to work at. So Tessa’s WHOLE STORY resonated with me, and I loved it. I needed it. I LOVED seeing her make those efforts to put herself out there, and I cheered when she fit in with the bookstore girls! I loved all the talk of fandoms, and conventions, and all things that I’m not specifically into, but peripherally understand. I LOVED the strong female characters in this series, they make me so happy, and Tessa was no exception. Adam was total book boyfriend material for me. I could just…see my husband in him. He was snarky, yet sweet, had a hard time putting himself out there with girls, but was hella smart as a project lead. I adored him. It’s not that he didn’t have flaws, but I forgave his missteps along the way. And I liked the way he challenged Tessa. And Adam and Tessa had AWESOME chemistry. Oh boy, did I love their kisses, and every step along the way of their bumpy journey to more. I loved that you really felt their connection beyond the romance as well. I loved the way they both started to see each other as more, especially the way Adam started to notice Tessa…swoony!! I’ve mentioned the bookstore girls, but I also loved the group of guys at Mysterious Pickles. I could easily picture them all, and none of them were over the top or too sexist or anything…they all had flaws, but they were *good* guys. So yeah. This was a total hit for me. Not that I was surprised, I’ve loved all the books in this series! I love that the characters aren’t stunning models, but rather characters I can relate to and still swoon over. AWESOME.

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for K. Hare
  • K. Hare
  • 20-07-2020

couldn't get halfway through

it feels shallow. the story, the characters and the voice actors feel like they don't have emotions.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for KC Walker
  • KC Walker
  • 07-05-2020

Boring

I couldn’t finish the book. I found the characters lacking in development and one dimensional. I’m capable of being a total fan girl myself so I had high hopes but it just fell flat for me. I just didn’t become invested or even care how their story ended

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-09-2019

Cute story

Enjoyed the story quite s bit, it was done well for the male narrator but the female narration was distractingly bad.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Cranky Reader
  • Cranky Reader
  • 20-09-2020

Nerdly fun

I enjoyed the characters’ enthusiasms. I was less enamored of all the guys thinking they weren’t being sexist pigs while doing sexist things like default to hitting on the office manager/receptionist. But there was some good progress made, negotiations worked out, and the start of some community building with some partly fleshed out secondary characters who seem like they will be in other books. The fandom & cosplay was a nice bonus. The plot was kind of fun for me, having hung out with friends who were coding Ultima Underworld from their living room back in the day, to see the same fun energy & a white board of goals/progress. Aside from the casual toxicity that gets worked on somewhat, it was a fairly low angst book because no central character (except Benjamin) created unnecessary drama. I thought at the start that it might have gone that way, but it smoothed out. I like reading about adults who reason things out and stand up for their friends and they didn’t disappoint. There were a few hiccups and oddities that were jarring enough to make me knock a star off, but not stop reading. I don’t know how they’d read for other readers. Steam: Med Low. M/F kissing mostly, but they level up with some small page details. Narration: I appreciated the dual POV with dual narrators, but early on I thought the female narrator made some odd choices with voicing a couple male characters. I didn’t notice it standing out later on so either it sounded better later, or I acclimated. It took me a while to figure out that one character liked to mess up the name “Snoqualmie” on purpose but that’s on me. (IRL There’s a decent, if crazy loud, pub there near the Snoqualmie ski resort, assuming we can go back to public dining, I hope it survives. And their snow is no joke.)

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Profile Image for Alysha Darnell
  • Alysha Darnell
  • 25-08-2020

Incredible story and narration

I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book or not, but I ended up falling in love with the characters. The narrator helps bring life to the story and I really enjoyed their narration

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Jessica Fitch
  • Jessica Fitch
  • 19-03-2020

Good storyline

This book has a decent storyline, but the sound editing is terrible. Volume issues make it sound like the mic is fuzzy. Female narrator tone is often off in tone and delivery.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Coriesu
  • Coriesu
  • 07-01-2020

Fun story

I love geek books, and this is a pretty good one. Adam, a 27 yo project manager, was burned in love, so he’s a little gun shy. However, that doesn’t stop him from stepping up to help his roommate when she needs him. Tessa, a 25 yo coder with serious social anxiety, wants to make that promotion in the male dominated gamer world, and at the same time she will help her new friends. Friends Adam encouraged her to make. Getting out of her comfort zone is hard, but so very worth it. I really liked both characters, but Adam was particularly refreshing. He actually wanted a girlfriend, not just a quick lay. None of the guys talked about conquests, and the women were strong without being obnoxious. It was so great to listen to a romance that didn’t make a hero out of a man whore. As for the narration, Serena St Clair was absolutely fan-freaking-tastic. Her voice for Tessa was a little deeper than normal, and forceful, in a good way. Tessa came across as knowing her own mind, confident of her abilities. Ugh, I get so tired of whiny heroines. Dirk Slade was less awesome, focusing on Adam’s nice-ness a bit too much, so he sounded sweet even when he was angry. Ah well, can’t have it all.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Laurie C
  • Laurie C
  • 22-11-2019

Good listen

Loved the book. Story was sweet and only a little predictable, but all in all a good listen. The Male narrators voice was a little quiter than the female so was constantly adjust ling the volume.