Title: Out of Character (True Colours 2)
Author: Annabeth Albert
Published: July, 2021
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Readership: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
I received a copy of Out of Character from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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.
Milo Lionetti is not a gamer. Not even close. But when a stupid bet costs him his brother’s prized cards, he’ll do anything to replace them before anyone notices they’re gone. To do that, he’ll need a little help from the best gamer he knows…who also happens to hate him.
Jasper Quigley is known for moonlighting on a popular gaming blog, but he’s eager to stop playing the sidekick. The last thing he wants is to help out Milo and dredge up feelings he’d rather forget. But helping Milo comes with some perks, including getting his help running a cosplay event at the local children’s hospital. All that forced proximity was not supposed to come with kissing, and definitely not falling in love…
When the first book in the True Colours series, Conventionally Yours, was first released, I was really excited to see what Annabeth Albert could do with slightly younger characters in a queer romance. And while I enjoyed that book, it was never one of my favourites, but I was always eager to see what she might do with a follow up book.
Out of Character, I am happy to say, was a much different reading experience for me.
This is a ‘new adult’ contemporary MM romance, following Milo and Jasper, who were friends as children, turned bitter enemies during high school and in their late college years are brought back together. Milo, the high school jock, turned his back on – and eventually bullied – Jasper through their teen years in an effort to blend in with his schoolmates. When an ill-advised game of Odyssey goes awry, Milo ends up losing a set of his brother’s priceless Odyssey cards and needs Jasper’s help to replace them before his brother returns from his latest tour of duty.
Given their past, Jasper is less than eager to help out, but when he needs a favour in return, the two strike up a deal: Jasper will help him track down a new set of cards if Milo will fill in and cosplay as one of the characters from Odyssey with Jasper and his friends when they visit the children’s ward of a local hospital.
I’m a sucker for the friends-to-enemies-to-lovers trope, and unlike Conventionally Yours, this one had me hooked from the very first chapter. We have two characters with a rocky past, both learning what it means to be an adult and have responsibilities (and take responsibility) for their actions.
Milo, in particular, has a lot of growth to undergo throughout the course of the story as he struggles with coming out, with deciding to be sober and living up to the expectations of his big brother. Jasper, by contrast, is an absolute sweetheart who wants to see Milo redeem himself.
As always, the gamer elements were fun, even for a non-gamer like myself. It was nice to see characters from the first book pop again, and seeing the Grandpa Gamer crew.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Out of Character – it was a fast, fun read.