Level Up (Review, Tour & Giveaway!)

Level Up (Review, Tour & Giveaway!)
Hi there!

Title: Level Up (Fandom Hearts #1)

Author:  Cathy
Publisher:  Self-published
Published Date: 3rd January 2016
Rating: 5 stars
*Thanks to CBB Book Promotions for the review copy*
Synopsis: 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?

Review: My
first review of the year 2016 and it is definitely going to be an exciting one
because I just loved this book to pieces. The process of me loving it was this:
Me: Oh, it’s the last day of the Christmas holiday. I
should do some extra studying to stay ahead!
Me: But there is this blog tour coming up, so I should
probably start reading…
*starts reading*
Me: I’ll read another chapter and then stop
*one hour later*
*reads, giggles, adores book, wants to inhale it*
Me: Finished! Oh goodness… when did it become 1am?
If that doesn’t show just how much I loved this book, I
think maybe this review will.
I immediately fell in love with the writing style of this
book. It opens with a skype conversation where Tessa is talking to her best
friend who is living abroad for her studying course. I just loved how their
conversation just sounded so realistic and flowed so well. From that point
onwards it was easy to tell that the writing style would be fun and not deter
from the reading experience at all, but instead add to it all the more.

The book was also very true to the series title. It was
about fandoms. Tessa meets a wonderful group of girls who are all nerds at
heart. And by nerds, I mean they reference shows like Doctor Who, Sherlock and
Supernatural. (Superwholock, basically! And if you know me, you know I love ALL
those shows.) They also mention some shows I don’t watch and generally are
girls who love their fandoms. I could really relate to that as being a
dedicated fangirl myself, so I was chuffed to see it so well translated into a

But it wasn’t all fun and games. Tessa is a gamer, and it
is a pretty difficult business for a girl to break into. Cathy Yardley manages
to make time to five into the whole feminism aspect of needing to work very
hard as a female to reach the top of the game in a most testosterone run
business. Tessa sticks up for girls and other minorities as well, which you can
see reflected in her character and some of the happenings in the book.
The secondary characters weren’t the most developed
characters in the world, but it was okay because what we got to see was their
relationships. You could tell that all the girls had such a close bond even
though their personalities were very different – as you can tell as soon as
they are each introduced. One of them, called Cressida, is even an agoraphobic
(someone who never leaves the house.) That wasn’t given a large focus, but it
was nice to see it in passing.
But there were Adam’s friends too! He had a lovely guys
gang which again, the author captured perfectly. I loved the way the guys were
all fun and games and teasing, yet underneath you could tell that they all
really cared about each other too. I really liked seeing the dynamics of their
close knit gang.
Being me, I am not someone who is interesting in gaming
and all the video games people can spend hours playing. I am especially not
interested in coding (it’s so hard to prompt myself to do it for the blog) and
I was a bit nervous reading a book where the main character is centered on
that. However, somehow the author got even me
excited about coding, which was surprising to me!
Now for the best part! The romance! The whole time the
author was very teasing and there was quite a build-up. There were challenges
set by friends, rules and near-misses which Tessa and Adam seemed to experience
quite a lot. They had a few moments that made me want to bang their heads
together and say ‘just DATE already!’ But the romance truly was heated and
teasing. I will say that it is more a light NA kind of romance than a YA one
because there are explicit scenes with detail to them as well.
To summarise? This book ticked all my boxes. I’ve been in
the mood for contemporary romances lately, and this one was all I wanted with a
mix of fandoms in there too.
About the Author: Cathy Yardley needs to get out more. When not writing, she is probably cruising the Internet, sleeping or watching D-list movies and adding to her unnatural mental store of character-actor trivia. She is a closet fangirl for Supernatural, Sherlock, Doctor Who, and too many others to name. Her family is considering performing an intervention for her addiction to pop culture. Want to read more of her writing? Sign up for her notification list, and get a free novella, Hooked, from the Fandom Hearts series! 

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Giveaway: Enter to win a $25 Amazon Giftcard! Open internationally!

Olivia’s Question: What’s your biggest fandom?
Olivia-Savannah x

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