Conrad and Alden are both part of the same Odyssey gaming group, but they have never gotten along, but that’s okay because they have separate lives and don’t have to interact outside the group.
And then they end up on a road trip together, with nothing but time to get to know each other.
So this book is definitely a solid entry in the enemies to lovers trope, but there’s definitely a stopover in friend territory first. This is a nice progression because it provides Conrad and Alden with the chance to understand each other—and the personal issues each of them is dealing with—before their relationship becomes physical. Over the course of the trip, all of the preconceived notions they’ve been harboring for years is shattered as they share some very real conversations.
Conrad and Alden have such a sweet relationship. Alden doesn’t have very much experience, and Conrad is so gentle and patient with him and always checks in to make sure Alden is still okay with what they’re doing.
The road trip is a lot of fun; despite Alden’s initial protestations, Conrad insists on stopping at all sorts of eclectic places along the way. And of course, they eat all sorts of yummy road trip food too.
I’ve mentioned Odyssey, so I really ought to elaborate on that. Odyssey is a card game similar to several popular card/computer games that I probably can’t mention for copyright reasons… but basically, each player has a deck of monster cards and spell cards designed to work together. As a fan of one of these popular online card games, I loved the originality Albert put into creating this highly detailed game for her two protagonists to play.
I would definitely recommend Conventionally Yours. Conrad and Alden have some moderately heavy personal issues, but the overall tone of the book is light and optimistic. Also, I love geeky protagonists, so it was an extra special treat to have a romance with TWO geeky protagonists! There isn’t too much angst, but there is a healthy dose of pining, which also makes their eventual first kiss that much better. I’ve read a few of Albert’s books before, and I’ve liked all of them, but I do think this one might be my favorite.
I received an ARC of this book from Sourcebooks Casablanca in exchange for an honest review.