Reviewed by ReadsLate
Title: Reaching Nerdvana
Author: Michael War
Heroes: Kel & Gunnar
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 39 pages
Publisher: JMS Books
Release Date: January 6, 2018
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: At twenty-three, Kel is buff but awkward. He hates going to clubs but loves to play online games. His current boyfriend Jimmy would rather go out and dance the night away, and often makes fun of Kel for wanting to stay home. After a bad fight, Kel catches Jimmy cheating on him and they break up. Later, Kel later tries to ignite a spark with a local hunk named Gunnar, but their first kiss ends in disaster and the rest of their date is even worse.
Heartbroken and alone, Kel retreats to the online 3D game world of New Life, a virtual earth where people can meet others with similar interests … including naughty ones. At one of his favorite fantasy clubs, Kel becomes intensely involved with Darius, a black knight with a penchant for dominance. Their first meetup is slightly kinky online fun, and soon they realize they have more in common than they first thought.
When Darius wants to move things to the next level, Kel isn’t so sure. Is he ready to make their online relationship reality?
Reaching Nerdvana is not transcendent, but it is perfectly delightful.
Jimmy isn’t the perfect boyfriend and Kel would rather stay in RPG-ing than go clubbing. So maybe it’s good Jimmy pushes him to get out. Yet, Kel has his doubts… about Jimmy, his future, himself… He may look good, and spends time at the gym making sure he does, but he doesn’t have the confidence to find that someone special. Give him a sword and put him in a fantasy quest on the other hand… and here is one of the more interesting aspects of this story. The whole RPG/virtual reality world niche in fiction has a lot of potential. Reaching taps but does but doesn’t quite, well, … reach it.
After a chance meeting with a flirty red-head at the grocery store, and a disastrous attempted apology to Jimmy, Kel is left spinning and smarting. So he leaves his real world disappointments and full-on escapes into New Life where his confident, hunky avatar struts into a pub in a chest strap and thong to hook up with the hottest stud in the place. Kel’s Spencer Moonlight and Darius Bloodraven have amazing chemistry and continue to hook up and even date virtually. When Darius suggests meeting irl, Spencer is all in, but Kel isn’t so sure.
But this isn’t about Kel’s insecurities and Reaching doesn’t dwell on his angst. It’s a light read, and Kel is rescued soon enough from his ennui, and the ending will not surprise you.
Kel is a likeable guy. At 23, he’s a bit geek-chic and a homebody, and I guess at that age he can be forgiven for his taste in boyfriends. But Jimmy is a little too transparent and their relationship follows a predictable course. Much of Nerdvana, is predictable. It hits the familiar notes in the genre: good guy done wrong, good guy meets good guy, good guy strikes out spectacularly with good guy, good guy retreats into RPG, RPG wants to get real, good guy gets scared. Will good guy find his HEA or at least his HFN?
I don’t know much about RPG; I’m not a gamer. But in real life, I’ve never met an Adonis in a check out line at a Kroger. Nor do Adonis-es in my experience get or give you so many chances irl. That’s life, I guess.
But that’s what dreams are for, or RPGs, or books for that matter. So if you need a break from reality, or a more perfect version of real life, give Reaching Nerdvana a read. It’s a short, romantic romp, and hey, it may not be Nirvana, but it’s a perfect, quick release.
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*