From the publisher:
In a debut perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory and Sally Thorne, a junior video game producer finds herself getting closer and closer to the one person she hates most after a mass troll attack online almost ruins her life.
Melody Joo is thrilled to land her dream job as a video game producer, but her new position comes with challenges: an insufferable CEO; sexist male coworkers; and an infuriating—yet distractingly handsome—intern, Nolan MacKenzie, aka “the guy who got hired because his uncle is the boss.”
Just when Melody thinks she’s made the worst career move of her life, her luck changes. While joking with a friend, she creates a mobile game that has male strippers fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic world. Suddenly Melody’s “joke” is her studio’s most high-profile project—and Melody’s running the show.
When Nolan is assigned to Melody’s team, she’s sure he’ll be useless. But as they grow closer, she realizes he’s smart and sexy, which makes Melody want to forget he’s her intern. As their attraction deepens, she knows it’s time to pump the brakes, even with her Korean parents breathing down her neck to hurry up and find a man.
With her project about to launch, Melody suddenly faces a slew of complications, including a devastating trolling scandal. Could the man she’s falling hard for help her play the game to win—in work and in love?
This was such a fun read! If you didn’t know, there aren’t a lot of women in the video game industry, and sexism is rampant. So right off the bat, I loved the setting and the characters.
Melody Joo is torn between her passion for her work as a video game developer and her love and respect for her parents. All they want is for Melody to marry a nice Korean boy but she has other plans.
As a joke, she dreams up this ultra-feminist shooter game, which if it exists at all, is not a bestseller by any means. But her boss overhears her talking about it and decides it is just what the company needs to fight the old boys network stereotype. He saddles her with an intern, who everyone believes got the job because of nepotism, so she isn’t thrilled. But he is really cute, and when he starts proving his worth she’s in a real dilemma. It’s not cool to have a thing with someone she’s supervising, which means lots of sexual tension. There are a lot of laughs and many a bump in the road until the happy ending is reached.
NOTE: I was curious about women in the video game industry and about women who play video games, so my first stop was with my daughter. She is 28 and a fairly serious gamer. I did some research and found that “in 2020, it was calculated that women accounted for nearly 41 percent of all gamers in the United States” and I asked her how that was possible.
She pointed out that I played video games, but I don’t think of them like that. I play games online like the NYT crossword, Candy Crush, solitaire, backgammon, Scrabble, etc. I was thinking of shooter type games, but that 41% includes all kinds of games, even the ones I play. I did a little digging (sorry, I am a librarian; researching everything is an occupational hazard!) and found a few articles that shed some light on the subject for me. There are a lot more, but if you are curious, these should get you going.
For more information:
U.S. computer and video gamers from 2006-2020, by gender.Statista
The Effect of Women in Gaming. GameDesigning.org
‘I was always told I was unusual’: why so few women design video games. The Guardian
11/2020 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT by Suzanne Park. Avon (August 18, 2020). ISBN 978-0062990693. 368 pages.
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