Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: Nerd in Shining Armor (Nerds #1) by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Nerd in Shining Armor
Nerd in Shining Armor by Vicki Lewis Thompson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book cements Vicki Lewis Thompson as my guilty pleasure read. Her writing isn't inspired or literary or particularly deep, but it is immensely entertaining.

In this, the first of Thompson's Nerds books, Genevieve Terrence and Jackson Farley are stranded on a remote Hawaiian island through a series of improbable circumstances. Jackson's had a crush on Genevieve since he first laid eyes on her, but she just wants to fix him so he can find a girlfriend who isn't her. On the island, though, he comes into his own, and they spark a physical relationship that at least takes their minds off their situation. As this is a romance novel, I'm not spoiling anything by telling you that it carries into their lives back home, and everyone lives happily ever after.

The book does neatly sidestep the Nice Guy(tm) trope, where a guy is entitled to get the girl because he's been hanging around being Nice all this time. Jack is an honestly decent guy, and wins the girl by becoming her hero and being someone she can love.

There is a plot beyond the two lovers discovering their chemistry, though it's a pretty silly one, and I had to ignore several places where sharks behaved uncharacteristically, but very conveniently for the plot. The stereotypes were laid on fairly thick; Gen is from backwoods Tennessee, and embodies the wild hillbilly girl with precious Southern sayings rather too well. Her teenage brother, too, was a cardboard cutout from most sitcoms. And the less said about the fact that Gen's mother and brother are psychic, the better.

But the plot and character backgrounds are not why I read this author, and will continue to. I read her stuff because it appeals to me. It turns out I have a soft spot for guys who don't think they're good enough for the woman of their dreams. And Thompson does an excellent job of building tension and letting the reader feel her characters' frustration. She has some good, snappy dialogue, and a nice balance of humor to bring levity to all that sexual tension.

I have a feeling I'd be reading a lot more romance if I'd found books like this early on.

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