Saturday, March 10, 2012

Review: The Nerd Who Loved Me

The Nerd Who Loved Me
The Nerd Who Loved Me by Vicki Lewis Thompson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

These are a guilty pleasure read. They're light and fluffy and the dialogue makes me wrinkle my nose, but they're also fun and fast to read.

This is the second of the Nerds in Love series by Vicki Lewis Thompson. It's not necessary to read them in order or to get the whole set; in this case, the "series" is a theme that ties them together, rather than a narrative thread that you need to follow through several books. I would actually advise against reading them all one after another; the characters' angst about how a relationship would never work gets repetitive enough within the books, and this theme appears in both of the Nerds in Love series books I've read.

In this book, Lainie Terrell is a dancer on a Las Vegas stage, while Harry Ambrewster is the nerdy accountant with a crush on her. She has to flee Vegas when her ex (and father of her precocious four-year-old) shows up drunk, battering down her apartment door. Harry valiantly steps up to bat, and, in a situation somewhat less dire than the desert island of the first book in the series, they indulge the tension between them. Because this is a romance novel, they fall in love.

I did believe that these two had a future together and that there was more to the relationship than just sex. The challenge was convincing me that there was any barrier to their getting together in the first place, and, once you got past the single motherhood and "out of my league" issues, I didn't know what was holding these two back.

The biggest issues with the book, though, were the dialogue (it sounded stilted and awkward throughout), and the premise that relies on Lainie leaving her precious four-year-old in the clutches of an elderly woman who wants more than anything to be a grandmother. I could believe that she trusted Harry, but she trusts Rona far too readily. For a world dark enough for Harry to be worrying Lainie's ex wants to kill her, there sure is a lack of stranger danger.

I didn't let the above spoil my enjoyment of this book too much, though. I let it go in favor of the book's good parts. The tension between Harry and Lainie is built quite effectively, and had me turning pages and ignoring the terrible dialogue to get to the good part. Vicki Lewis Thompson knows how to write good sex with an excellent emotional payoff, to the point where she makes it look easy. And the book never takes itself too seriously, so there's a sense of humor and lightness that kept me from getting mad at the major narrative flaw.

Overall, I found this book an excellent antidote to the alpha male trope I dislike so much in the romance genre, and I would recommend this book to anyone willing to overlook a few flaws to get a good story about a beta male finding love with a worthy woman.

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