Geek Love
by Mechele Armstrong, contemporary (2010)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.75, ISBN 978-1-59578-786-6

Geek Love seems more like a male fantasy, heh, as it is about a gaming enthusiast who discovers that his best online gamer buddy is actually a hot woman who wants him really bad. If you have a male friend you want to bring to the romance reading fold, this one may be a good bait to reel him in.

"Samatra300" seems like a female gaming ID to me, but still, Joel Alton and his friends are convinced that "Samatra300" is a guy like him. I don't blame them. When I play online games, I also operate on the assumption that everyone is a guy unless proven otherwise, and like the heroine Sam, I always use a male-sounding gaming ID to avoid being approached by creepy kids. Unlike Sam, I still think "Samatra300" is pretty feminine. It's not something I'd personally use.

Anyway, Sam turns out to be a hot woman. Luckily for her, Joel is the romance novel version of a geek. He's muscular, lean, and tall, and gorgeous. Now, I'm not saying that all geeks resemble a cucumber after an attack of the locusts, but seriously, why is this story called Geek Love when the geeks in question are gorgeous?

You may think I'm nitpicking over something minor. After all, everyone in romance novels is gorgeous, no? The thing is, this story is actually a quaint and charming little read about two geeks who have to get over the awkwardness of finally meeting in person in order to regain the online chemistry they had. The thing is, these people are freaking gorgeous. As a result, the awkwardness they feel rings false. Why are these people so insecure about his or her attraction to the other person? Have they seen themselves in the mirror? For this story to work, the main characters need to be ordinary looking in order for their chemistry to feel real.

There is a charm to Geek Love, but it's an ersatz kind of charm, nullified by the fact that the two characters are too beautiful to pull off the awkward geek stunt convincingly.

Rating: 76

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