Rating: 2 out of 5
Hey everybody! I've finally got a break from traveling for a few days--that is, before I head back to my hometown to spend my birthday with family and friends. But I might have to blow out my candles wishing for a better read, since this last book was a disappointment.
I've been a fan of romance novelist Vicki Lewis Thompson for years now, having read six of the eight stand-alone novels in her Nerd series (Check out my reviews of My Nerdy Valentine and Gone With the Nerd).
In Nerds Like It Hot, Hollywood makeup artist Gillian McCormick witnesses a murder, and to avoid being eliminated by the mob, she goes into hiding on a cruise for single geeks.
By her side is former actress Cora Bledsoe, who makes Gillian over to be the spitting image of her friend Marilyn Monroe. And guarding Gillian are two private investigators, Dante Fiorello and Lex Manchester.
Despite being hunted down by the Mafia, Gillian and Lex manage to grow fond of each other. Unlike in other Thompson novels, their sexual tension builds extremely quickly, which eliminates the anticipation that makes romance novels successful.
Not to mention, their first love scene ends just as rapidly as it began! I'll just say that if there's one thing required of a male lead, it's stamina. Talk about frustrating!
What's also frustrating is the forced emotional obstacles that Gillian places on her relationship with Lex. First, for some reason she believes that no man would love her plain Jane brunette exterior after disguising herself as a Marilyn Monroe, blonde bombshell. Someone needs to inform this makeup artist that true beauty lies on the inside.
Also, she frequently harps on the fact that she's a Cancer and he's an Aries, as if that means anything. Any woman who throws a hissy fit over astrological incompatibility doesn't deserve the brain she was born with. Enough with the stupid pseudoscience!
Lastly, even though the dangerous criminal was unique and hilarious, the novel suffers from the too-easily-solved plot of the romance genre. I like knowing that there will always be a happy ending, but authors should try their best to make the suspense believable.
With the Nerd novels, I expect geeky, sexy fun. Unfortunately, the characters aren't nearly geeky enough (good grades does not a nerd make), the sex was often awkward, and any fun that occurred was only thanks to the secondary characters with little screen time.
Perhaps I'll appreciate this story more after watching the film, "Some Like It Hot" at my Old Hollywood-themed birthday party, as I'm sure Thompson threw more nods to Monroe than I was able to catch.
But for now, I just might be outgrowing the Nerd series. If anyone has better romance novel recommendations, let me know!