This is the week of Jennifer James. 😉 As I mentioned Friday, she’s the founder of the crit group I belong to, and has given some very useful feedback to me on my writing, so I’m happy to return the favor and help her while she faces the madness of releasing two books in the same month. Then I won a give-away she ran as part of her blog-hop promo tour. And her publisher sent me the book Tuesday night. I thought… “I’ll just make sure it loads before I go to bed.”
Famous last words.
I’m lucky it’s novella-length, because it sucked me in and didn’t let me go until I’d turned the last page.
Here’s the blurb:
Love, romance, hearts, flowers, cupid…. Rubbish.
Abby Fine still hasn’t gotten over the pain of a year-old betrayal and plans to spend this Valentine’s Day drowning her sorrows with a ménage of men named Ben, Jerry, and Riesling.
Her plans are diverted when she drops and breaks her new iPhone and gives in to a momentary hormone surge, agreeing to let office hottie and tech god Tom Walker squirm his way into her condo to fix it.
Tom shows up with his Xbox, spicy Chinese food, and a habit of stealing kisses every time she lets her guard down.
Can a weekend of laughter, video games, and movies change Abby’s opinion of stupid Cupid?
I’m not typically a fan of contemporary romance; I like a little more distance from the world I know when I look for an escapist read. This one, though, appealed to all my fan-girl tendencies. James’ writing is tight, her pacing is quick and light, and I could fully identify with the broken-hearted betrayal that allows a girl to think she’s put her heart in a lock-box, never to be retrieved. Then there are conversations like this one:
“You’re a thirty-something-year-old man with an Xbox. You use gamer slang. Geek.” I arched a brow at him in challenge, and he shrugged.
“You’ve got a huge collection of sci-fi and fantasy novels. Anne McCaffrey. Lois McMaster Bujold. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide. Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit.”
“I like dragons. And subversive humor. Besides, it’s much harder to create something completely from your imagination than it is to write about regular old people if you ask me.” My arms crossed over my chest, and I lifted my chin.
“Okay, so you collect books. Let’s talk about the movies then. Let’s see what we’ve got. Oh, look. The entire Star Wars saga on VHS, DVD, and Blu-Ray. Complete collections of every season of Dr. Who, Angel, Firefly, Buffy, Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica…. Let’s not forget the shirt you’re wearing right now. There are Star Trek sporks in your utensil drawer.
Seriously? I think the author peeked in my bookshelves. I know this girl!
Just for the world where uber-geeks can find each other, I give this a double thumbs-up. I loved the ending, and am really looking forward to the character interview with Tom that the author has promised me for Friday (keep your eyes open!). For anyone who likes a tightly written novella with modern touches and romance, I can highly recommend this one. This is an explicit romance that doesn’t forget that the reason we want the characters to fall into each others’ arms is because of the intellectual connection they forge to support the physical sparks.