Brad Hewitt is a programmer for the new video game division of Wilson and Wilkes Toys. Upon returning to work one day, he is not very happy to discover a pretty, but overly organized young woman trying to take over the other half of his office. Stephanie Brinks has wanted to work as a toy designer for Wilson and Wilkes since she was a little girl, but is disappointed to find out they have no jobs available in the design department. She desperately needs a job to pay the bills and accepts a position as a glorified paper pusher in hopes of someday working her way up to where she wants to be. She isn't any happier than Brad is about sharing an office, but she's determined to make the best of it. When Brad finds himself attracted to the cocktail waitress at his favorite bar, but unable to bring himself to ask her out, he enlists Stephanie's help to learn more about women and how to get a date. Stephanie patiently coaches Brad, and he learns well from her lessons. However, he may be surprised to discover that the woman on whom he wants to use his newfound skills is right in front of him.
Romancing the Geek was a cute little e-book short story about a geek who is having trouble asking a woman out, so he enlists the help of his new female office mate for lessons on how to relate to women. Of course, in the process of trying to get the hero a date, the pair fall in love with each other. This novella is only 34 pages long, so not a lot of background information is given on the characters. Brad is a video game programmer who has pretty healthy family ties. He is the typical geek who tends to get wrapped up in his work. However, most geeks I've come across in both real life and my romance reading tend to be sweet and lovable, while Brad seemed rather grumpy and irritable at first. Since there isn't a lot of introspection either, I could only guess at the reasons for that and mostly assumed it was part of his personality. He definitely isn't much of a romantic, but his Valentine's Day gift to Stephanie surprised me as much as it did her and left me thinking, "Awww, how sweet!" Stephanie didn't have a family growing up, but sadly that was only mentioned and never explored. She wants to design toys, but the only job she can get at her favorite toy company is menial labor. Through an act of fate, she ends up having to share an office with Brad. I thought it was very nice of her to agree to help him out in his quest for female companionship.
Overall, Romancing the Geek was a very fast-paced story that didn't have a lot of descriptive detail. I wasn't even entirely sure what Brad and Stephanie looked like as the author gave very little information about their appearances. I did like that Ms. Odell took them through about a one month period of time, allowing them to get to know each other, before anything happened between them, although I thought the actual romance and sexual tension during that time could have been better. As it was written, I didn't really feel much of an emotional connection until the very end. Still, Romancing the Geek was an agreeable way to spend about an hour of my reading time. It was my first read by Terry Odell, but her writing seemed pretty solid, and has left me open to the possibility of checking out her other works to see what she might be able to do with a longer format.
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