Rating: 3 out of 5
Vicki Lewis Thompson’s Nerd series is one of my favorites among romance novels. They’re just as fluffy and predictable as other love stories, but instead of all the controlling vampires and the clueless victims who fall for them that you see in the genre, they depict hard-working, talented women and intellectually stimulating men. Of Thompson’s seven stand-alone novels in this series, My Nerdy Valentine is the fifth that I’ve read (You can read my review of Gone with the Nerd here.)
Unfortunately, My Nerdy Valentine was not as nerdy as I wanted it to be. Thompson’s other books have featured introverted, fashion-inept electrical and software engineers, but stockbroker William Sloan’s only perceivable nerdy traits were an embarrassing hat and a love for trivia. He wasn’t portrayed as having a supermodel’s body, but that’s easy to dismiss since he’s certainly not lacking in sexual abilities.
William’s leading lady Amanda Rykowsky is an intern for a prominent sex therapist, so their “meet cute” occurs when Amanda runs into William after a sex toy shopping excursion, thus spilling her collection in the hall of their building. If this racy premise sounds intriguing, you’d be disappointed: although Amanda’s job creates sexual tension throughout the novel, the two don’t seal the deal until two-thirds of the way in. And not once do they actually use any of Amanda’s “office supplies!” For a romance novel, talk about disappointing!
Thompson always inserts a mysterious antagonist into her stories, but this time, there’s no mystery about it. In the weeks before Valentine’s Day, Amanda starts getting creepy cards and voicemails from a secret valentine, so William offers to be her pretend boyfriend to protect her. Despite the cliche, what’s more of a bummer is that the reader knows who the perpetrator is all along. I preferred the novels where Thompson at least attempts to make things suspenseful.
Overall, it’s a decent escapist read for the V-Day season, but I’d recommend Nerd in Shining Armor and Nerd Gone Wild if you’re interested in trying Thompson for the first time. I’d also appreciate any suggestions to other romance novels if you’ve got them!