A natural extension of the cultural phenomenon of not just tolerating but celebrating the nerd (understandable in an economy increasingly based on information and scientific development) is to see this trend turn up more frequently in romance novels, which reflect popular culture. Add to that mirroring the fact that a lot of writers were undoubtedly…ahhh…a bit bookish growing up, and you have a recipe for a kick butt portrayal of the sexy nerd.
It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to hear that new author Teri Anne Stanley might have also worn that moniker (her love of superheroes in her biography is a giveaway), as her debut book, Deadly Chemistry, is spot on, both in terms of its wonderful romance as well as its depiction of lovable brainiacs. Since this is the first in her Sex, Lies, and Science Geeks series, I am rubbing my hands gleefully together knowing that there are more books coming.
Mike Gibson has a pretty stressful life. A disgraced former cop, he is using his position as maintenance man at Tucker University to ferret out that institution’s connection to a new designer drug that’s hitting city streets. He wants to capture the drug dealer he let get away last time in favor of rescuing his younger brother who had joined the gang, and since that same brother is currently working in the science building of the university, Mike has a sinking feeling there’s a connection. That dread is the opposite of the feeling he gets when he spots Laura Kane, the gorgeous scientist whose innocuous-looking algae is possibly spreading addiction and violence. Mike’s gut, however, is telling him that the woman who feeds possum in a garbage can on the sly is not a drug dealer by any stretch of the imagination. While he knows he needs to clear his name and save his brother, this former cop wonders if what’s been missing from his life is Laura and the feeling of rightness he gets when she’s in his arms.
Scientist Laura Kane harbors a serious crush on the hunky maintenance guy who is related to her wonderful student lab assistant. She’s horrified at the discovery that the latest drug problem she’s heard on television could possibly be her research baby, but her stage 2 solution has been providing suspiciously low yields prior to its being processed into an innocuous pain reliever, and Laura knows that until that change occurs, it’s more addictive than heroin. As she spends more time with Mike, she sees that he’s not only sexy and funny, but an honorable man trying to do the right thing by redeeming his name and pulling his brothers together as a family, no matter how hard they are all fighting it. But Laura has seen in her own mother how love and family derails a career, and she’s determined to not let that happen to her, no matter how tender and hot Mike can be. When danger rears its head, Laura realizes that she might have only one chance to save her future – both her career and the man she loves.
The reason for the veracity of the lab environment in Deadly Chemistry is because the author (like so many romance novelists) is a scientist and her description of lab work and attachment to algae is definitely something anyone who has done research can attest to be 100% real. Since for me the best books are smart books, ones that teach me something or have me pondering an intellectual idea while I am also enjoying a great romance unfold, Teri Anne Stanley has been shunted into my “buy” pile. That she also can write a hot romance laced with plenty of humor puts lots of yummy icing on the romance cake (and let’s face it, we love icing!).
Considering that Entangled Publishing makes it very easy to try a new author with their terrific $.99 deal for new books, I’d run not walk and download Deadly Chemistry into your ebook reader ASAP to get that price. Stanley and Entangled are also hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway and participants can win a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 Paypal credit, so be sure to enter. Wouldn’t it be nice to offset your summer reading with this kind of windfall?
I’m overjoyed that Teri Anne Stanley has joined the romantic suspense scene and hope I don’t have to wait too long for the sequel to Deadly Chemistry.
Happy reading! 🙂