I can’t resist a nerd hero, so of course I read this book where the nerd hero is also a bouncer in a bar and his name is Norman. I mean, come on.
In this story, Lucy is a shot girl at a bar called Jezebel’s. That means she wears skimpy outfits and lets guys look down her shirt while she pours cheap booze down their throats. She’s pretty much all alone in the world and she’s saving money to transfer to a big college to eventually become an engineer. The staff at Jezebel’s has been there for her ever since her father died; they’re the only family she has. Which is why she really wants to obey the “bouncers and shot girls can’t date” rule, because she doesn’t want to get fired.
Why is there a “bouncers and shot girls can’t date” rule, anyway? Aside from manufactured plot conflict? The bar’s owner makes a reasonable argument because once upon a time a bouncer and a shot girl hooked up, and then the bouncer got jealous when the shot girl was working, and the bouncer started a big fight and the bar almost burned down. So, it’s for liability purposes.
Norm is an aspiring science fiction writer, which brings shame upon his literary professor father. He’s throwing everything he can at his writing career, but he needs to pay rent in the meantime. He’s not bulky (although he does have lean swimmer’s muscles), but he’s tall. “Norm had tall covered. Norm had enough tall to go around.”
This book is all sorts of quirky fun. Norm and Lucy hit it off in the back room of the bar when they trade awful pick-up lines. They recognize the geek in each other: Lucy has a button on her backpack that says “HAN SHOT FIRST,” while Norm wears red Converse sneakers, which Lucy recognizes as the Tenth Doctor’s footwear of choice.
They ignore their attraction to each other, thinking “Why would he/she be attracted to me?” Then they kiss, to get it out of their system, and you know how that always solves the problem, right? Then the pesky no-dating rule kicks in, so they become secret lovers.
I can’t say specifically, but I think in secret relationship books, it’s usually the woman who’s insecure, right? This book offers a refreshing flip. Norm feels awkward and nerdy, like he doesn’t fit into Lucy’s world, and when she disses him at the bar he gets all Eeyore about it because of course Lucy wouldn’t really want him. He sulks a bit too much before he uses his brilliant brain and grows a spine.
This book is low on angst and high on relationship warm fuzzies. Norm and Lucy fall for each other, they have lots of sex, they go to an amusement park together, and she fixes his car (oh yeah, Lucy can do everything). Lucy has some relationship issues to work through, and Norm has some father issues, but they work things out while joking around together and wearing robot socks.
If you’re in the mood for sweet geeks falling in love with a dash of LA nightlife, I totally recommend this.
Click to purchase: Amazon
Love’s Last Call
by Beth Matthews
Release Date: October 20, 2014
Publisher: EDW Books