“You know that passage in the Bible that says, ‘And the meek shall inherit the Earth?’ Always wondered if that was mistranslated. Perhaps it actually says, ‘And the geek shall inherit the Earth.’” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson
Author: S.A. McAuley
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Pages/Word Count: 200
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: Alex Maddox may be a genius. Or not. In thirty-four days he’ll know for sure. The robot he’s been perfecting for the last four years is finally ready. Alex won’t accept anything less than perfection—if he can keep a broken air conditioner, a flaky twin brother, a thirtieth birthday, and falling for the Norse god of advertising from derailing him.
Christian Lawson is an advertising god. A blond hottie with the beautiful brains to match. He’s worked hard to move past the accident that nearly took his legs, but it’s been years since he let any man get close enough to see just how deep his scars really go.
Christian isn’t the advertising executive Alex expected, and Alex isn’t the coolly confident inventor Christian’s had his eye on for years. But what they discover in each other may just be better than what either of them could have hoped for.
Review: If you’ve read the Borders War series, Someday It Will Be, or Suffocation, you know S.A. McAuley isn’t one to write tropey romance. Even when she writes a boy-meets-boy/boy-loses-boy/boy-gets-boy back story, she does it with a twist and a flair that transcends the norm, which is what makes Tread Marks & Trademarks unique for several reasons, in that it’s a different story than any other of Sam’s I’ve ever read, but it’s every bit as good.
Tread Marks & Trademarks is a Geek meets Thor romance, in which the geek is played to perfection by Alex Maddox, a brilliant man and inventor of a robot so advanced it has the potential to revolutionize the science of robotics. Christian Lawson is the Aussie Thor god of marketing who’s secretly had his eye on the Maker Jock who raised the geek bar at the Maker Summit, an annual gathering of artists, inventors and all-around MacGyvers who come together to showcase their brilliance. It’s like a science fair for grownups, and something I’d never thought I’d get particularly excited reading about, but S.A. McAuley managed to effortlessly exposed my own inner geek and carried me right along on this techy-romantic adventure.
The story follows Alex and Christian in alternating points of view, as they flirt and sometimes struggle their way from business associates to lovers to partners in both life and work after Alex’s robot, Yudo, sends a wave of shock and awe through the engineering community. Yudo’s success offers Alex a once-in-a-lifetime offer and, eventually, the courage to take a chance and take charge of his life’s direction.
Alex is the perfect dichotomy; confidently sexy, then endearingly geeky when he’s not busy being oblivious and cranky. As unspoken gestures of love go, though, Alex makes an incredibly romantic one when he gives Christian a gift that will help ease the pain of a near-debilitating injury he suffers from, and closes the circuit on their path to love.
Tread Marks and Trademarks is a fun, funny, sweet, and smart romance that reads effortlessly and is filled with not only two great protagonists but great supporting characters as well, including a meddling ex who nearly derails everything Alex and Christian have built, but S.A. McAuley skillfully maneuvers the two men toward their happy beginning in spite of some bumps in the road along the way.
Geek, dork, nerd, dweeb: whatever we consider ourselves to be, this story speaks to the romantic in all of us.