Title: A Little Side of Geek
Series: Geek Life: Book One
Author: Marguerite Labbe
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 306 Pages
At a Glance: I adored this book. I’m talking read it twice, and probably going to read it a third. All I can say is, if you haven’t read it yet, why not?
Reviewed By: Jenn
Blurb: When opposite worlds collide, it’s anyone’s game.
Proud geek and comic book artist Morris Proctor wants nothing more than to live in semiseclusion with his devil cat and gamer friends. Despite what his well-meaning family thinks, he’s perfectly content with his status quo. The last thing he needs is to date another nongeek hell-bent on changing him.
Then he meets his adorkable new neighbor, Theo Boarman, who doesn’t know Star Trek from Star Wars, but who tempts him like no other.
Theo has spent the last year recovering from the loss of his parents and trying to play both roles for his teenage brother, while working to keep the family restaurant afloat. Dating is the last thing on the menu, especially with a man who thinks the height of dining is shoving a packaged meal into the microwave.
But if Morris gives him one more shy smile or flaunts that kilt he wears so well, Theo will be forced to convince him that a hot summer fling is just the recipe to let off a little steam.
When that fling gets serious fast, Morris has to decide if he’s willing to give his heart to Theo on the chance that they’re a perfect mix.
Review: I adored this book. I’m talking read it twice, and probably going to read it a third time after this review, because writing this is making me remember how good this book is. Part of the reason is how much I identified with Morris, as a crafter attending cons, and a geek. So, I was predisposed to love it, and the author backed it up with deep characters, steady pacing and a beautiful romance.
To be honest, I’ve had to rewrite this review countless times as most of the sentences I’ve started have gushed about the sweetness of the characters, the grounding of them in real life and a lifestyle I recognise and live. Morris’s insecurity stems not only from previous boyfriends who want to fix him but a society and family who didn’t understand the geek and didn’t quite accept it. The growth in him, both through the relationship, and because of it, is amazing to watch as he overcomes that insecurity and sees how it does affect the adult relationship he now has with his family.
Theo, on the other hand, feels the pressure of familial expectations too much, particularly as we learn 90% of them he places on himself. And through not only his growing romance with Morris but with his little brother, Lincoln, whom he willingly takes up the task of raising after his parents both tragically pass away. His pride in his family and its business drive him to overworking himself so much that it takes noticing the hot neighbour in his kilt to start seeing.
And that’s one of the things that I really liked about this story, how it wasn’t their partner’s love that made them better people but their own love for their partner. Not only the desire to be better and more for them, but also stopping to see themselves as the other might. With a lot of nudging from Lincoln, it’s his innocence and comfort in his own skin that a lot of younger geeks and nerds have that us older ones took longer to get.
I never wanted to put down this book and missed my bus stop frequently (well, maybe two times per read because I just went through it that fast). Its pacing and currents leave you begging for more. If I would have any complaint, it would be the very odd once-off point of view change about a third to half the way into the book from one of the protagonists to a side character. I don’t know if the author is trying to set up the next book in the series, but it stood out like a bit of broccoli in someone’s teeth. If any particular side character was to get a point of view, I definitely think it should have been Lincoln, not the guy who ran Morris’s favourite cons.
I also feel this book needs a massive shout-out to Morris’s niece Laila, a young girl paralysed from the waist down, who never lets it stop her and is a force to be reckoned with. The care and respect given to her and her handicap is fantastic, and it’s clear that she’s not letting it shrink her world. There’s a strong message on how her world is only shrunk by her family (completely out of love and nothing else) and how we should stop trying to tie down those who don’t have the exact same mobility or abilities as us. The author managed this without slapping us in the face with it like a wet fish but weaved it delicately into the story and love Morris had for Laila.
All I can say is, if you haven’t read this yet, why not?
You can buy A Little Side of Geek here:
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