I received The Geek Next Door by Lauren Fraser through a contest. It was a fun read with almost all the elements I look for in a romance book… a hot cover, sexy (if not alpha) hero, and the happily ever after. The author developed strong characters and a compelling storyline. While I didn’t love it, that mostly had to do with not connecting to the heroine whom I very much disliked. And I have to admit that the author wrote this very unlikeable character very well.
Computer nerd *hate that word because I am constantly telling my children not to say it* Dylan Crane has adored Erin Sharp since she moved next door two years ago. But she’s been clear that it’s a friendship she wants from Dylan – nothing more until one evening when everything changes and Erin finally sees her geeky neighbor as more than a buddy, noticing him as a man and seeing how sexy a geek can be… "Geeks weren't supposed to have asses like that. She just wanted to bite it, it looked so scrumptious."
Dylan, oh Dylan...I really think he’s too good for Erin. He’s a unique alpha male that’s in charge in a very sly, quiet way and it really drew me to him. He may be a geek but he’s also endearingly sweet, intelligent and loyal. But his best quality was his integrity which I found lacking in Erin.
Erin already loved Dylan as her friend, but she worries about turning it into more and how that might fit into her future. She’s incredibly driven and just a smidge selfish. She gives Dylan a makeover which at first made sense since he was attending a formal affair with her but then I wondered if she wasn’t overly concerned about appearance. While I disliked this about her, it was believable for her character. And then when she’s asked to do some questionable things by her boss, she went along with it for the sake of her promotion. While this made me dislike her, it was realistic given her character.
When Erin draws Dylan too far into her pursuit of success, she nearly loses him. At first not understanding why he couldn't see things her way, and even suggesting he was lucky to have her, Erin’s realization that Dylan – and her own integrity - was more important than a job was slow to come about. But to the author’s credit, she created a character in Erin that grew on the pages because she was much more likeable in the end once you forgive her mistakes. And I figure, if Dylan can forgive her then so can this reader.
RATING: 4 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries.