Synopsis from back of book: Movie star Zoe Tarleton has everything but respect. Now she's determined to get it by snagging the coveted role of a plain-Jane chemist. All she needs is for her decidedly uncool attorney, Flynn Granger, to teach her the award-winning subtleties of being a nerd.
California's “Bigfoot Country” is the ideal secret hideaway for coaching. That means rehearsing the steamy scenes too. Who'd have guessed that Zoe and Flynn's performances would be so convincing? Unfortunately, something is turning their hot love story into a hair-raising thriller.
The killer bees, the poisoned food, and the toppled tree are no accidents. Someone's out to get them. Does Flynn have a love-struck woman in his life? Does Zoe have an insanely jealous fan? Or is Bigfoot real – and more resourceful than anyone imagined? It's just Zoe's luck. She's finally found the man of her dreams and the role of a lifetime – and both of them could be her last.
Stats for my copy: Mass market paperback, published by St. Martin's Press, 2005; Christmas present from my mom.
First line: Two blocks from the restaurant, Zoe Tarleton knew she was screwed.
My thoughts: Zoe is a fun heroine, a movie star who's been relegated to glamour girl roles and who longs to be taken seriously. She's auditioning for the role of a nerdy scientist, and decides she needs to immerse herself in the world of nerdism. Enter Flynn, her contract lawyer. He wears glasses, he drives an older car (she has to ask him how to lock the doors because the car does not have power locks), he's in a long distance relationship with another lawyer, and his PDA is never out his reach. When Zoe asks him to go to a remote cabin in the woods under the assumed names (from the movie script) of Tony and Vera (in order for her to avoid being recognized by anyone) and teach her everything she needs to know about being a nerd, he is resistant, but finally gives in and agrees, on one condition – he has to tell his girlfriend where he'll be and why.
Part of the nerd training sessions involve reading lines of hokey dialogue from the movie script, with Flynn coaching Zoe on how a nerd would talk or act or respond to situations, such as telling her the character of Vera would not leave the top two buttons of her blouse undone, or she would not sound so sure of herself, etc. I thought the movie dialogue was a little over the top, and that Zoe was wrong in thinking this was a serious movie that would get her serious attention. I kept anticipating that in the end the movie would be a bomb or be canceled before it got off the ground, or something along those lines. But no, it actually was a serious movie.
Of course all kinds of wacky times ensue, some between the two of them, some involving the local townspeople. Flynn quickly gets into the spirit of things and embraces his nerd persona, and Zoe quickly realizes she wants to embrace Flynn. They dance around each other, and the build up to their relationship was played out slowly (though not too slowly since it is a single weekend) and satisfyingly.
I went into this one a little leery compared to the other Nerd books, as the backdrop of the Bigfoot storyline did not appeal to me at all, but I was satisfied with the way that played out.
As usual with a Vicki Lewis Thompson book, there is plenty of humor to go along with the heat. One of my favorite passages:
As long as Flynn kept his tie on, he wouldn't turn into Tony. Besides, most sexual encounters began when a guy loosened his tie. A loose tie led to everything becoming loose. Flynn wanted to stay tight.
Unfortunately when I made a note of that passage I forgot to write down the page number and I'm too lazy to flip through the book and look for it now.
Very enjoyable, and I'm looking forward to continuing with the series.