Synopsis from back of book: Inheriting a fortune means less to Ally Jarrett than fulfilling her real dream: to take off for the wilds of Alaska and photograph animals. Unfortunately she;'s also inherited her grandmother's personal assistant – an overprotective nerd who couldn't survive a snowball fight.
As a PI and bodyguard, Mitchell Carruthers is the perfect man to protect his late employer's granddaughter. However, keeping his geek-masquerade – and the secret behind his real mission – isn’t easy when the freeze between Ally and Mitchell begins to melt.
Yet all's not well in the sub-zero paradise. Ally's bad seed uncle is staking a claim on the family inheritance with a dangerous masquerade of his own. With Ally's life in danger, it's time for her right-and nerd to expose the real man undercover, and prove himself to the vulnerable body he's been hired to guard.
Stats for my copy: Mass market paperback, published by St. Martin's Press, 2005; purchased new.
First line: “Here in Porcupine, some folks have sex just to keep warm.”
My thoughts: Ally is an heiress who's grandmother has recently passed away, leaving her a fortune. But Ally has no desire to be involved in the running of her grandmother's estate or affairs, or being a society woman. Instead she packs up and flies to Alaska, camera in tow, to photograph wildlife. Her uncle Kurt, who lives in Alaska, has arranged for a famous photographer to meet her there and provide some one on one mentoring.
She's dismayed when Mitchell, her grandmother's nerdy personal assistant shows up, under the flimsy excuse of coming across some paperwork that needs her signature. She thinks he's really followed her because he has a crush on her. She doesn't know that he's actually a private investigator/bodyguard, hiding behind a nerd persona, but she does slowly become aware of the hot bod he's hiding under his nerdy clothes.
Mitchell isn't a true nerd, though he has nerd roots from his high school days, which helps him carry off the persona. And of course he is attracted to Ally, but he really did follow her because he promised her grandmother he would protect her. Ally doesn't know the true story behind why her uncle Kurt was banished from the family home and why her grandmother would never even allow his name to be spoken in her presence. But grandma did confide in Mitchell, and Mitchell is determined to keep Kurt from trying to get his hands on any of Ally's inheritance.
There are lots of wacky supporting characters – in fact, every supporting character seems to be wackier than the last. There's plenty of humor, and there's a pretty hot strip poker game. I didn't love this one as much as Book 2 in the Nerds series, THE NERD WHO LOVED ME, but it was a lot of fun.