30 August 2015

Nerds Like It Hot (Nerds, Book 6)

Back cover copy: She's unleashed her inner vixen…

Hollywood makeup artist Gillian McCormick wouldn't normally be caught dead on a cruise aimed at single geeks. But as the sole witness to a murder, hiding out may be her only chance at staying alive. With P.I. Lex Manchester guarding her, and a voluptuous disguise in place of her plain-Jane wardrobe, Gillian should be safe… if she can resist a titanic attraction to Lex that's making her fantasize about some extra-naughty cruise activities…

He's rediscovered his inner nerd…

Lex thought he had left behind his nerdy ways, but his suave demeanor has no chance against Gillian's bombshell image and the smart, sexy woman within. And when the scent of seduction wafts through the sea air, what's a red-blooded male to do?

And the passion they've found is about to get out of control…

With a passenger list that includes a mobster on a mission, a cross-dressing sociopath, and hundreds of lusty nerds, Lex must find a way to keep Gillian safe--and prove that he's truly her nerd for all seasons…

Stats for my copy: Mass market paperback, St. Martin's Press, 2006.

How acquired: Bought.

First lines: “Gillian, Darling, it's Cora. Four out of five women surveyed say that nerds are amazing in bed. You simply must go on this cruise with me. Kiss, kiss.”

My thoughts: As I've now come to expect with this series, the characters and the situations they find themselves in are a little campy, a little over the top. Well, actually, not the characters this time around as much as the situations.

Gillian does makeup in the cutthroat world of Hollywood. Leaving the studio late one night, she overhears a ruckus coming from one of the star's dressing rooms, and just like that she's a witness to a murder with mob connections. Her elderly friend Cora, a former star who was friends with Marilyn Monroe back in the day, is headed out on a singles cruise for nerds the next day, and Cora convinces Gillian to go along as a way of getting out of the country. And she convinces Gillian to dye her hair and put on a sexy dress and bam, Gillian is a Marilyn Monroe lookalike. Because rather than blend in with the crowds of ill dressed and badly coiffed nerds and be inconspicuous, Cora says that she needs to stand out and participate in as many cruise activities as she can, so nobody would ever mistake “Norma Jean”, her fake cruise name, for Gillian.

Lex and Dante are childhood friends who have a fledgling private investigations business. They grew up in Cora's neighborhood and she considers them the grandsons she never had. So Cora hires them to come along on the cruise as bodyguards for Gillian. Cora happens to know the owners of the cruise line, so has no problem making last minute arrangements. Unfortunately, trouble follows Gillian as it soon becomes apparent that someone else managed to get on the cruise as well, and that someone wants Gillian dead.

A few scenes left me shaking my head with disbelief – Gillian verbally admiring how well endowed Lex is; a cross-dresser using fruit in a way nature never intended – but overall it was a fun and quick paced screwball romp with plenty of the author's signature humor and heart. 

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