The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

21844019
Grade: C-
Hotness Level: Ember
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary
Series: Don Tillman #2
Published: 12/30/14
Reviewed by Anne
287 ebook pages

I loved The Rosie Project. It was one of my favorite reads last year and one I’ve mentioned to friends off and on. It was funny and sweet and romantic.   When I saw that The Rosie Project was coming out, I jumped at the chance to read an ARC of it from NetGalley.  It was a disappointing read for me, mostly because I was expecting something funny, romantic, and sweet.  So, in an effort to present an honest review, I’m just going to use the back cover blurb for the book to explain what it’s about:

THE ROSIE PROJECT WAS COMPLETE BUT I WAS UNPREPARED FOR THE ROSIE EFFECT.

GREETINGS. My name is Don Tillman. I am forty-one years old. I have been married to Rosie Jarman, world’s most perfect woman, for ten months and ten days.

Marriage added significant complexity to my life. When we relocated to New York City, Rosie brought three maximum-size suitcases. We abandoned the Standardised Meal System and agreed that sex should not be scheduled in advance.

Then Rosie told me we had ‘something to celebrate’, and I was faced with a challenge even greater than finding a partner.

I have attempted to follow traditional protocols and have sourced advice from all six of my friends, plus a therapist and the internet.

The result has been a web of deceit. I am now in danger of prosecution, deportation and professional disgrace.

And of losing Rosie forever.

To me this blurb read like a marriage-in-trouble romance.  As it turns out, The Rosie Effect is not a romance. It was funny in places, but more sad than sweet. I’ve read marriage-in-trouble romances before and enjoyed them, because the focus in fixing the marriage and things getting better. For about 90% of this book things just get worse and worse. It’s painful to read, even though there are many funny parts.

Don’s friend Gene is back and I hate him even more than in the last book. There’s an evil social worker I couldn’t stand and very, very little interaction between Don and Rosie.  Seriously, Don and Rosie don’t have a whole lot of on page time together.  A lot of their problems would have been resolved if they’d been honest with each other or even just talked a bit more.  Instead, Don had several people giving him advice that he keep things from Rosie in the name of not adding to her stress level.

It was good as fiction, but it sucked as a romance.  As just general fiction I’d give it a B, but for romance I give it a D.  I’ll average those to a C- or 3 stars.   Giving this such a low grade is sad, because The Rosie Project was such an incredibly good book.  Is there a series that went off the rails for you with the second book?

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Technically Dating by Jena Wade

22361960
Grade: B+
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: m/m, Contemporary, Nerd-mance, novella
Published: 6/25/14
Reviewed by Anne
59 pages
 
Bruce is a pretty shy geek running a training for the company he works for at an out of town hotel.  Westley is the good looking concierge at that hotel and is assigned to assist Bruce for the training.  When they meet at the hotel they realize that they nearly hooked up the night before at a club.  Westley is surprised at how different Bruce is out of the club, but still interested in him.  Bruce is surprised that someone as good looking as Westley would be interested in plain old him, but he’s sure not going to turn down the attention!
 
This was such a cute story!  Bruce was such a nerd with his Wolverine ties and buying Legos for his nephew AND himself.  He’s pretty insecure in general, but especially about having a relationship.  Westley isn’t a terribly deeply developed character, but that’s something I can accept in a short story.  Watching the two of them get to know each other and fall for each other was fun!
 
My only issue with the novella is that it opens with a scene where Bruce comes across as very confident in the club.  We never see that side of Bruce for the rest of the story, so I guess it’s just a persona he uses when he goes out to pick up guys?  I’m not really sure, so that was a little confusing.  Once I settled into the story and got a better feel for who Bruce was, though,  things really worked for me.
 
I highly recommend this book for readers who like m/m and nerds.  It’s a great read!  I look forward to reading more by Jena Wade!

Why I Love Geeks by T.A. Chase

10331603
Grade: C
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary, m/m, police, nerd
Series: Why I Love… #1
Published: 3/6/11
Reviewed by Anne
140 ebook pages

I’m a sucker for nerd books, and the blurb for this one really sucked me in!  You’ve got Chuck, a homicide detective and technophobe who meets Herb, a talkative and super-smart scientist.  There’s instant attraction but not much in common – that’s a recipe for a good story as far as I’m concerned!  

Because I love the nerd trope so much, I’m willing to suspend a lot of disbelief.  Unfortunately, this story just pushed too far for me.  The set up was really awesome and I really enjoyed about the first half of the book.  Then it just got to be too much.  Little inconsistencies pulled me out of the story.  In one interaction Herb doesn’t know what a prostate is, but in the next he’s thinking about how much better that felt than what he’d read.  Another time he’s not sure what the lab normally looks like, and a few pages later he’s musing that the lab is kept compulsively clean.  Neither of those things is huge, but it was this kind of thing that kept pulling me out of the story – even though I didn’t want it to!  So, while in the beginning I could roll my eyes and accept what was being worked on in the lab, by the end I was just frustrated by the concept.

Herb is funny, and his verbal diarrhea made me smile.  Chuck was a character I loved, too.  A tough guy with a sweet side.  Chuck’s family was awesome!  I really wish I could have liked this one more.