It’s been a long time coming … (questions answered)

I’ve been thinking a lot the past few weeks about brand awareness, engagement, and what it means to really connect with people about a topic we all love–in this case, books, specifically love stories.

It’s caused me to re-think some of the things I’m doing to connect with you, and it’s shown me that I may need to clarify some of the stuff surrounding my brand and well … me. Read on for answers to your two (three, really) biggest questions below.

TL;DR

1 and 2. Who are you, and what are you about?

I love writing love stories.😍🥰😘 I have since I was twelve. Some of them have an HEA (romance) and some of them don’t (WF). Writing is my passion, and I will probably always have an idea notebook or a story in progress. But it’s only been a few years since I decided to start my author career and publish said stories. And that’s where The Owen & Makayla Series came from.

As I continue this journey of putting my stuff out there, I realize there are a lot of paths, steps, and considerations I must figure out before I can get that “great American novel” to you. While I’ve been writing forrrevverrrr 😲, I’ve just decided to let people see what I’ve been writing, and I want you to see the best side of it possible. Right now, my debut novel manuscript is in a contest, and I’m waiting for the outcome. That outcome will determine how I put that book out, and how fast some of the next books come out afterwards.

During the time I’ve been waiting and writing,✏ I’ve also found other ways to put content out there and to talk about topics that I love with all of you that are also waiting for my next story to come out.💨 (Plus, I’m reading and enjoying other stories, and I want you to know about those, too!)

That is where all of the Nerdy Romantics “stuff” came from. 🧐

3 (okay and yes, 4). What’s Nerdy Romantics (#nerdyromantics), and what’s all this stuff with it?

Nerdy Romantics is what I’ve named my fan group.

If you’re a fan of my work, you’ll love: romance, romantic comedies for sure. In most of my stories, my characters also love nerd pop culture: Star Trek, superheroes and comics, Star Wars, fantasy. They may be gamers in their spare time or into 80s TV. They may even go gaga over a heist movie or the Terminator franchise. Think of them like the guys from The Big Bang Theory. All of them were big nerds who wanted love (even Sheldon after a while). And I’m like that, too.

I get why you may not really know that. Owen & Makayla are romance, pure and simple. They aren’t into anything “nerdy” and I didn’t set the story in a sci-fi or fantasy world. They do watch all 3 Matrix movies (more on that in my podcast), but they debate over it for a few minutes before they … well, lets just say they think about other things. So that’s why I’m changing my free book offer to a story that makes more sense to those just joining our awesome club! I am writing it right now and hope to have it out in November. Stay tuned.

And yes, if you’re a current newsletter subscriber you can get this story FREE, too.

Okay cool. So why all this other nerdy romantic stuff? Because I like talking to you! ❤💛❤💛❤I like providing content on the stuff we both love: romance novels, nerd pop culture, reading books. And I want you to feel comfortable engaging at whatever level you want to. HOWEVER, each Nerdy Romantics “thing” provides different content. So if you want it all you have to be there for all of it!

🎙🎤🎧NR Podcast--reviews, chats, commentary that will only be provided there.

NR Newsletter –3 things I’m nerding out over 🧨and most book giveaways that aren’t anywhere else. (Just because you follow my blog doesn’t mean you are a newsletter subscriber. If you are a newsletter subscriber, you get both. And you can do that here.)

Social mediaMy Instagram is mostly stories and posts you’ll only see there. 📷Many posts have bits of stories I’m working on. Twitter Fridays–not reposted anywhere else (at least not by me). 🤬🤪

Facebook Group (superfans)private group and not reposted. 😍😍😍😍Also the place where I ask a lot of questions while writing and bounce new podcast show ideas. (It’s where I came up with the name). 🤔My guest hosts for my book chats are Facebook Group members.

🎉🎊So there you have it. A life update in a nutshell. And if you didn’t read it, there’s a summary below. BOTTOM LINE: I love that you’re here; books are coming soon (oh so many books); and now you know what Nerdy Romantics means and why it’s “all over the place.” 📖

TL;DR
  • I love writing love stories
  • I am writing more of them as you read this
  • I’d love to hear your feedback on them when they come out
  • Nerdy Romantics is my fan group
  • Nerdy Romantics love romance and nerd pop culture. (Think Big Bang Theory)
  • I provide Nerdy Romantics fans with a lot of free content in a lot of places
  • And biggest news of all: I’m working on a new short story that will show the essence of what Nerdy Romantics is all about. And yes, it will be FREE to newsletter subscribers.

Same logo, new clearer tagline.

Friday Fun Review: “Accidentally Engaged” by Farah Heron

Accidentally EngagedAccidentally Engaged by Farah Heron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this one! (and loved the audio version too!)

This book is delicious. Well, not the actual book, but all the food mentioned had my mouth watering.



And the story was delightfully cute and funny. It’s just the right combination of food and fun for a novel.

Premise: Reena Manji hates her job. She’d rather be nurturing sourdough starters (that she’s named) and cooking than doing finance. Not to mention entertaining her parents’ meddling in her love life. Enter Nadim–an Indian Captain America with a British accent. Nice … until Reena finds out her father’s arranged for them to be married.

What I loved:
I got a view of East African-Indian culture with this novel, and it made me appreciate how connected we all are, and we don’t even realize it. The cultural descriptions and experiences were unique to these set of characters, so I didn’t get that “this is how East Africans are” or “this is how Muslims are (or aren’t in this case)” kind of feeling, but I was learning about a culture that I barely knew.

The cooking show contest scenes were AH-MAZ-ING! I am not really a fan of reality TV competitions, but I would totally watch this play out. All the purely fun and romantic stuff seems to come out in these scenes for me.



I also managed to get the audiobook, and I listened to part of it. The uplifting music, the narrators, it was an experience that made the words even more fun and cute! it was all wrapped up in this feel-good bow. Next is for this to be a Netflix movie.

What I sort of Liked:
The meddling parents that want to get her married already were hilarious! Especially near the end when family secrets are revealed. What I did not appreciate was the father’s motivation for getting her together with Nadim. That made me so angry! (But I’m pretty sure I was supposed to be). I wish Reena would have been more angry, though.



The heat level. I didn’t really research the heat level or even know what it was before reading. Sometimes I do because I specifically want a steamy romance. This one is sweet-steamy I guess is the best description. There’s heavy making out on page and language, but the sex is closed door. I usually find that as a let down. Here, it works, because everything else is so sweet and fun and cute. Also, Heron has just enough of the steamy making out that you don’t miss the unseen sex.

Overall:
This one was a deliciously wonderful read. Okay, beyond hungry right now. Gotta end this and eat something.

Did you like Accidentally Engaged? Agree with this review? Let me know in the comments.

Friday Fun Review: “Stay With Me Forever” by Farrah Rochon

Stay with Me Forever (Bayou Dreams #6)Stay with Me Forever by Farrah Rochon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stay with Me Forever is the 6th stand-alone in the Bayou Dreams series. The series is connected by where the characters live: in Louisiana. This novel’s setting is fictional small town Gauthier, near New Orleans.

The Premise
Paxton Jones was the nerdy poor girl in high school. Sawyer Robertson was the star hunky football player with wealth and smarts, and way out of Paxton’s league. Until one passion-filled night as 20-somethings before they went their separate ways.
Now reunited for a city improvement project in their small Louisiana hometown, Paxton and Sawyer can’t help feel that attraction for each other. But they also can’t help butting heads on this project. This enemies-to-lovers, second-chance romance is sure to keep you turning pages.

The story/The characters
Paxton is stubborn. And hard. And disbelieving. I didn’t want to like her, but there is so much of her in a lot of people I know. A lot of Black women I know. Including myself. The traits that make us the superwomen and the saviors we are ultimately also make us hard to love, hard to relate to (because how can you relate to divinity?) and hard to convince. I love when Pax and Sawyer get together, maybe even more than I would if I had liked her more separately. She’s not a “root-for” kind of character, but you do want her to have an HEA.

Sawyer is that all-around good guy that can do no wrong. He had it all as a kid, but his parents instilled that hard work ethic in him, so he’s not an entitled alpha. Instead he’s a total beta hero—has his crap together, secure in himself, but totally in love with him some Paxton. Love this guy. Actually, as I write this, he’s the MC to “root for.” I really wanted to see him break down Pax’s walls and show her she can love, and she deserves him—the good guy he is.


The combination of the enemies-to-lovers and the second-chance tropes here is a good one. It gives us a unique take on a story line that otherwise could have read very “we’ve been here before.” The heat level is steamy, open-door, but it’s HQ, so we’re not going into NSFW territory. We just love seeing these people. I especially liked the secondary plot of the construction project, which is creating a flood prevention system in the town. There are city council meetings, and surveys, and descriptions of levees and how water flows in flood plains. If you’re a homeowner or a business owner with a storefront, this is stuff you need to know. Heck, every citizen should know this stuff. If you pay taxes, you vote, you should know your part in how government works on a local level. This is a prime example of why romances should not be looked down on. You can learn a lot from reading these books, even when you just went in for a hunky hero.


Overall
This is an entertaining romance with a twist on tropes that make it even more enjoyable. If you’re a harlequin fan and you haven’t read this one, check it out. Also, where have you been? This book has been out there for some years.


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Mini Review: “The Unsung Hero” by Suzanne Brockmann

The Unsung Hero (Troubleshooters, #1)The Unsung Hero by Suzanne Brockmann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was not a fluffy read. Instead it was angsty, and action-packed, and a little tear-jerking. It just makes you wonder if people really feel so dire about love as romance authors make us think? For once, I felt that that come-hell-or-high-water, I’ll-die-without-you feeling wasn’t a myth. Could loving hard be a real life thing? #MakingMeABeliever


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Friday Fun Review: "A Lesson in Thorns" by Sierra Simone

A Lesson in Thorns (Thornchapel, #1)A Lesson in Thorns by Sierra Simone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What can I say about this book? I think this about sums it up.



I’m usually full of emotive adjectives and helpful info, but right now? Nope. My mouth is just hanging open like a kid who just found out they were going to Disneyworld. What the F did I just read? And why do I want to snatch up the next one like right now?

The story/the characters/the sex:
So I went into this wondering how these six people were going to come together. If all six were going to come together. If I was going to be ready for how they all came together. Little did I know there’s a STORY lurking behind the sexy angst that is pulling you in, luring you, causing you to obsess over what this Thornchapel thing is all about.

And these characters’ personalities do the same. These people have history, they have backstory, and they are tortured. Wow, to be so young and so frustratingly messed up. These kids got issues, y’all! And I was sopping up every minute of it.



In fact, the sex is probably the most normal thing in this book (if you call a six-person orgy normal), but trust me on this. It seems like when these people finally give in to their sexual wants and needs, they are who they want to be and with whom they want to be.

But until they do that, this is a slow burn, if that’s even a thing for Sierra Simone, full of angsty torture. You aren’t really sure how these six people will come together in the end, but one thing is for sure, it will be pretty explosive when it happens. And it pretty much was. Yowser



Overall:
As with most Sierra Simone books I’ve read, I am eager to read the next one. Lady, you really need to have your books everywhere, so when I keep recommending you to friends, I don’t have to feel that separation anxiety when I lend my copy! (I get it back, but still…) xo


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Friday Fun Review: ” More Than Love You” by Shayla Black

More Than Love You (More Than Words, #3)More Than Love You by Shayla Black
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

More Than Love You is the 3rd in Shayla Black’s More Than Words series, and it is just as intense as the rest. I think it’s even better.

We’re following little sister Harlow Reed, another dysfunctional kid of the villainous Barclay Reed. Harlow’s housesitting a newly purchased mansion until its owner Noah Weston shows up. But when he does, sparks fly. Unfortunately, both of them have issues to work out: Harlow’s wedding that wasn’t has now gone viral, and Noah’s cause for early retirement may derail his second career in sportscasting. Can they help each other through their issues and get together in the process?

I knew I was going to love Harlow’s story when she popped up in Book 2. Harlow is a spitfire, an independent spirit, and comfortable in her own skin. She’s an awesome heroine!



But little did I know that Noah would garner my love as well. He is the perfect guy to corral Harlow (because no one can tame her), and make her realize that she needs love like everyone else. This is definitely NSFW, as this couple can’t keep their hands off each other.

I love that this story shows what traumatic brain injury can do to someone. I am a big pro football fan, so I’m glad there’s another voice speaking up for the players (even if it is in a romance novel!) Though you currently can’t officially diagnose CTE except during an autopsy, the symptoms can be recognized and treated, and with the right therapies, people can live their lives.

I again listened to this audiobook with Christian Fox narrating and am again amazed at his skill. My guess was right; most of the story was told from Noah’s perspective, even though Harlow is the Reed sibling. I think that helped me like him even more.

Evan’s book is still my fave (Book 4 More Than Crave You ), but now I think this one was a very close second. (book 2 dropped to 3rd place.) Either way, this is one steamy read with a lot of drama. Gotta love this series!



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Friday Fun Review: “The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren

The UnhoneymoonersThe Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Premise Olive, the unlucky-in-life twin, prepares for her sister Ami’s—luckiest girl in the world—wedding, in which the best man is the groom’s brother Ethan. And boy, does he hate Olive! Turns out Olive’s luck begins to change, when everyone gets food poisoning at the wedding except Olive and Ethan. But then Ami pushes Olive to take her non-refundable honeymoon…with Ethan. Yikes.


The story/The characters
I loved Olive and Ethan! This is the enemies-to-lovers fake-marriage tropes done right! There’s just enough weirdness, hate, attraction, and clumsiness, and it happens at the right times to keep the story moving. I was concerned there wouldn’t be enough story to get through all the days of the honeymoon, but I shouldn’t have worried. And the post-honeymoon ending didn’t feel rushed either—great pacing!
CLo is so great with dialogue, and they don’t disappoint here. This is what makes their characters so real and “pinch-able” (so lovely you want to pinch their cheeks).

Olive and Ami are Mexican-American and their family plays an ever-present role in the book. Thank you, Christina Lauren for not hitting us over the head with stereotype. Here, I think the cultural portrayal is well-done. I can almost smell the cooking and feel the familial love while reading it!


Overall
This is a great chick-lit/women’s fiction novel with all the romantic feels we love. It checks all the boxes of an entertaining feel-good novel.


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