Title: Gentlemen Prefer Nerds
Author: Joan Kilby
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: March 12, 2012
Rating: 3 out of 5
I’m a big fan of nerds, so when I saw the title to Joan Kilby’s book, I immediately snatched it up. Gentlemen Prefer Nerds features a mild, unassuming woman who becomes entangled in a jewelry heist, thanks to a sexy secret agent. I’m more than a little nerdy myself, so I was rooting for the gemologist heroine, Maddie, to get her man while living the high life of the spy in Australia. While Gentlemen Prefer Nerds is a fun romp, the romance fell a bit flat, but the hijinks poor Maddie finds herself in make for more than a few laughs, and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Maddie Maloney is a gemologist working for her aunt’s jewelry store while finishing her PhD. Her aunt is auctioning off the famous Rose Diamond, and Maddie is conducting research on the unusual pink diamond before the auction takes place. While Maddie’s at the store studying the gem, a man mysteriously approaches her and warns Maddie that a notorious jewel thief, the Chameleon, has plans to steal the Rose Diamond.
Maddie discounts the strange man’s warnings, and when the Rose Diamond is stolen right from under her nose, the police believe that she orchestrated the heist! Fabian Montgomery, snooty British Lord, is the man who warned Maddie, and he comes to her rescue, only to inform her that he expects her help in retrieving the gem. Maddie has to be transformed into a femme fatale and attract the attention of the Chameleon so they can recover the gem. Unfortunately, Maddie considers herself all too ordinary, is the world’s worst liar, and is fighting an attraction to Fabian. Can she step out of her ordinary life and return the Rose Diamond to its proper owner?
Maddie is an adorable heroine, clumsy and very much your girl-next-door. At times I really liked her, but other times she came across as so naïve as to be TSTL. She’s a highly intelligent woman seeking an advanced degree, yet some of her actions seem ridiculously dumb. Why on Earth would she allow her date to view the Rose Diamond while the store is closed? It just seems like asking for trouble! Granted, the date in question was posing as someone more trustworthy, but in this situation Maddie’s common sense seems to be lacking, and unfortunately that was the case throughout the book.
Despite her somewhat questionable actions, I found Maddie to be likeable, and I could easily see why Fabian (an unfortunate choice of name, IMO) would fall for her, but I couldn’t really understand the attraction on Maddie’s part for him. She’s charming and sweet natured; Fabian’s just good-looking and snooty. They don’t really have any moments where Fabian confides in her, and Fabian persists in hiding the truth about the Chameleon while insulting her appearance and attire. I just never really understood why she would feel anything more than lust for him.
That said, this was a fun book to read, and Maddie’s family was a hoot, while the Australian setting was a nice surprise. The action was non-stop and over the top, and watching poor Maddie try to fit into a world of high intrigue made for a lot of laughs. The romance might have been a little flat, but the ending hinted at the possibility of more Maddie and Fabian in the future, and I’m intrigued enough to check out the second book in the series.