Soooo much geek love in this one–it’s a must read! (And conveniently, you can enter to win your own copy 😉 )
by Beth Matthews
(Ladies of Jezebel’s #1)
Publication date: October 20th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Lucy York is an aspiring mechanical engineer working as a shot girl serving watered-down drinks to drunken frat boys at Jezebel’s Bar & Lounge. The job isn’t so bad—it pays her bills, and she’s managed to make a surrogate family for herself at the bar. But now, at 24, she’s ready to spread her wings and fly north to attend UC Berkeley and, maybe, distance herself a little from the all-consuming social scene at Jezebel’s.
Then her boss hires a new bouncer, Norm, a literature dork who seems like everything a bouncer shouldn’t be: tall, gangly, sweet (and, you know, named Norman). But as she gets to know him, ol’ Norm turns out to be everything Lucy never knew she wanted and the best friend she’s ever had. He’s not a bad bouncer either.
One obstacle to their happily ever after: the owner has a strict no-dating rule for employees. If anyone at Jezebel’s finds out she’s dating a bouncer, Lucy will lose her job, her surrogate family, and the money she needs to go to Berkeley.
But, if she loses Norm, is she losing her best chance at happiness?
(Norm has a Taun-Taun sleeping bag complete with guts and a lightsaber zipper pull—how did I not know these existed?)
When I first read the blurb and saw that the hero’s name was Norman, I thought, Really? Norman?? but believe me, it totally works. His name couldn’t be anything but Norman–it’s just him. Norman’s an English major, a science fiction writer (his first book is soon to be published!), a serious sci-fi movie/comic book/superhero geek with a t-shirt collection to match, is almost freakishly tall…and a bouncer? (One of these things is not like the others…one of these things just doesn’t belong…)
Did I mention he makes post-coital pancakes? With vanilla extract?
Oh, plus he uses the word defenestration in conversation. And can give the definition. Including its Latin roots.
Honestly, he’s pretty much my dream guy. Sadly, Lucy’s gotten to him first.
“You know superheroes?” He beamed at her, unbearably turned on by this new revelation. A girl who looked like Lucy was a rare find, but a girl who looked like Lucy and quoted Shakespeare and read Neil Gaiman and knew her superheroes, well, that was just bordering on perfection.
So I really can’t blame him–Lucy is a pretty awesome heroine. I love it when books give us female characters who choose non-traditional career paths and hobbies, and Lucy fits the bill here. She wants to be an engineer, loves math, and tinkers with cars in her spare time (auto shop was the closet thing her high school had to an engineering class). The scenes where she spends time with Norm’s youngest brother Tommy–the odd man out in his “liberal arts” family–are just so sweet…in a slightly greasy and grungy way.
Aaaand she introduces Norm to the magic that is the movie Ladyhawke . She really is the perfect girlfriend.
Together these two–once they get past their “we’re too different” stage and give in to their attraction–should be a sure thing. Their unique personalities manage to mesh really well together, and of course they–ahem–mesh well in other ways too. As I always told my students, though, there’s always a “but”…
But shot girls and bouncers aren’t allowed to date–this has caused bad things in the past for Jezabel’s.
But Lucy has some major relationship hang-ups. Major. As in she’s never managed to have one last more than a month before, and “I love you” has been a phrase completely missing from her vocabulary since her father died. She’s pretty sure she didn’t use it enough before that, either.
But Lucy’s trying to get into Berkeley, which would mean she’d be moving away from Norm. Soon.
But Norm really can’t help but wonder why on earth Lucy would pick him–and the fact that she ignores him–and goes out of her way to do so–while they’re at work? Yeah, that doesn’t really help.
So…they’ve got a lot they have to work through. Is their relationship more important than their jobs? Can Lucy realistically hope that Norm’s willing to do the long distance thing–or maybe even move with her–if she gets in to her dream school, when she can’t even tell him those three crucial little words? Will Norm ever be able to feel like he’s enough?
Star Wars. Ladyhawke. The Princess Bride. This book brings together the perfect trifecta of 1980s movies. With great characters wearing awesome t-shirts and who collect totally cool memorabilia thrown in for good measure.
Such a fun read!
I can’t wait for the next book in this series. Dare I hope we will finally learn what’s going on between Ronnie and Hank? Please?
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Beth Matthews is a California girl, born and raised. She’s a total geek, a movie buff, and a mediocre swing dancer. She lives in sunny SoCal with her boyfriend and two of the neediest housecats on the planet.