Changing His Game
When I heard that Megan Erickson was doing a new series about sexy nerds, I was more than ready to get my hands on one. While Changing His Game was very readable, and both characters are interesting, there was something about it that didn’t click with me.
Marley Lake is working late as a copy editor for Gamers Magazine and browsing for dirty GIFs on her computer. Austin Rivers (it only just now hit me that their last names are Rivers and Lake. What?), the company owner who Marley mistakes for the IT helper, sees the image and gets the idea that the two of them might need to try it out in real life. Marley is happy to play along, since she doesn’t know this is actually the man who could determine whether she gets the promotion she is gearing up for.
I think that Erickson has a fun, lighthearted writing style that is very easy to read. However, some of the technology related sexual innuendos came off more silly than sexy for me. I liked the inclusion of nerdy elements like cosplay, video games, and Tumblr, but I never fully believed Austin as a geek. He was too alpha for what I was expecting. Not to stereotype, but when I think sexy nerd I don’t picture and alpha male in a power suit that just happens to work for a gaming company. The only thing about him that kept him from being a typical alpha was that he was a bit awkward about crowds and social situations. However, if I hadn’t heard that fact about him prior to reading the book, I’m not sure I would’ve picked up on it until the end. The final reunion between Marley and Austin is partially hinged on him overcoming his issues about crowds, and the buildup to that moment didn’t do enough to convince me that he really was struggling to make me feel moved by his choices. If not for his interactions with his friend and his friend’s child, he would have been an incredibly flat character.
Marley was more rounded than Austin, and I really enjoyed her scenes with her sassy brother. She had far more at stake in her relationship with Austin because she had to worry that her bosses would think she was trying to sleep her way to the top. She is very career driven and her promotion means so much to her that she doesn’t want to compromise that, even for Austin.
Like any Brazen, Changing His Game was packed with sex scenes. However, I never totally connected to them. I wanted to be left more hot-and-bothered, not thinking about computer lingo. One big place where I couldn’t connect with this story was the jump from lust to love. Yes, Marley and Austin have some kinky sexual encounters and hit it off, but there’s no real build in their relationship that takes them over the edge into love. I wanted slightly more in this area so I could feel them falling. I have read several other books by Erickson and I know she is capable of some heart-wrenching writing, but it wasn’t apparent in Changing His Game.
Overall, this is a sexy, light read that brings a slightly unusual context to the romance world, but lacked the extra oomph I needed to emotionally connect with the characters.