Why did I pick up this book? Because it’s the first in a new series – Sex, Lies and Science Geeks. I mean, come on, how can I pass that up? I’m not usually one for romantic suspense, but add in a good geek girl (or guy) and I’ll give it a shot! I’m pretty glad I did, too. It’s not the most exciting mystery ever, but the romance was cute and it was an easy read. I liked it.
Dr. Lauren Kane is a bit of the absent-minded professor, spending her time and energy on her algae research, attempting to make a better, addiction-free pain killer. Unfortunately, some of her product has gone missing in the intermediary steps and is now hitting the street as a new, very addictive, and very dangerous drug, Devil’s Dust.
Enter Mike Gibson, maintenance man at the university Lauren works for and former Cincinnati detective. Currently on indefinite suspension without pay after a bit of drugs from a gang bust goes missing on his watch, he’s still looking to finish his last assignment, which has led him to Lauren’s lab. What he finds is a lovely and naive scientist who has no idea what is going on, or that her lab assistant is a former gang member with ties to the Devil’s Dust drugs. And also Mike’s brother.
So now Mike and Lauren have to work together to find the culprit and drug dealer, deal with family, figure out their new relationship, and somehow keep Lauren from losing her research and grant money.
The story was cute, if a bit predictable. Lauren volunteers at an animal rescue, and when Mike follows her (in case, you know, she’s dealing drugs, not because he’s attracted to her, oh no), he ends up meeting the oldest, grumpiest, mangiest cat there. Does he end up adopting the mangy old cat? Why, yes! Yes he does! And there are definitely some passages that made me scratch my head a bit (“her golden eyes so full of…his own reflection” – I’m not sure what that means, especially since the ellipses are not my addition. Also, her eyes were golden? I thought they were hazel. Or brown.). Also, if Lauren is working on research for a grant, with the intention of selling the end product to a pharmaceutical company, is she really going to tell a guy she barely knows all about it? Or her ex and fellow scientist? I’m a little concerned at her idea of confidentiality…
However, I really loved how Lauren’s geeky side was played up (though there was one moment where Mike was relieved Lauren wasn’t a big Doctor Who fan – blasphemy!). She’s a huge science nerd, socially awkward, alternately blabbers on and stumbles over her words, and it’s adorable. And I absolutely loved how Mike and Lauren were so open with each other – communication! It works! And the complete lack of academic snobbery or social class clashes was just the perfect bonus. The science side of things was enough to make it interesting, but not so much that it was nonsensical or impossible to follow. And while Mike’s relationship with his brothers is obviously strained, it’s easy to see how much he cares for and wants to protect them.
Overall, this averaged out to a contemporary romantic suspense that was a bit light on the suspense but full of fluff and fun. Things do move a bit fast (it’s under 200 pages, after all), but the romance is cute and the mystery makes sense. Definitely fun.