Thursday, February 01, 2007

To All the Nerds I Love

I'm very excited to welcome Lori Borrill, debut Blaze author, onto the playground today. I first met Lori online at It didn't take us long to strike up a critiquing friendship, one that's lasted through some excellent work (her debut book Private Confessions) and some not so great (my early stuff). Welcome Lori! We're glad you could join us.

Thanks Instigator. I'm excited to be here.

Sometimes I wonder why I write romance. There's not much sense to it, given the type of guy I go for. People talk about Matthew McConaughey and I don't see it. I picked up People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" issue and came up with maybe three or four who did anything for me. I mean, for someone who writes romance novels, I've got some pretty quirky taste in men.

Maybe that's why I write Blaze as opposed to lines expecting the ultra-alpha-macho-gorgeous-wealthy types. I just don't know that guy, can't imagine dating him, so I have trouble writing him. And the beautiful thing about Blaze is that I don't have to. Blaze offers a little leniency. It gives me leeway. My guy doesn't have to be quite the stud you'd find in, say, Presents or Desire. I can lean toward the Gamma man. Because for me, no matter how great my heroes are on the eyes, no matter how fantastic they are between the sheets, I've got to throw in a little vulnerability or I just can't stand them.

As a newbie writer, I've so far played it safe and kept my heroes leaning toward the more classic romantic lead, but what I'd really, really like to do someday is write a romance novel featuring the kind of hero who seriously tugs at my heartstrings.

Yes, ladies. I'm talking about the nerd. That funny, clumsy, sometimes goofy man who, despite the fact that his six pack is in a grocery bag and the only thing chiseled is his hairline, seems to catch my eye anyway.

I don't know what it is about them. Maybe it's their approachability. If you're like me and at the age of forty-four still haven't gotten over those scarring incidents from high school, the down-to-earth, friendly, likeable guy does have his appeal. Unlike the captain of the football team, these are men you aren't afraid to talk to. They're modest, they're nice, they get embarrassed. And when they find their way onto national television, you can bet they're probably rich, too!

(Now wait a minute, I'm not talking Bill Gates. There's nerds, and then there's nerds, and some guys even fistfulls of cash won't help.)

No, I'm talking about guys like Alton Brown, here.

Okay, so he probably won't be edging George Clooney out of his spot as People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive", but there is something deliciously appealing about this man, and it's not the fact that he can cook or that he can explain the molecular science behind water purification.

What I love about Alton is his vulnerability. It's the self-deprecating humor that makes me want to overlook that dorky hair spike thing and do something sinfully bold--like show him that some of those uni-task kitchen utensils he complains about actually do have alternate uses, he he.

But Alton isn't the only one. I've also got a fetish for Mr. Mythbuster himself, Adam Savage, and the fact that I do has left me perplexed on more than one occasion.

I mean, for one thing, I've seen the man in his underwear--on TV, you dirty minds!!!--and seriously, Colonel Sanders couldn't come up with a pair of whiter chicken legs. Yet there's something about the guy that makes me want to write him into a book.

I think it's that he's smart yet slightly dangerous. He calculates numbers in his head like Rainman then uses the information to blow something up. I mean, what's sexier than explosives, ladies?! Couple that with his wide-eyed boyish reaction when Buster blows sky high and I'm willing to overlook the impending man-boobs and attempt some combustible science of my own.

Now, I will admit not all nerds are, shall we say, nerdy. If you can't get into a man who's more jiggle than gigolo, science has options for you.

Yep, what would a blog about sexy nerds be without mentioning this man?

Ahhh, Grissom, Grissom, Grissom. You know, I saw William Petersen back in his prime twenty years ago in a movie called "To Live And Die In LA". I'd thought he was okay, nothing to write home about. Yet age him two decades and give him a fascination with bugs and I'm putty in his petrie dish.

But my fascination with Grissom stems from something completely different than the others. He's not vulnerable, or boyish, or self-deprecating. He's funny, but only in a dry, infrequent kind of way. No, what Grissom's got is that calm, cool and quiet thing going. Oh, yeah. What woman doesn't adore a man who's not only flippantly ignorant of his own sex appeal, but doesn't even recognize when a woman's coming onto him?

Just think of the things a bold and sexy Blaze heroine could do to a guy like that without even resorting to a bug suit.

Personally, I'm dying to write a romance that features one of my guys, here. I haven't figured the right angle yet, but I have to believe with enough experience under my belt I could pull off the consummate nerd hero and possibly convert thousands of women over to the bungling side of love.

What do you think? Could you get into a romance novel featuring a nerd, or do you really need those fantasy men to be bad-boy dangerous and bigger than life? And have you read any romance novels that featured the kind of guy I'm talking about? If so, which ones? (I'm making a list ;-) )

Don't forget to check out Private Confessions available now at
And be sure to post because Lori will be picking two lucky commenters to receive a prize package including her book and some chocolates - a wonderful combination!


Jennifer Y. said...

Welcome and big congrats on the release!

Ooooh...I love nerds...especially the ones you posted! Alton Brown's show Good Eats and Mythbusters are two of my fave shows...I love those guys. I adore CSI as well...and love William Petersen. I like them because they are more real and relatable (is that a word?).

You don't find these types of heroes in books that least not in the books that I have read. Vicki Lewis Thompson has her Nerd series which is great. I would love more recommendations!

Playground Monitor said...

Ahhh, Grissom, Grissom, Grissom.

Amen, sister. Amen.

Liz Bevarly wrote some professor-type heroes a while back for Desire -- Beauty and the Brain, The Temptation of Rory Monahan are two that I've read -- but they would never fly with today's Desire guidelines. :-( I like the quiet intelligent types who have that little edge of humor too.

I just finished PRIVATE CONFESSIONS about 5 minutes ago. I bopped to the store this morning to get milk and bread (snow and ice in the forecast *g* ) and made a run by the book aisle. And there sat your book! I started it this afternoon and only put it down to fix the DH's dinner and watch AI.

Great job, Lori! I love the premise -- a secret lover who turns out to be not-so-secret. Here's to a long wonderful career! And welcome to the Playground.


Problem Child said...

Hi Lori. Welcome to the Playground.

I'm more of a Geek Girl. (Waves at my Darling Geek--just in case he stops by.)

In fact, I have a lovely t-shirt that says "I (heart) my geek."

Instigator said...

I love Alton Brown! There's just something about his excitement and enthusiasm. And the fact that he can explain the molecular structure on just about anything...You know maybe I should start letting DH do that. He's a pharmaceutical chemist.

And congratulations, Lori! This is a fantatic book and you deserve every last ounce of happiness and excitement that seeing it out on the shelf gives you.


Smarty Pants said...

I'm definitely a geek girl. I went to a high school full of them, so I guess I was wired that way. Alton, Grissom... I'd take him over Nick Stokes any day.

I need to stop on the way home and grab myself a copy. Online love - I'm a little partial to that. I met DB that way, although I doubt he was lying shirtless across his bed typing on his laptop. :)

Welcome to the Playground. May your good mojo rub off on us all. We need it.


Lori Borrill said...

Hey, good morning everyone and a BIG thank you!!! to the Playfriends for allowing me to guest blog today.

Instigator, thanks for the introduction, although I have to take issue with your comment about your early work. Apparently you've forgotten the first couple MS of mine you read, the ones in my bone pile never to see the light of day again.

But I really appreciate being here and spending the day with you.

Jennifer, thanks for coming by. I am definitely going to have to check out VLT's Nerd series!

PM, I'm so glad you liked the book, and here's another new thing I'm learning today. I didn't realize Ms. Bevarly ever wrote for Desire!

PC, LOL on your husband. I knew Instigator's hubby was a chemist. This looks like the good spot for me to confess my love of nerds!

And personally, when it comes to CSI, my REAL fantasy would be a foursome with me, Grissom, Warrick and Nick. Ohhlala!

Lori Borrill said...

LOL SP, our posts crossed. Sounds like I get Nick all to myself! lol!

And I'll admit, in the book, Logan isn't lying in bed either, and when he's chatting on line with Trisha, his spare hand is most definitely NOT on his forehead. (wink)

Teresa said...

I like to read about nerds as heroes in books. Love the Nerds series by Vicki Lewis Thompson. Good luck on your release and have a great 2007!

Kathy said...

So glad you came to play, Lori. Congratulations on the release of your book! You're just in time for our first snow of the season and perhaps years.

Nerds? I can see where you're coming from but I like the Alpha heroes myself. I have to admit, Librarian's often have a lot of charisma, especially when played by Noah Wylie. (Sigh) And I'm real impressed with Josh Berstein on Digging For The Truth (but, I digress, he classifies as an Alpha male). Oh, yes!

I'm hopeless.


Angel said...

Yep, if I wasn't going to pick up a copy of Private Confessions before (which, of course, I was), then that little comment about Logan's hands would have me rushing to the bookstore! Congrats, Lori! We're so excited for you.

My heroes in my books tend to be closer to an alpha male, though I'm all about giving them something that makes them human. In real life, my hubby is as far from an alpha male as he could be. Laid back and calm would best describe him, which is perfect because he's everything I'm not. :)

When I'm reading a book, I can go for just about any type of hero if you give me something to like about him. When it comes to the nerdy types (I prefer to think of them as studious), I love quiet intense men, men who may not speak often, but when they do it means something. Men who act with purpose. Or those who flaunt a sarcastic sense of humor (my hubby has one of those). Love those off the cuff remarks.

As much as I love Grissom on CSI (I wouldn't even watch the season opener until my hubby assured me Grissom wasn't leaving for good!), he'll have to remain a fantasy. A man that clueless about women would be hell to live with. :)


sharon said...

I have read many novels with men as so called nerds, who were intelligent, sensitive and had important responsible positions. These books were wonderful and I appreciated the character. One example was Adam Chapel in The Devil's Banker. HE was a forensic accountant whose smarts saved his life literally.

pearl said...

Nerds rule! I get alot of satisfaction from reading books about nerds and their appearances in shows and movies. They have the ability and intelligence to behave like real people, with a sense of humor and charm. I love Eugene Levy in all of his movies and he can be a nerd for that matter. He is talented and funny with a big heart.

Lori Borrill said...

Teresa, thanks for stopping by! Now, I'm definitely going to have to pick up those VLT books. I'm getting too many recommendations today.

Kathy, I think you're representative of most women preferring the Alpha male in romance. The success of those books is too blatant to ignore. I think it's one of the reasons I haven't dared my type of "nerd" yet. I think the writer has to have a good grasp on characterization and what makes a hero a hero in order to step away from the mold successfully, and I'm definitely not there yet.

Angel, I loved your description of the type of man you like to read about. I don't think I can argue with one sentence. lol! Hmmm, maybe it's variety that's the spice of life.

Sharon, I think I need to pick up a copy of the Devil's Banker, not just for your description of the heros but to find out what a forensic accountant is! lol!

Thanks all for joining in the discussion!

Lori Borrill said...

Pearl, I had to go search to recall who Eugene Levy was, but the minute I saw him I recall him as one of the old Second City crew I've always loved so much. I've been waiting for the movie, "For Your Consideration" to come on PPV. It looked like a riot!

Kelley St. John said...

Grissom... I totally agree. And that dry humor leaves me in stitches every time. Add that to the way he cuts his eyes and gives that little smirk that says so much more than words, and we've got a real winner of a hero :)


traveler said...

Nerds have integrity and are definitely men to be reckoned with. Most are charismatic and cute. When I found mine he was for good. I think that Morris on "24" is the best of the nerds or geeks on that show and has it all. Appeal, charm and plenty more.

Lori Borrill said...

Hey Kelley, so glad you stopped by! I agree. I think of the three guys I mentioned, Grissom is definitely the sexiest. It's hard to resist the strong, silent types.

Traveler, you're one of a number of posters here today admitting they married the more nerdish. I remember reading an article on Yahoo recently about women dating the dark and dangerous types, but when it comes to settling down, we go for the smarter nice guys. Has to do with evolution, being attracted to the type best suited for breeding, but when it comes to raising children, we want help! LOL!

(How's that for sucking all the romanticism out of it?) lol!

Meljprincess said...

Hi Lori,
Congratulations on the release of your book. I can't wait to read "Private Confessions".
It's refreshing to read about nerds occasionally as the "perfect" hero can become tiresome. I was going to mention Vicki L. Thompson but many have beat me to it. Btw, I agree with you about the "sexiest men" in People magazine.
OH, good nerd books...SLEEPING WITH BEAUTY by Donna Kauffman, DANGEROUS TIDES by Christine Feehan, and HIGH ENERGY and HIGH INTENSITY by Dara Joy.

robynl said...

Hi Lori, Congratulations on the release of your book. I can't wait to read "Private Confessions".
I am married to a nerd/geek so to speak and love him. He is intelligent, kind, etc. I too love VLT's Nerd series. She opened up a new world of heroes'.

Angel said...

I forgot to mention my favorite "nerd" hero in a book. How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire by Kerrylen Sparks. The hero was a vampire, of course, and the scientist who created synthetic blood for vampires to drink. Loved that book. It was sexy and funny!


Minna said...

rnI just love nerds! No wonder I like tv series like Numb3rs, Bones and Mythbusters. And Nerd books by Vicki Lewis Thompson.

joelle said...

I have known nerds/geeks and much prefer them since they are sincere, funny, entertaining as well as extremely stimulating company. I much prefer brains than bulges. An understanding and interesting man can hold my interest forever.

readingissomuchfun said...

Hello Lori,

Congrad's on the new release YaY! More books to read *G*

I read your first Nerd book and I am now addicted. Loved it.


ellie said...

I have met many businessmen who are smart, shrewd, fascinating and total nerds, but their distinctive personalities are the allure and their charisma always turn me on. The man in the grey flannel suit has me anyday.

Librarian Barbie said...

Hi Lori! I know I've already told you this (it doesn't hurt to hear it again ;-D) but I LOVED your book. It's sitting on my coffee table taunting me saying "Read me again!! You know you want to!!"

I'm a nerd girl myself. All my guy friends in high school and college were nerds. All my guy friends in my professional life are nerds (aren't all librarians anyway???). They are just so lovable. You just want to hug them. I guess that's why I like the TV show 'Beauty and the Geek'. I could care less about the girls...I jsut want to tell the guys "It's'll be just fine asking a girl out." or whatever the challenge might be at the time.

I do like Grissom, I will admit but Nick is so easy on the eyes as well. I also love to watch him walk away...;-D Oops...getting of the subject...Grissom does make me laugh, esp. when he cares so dearly for his bug friends. LOL

I do love Vicki's books as well. I have read them all SEVERAL times.

Lori, I can't wait until your next book comes out!! keep up the great work!

Barbara C.

Cheryl said...

Welcome Lori! Can't wait to read your book.
And, yes, I like nerds too. Love the Vicki Lewis Thompson series as has been mentioned many times here. Can't think of any others at the moment.

Jennifer Y. said...

And I'll admit, in the book, Logan isn't lying in bed either, and when he's chatting on line with Trisha, his spare hand is most definitely NOT on his forehead. (wink)

Hmmmm.....*note to self...find this book!

Oh, and I agree with Minna, the nerdy guys on BONES are great!

Lori Borrill said...

Boy, it sounds like the nerds are the guys we want to take home to mother.

But are they men you really want to READ about? I can't help but wonder if our fantasies are the bad boys, our comfort is the nice guy.

I'll admit, for a good romance read that's larger than life, I've got to take my nice guy and show some sort of dark and dangerous side of him. Maybe that's what most writers do in opposite--they take dark and dangerous and show us a nice side. To pull off a nerd hero, we'd need to work it the other way around.

It's interesting the consider from a writing standpoint.

Barbara, thanks again. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

katie said...

I love the nerds....they don't know their sex appeal and are very unassuming. What about the other nerds on Food Network?

Lis said...

Oh I love Grissom (and Greg lol). As for nerd books, the ones I was thinking of have already been mentioned but there's also Carrie Alexander's December blaze, A Taste of Temptation. Nerdish but hot, halfway through the book and really enjoying it :)

Lori Borrill said...

Katie, I love "Ham on the Street". Definitely more jiggle than gigilo lol! But he makes me laugh. I'm a sucker for a guy who makes me laugh.

Lis, thanks for the suggestion on the Blaze. I'll have to check that one out! And funny you mentioned Greg. I was just thinking about him. Remember how nerdy he was when he started on the show? They're kind of "hipping" him out a little now.

Jennifer Y. said...

I enjoy Ham on the Street and was thinking of Greg as well.

Anthony Michael Hall was a nerd from the 80s movies who grew up to be quite nice looking.

Also, Hiro on HEROES is an adorable nerdy guy.

I was trying to think of nerdy heroes from historical romances, but couldn't think of any. I am sure I have read some though.

Lois said...

I love all types of heroes, nerdy or bad boys, or sweet types. But I dare say that I like nerds because they would be the type I can get along with the most and best. . . I'm certainly nerdy and geeky myself LOL :) Heck, my first school crush was the one kid in the state who had a computer at home, and glasses and what have you. :)


principessa said...

Alton Brown rocks! Part MacGyver and mad scientist he is the real man. Humorous and smart as a whip, with talent to boot. Great combo. They are not self absorbed but relate well with most and are waarm hearted individuals with a wonderful sense of humor and great company.

katie said...

What I love most about the nerds is that they are real and not so metrosexual (into their own looks). I ADORE VLT's nerd series! They are fantastic. They are very unassuming. I can't wait to read your book (I swear, if my husband was 15 years younger and worked out, that would be him on the cover). LOL. Cover boy is kinda a nerd, too.

Playground Monitor said...

Sorry to be so absent today but woke up with a headache that I just can't shake.

Yep, Liz Bevarly wrote for Desire back in the 90's and up until a couple years ago. I love her books cause they're sensual yet have a lot of sexy humor in them as well. I haven't read any of her Blazes but I bet they're good.

Lord I want this headache to go away!


Playground Monitor said...

I realize we've forgotten the ultimate nerd in movies -- Indiana Jones. Doesn't he just do something for a fedora and whip? *g*


Lori Borrill said...

PM, so sorry about the headache! Hope it goes away soon.

Boy, this has been such fun talking about nerds. Honestly, I never realized I had so much company! LOL! I'd thought people would respond with, "Are you nuts?"

But I appreciate everyone chiming in and making this a fun day!

Instigator said...

Ahhhh Indiana Jones. Of course part of his appeal was the connection to Star Wars....I'm a Luke Skywalker fan. Of course I suppose he could be termed a nerd as well huh?


Pat L. said...

Wow, lots of great responses.

I like the bad boy like Sawyer from Lost and George Clooney - he was a bb in ER.

I also like the sexy study, successful hero and cops and men who work with their hands. Need I say more.

KimW said...

Congratulations to you on your release. I'm ready to play with Logan. lol He needs to come to my house. Loved the excerpt on your site!

To answer your question...I love nerds! You can generally talk to them about anything, even girly girl subjects. lol Oh, and they are generally really nice guys who care. IMHO, when you have someone hot, who's a jerk, he gets uglier as time goes on. I think the reverse is true for nerds.

Pat said...

George Clooney and Sawyer from lost. Need I say more? But I will...

I like heroes who work with their hands, cops, bad boys of course and heroes who are successfull in their career with a great body, buns, sixpack and not too hard on the eyes. Not asking for much, huh?
A good sense of humor is important.

Pat said...

sorry about the double post. Had a hard time posting and didnt think the first one went thru.

Also forgot to mention Dinoso form NCIS.

kim said...

congrats and love blaze

Lori Borrill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori Borrill said...

Well, my day is over but I wanted to stop in one last time and thank everyone for joining me today. I had a lot of fun talking about nerds. Obviously, I'm not alone in loving the nice guys.

I'd also like to extend a big THANK YOU!!! to the Playfriends for allowing me to guest blog today. I really appreciate your generosity. You are all a wonderful group of writers and friends who have created a great place for us all to come chat!

readingissomuchfun said...

It was a pleasure chattin with you Lori and about nerds :-) Thanks for being here with us today. Hope to chat with you again soon.


readingissomuchfun said...

Yes I can get into a book about nerds. One of my favorite author who do write nerds books is Vicki Lewis Thompson. Love her Nerd series.


CrystalG said...

I love nerds too. They have depth that some guys don't have. A guy with brains and average looks is sexy

Jeanette J said...

I agree on Grissom..he is the reason I love CSI. And I kind of like Jamie on Mythbusters. I also like the ultimate nerd..Clark Kent. Just look what's behind those glasses. Just goes to show you can't judge a nerd by his glasses