Reviewed from an e-arc
This is the second novella in an oddball series partially narrated by highly intelligent — and unusually gifted — cats. I enjoyed the first one, but my impression is that this one is even better. It’s still cute and clever, but more emotionally satisfying.
Geeks are becoming a romance trend, but our titular geek isn’t the usual hacker/gamer — he fits the more personal definition of a geek/nerd as someone who loves passionately. Emerson loves making musical instruments, and he loves owning and wearing items that make him feel connected to the past. He’s a perfect match for violinist Lola (sister to the heroine of the first book) — but he also loves her so passionately that it leaves him tongue-tied and acting like a total asshole.
When Emerson is adopted by a cat named Sam, Sam uses his innate ability to mess with people’s minds to put the right thoughts into Emerson’s mouth so he can woo Lola. Having already had a deceptively charming chameleon of a boyfriend, Lola is wary… and of course, Sam can’t always be there (though sensing that Sam is good luck, Emerson goes to ridiculous lengths to carry him around!) And then disaster strikes and Emerson is left without his Cyrano — and without the cat he’s grown to love.
Like the first book, this one is partially narrated by Sam himself, and partially from the points of view of Emerson and Lola. It also shares the kind of distancing narrative vibe which kept me from fully loving the first book, yet the emotions came through more this time, making the romance stronger. (Emerson does a lot of his own wooing by letter, so there’s no sense that it’s all Sam and he and Lola haven’t really connected.) I also enjoyed the wry humor, and the fact that from Sam’s point of view it’s not just a romance… it’s a bromance.