Beauty and the Geek by Sidney Bristol

Beauty and the Geek by Sidney BristolBeauty and the Geek by Sidney Bristol
Series: Gone Geek #1
Published by Inked Press on September 6th 2016
Pages: 145
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Professor Steven Kipper is used to the stares, the muttered insults. Monster. Disgusting. Gross. It's all he's ever known. Relationships suck when his date won't even go out in public with him, which is why he hasn't bothered. That is until her. The woman on the internet who gets his every quirk. He's hooked on a person he's never met. The way she gets his jokes, the uninhibited sexuality and…just talking to her. She's everything he's ever wanted, only she's a stranger. Unless he can convince her they should unplug and take their virtual relationship off-line.

Tamara Roh has heard all the insults from slut to whore and they bore her. She refuses to let other people define her. Life's tough in the gaming industry, and if she can't handle a few insults the haters will chew her up and spit her out. Her only haven is with her friends and in one very explicit chat room. On-line she can be anyone she wants to, even the normal girl-next-door who just happens to get off on dirty talk, erotic gifs and video chats from the neck down. She might not be able to trust guys in real life to see past the Hot Asian Girlfriend stereotype, but with her internet beau anonymity is her safety net. The only problem is…she's falling for a man who thinks she's someone else.

‘Beauty and the Geek’ confronts stereotypes so head on that I was caught between fearing for the repercussions and cheering for the sheer daring of Sidney Bristol for writing this quirky but rather memorable book.

There’s a hero who isn’t conventionally good-looking – he’s not only a geek but a geek with a facial mark prone to being left by the wayside by those concerned with physical appearances – and an Asian heroine who allows herself to meekly accept her ‘lot’ in the gaming industry because of her clichéd appearance. The book painfully works them all out together (and in bed) through very unusual circumstances (read: cybersex) that simply kept me turning the pages.

Bristol did manage to make me like Stephen especially with all his insecurities and I found myself somehow being able to empathise with him more than I could with Tamara. But what would this relationship be without some sort of obstacle that comes at the end?

I cringed at the final conflict – because I really did think Tamara should have had the guts to stand up for herself – and found myself disliking the coarse group of friends she had who crucified Stephen for simply wanting the best for her. With a rather abrupt end and an even more abrupt epilogue, Stephen/Tamara’s story ended on a sappy but a predictable note yet I finished the story nonetheless, feeling as though the depth to this couple hadn’t been fully plumbed.