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**Post originally published on USA Today’s Happy Ever After Blog**

 

In Romancelandia, there are all kinds of heroes. Bad boys. Players. Billionaires. Soldiers. But one hero we don’t see enough of?

The nerd.

Where are all the glasses-wearing, number-crunching, computer savvy, Dungeons and Dragons playing nerds?

Sure, there are a few here and there. Marz from Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series comes to mind. (He’s one of my personal favorites.) Parker from Cristin Harber’s Titan series. Ozzie from Julie Ann Walker’s Black Knights, Inc. And I’ve heard Megan Erickson writes some panty-meltingly hot gamer nerds, though I haven’t had the pleasure of reading any of her books yet. Still, for every nerd hero, there are about a gazillion billionaire playboys. What I want to know is where are the nerdy billionaire playboys? (OMG, I would so read that. Someone write that. Please.)

As a proud nerd myself, I’ve written a few geek-tastic heroes—Harvard from Fragmented Loyalty and Reece from Wilde at Heart—but I still feel like my kind is under-represented in Romancelandia. I wondered if I was alone in wanting more nerds, so I took an informal Facebook poll of my readers and writer friends. And you know what? I’m not alone. Save for a few holdouts for the always popular bad boys, most readers wanted to see more adorkable heroes in romance.

Nerds may not be the dominant alpha male like a lot of the other heroes in romance, but judging from the responses of my Facebook poll, they captivate nonetheless. Why? What makes them a romantic hero that readers want in their beds every night?

Brains and wit are attractive— just as attractive as the wounded bad boy or brooding warrior. I mean, who doesn’t want a hot and intelligent man who can carry on a stimulating conversation and keep them satisfied in bed? As one of my readers put it, she wants “a nerd on the streets and a freak in the sheets.”

So here I am, wrapped up in my Doctor Who blanket, pleading with my fellow romance writers to let your heroes’ inner nerd shine. Geeks deserve love too!

Besides, haven’t you heard? Nerdy is the new sexy.

Check out my nerdy heroes below:

Harvard

All I want is to leave my past of criminal hacking behind. Oh, and ditch the blackmailer who has been dogging my every move for the last three years.
The plan: Hack my way into being part of Class Alpha, a training program for a secretive organization that rescues hostages the government can’t or won’t go after. Save the world and make enough money to pay back my blackmailer—solves all my problems, right?
The complication: Sweet, nerdy, and unbearably sexy Eric “Harvard” Physick. Harvard is my ideal man, but he’s also my instructor. Seriously a no-go, except we can’t seem to keep our hands off each other.
My blackmailer isn’t willing to let me off the hook, though, and a series of freak accidents—deadly accidents—sends Class Alpha into a tailspin. And the more I get to know Harvard, I start to realize his past is just as troubled as mine.
Am I the cause of this chaos…or is he?

Reece

He has everything under control. Except her.

Reece Wilde put everything in his life on the backburner to protect his brothers and their struggling company, Wilde Security. With a major contract on the line, Reece can’t afford any mistakes…like getting caught in a red-hot, X-rated moment with wild child Shelby Bremer, who’s more trouble than he can handle. Now he’s being blackmailed.

Shelby’s mile-long impulsive streak gets her in more trouble than she’d like to admit. Between her sister’s wedding, her coffee shop set on fire, and getting down and dirty with the groom’s brother, things are definitely coming off the rails. With both their careers and their safety on the line, Reece is determined to keep them both safe…even if it means a Vegas-style shotgun wedding. But gambling on a wild card—and a wild soul—is risky…and sometimes, it can get a guy killed.

Do you have a favorite nerdy romance hero? If so, drop him in the comments. I’d love to read more geek love!