Talk Nerdy to Me: Why Geek Heroes are So Appealing


I’m going through a phase of reading books which have geeks as heroes (and heroines) at the moment and I’m loving it. I started to wonder what it was that made geeky heroes so appealing. Here’s what I think:

1. They’re witty.

Most geeks aren’t exactly buff. Nor were they popular at school. They’ve had to rely on their wit and brains to get out of sticky situations (usually involving the aforementioned buff and popular types). You’ve got to love a man who can talk his way out of a problem. My favourite fast talking, super smart guy is Dr Who as played by David Tennant. (Oh boy!). Sideways example from Fantasy: Tyrion Lannister.

2. They’re all superheroes inside.

They know their limits, but they also know that every shaky exterior hides something special. They may need some help to find that superhero, but there definitely is one. This means that they’re willing to believe that their loved one is a superheroine inside too. That is pretty much the crux of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.


I have a theory that you put glasses on a handsome man and he gets 70% hotter. Just Google ‘Chris Hemsworth in glasses’,or ‘Tom Hiddleston in glasses’ if you don’t believe me. Granted not all geeks wear glasses. Please don’t take this to mean that glasses and a suit are an effective disguise (Lois Lane, didn’t recognise him? seriously???). There’s something cute about a smart man who is totally unaware of the fact that someone finds him attractive. I think it’s cute.

4. They can (sometimes) be practical.

Give a geek a problem and he’ll work away at it logically and solve it. So if the microwave is making a funny noise, they can probably fix it even if figuring out how to separate the dark wash from the light wash is still beyond them.

5. There’s something satisfying about watching love creep up on an unattainable geek. 

Someone so involved in their mental world that they’ve lost touch with their emotional side. Think Sherlock Holmes, Mr Spock (Star Trek) and Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory). We love this guy because it takes so much to make him bend. The love story of Sheldon and Amy is one of the greatest storylines on The Big Bang Theory. Imagine how much less exciting that first kiss with Amy would have been if it hadn’t been so hard won.

6. They understand about passion.

Being a geek is all about passion. You have to love something so much that you are willing to go against the mainstream in order to declare how much you love it. So when a geek does something, he gives it his whole heart. Oh, and there’s the attention to detail. Good geeks are very thorough in what they do. Hmmm… passion and careful attention… now where else could that come in handy?

All of the above are stereotypical geeks. But let’s not forget the stealth geek. He wears a suit, can pull off shades effortlessly, appears to be a normal member of society … but is a geek inside. Think Fox Mulder. Or Richard Castle. “But he doesn’t look like a geek”, you say. “He’s ruggedly handsome!” Ah, but he knows ever such a lot about crime. He is TOTALLY a crime geek.

I love a good geek story and I was surprised to find so many books with geeks as heroes and heroines. Here are some my favourites: 

Unraveled by Courtney Milan: unemotional genius with trauma issues – poor Smite.
The Chemistry Lessons series by Susannah Nix (geeks of various shades, mostly female ones)
Snowed In by Rhoda Baxter
Snowed In by Rhoda Baxter, out now!

Trapped together in the snow, can two grinches melt the walls they’ve built around themselves?

Tracey is a tech millionaire. Burned out and fed up of people needing her all the time, she retreats to a rural English village. All she wants for Christmas is a of bit space. 

Dumped by the woman he was about to propose to, Vinnie is spending Christmas alone in a cosy cottage for two. All he wants is to hide away and lick his wounds. Alone.

When Tracey gets caught in a blizzard, the only place she can take shelter is Vinnie’s cottage. Can two snowbound people stop being grumpy for long enought to feel their attraction to each other? 


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