nerd: /nərd/ (n.) : A single-minded, sophisticated individual who is often unsatisfied with anything less than mastery when pertaining to a subject of interest. (e.g. The girl that broke his heart.)
Scarlet Farrow is disappointed—and a little drunk—after another disastrous blind date. Motivated by too much merlot and too little sex, she journals a longwinded rant questioning where all the real men have gone. By bottle two, she mistakes the tirade for quality journalism and submits it to the local newspaper. When the paper publishes her drivel, exposing her deepest secrets and leaving her mortified, she swears off wine, writing and dating. Having swum in the dating cesspool too long, she’s saddest about the wine.
Asher Roan has earned a fortune as the co-creator of a social media network, but his wealth tends to be all women see. Uninterested in a hollow imitation of love, he avoids dating as a rule. He trusted a female with his heart once, and she pulverized it, an experience he’s never gotten over or been able to move past.
When Asher reads Scarlet’s editorial tender feelings resurface and he confronts the opportunity of a lifetime. Utilizing the resources at his disposal, he diligently researches what women want as he embarks on a personal transformation from geeky introvert to sophisticated alpha male, delivering the performance of a lifetime. His only condition…she must come to him on his terms and her trust—BLIND.
As a fan of Michaels’ McCullough Mountain series, I was quite excited for the chance to read Blind, the first book in her new Mastermind series. Seriously, any book that’s blurb begins with the definition of the word “nerd” will certainly pique my interest. Not surprisingly, Michaels not only piqued my interest, she kept it throughout the entire novel as I accompanied Scarlet and Asher on their journey to overcome their painful memories from high school to the successful and confident adults they are now, or want to be.
Scarlet had my upmost sympathy during her most recent dating disaster and it increased significantly when her best friend informed her she was too picky and her standards were too high. WTH!?!?! Honestly, my blood boiled on Scarlet’s behalf when her BFF told her that, especially when Scarlet outlined her expectations for a significant other as they were all reasonable – even if she ended up expounding upon them during a drunken pity party for one. But were it not for her rant being published in the local paper, Asher would have never had the courage to approach her as the mysterious Mr. Stone or to propose 14 non-consecutive nights, during which he would prove to her that men like that really did exist. That is, once he figured out how to get over his high school fears and was able to meet her face-to-blindfolded face. But as their time together progresses and Asher comes to know the woman Scarlet is now, can he keep from confusing fantasy with reality? Can they find happiness? Or will hearts be broken again in the end?
There were so many things I enjoyed about this book. The character growth was fascinating because as Asher made even the simplest of Scarlet’s fantasies a reality, helping to restore her faith in men and rebuild her confidence, he learned more about himself. He discovered his inner alpha male and it was under Mr. Stone’s direction that Scarlet flourished. I enjoyed the Domination/submission aspects of the “romance” because Michaels showed how the arrangement tapped into parts of Asher’s personality that he’d never investigated and likely never would have were it not for Scarlet’s letter, yet the author did not try to turn Asher into a full-fledged dom. Instead, the couple learned about their sexual preferences over the course of the arrangement naturally instead of it being a forced foray into D/s. And it was hot. Asher’s seduction of Scarlet was intellectual and they were well into the arrangement before anything sexual took place. But even then, Asher refused to have sex with her until she knew who he was. I was devastated for the both of them when a particularly nasty ghost from the past popped up because it was heartbreaking to see Asher’s well-earned confidence splinter and the fallout was like a car accident – you don’t want to look, yet you can’t look away. While both Asher and Scarlet did get the happy ending they deserved, it did not come quickly or easily, making it all the better. Blind was a great way to kick off a new series and I’m looking forward to its sequel.