By: Deana Farrady

A Geek and Stud Romance (Love in New Highland Book 1)



Asher Norrell is my dream man—hot, brilliant, and charming, every big, strapping inch of him.

Too bad he thinks of me as a platonic buddy.

I mean, I get it. I'm no femme fatale. Nope, I'm the tomboy who shoots hoops with the guys, not the love bunny who sits on their laps.

But, oh, well. I guess it's all for the best. Because I just got engaged. Even if the marriage won't be quite…the usual kind.

I just wonder if Asher will be pissed when he finds out who my fiancé is.


On the surface things are perfect.

I'm sailing through college, I'm already successful in my field, I've got a beautiful girlfriend, and life is sweet.

To top it off, I have the best f*cking friend in the world in Charis Sloane, doctoral student, gamer, and honorary family member from way back. Sure, she's a geek, but so am I under all these muscles.

She and I connect via brainwaves. I don't need my bestie to be a girly-girl; I already have one of those to warm my bed. The important thing is, I have Charis's back and she has mine.

Good thing, too, because below the surface? My life isn't nearly as awesome as it looks.

Then Charis tells me she's getting married to…to…

Pissed? Right, try livid.

Now I have to stop her, or we'll miss our last chance to make right what should have happened long ago.




SOMETIMES IN LIFE, YOU MAKE a mistake so big there's no coming back from it, not ever, not even if you get down on your knees and beg.

You want to try. You might anyway, being that desperate. But you can't.

Even if you're used to getting what you want 99.99 percent of the time, it turns out there is such a thing as too late.

I found that out today.

"Ash," Charis slurred against my chest, "there's something important I need to tell you."

And there it was. That moment.

Right then, with my best friend in the world slumped against my arm, her sweet, warm body trying to mesh into mine—that's when I finally saw the scale of my incredibly stupid, epically epic mistake.

I don't make a lot of them. Seriously, I'm kind of a charmed devil. When I do occasionally screw up—say, time traffic wrong so I'm late for a dinner date—it's no biggie. Win some, lose some.

But this one…it's not your common little misstep. No, my current goof was a fucking ginormous error of judgment that assured me I was about to be severely punished—smoked like Erysichthon, that poor bastard doomed to suffer endless hunger for disrespecting a holy tree.

Swear to God, I'd rather not know shit like that. I've got bucketfuls of pointless trivia stored in my brain. Greek myths, Latin roots, Archimedes's messy bathing habits, you name it, it's Charis's fault. Char's always getting into obscure topics and sharing irrelevant facts with me. She's kind of adorable to listen to.

And to hang with.

And to watch.


Aaaaand, back to the mistake. The mistake for which I was about to be punished. Punished to the pain, like the foul-assed Count Rugen in The Princess Bride.

And the worst part?

I did it to myself.

I'll just say that again. To. Myself.

I'm not talking about one of my older sibs getting one over on me. No, turns out I was the asinine individual who took a big old dull-headed screwdriver branded Norrell and stabbed myself in the gut—the heart—and twisted. Screwing myself.

Most people will tell you I'm usually not quite that idiotic. You know, what with my full-ride scholarship and dual major in Earth Sciences and Electrical Engineering. Listen, I'm building devices that can monitor weather patterns in light of planting and harvest sequences. Not only that, they automate the tracking of agricultural prices in areas as diverse as production, distribution, and investment, providing useful, one-stop relational data to everyone involved in agriculture worldwide from the farmers to the—

Wait, okay, I know. Not relevant. The point is, I have a 3.86 overall college GPA , three patents plus two pending, and my own LLC that's already turning a dizzying profit—the kind of profit that makes it a tossup as to whether I should actually bother to graduate this year.

I'm the guy who sees what he wants and goes after it. Everyone told me to sit on my inventions as some kind of cagey investment strategy. But why sit when I could invest the profit from selling off the games I'd co-written with my brother Doug to Funiverce Systems right back into my business?

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