The Summer I Became a Nerd
Synopsis: On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl's body isn’t just unknown, it's anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.
Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.
Name: Logan Scott
Description: Adorkable nerd with a sexy voice, pure blue eyes, brown hair, scattered freckles on his nose and cheeks and irresistible smile.
Likes: calculator watches, comic books, anime, cosplay
Dislikes: cheating, lying, being taken for a fool
Why We Love Him: Logan is the sweetest nerd you'll ever read! He's got such a good heart and such a charming personality, you fall for him the moment Maddie walks into the Phoenix comic book store. He's so patient and understanding and wears his heart on his sleeve. He owns who he is without apologizes and let's his nerd flag fly without caring what other people think. He never gives up on Maddie and helps her to accept her inner nerd and be proud to just be herself. How could you NOT fall for a guy this nerdalicious?!
I take another fortifying breath and walk up to the counter. The guy is bent so far over a comic I can only see the top of his head, which is covered with brown, messy hair. I make an “ahem” noise to get his attention, but he doesn’t look up. I raise my sunglasses up a little to glance at the book he’s reading. I see a full splash page of Marcus. His whole body is contorted in agony as he screams—and I know he’s screaming because the speech bubble next to his head is all pointy—“NOOOOOO!!!!” I squeeze my eyes shut, not wanting the book to be spoiled for me, but the damage is already done. I’m at the end of my rope.
“Do you have a copy of The Super Ones #400?” I say, abandoning my faux-guy voice.
He finally looks up, and I recognize him. Not only do I recognize him, I know him. I could probably tell you what shoes he’s wearing (black and white chucks with frayed laces) even though his lower half is hidden behind the counter. I know this because he’s kind of my geek idol for a while now and I’ve . . . paid attention.
Last year, he got in trouble at school because he was wearing pornography. At least, that’s what the students were told, when in reality, he was just wearing a T-shirt sporting an Adam Hughes drawing of Power Girl. Ridiculous, I know. I mean, Adam Hughes is one of the best purveyors of the female form in comics today, even if he has a tendency to over exaggerate certain body parts.
Ever since then, I’ve had a thing for Logan Scott. Not an actual thing since I have a boyfriend and that would be bad, but he’s got these cute freckles on his nose and cheeks, probably from playing soccer—he’s the Natchitoches Central High School’s goalie—and he’s always reading, comics mostly, but every once in a while, I’ll catch him with a high fantasy book with dragons or elves on the cover. Not that I’m stalking him or anything.
He has really nice eyes, though.
His brow furrows when he looks at me. “Sorry, we’re all out.”
“Really? What’s that?” I point at the book he’s currently stuffing under the counter.
“It’s . . .” He trails off as he takes in the way I’m dressed. He tilts his head to the side like he’s trying to see behind me. I whip around, thinking someone else is there, but the store is still empty. When I turn back, a knowing smile plays at the edges of his mouth. Sighing right now would be bad, but he has perfect boy-lips—not too full, not too thin.
He props his chin on his fist. “Do I know you?”
“Uh, no, I mean, I don’t think so. I’m just passing through town. I mean, I don’t live here or anything so how could you know me?” I say in a rush.
“Okay.” He squints like he can pull a confession out of me with his eyes alone. “That’s too bad, because this is the last copy.”
He pulls #400 out and waves it around, which sends electricity shooting through me because 1) it’s right in front of my face, and I can see the amazing cover, and 2) the he’s flopping it around is breaking the spine, which breaks my heart. You’d think a guy who works at a comic shop would be a little more careful.
Instinct kicks in, and I throw out my hands like he has a gun pointed at a puppy. He stops and lays the book on the counter between us.
“Why is it too bad?” I ask. “I’m paying customer. I give you money, you give me #400. That’s how these things work.” I tentatively reach for #400, but he slaps his hand down flat on top of it.
“It’s too bad you’re just passing through, don’t live here, and don’t know me, because this is my copy, and if you weren’t just passing through, lived here, and knew me, I might let you borrow it.”
He smiles that knowing smile, and more of that electricity shoots through my body, but for completely different reasons: 1) that smile is the irresistible kind I can’t but return, and 2) his voice has a soft, smooth quality that makes my brain turn to jelly.
I shake these thoughts from my mind when a voice in the back of head shouts, “Quarterback boyfriend!”
“Well, by passing through, I meant visiting. I’ll probably be around for the next couple of days so I could have it back to you pretty quick.”
He scratches the back of his neck. “Hmm.”
“I promise,” I blurt out, my hands clasped together. I can’t believe I’ve been reduced to begging. “I’ll have it back to you in a couple of hours even.”
There’s that smile again. He might adorkable, but he’s not being very nice, teasing me like this.
“We’ll be closed in couple of hours, so I’ll give you my number, and you can call me when you’re done.”
“Perfect. No problem at all.” I nod again and again until I think I’ve given myself whiplash.
He presses a button on the cash register, and blank receipt paper rolls out of the slot on the top. He hands me #400. I devour the cover with my eyes as he rips the receipt paper off and jots down his number. When he reaches for the book again, I jerk it away, thinking Mine!
“I just want to put this in there so you don’t lose it,” he says slowly, like he’s trying to calm a hostile beast.
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