Sunday, February 19, 2017

Romance Annotation

Covalent Bonds edited by Trysh Thompson


Covalent Bonds is a collection of short stories that feature geeks of all kinds in romantic scenarios. From an FBI consultant trying to woo a world-famous hacker to comic book convention attendees sneaking away for a quick rendezvous, this anthology has something for every flavor of geek. There's a live-streamer who finds love in her own home, horror movie buffs who fall for each other after a chance encounter at a Walgreens, a gamer and game writer who find love as they drive for hours across the several states to save a convention release of a hot new RPG, D&D character swapping with seductive results, a divorced game tester who bonds with her boos while on a work trip, and a poet who argues over sentence diagramming. Stories range from a few pages to a few chapters. Some are gentle romances while others turn up the heat. Characters are as diverse as their geeky interests with different races, disability status and counties of origin are represented. This anthology celebrates individuals in all their geeky glory and electricity is guaranteed.

Romance Characteristics

  • Love story dominates the plot - In all of these stories the love story is the dominating plot. 
  • Happy ending is assured - Some of the stories start out where the protagonists don't get along, but there's always a happy ending. 
  • Writing allows the reader to experience the emotions vicariously - The writers in this anthology definitely describe emotions and sensations like chills, goosebumps, and butterflies in the tummy for the reader to experience. If you've had romantic experiences yourself, it's very easy to recall what that feels like as you read. 
  • Tone can vary - Tone varies from sharp and witty to dreamy and romantic and everything in between.
  • Characters grow and develop into their romance - This is particularly true of the stories where the protagonists don't get along and then grow to love each other. 
  • Characters are often archetypes - The only real archetypes at play here are geeks and the guys are definitely the too good to be true types (or maybe I've just had really bad boyfriends in the past. Ha!) 
  • Often get the view of both protagonists - Usually you hear from the female point of view with the male perspective peppered in. There are a few stories (usually the shorter ones), where you only hear from one gender. 
  • Lovers are always together at the end of a real romance - Check! All happy endings here, from relationships to marriages. 
  • Fairly fast pace - Being that these are all short stories, they move along at a good clip. 

Read alikes 

Hard Day's Knight  One Con Glory
Gaming for Keeps (Agents of TRAIT #1) Love Kinection

Hard Day's Knight by Katie MacAlister  - Renaissance Faire!
One Con Glory by Sarah Kuhn - Comic Con!
Gaming for Keeps by Seleste deLaney - MMORPGs and conventions!
Love Kinection by Jennifer James - Girl gamer, Xbox and Tech Hottie!
  ** I chose to read this for this annotation because I won an advance reading copy off of LibraryThing. This book was released on Valentine's Day this year, so the timing felt right. Also, since I'm a romance genre virgin (pun intended) and a huge nerd, short stories about geeks felt really relatable to me. A beautiful damsel I am not. I am a nerdy t-shirt wearing, comic book reading, d20 rolling, convention attending geek. These stories featured people like me, and that was really appreciated.** 


  1. 1. I loved your disclaimer at the end
    2. I had no idea this was an emerging trend in romance, but I shouldn't be surprised. I'm all about gamer/geek romances
    3. Full points!

    1. I had no idea romances like this even existed. It made me feel like I could read and actually enjoy the romance genre and I didn't think that was going to happen.

      Also, confession: I immediately checked out the Renaissance Faire romance once I found it. Haha!

  2. Hi. I'm the editor of this anthology. First, I want to thank you for posting this.

    But second, I'm so glad that this anthology spoke to you. One of the things I've said since we started the work for this collection was that I was tired of geeks being stereotypical minor characters. I wanted them to have their day, be the main characters, and get the girl/guy.

    I'm honored that this collection gave you a renewed sense of hope regarding the romance genre. :)