For a geek girl like me, having a boyfriend is a lot like texting. They both require precise input and appropriate response. Unfortunately, I’m not good at properly expressing my feelings in person, let alone in a text message. Emoticons scare me. I mean, what exactly is a pig in high heels or a smiling cactus supposed to signify? It’s totally outside the scope of a geek girl’s knowledge. Plus, no matter how hard I try it all seems to go south anyway because I usually end up in autocorrect hell.
Not that I’ve ever had to worry about texting, or a boyfriend, or texting a boyfriend, until now. My name is Lexi Carmichael and my teen crush was a comic book figure. Computer genius and circuit engineer Ace Argento (aka Code Man) was the absolute best. He didn’t count on guns or bombs to save the day, but relied on his superior intellect to outwit Byte Bandit and stop his fictional computer virus from infecting the internet. Given that Ace was perpetually unavailable, not to mention fictional, I figured I’d never have to worry about navigating relationship dynamics. So, instead of hanging out at the mall with girlfriends and talking about guys, I hung out in chat rooms and discussed the latest SDN controllers and bypass protocols. My social life was completely virtual, and I preferred it that way.
Then, somehow, at the age of twenty-five, I stumbled into my first real relationship. In a series of events that surprised everyone—but especially me—I finally graduated from a comic book crush to a flesh-and-blood boyfriend. It turns out there are significant perks to having a real boyfriend, including delicious home-cooked Italian food, a guy who doesn’t fall asleep when I start talking about enterprise-level security metrics and some totally excellent I-didn’t-know-you-could-do-that-on-the-dining-room-table sex. Yep, being a girlfriend does have its rewards. Except now that my parents have caught wind of the fact I’m no longer single, they’re pressuring me to bring said boyfriend over for an evening of dinner and conversation.
That’s worrisome because my father is an attorney for an exclusive, high-priced firm in Georgetown. His masterful interrogation skills could make the leader of North Korea confess to wearing woman’s underwear…even if he didn’t. My mother is a former Virginia beauty queen who sits on the boards of several national charities. She has long despaired at my lack of social skills and, to my dismay, has appointed herself the task of finding me a husband. They’re pretty good parents, and they’re both proud of my position as the Director of Information Security at a cyberintelligence firm, but they haven’t ever been quite sure how to handle me!
If you enjoyed this excerpt, the rest of the book is available at many ebook retailers and Carina Press.