Review: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Thanks to Berkley Romance for the gifted copy of The Love Hypothesis!

I get excited for lots of upcoming releases every year – but I was particularly excited to read The Love Hypothesis. It really hit a lot of my checkboxes: fake dating, starring a woman in STEM, and the grumpy / sunshine trope. Needless to say, this was one (if not my most) anticipated read of the year.

When a fake relationship between scientists meets the irresistible force of attraction, it throws one woman’s carefully calculated theories on love into chaos.

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.

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Wait For It by Jenn McKinlay

Wait for it by Jenn McKinlay
Wait for it by Jenn McKinlay

Thank you to Berkley Romance for the gifted copy of Wait For It!

Enemies to lovers is my rom-com addiction – I absolutely devour any book that falls in that category. When I heard about Wait For It, a book about a young divorcee looking to start over and a reclusive landlord, I was sold and ready to dive in.

Stuck in a dreary Boston winter, Annabelle Martin would like nothing more than to run away from her current life. She’s not even thirty years old, twice-divorced, and has just dodged a marriage proposal… from her ex-husband. When she’s offered her dream job as creative director at a cutting-edge graphic design studio in Phoenix, she jumps at the opportunity to start over.

When she arrives in the Valley of the Sun, Annabelle is instantly intrigued by her anonymous landlord. Based on the cranky, handwritten notes Nick Daire leaves her, she assumes he is an old, rich curmudgeon. Annabelle is shocked when she finally meets Nick and discovers that he’s her age and uses a wheelchair. Nick suffered from a stroke a year ago, and while there’s no physical reason for him not to recover, he is struggling to overcome the paralyzing fear that has kept him a prisoner in his own home.

Despite her promise to herself not to get involved, Annabelle finds herself irresistibly drawn to Nick. And soon she wonders if she and Nick might help each other find the courage to embrace life, happiness, and true love.

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While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory

while we were dating by jasmine guillory
while we were dating by jasmine guillory

Thank you to Berkley Romance for the gifted copy of While We Were Dating

Jasmine Guillory is a power house in the romance genre, for a good reason. When I got the opportunity to read her latest book, While We Were Dating, early, I jumped on it. Y’all. This might just be my new favorite Jasmine Guillory book. 

Two people realize that it’s no longer an act when they veer off-script in this sizzling romantic comedy by New York Times bestselling author Jasmine Guillory.

Ben Stephens has never bothered with serious relationships. He has plenty of casual dates to keep him busy, family drama he’s trying to ignore and his advertising job to focus on. When Ben lands a huge ad campaign featuring movie star Anna Gardiner, however, it’s hard to keep it purely professional. Anna is not just gorgeous and sexy, she’s also down to earth and considerate, and he can’t help flirting a little…

Anna Gardiner is on a mission: to make herself a household name, and this ad campaign will be a great distraction while she waits to hear if she’s booked her next movie. However, she didn’t expect Ben Stephens to be her biggest distraction. She knows mixing business with pleasure never works out, but why not indulge in a harmless flirtation?

But their lighthearted banter takes a turn for the serious when Ben helps Anna in a family emergency, and they reveal truths about themselves to each other, truths they’ve barely shared with those closest to them.

When the opportunity comes to turn their real-life fling into something more for the Hollywood spotlight, will Ben be content to play the background role in Anna’s life and leave when the cameras stop rolling? Or could he be the leading man she needs to craft their own Hollywood ending?

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Love, Lists and Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz

love lists and fancy ships by sarah grunder ruiz
love lists and fancy ships by sarah grunder ruiz

Thanks to Berkley Romance for the review copy of Love Lists and Fancy Ships

This really is the year of boats in romance novels – and Love, Lists and Fancy Ships is here to cap off the year of boats with a bang. This book had my interest from the moment I finished reading the blurb – a 30 by 30 bucket list, a hot chef, and two cute (and meddling) nieces? Sign me up.

Sometimes a yacht, a bold bucket list, and a kiss with a handsome stranger are all a person needs to dive into the deep end of life.

For the last year, yacht stewardess Jo Walker has been attempting to complete a bucket list of thirty things she wants to accomplish by her thirtieth birthday. Jo has almost everything she’s ever wanted, including a condo on the beach (though she’s the youngest resident by several decades) and an exciting job (albeit below deck) that lets her travel the world.

Jo is on track until the death of her nephew turns her life upside down, and the list falls by the wayside. But when her two nieces show up unannounced with plans to stay the summer, they discover her list and insist on helping Jo finish it. Though the remaining eight items (which include running a marathon, visiting ten countries, and sleeping in a castle) seem impossible to complete in twelve weeks, Jo takes on the challenge.

When she summons the courage to complete item number five–kiss a stranger–and meets Alex Hayes, all bets are off. As her feelings for Alex intensify and Jo’s inability to confront difficult emotions about her family complicates her relationships, she must learn to quit playing it safe with her heart before she loses what matters most.

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The Project by Courtney Summers

the project by courtney summers
the project by courtney summers

Thank you to Wednesday Books for the review copy of The Project

Lo Denham is used to being on her own. After her parents died in a tragic car accident, her sister Bea joined the elusive community called The Unity Project, leaving Lo to fend for herself. Desperate not to lose the only family she has left, Lo has spent the last six years trying to reconnect with Bea, only to be met with radio silence.

When Lo’s given the perfect opportunity to gain access to Bea’s reclusive life, she thinks they’re finally going to be reunited. But it’s difficult to find someone who doesn’t want to be found, and as Lo delves deeper into The Project and its charismatic leader, she begins to realize that there’s more at risk than just her relationship with Bea: her very life might be in danger.

As she uncovers more questions than answers at each turn, everything Lo thought she knew about herself, her sister, and the world is upended. One thing doesn’t change, though, and that’s what keeps her going: Bea needs her, and Lo will do anything to save her.

The Project by Courtney Summers Summary

A few years ago I read Sadie by Courtney Summers and absolutely loved it (sidenote: if you haven’t yet, listen to it as an audiobook, it’s awesome). Naturally, I was super excited to read her latest book, The Project. Unfortunately, this book really fell short for me. I found the plot to be a slog (I kept waiting for the cult to get more exciting but it just never really happened). The ending was also an issue for me – it just fell flat and felt very anticlimactic. Lo was easy to root for – though sometimes she made frustratingly poor decisions. Overall, The Project didn’t live up to my expectations that Sadie set and I really couldn’t get into it the way I expected to. 2/5 

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