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.
The biggest indicator of an excellent book for me is if I finish it in one sitting – and I devoured The Love Hypothesis in one go. The plot was exceptionally well paced – it had me hooked from the first page and I just could not put it down.
I cannot get over how freaking cute this book was – and that started with Olive. Olive was a PHD candidate living the starving student lifestyle – she was a bit of a mess, but in the most charming way. She was incredibly dedicated to her friends – like fiercely, fake-a-relationship-with-a-hot-professor-so-her-friend-will-ask-a-guy-out dedicated. She was also hilarious – she made me laugh out loud plenty of times. I also loved how committed she was to her research.
Olive and Adam were like the perfect match – they were the epitome of the grumpy / sunshine trope in all the best ways. He was protective of her and willing to do pretty much anything she wanted but was a total hard ass with everyone else. I am a total sucker for the whole “I am only soft and sensitive for you” vibe. Even when they were just fake dating, their chemistry was just *chefs kiss*. Their banter was also immaculate. I loved how much he supported not only her research but also her career goals. These two are honestly just couple goals. I also really, really appreciated the emphasis on consent that this couple had – even during their steamiest moments consent was sought at every stage.
As a woman in STEM, I really, really appreciated the honesty with which the author approached the topic of being a woman in STEM / academia. I could see so many of my own experiences in this book – particularly about being the only woman in a room.
The Love Hypothesis is an instant new favorite for me – I’ll be rereading it ASAP. Ali Hazelwood is definitely a new auto-buy author for me – I cannot wait to read everything else she writes. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If you want other excellent women in STEM books check out The Kiss Quotient and Get A Life, Chloe Brown. 5/5