Review: Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood

When I was asked to review this book, I was beyond excited! I haven’t read anything by Ali Hazelwood before but I was well aware of her STEM romance bestseller, The Love Hypothesis. I have The Love Hypothesis on audiobook as well as a hard copy and have been meaning to read it. Then I saw this one was coming out and I instantly added it to my review calendar because I just KNEW I would love this book!

I love that the author features women in academia and STEM, I mean there really isn’t anything out there like that and when you throw in a hot romance with book and science nerds I think you really have something that stands out. The Love Hypothesis has gotten a TON of hype over the last year and why not? It’s hot new and sexy. Hazelwood has really found a niche genre here and I was so excited to check out this latest book so I could experience the craze for myself.

I also saw that so many early reviews just loved this book. I read some of the early reviews on Goodreads and the closer I got to summer the more excited I was to read this one. I love romance novels in the summer and with the smart and STEM-y-ness of this book, it was sure to be a quick read for me and one that I would enjoy while I was on vacation in Arizona. I mean all of those early reviews couldn’t be wrong right?

Summary

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis comes a new STEMinist rom-com in which a scientist is forced to work on a project with her nemesis—with explosive results.

Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project – a literal dream come true – Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.

Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school – archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.

But when her equipment starts to go missing and the staff ignore her, Bee could swear she sees Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas… devouring her with those eyes. The possibilities have all her neurons firing.

But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there’s only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do? (summary from Goodreads)

Review

It turns out, I loved the idea of this book much more than the actual book though. I love that the author featured women in STEM but there was something about this book that absolutely put me off very early on. The dialogue started out smart, snappy, and very modern. I felt like the author was capturing the modern woman really well, but then eventually the novelty wore off and I found it distracting. Bee was supposed to be this highly intellectual scientist and the way she spoke just came across as juvenile and silly almost. I wanted to love Bee’s character but she just came across as just too much and not in a good way. I had a hard time relating to her and struggled to believe how smart she was when there were elements of her character that just didn’t jive with who she was supposed to be. I simply had a hard time with her all around and found that I couldn’t connect with her character at all.

I also discovered that I don’t like science. I want to love science and I want it to be sexy and something that gives readers the feel of something new and exciting in the romance genre but for me I felt lost in the science and I had a hard time tracking the significance of the science in the story. I wanted to love it and I wanted to be happy that STEM was being explored as an actual believable romantic setting but to be honest I struggled. I do still feel that this series really offers something new and special for readers and so much the better if readers find something to love in the STEM romances but for me personally it didn’t work. That’s not to say that it won’t work for someone else because I still feel like this series and others like it are bringing something new and fresh to the romance genre but just for me it wasn’t my thing. I did learn a lot about Marie Curie which was probably the best thing about this book for me.

So maybe this book wasn’t for me. Could it be for you? YES! I think there is a lot to enjoy in this one for the right reader. Enemies to lovers romance—check, smart heroines—-check, a modern plot—-check. I am still going to read the author’s other book, The Love Hypothesis, as I am not ready to give up this author as a ‘not for me’ just yet. I was invested enough in the book to read it through until the end, but did I love it, decidedly NO however one disliked book doesn’t mean that I write the author off all together, in fact I feel like I need to read her other books to see if I like them better before I make a final decision about reading future books by this author. For now though this book came in at a 2 star for me.

Book Info and Rating

Kindle Edition, 368 pages

Expected publication: August 23rd 2022 by Sphere

ASIN B09JSDVS8Y

Free review copy provided by publisher, Berkley Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.

Rating: 2 stars

Genre: contempo romance, romance

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