Title: The Love Hypothesis
Author: Ali Hazelwood
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: September 14, 2021
Source: Book of the Month subscription
Recommended for fans of: Emily Henry and Christina Lauren
Content Warnings: sexual harassment, cancer, death of a parent
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.
Is this my favorite romance of 2021? It’s definitely top 3.
I could not stop grinning while reading this book. It checks off all my favorite romance trope boxes: Meet cute. Fake dating. Enemies to lovers. Grumpy/sunshine. I loved that the main characters are scientists in an academia setting. They are smart and doing important work. The book is also HILARIOUS and had me laughing as much as an Emily Henry or Christina Lauren book. And knowing that this story originated as Reylo fanfiction made it very easy to cast the characters in my head.
Like the best romcoms, there is so much more to this story than romance. The story includes important perspectives on misogyny and sexual harassment in STEM and power dynamics in academia. There are some amazing (and not-so-amazing) friendships. And we see how both Olive and Adam’s childhoods shaped them into the people they are today.
I could gush about this book all day. I absolutely ADORED it, and I want everyone to read it!