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Guest Review: THE LOVE HYPOTHESIS by Ali Hazelwood



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.


GUEST REVIEW by Sopha Rose

Opening Line:

“In Olive’s defense, the man didn’t seem to mind the kiss too much.”

 An adorable biology PhD grad spontaneously grabs the only man on the spot and lays a kiss on him and, wouldn’t she know it, said man is the scariest crankypants in the lab, Dr. Adam Carlsen.  A smidge of a lie to her bestie for her own good happens when fake dating (with rules) ensues, but in the end, Olive Smith has to come clean with herself about what is lie and what is truth if a genuine relationship is to come her way.


The Love Hypothesis is the book that started it all for Ali Hazelwood’s STEMinist romances.  I’ve read all the other books and novellas in the series and got a kick out of Hazelwood’s quirky heroines, witty dialogues, and romcom situations in the academic research world.  I do see why some readers threw a bit of shade at Love on the Brain because it was a very similar romance set-up and romance pair to The Love Hypothesis, but, you know, I was having so much fun and read them far enough apart that I didn’t care because the formula works.


Olive Smith is a heroine who attracted and repelled me a little. I’m not one for lies among good friends or strong relationship partners—I just never see that working well in the long term.  And, as brilliant and dedicated a biologist as she is—a true heroine cancer researcher, folks—she was definitely a gal who got in her own way because she was afraid to let others in.  I do love how Hazelwood grows her people along the way, so they not only get a sparkling and satisfying romance when all is said and done, they come through as a better person.


Adam was a swoony hero.  He’s got it all: brains and brawn.  He hides his brilliance, and he's always asking Olive “what can I do?” or “how can I help?”  He's there for her all the way and oh-so-patient.  As the reader, I could see what Olive couldn’t. He's oh-so-much more than the crabby stickler who made grown men cry, and he's willing to fake date Olive because that's what she needed at the time. They're fun together, and their dialogue always had me smiling.


As with her other books, Ali Hazelwood brings the romcom to the lab and paints the academic and research world well, so her characters move and talk and think organically within the setting.  Readers who enjoy a spicy, slow-burn romcom are the target crowd.

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Berkley

Published: 9.14.21

Pages: 383

Rating: 4.5 stars


Ali Hazelwood is originally from Italy, lived in Japan and Germany, and eventually moved to the US to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. She recently became a professor, which she claims "absolutely terrifies me." When she's not at work, you can find her binge-watching shows with her three feline overlords (and her slightly less feline husband), running, or eating candy.



Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, piano-playing, and gardening. Road trips and campouts, museums and monuments, restaurants and theaters are her jam. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, baseball, cats, Scooby Doo, and chocolate.

As a lifelong reader, it was inevitable that Sophia would discover book blogs and the joy of blog reviewing. In 2012, she submitted her first book review. Sophia is a prolific reader and audiobook listener which allows her to experience many wonderful books, authors, and narrators. Few genres are outside her reading tastes, but her true love is fiction particularly history, mystery, sci-fi, and romance. Sorry, no horror...or she will run like Shaggy and Scooby. Connect with Sophia via FACEBOOK GOODREADS TWITTER


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