As 2022 comes to a close, I’m celebrating my 20 favorite romance novels of the year, and Love on the Brain certainly makes this list! The Love Hypothesis was one of my favorite books of 2021, so Hazelwood had a lot to live up to with her sophomore effort – and this did not disappoint! It’s original and compelling, with nerdy, authentic characters who are perfect together. Figuring out the broody hero was a lot of fun, and the whole book was exceedingly swoony. Easily one of my favorite reads of the year.
You’ll find my original review and some quotes from the book below!
No sophomore slump here! Love on the Brain is as deliciously swoony and addictive as The Love Hypothesis, with characters who are equally compelling. I devoured it in one sitting and LOVED it the whole way through. It’s quirky and science-filled, with a relationship that’s layered and nuanced. I loved trying to figure out our hero’s thoughts and feelings, and I loved that it has a similar vibe to The Love Hypothesis (both standalones) while also feeling distinct and original. This heroine takes the quirkiness up a level, and there’s also a LOT of scientific fun to go along with the romance. And it is definitely a romance. Told exclusively from the heroine’s point of view, one of my favorite parts was intensely analyzing the hero’s every thought and action. I kinda felt like a love detective, puzzling out his feelings every step of the way. Both characters are exceedingly likable, even when I was frustrated with the heroine’s cluelessness – or reluctance? – at times. It held my attention with ease, and is without a doubt one of my favorite books of the year.
The story follows Bee, a neuroscientist whose last relationship almost tanked her career before it even started. The bright, bubbly woman is now a little more closed off, though she’s incredibly excited about the career opportunity that has come her way. The temporary assignment is the kind of project that could change her entire career trajectory, and Bee can’t wait to get started… until she discovers who her co-lead on the project will be. Bee met Levi back in grad school, and his attitude couldn’t have made it clearer how much he despised her. She hasn’t forgotten about her grad school nemesis in the years since, and seeing him again makes all of those old feelings come rushing back. Her hatred and resentment towards him, of course. As the two start work together, their old issues rise to the surface, and it doesn’t take long to realize that their project won’t be successful if they can’t get along.
Bee is quite the character, and she makes this story feel even more vibrant than anticipated. It felt like everything was turned up a notch – the personality, the science, the chemistry, the pop culture references. Oh, and the HEAT! This is steamier than The Love Hypothesis, but it’s still got the slow burn goodness that I was hoping for. Bee and Levi are FANTASTIC together, and it was easy to see all of the ways they’re perfect for each other… even if Bee is oblivious. The whole book is low angst but friction-filled, with enemies to lovers vibes and tons of sexual tension. It really felt like a rom com, and the tone is upbeat throughout. I loved Bee and Levi’s rich history, how they are in so much of the book together, and how everything just felt so unique. I loved the whole thing, let’s be honest here. This exceeded my (very high) expectations, and made for one incredibly memorable read.
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.
Like an avenging, purple-haired Jedi bringing balance to the mansplained universe, 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 after years scraping by on the crumbs of academia—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. And sure, he caught her in his powerfully corded arms like a romance novel hero when she accidentally damseled in distress on her first day in the lab. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school—archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.
Now, her equipment is missing, the staff is ignoring her, and Bee finds her floundering career in somewhat of a pickle. Perhaps it’s her occipital cortex playing tricks on her, but Bee could swear she can see Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas…devouring her with those eyes. And 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?
Have you read The Love Hypothesis yet?
Surely you’ve already read The Love Hypothesis, right? It was one of my Top 20 of 2021 selections – I loved it! This debut is mega popular for a reason; it’s intelligent, playful, and filled with slow burn goodness. I loved this mysterious, grump of a hero, and figuring him out was tons of fun. I also loved the vibrant setting, science-filled moments, and build in intimacy. It reminded me of all-time favorites like The Hating Game and The Spanish Love Deception, but this also feels fresh and different from other enemies to lovers romances.
Click here for my original review, notes on the audiobook quality, and plenty of quotes to give you a feel for the vibe!
About the Author:
Ali Hazelwood is the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis, as well as a writer of peer-reviewed articles about brain science, in which no one makes out and the ever after is not always happy. Originally from Italy, she lived in Germany and Japan before moving to the U.S. to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience. She recently became a professor, which absolutely terrifies her. When Ali is not at work, she can be found running, eating cake pops, or watching sci-fi movies with her two feline overlords (and her slightly-less-feline husband).
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