LOVE ON THE BRAIN by Ali Hazelwood
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I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from the publisher in order to write this review.
For exactly one weekend, Dr. Bee Königswasser is thrilled to have gotten a temporary reassignment as the NIH neuroscience representative on a collaborative project with NASA. She celebrates with wild abandon, not only because this is the first big break in her career since she turned down a position working with her cheating ex (and the ex-best friend he cheated with) but because it will mean a three month break from her insufferable boss and his sexist bullshit.
But then she finds out who her NASA collaborator is.
Dr. Levi Ward has hated Bee since their PhD program, for reasons she’s never understood. And from the time she arrives at NASA, he seems to be sabotaging her, messing with her equipment and “losing” her emails. He seems determined to drive her away, but with her career on the line, Bee is more determined than ever to keep things professional. But when their relationship takes an unexpected twist, Bee will have to not only protect her career but shield her heart from the heartbreak she knows is inevitable.
Fans of Hazelwood’s debut The Love Hypothesis will find another, very on-brand Rom Com to fall in love with. She uses the same tropes (enemies-to-lovers, workplace romance, perfect hero who’s been secretly in love with the heroine since forever) and tops it off with her signature, laugh-out-loud STEM banter. One of few novelists in the genre writing in first person, Hazelwood effectively cultivates a distinct voice from her first novel, and while keeping us out of her hero’s head prevents us from becoming as intimately connected to his interior thoughts as a third-person, dual POV romance would, the focus on her heroine allows for a prominent subplot tackling sexism in STEM. A queer BIPOC romance subplot fills out the story and calls attention to the implicit racism in higher education admissions. Highly recommended to fans of the genre and tropes.