"I absolutely DEVOURED this debut romance from Ali Hazelwood in one day, finally went to bed around 3:30 AM, and then woke up AND DID IT AGAIN. And then I felt some real lingering sadness from not having more of her writing to read immediately.
Particularly recommended for fans of: very smart people who are very stupid when it comes to love, fake dating, mutual pining, grumpy/sunshine pairs, and heroes with hard exteriors but good intentions.
*Content warning:* professor/student relationships (the power differentials are acknowledged and treated with nuance), the protagonist is subject to sexual harassment (though not from her love interest), strong language, and explicit sexual content.
To my supervisor: please consider this my notice that I'll be taking the pub date of Ali's next novel as a vacation day."
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.