Love on the Brain
Author: Ali Hazelwood
Publisher: Berkley Books (August 23, 2022)
Paperback, 368 pages
Romance, Adult contemporary romance
A 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?
I am officially ruined for all other books, ever.
List of content warnings is located here: https://alihazelwood.com/lotb-cw/
I really loved Ali Hazelwood’s debut, The Love Hypothesis, which is clearly a Reylo contemporary AU fanfic, let’s be real. Love on the Brain ALSO reads like… well, a contemporary AU Reylo fanfic, haha. There were a LOT of beats that were familiar from reading The Love Hypothesis – but you know what? This Reylo stan really didn’t care! There’s enough new here that I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of Love on the Brain. And for folks who finished The Love Hypothesis and were despondent to leave the world of Olive and Adam, here is Olive and Adam 2.0 – Bee and Levi!!
This book also gave me really strong The Hating Game vibes, in that it’s entirely from Bee’s POV and she’s like “UGH, Levi is so annoying, he hates me so much,” but we the reader can CLEARLY read Levi’s actions in a totally different way (much like Josh…)
Look. Did I see most of the plot “twists” and beats coming from a mile away? Yes. Did I love this book anyway? Also yes. I LOVE the chemistry between Bee and Levi, as well as the friendships between Bee and her assistant whose name I am totally blanking on. Also I would like a novella for Bee’s sister, please! And I have BIG TIME SWOON for an Adam Driver-type character who is all big and broody and kind of socially awkward but it comes off as assholeishness…
Loved the characters, loved the vibe, loved everything I’ve read by Ali Hazelwood thus far and am excited to read more by her! Definitely read this one if you loved Ali’s debut, The Love Hypothesis and/or Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are unbiased and my own.