What I Liked: Everything? Is that an acceptable answer? Hazelwood has done it again-written a smart, hilarious, sexy romance with enjoyable characters, a compelling storyline, and a satisfying ending. It’s incredibly difficult to write characters that feel authentic and to convince a reader to feel a certain way about them…and then reveal that everything you thought you knew about the person was wrong. In Levi, Hazelwood has created an exceptional romance hero, and she did so while spending half the book making the reader hate him—not an easy feat! With the book being written from Bee’s perspective, it’s entirely understandable why she thinks Levi hates her and why everyone else thinks so too! That’s what makes the moment Bee realizes that maybe she was wrong about Levi the whole time that much sweeter. Bee’s character was frustrating at times because I wanted her to be more assertive but then I realized that she was behaving how all women in STEM fields have to behave if they want to have any success… and then I got mad. Hazelwood does a wonderful job showing the difficulties women face in science and how much harder they have to work to get the recognition a man gets for doing the same or even less work. One scene in particular really stuck out to me; Bee and Levi are discussing what would happen if a rumor started that they were sleeping together and Levi immediately (and correctly) says that everyone would assume she slept her way to the leadership role she’s in, even though they are both at the exact same level. Scenes like this are sprinkled throughout the book in a way that makes the story realistic but doesn’t take away from the primary story: the romance. The humor is top-notch and the stories that are given to the secondary characters add to the main romance wonderfully and without detracting from it. Hazelwood hasn’t given any of her side characters their own books yet but I would stab someone for a book about Rocio and Kaylee.
What I Didn’t Like: Listen, is this basically The Love Hypothesis 2.0? Yes. Do I care? NOPE.
Who Should Read It: If you liked The Love Hypothesis, I can almost GUARANTEE that you will like this one as well. Anyone looking for a smart romance that manages to tackle some heavy issues with ease will also enjoy this one.
Review Wrap Up: I adored this book, despite its similarities to Hazelwood’s first foray into “STEMinist” romance novels. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down and finished it in one day. At this point, I would read anything Hazelwood publishes and can’t wait for her next book.
“I want to try them all. All the kisses Levi Ward is capable of, I want to sample them like fine wine.”
“‘You could rip me to shreds, Bee.’”
Thank you, Oh Penised Overlords, for the recognition I deserve.”
*Thank you to Netgalley and Berkley Books for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.*