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Review: Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood

Title: Love, Theoretically

Author: Ali Hazelwood
Year published: 2023
Category: Adult fiction (romance)
Pages: 128 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location: (my 2023 Google Reading map)USA (MA)

SummaryThe many lives of theoretical physicist Elsie Hannaway have finally caught up with her. By day, she’s an adjunct professor, toiling away at grading labs and teaching thermodynamics in the hopes of landing tenure. By other day, Elsie makes up for her non-existent paycheck by offering her services as a fake girlfriend, tapping into her expertly honed people-pleasing skills to embody whichever version of herself the client needs.
Honestly, it’s a pretty sweet gig—until her carefully constructed Elsie-verse comes crashing down. Because Jack Smith, the annoyingly attractive and arrogant older brother of her favorite client, turns out to be the cold-hearted experimental physicist who ruined her mentor’s career and undermined the reputation of theorists everywhere. And he’s the same Jack Smith who rules over the physics department at MIT, standing right between Elsie and her dream job.
Elsie is prepared for an all-out war of scholarly sabotage but…those long, penetrating looks? Not having to be anything other than her true self when she’s with him? Will falling into an experimentalist’s orbit finally tempt her to put her most guarded theories on love into practice?

Review: Another Ali Hazelwood! I really enjoyed The Love Hypothesis and Love On the Brain (links to my reviews). This is a great addition to the series.

This book had a little more academics in it as it focused on professors, getting jobs in academia, and it included quite a bit of physics. Now, I never took physics, but I didn't mind the physics banter at all. In fact, I liked all the characters and their interactions. I think Hazelwood did a good job with Elsie's anxieties, her need to please people, and how she is learning to think about what she wants (from the small: watching movies, to the large: relationships). 

As always, the sex between the characters (when it finally happens) is over the top, "perfect," etc. but that's not a surprise. I enjoyed the back and forth between Elsie and her best friend, the main love interest, and the supporting cast of academics.

If you want a fun romance with a little academia thrown in, this one is a definite read.

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Bookish--much of the book deals with an article that stirred up trouble among all the characters.

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