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.
Thoughts and Themes: I hardly will pick up a romance book just because I get all embarrassed and awkward when I am reading them. I kept seeing this all over Tik Tok and eventually I had to pick it up. This is one that I am going to want to listen to over and over again, and will need to get myself a physical copy of.
I honestly loved this one not just for all the tropes that this book covers but also for the nerdy science stuff that is included. The science plot was really what drew me into the book because I am a science nerd. There were so many moments that I was just squealing internally because of how cute the whole thing was.
I have so many feelings about this book that I just can’t articulate into coherent thoughts. This book had me laughing out loud, crying, and just grinning at so many things. I really loved the conversations that happen between Olive and Adam, and how witty all of his remarks are.
Characters: In this book you get to meet Olive and Adam who are the main characters of this story. You also get introduced to some of Olive’s friends, Adam’s friend, and other students at the school.
This is the first book with a main character that is hinted at being demisexual that I have read and that made a big difference for me. As soon as this was hinted at, I feel even more in love with Olive and the book because here was a part of me in a book that I never see.
I really love how different Adam is with Olive, and how he isn’t so much of an @$$ when he is with her. I liked how the whole fake dating thing between them started because they were both going to benefit from that arrangement.
Writing Style: This book is written in third person through Olive’s perspective which I really enjoyed. I was a bit worried when I first started listening to this book because I’m not always a fan of third person but this one works.
I really liked the narrator of this story as well because there was a clear difference when each character was speaking. It was easy to listen to and follow along as well which is so important for me when listening to an audiobook.
From Ali Hazelwood’s website
My favorite thing in the world is to explore traditional romance tropes—and to picture how they’ll play out in academic settings.
Rival scientists falling in love despite their better judgement?
There’s only one cot in the lab?
Fake dating during faculty meeting?
Sign me up!
I’m originally from Italy, lived in Japan and Germany, and eventually moved to the US to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. I recently became a professor, which absolutely terrifies me. Oh, the sheer dread of being entrusted with the care of young minds!
When I’m not at work you can find me binge-watching shows with my feline overlords (and my slightly less feline husband), running, or eating candy.
Oh, and I’m a New York Times Bestselling Author.
I’m represented by the amazing Thao Le of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.