I absolutely adored The Love Hypothesis, so I was excited to read Ali Hazelwood’s full length follow up, Love on the Brain. This was an equally enjoyable story with two loveable main characters. If you’re looking for a STEAM romance, I highly reccomend it.

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The summary, from Amazon:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis comes a new 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?

Buy Love on the Brain here.

Bee gets hired on to a project at NASA for her knowledge of neuroscience. Unfortunately for her, that means working alongside her grad school nemesis, Levi. Levi was always mean to her in graduate school or outright ignored her, but now they are running the project together.

Bee has quite the backstory. She was engaged through grad school, but her fiancé cheated on her with her best friend and she’s given up on love since then. She also runs an anonymous Twitter accounts for women in STEAM, @WhatWouldMarieDo (as in Marie Curie). She has made friends with Schmac, another anonymous Twitter user, on the account. It doesn’t take a You’ve Got Mail fan to connect the dots – but I’ll spare you the spoiler as to who Schmac really is.

Through working together, Bee and Levi grow closer, especially when she realizes he’s not the culprit behind her missing equipment and waylaid emails. It’s the slowest of slow burns, but oh man, once these two finally hook up, the sparks really fly. The final arc is a little intense, and I saw some reviewers saying it felt far-fetched and random, but to me it was predictable (in a good way! – I saw the hints speckled throughout and anticipated finding out if I was right).

Ultimately, Hazelwood falls back on a lot of the tropes from The Love Hypothesis in this one. At first I was worried Levi was an Adam clone, but he’s very much his own person. And I loved Bee, a certified alt chick with tattoos, dyed hair, and piercings all over. But we still see a lot of the same themes from The Love Hypothesis. While it’s not anything truly unique, it’s still a fun, feminist, STEM-y read, and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for that or for those who enjoyed The Love Hypothesis as much as I did!

Love on the BrainLove on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bee gets a gig helping out at NASA as a project manager along her grad school nemesis, Levi, who has always inexplicably hated her. Meanwhile, she continues a Twitter friendship. You’ve Got Mail, but make it STEM-y enemies (or are they??) to lovers with an alt chick as the lead. Hazelwood has created two unique and loveable characters (and side characters) here, but overall a lot of the tropes she relies on are reminiscent of The Love Hypothesis.

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Interested? Buy Love on the Brain.
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