Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood is a standalone stem contemporary romance that delivered friendship, snark, science and a swoons. Theoretical physicist Elsie Hannaway when she goes head to head with experimentalist Jack Smith.Love, Theoretically
by Ali Hazelwood
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
The 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 broody 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 that same Jack who now sits on the hiring committee at MIT, 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?
I loved the premise for Love, Theoretically. Elsie has spent her life changing her personality to please those around her. She is very aware of people’s needs & feelings. She’s a theoretical physicist stuck in adjunct professor position. Which equals dealing with students, low pay, and zero healthcare. She is trying to find a tenured position, but in the meantime she supplements her income through a fake girlfriend service.
When she is asked to interview, she is ecstatic, that is until she comes face to face with Jack Smith. Her mentor’s nemesis and the half-brother of the guy she’s been pretending to be a fake girlfriend for….lol. From time spent at family gathers to his broody personality, one can’t help but feel the sizzling charge between them.
This story had a lot going for it, from a look inside scholarly pursuits to battles between theorists and experimentalists. I liked Elsie, admired her smarts and respected her for keeping her client’s secret. While, I appreciated her ability to read people, and that Jack threw her for a loop. I hated how she let family and people define her. Hazelwood allowed for character growth, and I enjoyed watching Elsie find herself.
Jack was a swoon-worthy geek who fell for. I adored how he protected his brother and mother. Despite questioning her intents with his brother, Jack respected Elsie as a scientist and was patient as she worked through things.
The romance was swoony and not filled with miscommunication. It was refreshing. The back-and-forth banter, snark, science quibbles and heat keep me reading. Secondary characters from a snarky grandmother to Jack’s brother and Elsie’s roommate added to the story.
Love, Theoretically is the perfect romance to toss into your beach bag this summer.
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