Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking those links, I will receive a small commission from the sale at no extra cost to you.The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Published by Berkley on September 14, 2021
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult Fiction, Romance
Format: eBook (375 pages)
Purchase: Amazon • IndieBound
Add Book: Goodreads • Bookhype
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.
Proceed With Caution:
This book contains sexual harassment and discussion of cancer and death.
The Love Hypothesis follows 26 year old Olive as she navigates grad school and her fake relationship with the department’s toughest and most hated professor. She ended up in this mess after wanting her best friend to think she’s moved on so she’ll date her ex, so she grabbed said professor and planted a kiss on him. Lucky for Olive, Adam believes a fake relationship would benefit both of them.
Fake dating is my ultimate favorite trope, but I also absolutely love student-teacher relationships! Although, Adam is not technically one of Olive’s teachers, nor is he her advisor. However, I did appreciate that the author included a conversation about the school’s stance on their “relationship.” They are within the same department, so there are some rules in place in regards to what that means for Olive’s studies.
In fact, The Love Hypothesis goes even further when Adam and Olive’s relationship turns physical. He is absolutely crazed for her, but stops to make sure that she actually wants to take things to the next level. He needs to know that his authority over her is not pressuring her into saying yes to his sexual advances. I was absolutely dying during this scene, because it’s just so obvious how much they want each other in that moment. But I think the delay made things even more explosive. Good gosh!
I just loved how The Love Hypothesis deals with serious, less talked about, issues in academia, beyond students dating faculty. One of the main ones is related: sexual harassment. When Olive first grabs Adam and kisses him, he threatens to report her (he wasn’t going to). Of course, Olive doesn’t want that, but she understands that she did kiss him without consent. However, later Olive finds herself in a pickle when a colleague does come onto her very aggressively. Does she report them? Does she cry and move past it? She doesn’t want to ruin this person’s research, because it’s important and not just them that will be affected. But, as we know, actions have consequences.
The Love Hypothesis isn’t all academic and hard hitting topics. It’s very sweet and funny and sexy and just all around amazing! I could not put this one down! I adored Olive and was cheering for her to get her research funding. I adored Adam and wanted him to get his research funding and his girl! I was just generally cheering and adoring everyone! Well, except that despicable bad guy, because he’s awful and deserves to lose everything he holds dear!