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New Release Review! LOVE ON THE BRAIN by Ali Hazelwood

Love on the Brain cover

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.

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 – 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. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school – archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.

But when her equipment starts to go missing and the staff ignore her, Bee could swear she sees Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas… devouring her with those eyes. 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?

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Love on the Brain was a fun romance with a whole lot of science and a dollop enemies-to-lovers vibes. Dr. Bee Königswasser is thrilled to be offered the chance to lead on a NIH/NASA neuroengineering project…until she finds out that her co-lead is her nemesis from her graduate school days, Levi Ward.

I felt like it was pretty obvious early on to the reader that there was a whole lot more to the so-called antagonism between Bee and Levi than what we were getting from just Bee’s POV. Honestly, Levi was so horrible to her–at least according to her memory–that if things really were as she was telling us they were it would have been pretty darn hard to see him as a romance hero.

As it was he did have some serious ‘splaining to do, which actually happened a bit sooner than I thought it would–which I appreciated. Levi and Bee together are a lot more fun than Bee on her own thinking she and Levi were mortal enemies, so I was honestly glad when that part of the plot was history.

Even after we had Levi all figured out, though, we still had to deal with Bee’s…delusional qualities, I guess I’ll call them? She continues to make assumptions about her relationship with Levi for a good chunk of the book, which you *might* think she would have realized wasn’t the best idea after her original assumptions proved to be so wrong, but here we are. Some of her assumptions were more annoying than others–the whole saving herself for her job got to be a bit much–but after ripping out Levi’s (and our) heart, she gets over herself and we get a super cute HEA, so there’s that.

I honestly didn’t expect the antagonist of the story to be who it was–honestly, I’m still not totally convinced it needed a antagonist at all–and the reveal/climax was a bit Scooby-Doo-ish. But the ending of the story was really cute and quite satisfying, which wrapped everything up nicely and I finished this one with a smile on my face. I didn’t like it *as* much as The Love Hypothesis , but it was still a fun read that I finished in a little over a day.

I’m just going to have to trust that Ali Hazelwood knows what she’s talking about with all of the science-y stuff in her books, because 99.5% of what was going on on that front was totally beyond me 😉 But I was 110% here for all of the Marie Curie and other women in STEM historical info!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I listened to the audio version and really enjoyed the narrator’s voice as she read this book. I would definitely listen to another book narrated by her in the future.

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