Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Let's Talk: The STEMinist Novellas

Hello, all!

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood was one of my favorite reads of 2021, so I was really looking forward to her series, The STEMinist novellas. This series follows three best friends as they navigate falling in love and making an impact in their respective fields. 

Pub Date: 5-3-22
Adult - Contemporary

Under One Roof: Environmental engineer Mara has just inherited a house from her mentor, Helena, but it turns out it's not as cut and dry as Mara was expecting. When she arrives at her new home, she finds someone already living in it-- Helena's nephew. Liam is a grumpy giant of a man and the two butt heads from their very first encounter. The pair fight over everything from Liam's job as a lawyer for a big-oil company to Mara's Disney playlists. Mara is convinced the two will never get along, but she is determined to live in the house regardless. As more time passes, the pair eventually strike a tenuous friendship, and Mara is pleasantly surprised to learn there's a softer side to Liam. She spent so much time hating her roommate when she could've been falling in love with him instead.

This was so much fun! It was forced proximity-hate-to-love at its finest. I enjoyed the banter between Mara and Liam so much. You could cut the tension between them with a butter knife, and it's so satisfying watching it develop into something more. Their relationship was playful yet steamy, and I couldn't get enough. I do wish this was an actual novel rather than a novella so we could get a little bit more depth and development, but either way, I loved this.

Rating: 4.5/5

Pub Date: 6-7-22
Adult - Contemporary

Stuck with You: For the most part, engineer Sadie believes in logical and rational thinking-- except when it comes to pitching to would-be clients. Sadie needs two things if she's to nail her upcoming proposal: her lavender underwear and a not-so-great croissant from the local bakery. Unfortunately for Sadie, she has the underwear but the last croissant was snatched up by a towering Thor-like man. The man, Erik, graciously gives Sadie the pastry, and the pair strike up a flirtatious conversation that leads to a steamy one-night stand, and eventually to Sadie nursing a broken heart. Now three weeks later, Sadie and Erik find themselves stuck in an elevator together after a power failure. For Sadie, this is hell on earth, but for Erik, it's a chance to figure out why the woman of his dreams completely shut him out. As the hour's tick by, Sadie is forced to realize that maybe she had Erik pegged wrong all along.

After enjoying the first book so much, I had high expectations for this one. While I liked it, it didn't hit as hard. I think it mainly had to do with the insta-love between Sadie and Erik. Maybe if this were a full novel and their relationship had more time to develop, I would have found it more believable, but it just didn't feel realistic to me. I think it would've benefitted by having a little more character development and a stronger plotline. That said, the banter was still fun and the steaminess spot-on, and I liked the use of the forced proximity trope. I'd still recommend it if you're looking for something quick to pick up.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 4-5-22
Adult - Contemporary

Below Zero: Since she was a teen, all Hannah wanted to do was work for NASA. Luckily for her, one of her best friend's cousins is an esteemed scientist who offers to meet with her to give her some professional advice. Hannah is instantly attracted to Ian, but the two-part ways after getting hot and heavy in his office. Five years later, Hannah has landed her dream job, but her proposal for an arctic expedition has been vetoed by none other than Ian. Hannah can find a workaround but soon finds herself injured and isolated at the remote research station. To her shock and surprise, Ian, the man who tried to ruin her career, is the only person willing to brave the elements to rescue her. Could it be there's more to Ian than meets the eye?

I was hesitant going into this one since I didn't love the second novella in this series, but I enjoyed it! I liked the plot of this one a lot. I thought the idea of this arctic rescue mission sounded ridiculous but in the best way. I loved Ian from the start and thought he was so sweet if a bit too overprotective. It took me longer to warm up to Hannah, though. I found her to be a little too cold and standoffish, but I liked her by the end. They had great chemistry and reminded me of Adam and Olive from The Love Hypothesis. I could've done without the scientific pillow talk because it was a little too weird for me to listen to Ian compare Hannah's body parts to Mars, but that's just me being nitpicky. Overall, I thought it was a solid and well-rounded end to this series.

Rating: 4/5