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The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

The Love Hypothesis


Each year thousands of members vote for our Book of the Year award—congrats to The Love Hypothesis!


We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Ali Hazelwood, on your first book!

by Ali Hazelwood

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Quick take

After a fake relationship generates real sparks, a rising scientist must decide if she's ready to experiment with love.

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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.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of The Love Hypothesis.
The Love Hypothesis


Frankly, Olive was a bit on the fence about this whole grad school thing.

Not because she didn’t like science. (She did. She loved science. Science was her thing.) And not because of the truckload of obvious red flags. She was well aware that committing to years of unappreciated, underpaid eighty-?­hour workweeks might not be good for her mental health. That nights spent toiling away in front of a Bunsen burner to uncover a trivial slice of knowledge might not be the key to happiness. That devoting her mind and body to academic pursuits with only infrequent breaks to steal unattended bagels might not be a wise choice.

She was well aware, and yet none of it worried her. Or maybe it did, a tiny bit, but she could deal. It was something else that held her back from surrendering herself to the most notorious and soul-?­sucking circle of hell (i.e., a Ph.D. program). Held her back, that is, until she was invited to interview for a spot in Stanford’s biology department, and came across The Guy.

The Guy whose name she never really got.

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Why I love it

What is the formula for a perfect romance? For me, it’s about the sweet moments, the witty banter, and amazing chemistry. I’m particularly drawn to love stories that also go beyond falling in love, which is why I was excited to read about Olive’s journey as a young scientist. I loved her drive and ambition. Once I began reading The Love Hypothesis, I knew that it had all the right elements to become one of my new favorite romances.

Set in the world of academia, Olive is a Ph.D. biology student who spends most of her time in a lab. She certainly doesn’t have time for dating. So when she kisses a random person at her university to convince her best friend, Anh, that she is doing just fine, she finds herself entering into a fake dating agreement with the infamously grumpy Professor Carlsen. It’s the perfect plan: Olive’s friends will stop worrying about her and Adam’s bosses will believe he’s not leaving for a new job anytime soon. Adam and Olive just need to follow a few ground rules and not fall in love. What could possibly go wrong?

On the surface, this book is a fun romance about a hilarious fake dating scheme. But it’s also more than that. It’s a glimpse into the world of academia and the obstacles women face in the male-dominated STEM field. I found myself reading this book whenever I had the chance. I felt completely invested in Adam and Olive’s love story and how everything would unfold. The Love Hypothesis is everything that you’ll want in your next read. I have a theory you’ll love this book—I know I did!

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Member ratings (71,463)

  • Lindsay P.

    Portland, OR

    Don’t mind me, as I add Ali Hazelwood’s 2 upcoming STEM-inist novels to my TBR. Best Rom-Com I’ve read in 2021.The worst part of this book, is that’s it a debut and I have for more ???? ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Lauren S.

    Metamora, MI

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I read this in one sitting, could not put it down. Adam has single-handedly destroyed my standards for men. Hazelwood’s wit has yet to be matched. Can’t wait to read more of her work :)

  • Allison A.

    Prosper, TX

    Could not have loved this book more! Finished it in 24 hours, I stopped only because I had to go to work. I absolutely love the characters, the storyline, the brains, the chemistry. It’s a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

  • Brooke K.

    La Mesa, CA

    Slow to develop the characters/their story line but halfway through it picked up. I absolutely loved how it all came together. A little cheesy but that’s exactly what it was supposed to be. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Jenn T.

    Belton, TX

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ O.M.G. So good! I totally lost sleep cause I couldn’t put it down!! Great hidden romance plot. I would have loved to have more steam, but what we did get - phew watch out! Best add-on ever!

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