cover image The Love Hypothesis

The Love Hypothesis

Ali Hazelwood. Berkley, $16 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-593-33682-3

Hazelwood debuts with a charming, offbeat rom-com pairing a somewhat awkward doctoral candidate with a hotshot young professor. Olive Smith, a third-year PhD student in biology at Stanford University, doubts that happily ever after exists, while her bestie, Anh, is a hopeless romantic. But Olive briefly dated Anh’s current crush, Jeremy, and now Anh’s refusing to act on her feelings because of “girl code.” In an attempt to prove she’s over Jeremy and alleviate Anh’s guilt, Olive impulsively kisses famously irascible professor Adam Carlsen and convinces him to “fake-date” her. But as attraction and chemistry grow, their relationship becomes more than pretense. Things further evolve after Olive is harassed and belittled at a professional conference and Adam provides a supportive shoulder. But can their relationship hold up in the real world? With whip-smart and endearing characters, snappy prose, and a quirky take on a favorite trope, Hazelwood convincingly navigates the fraught shoals of academia. The delightful supporting characters, especially Adam’s colleague Holden Rodriquez and Olive’s friends Malcolm and Anh, add flavor—and readers will love seeing the villain of the story dispatched in appropriate fashion. This smart, sexy contemporary should delight a wide swath of romance lovers. [em]Agent: Thao Le, Sandra Dijkstra Literary. (Sept.) [/em]