If you’ve listened to the podcast, you’ll know that The Love Hypothesis was not my favorite book because I read that book in the hours after my father passed away on an airplane from New York to Salt Lake City to be with my family. Because of this, I was hesitant to read Love on the Brain, but I ended up reading and loving it! As a woman in STEM, Hazelwood always writes books I identify with and that keep me engaged in the romance. Loathe to Love you was no different.
Loathe to Love You is a compilation of three novellas that follow one friend group and their lives finding their partners. The novellas are Under One Roof, Stuck with You, and Below Zero. Under One Roof follows Mara, an environmental engineer that has been given her mentor’s house in DC in her mentor’s will. Turns out, it was only half her mentor’s house, and her mentor’s nephew owns the other half and he works for a decidedly NOT environmentally friendly firm as a lawyer. Mara and Liam decide to live together as roommates and try to stay out of each other’s way, but sparks start to fly and discussions are had about The Bachelor and the environment that eventually leads to them falling in love. This short story was so cute, and it was so much fun to read. I love all of the references that Hazelwood makes, and I love the stances on the environment and female friendships that are displayed throughout this story.
Next up is Stuck with You, which follows Sadie, who is a civil engineer in New York for a small firm. Sadie is very superstitious and she is worried that if she doesn’t have a specific (not very good) croissant before pitching to get a client, the world will explode. Unfortunately, she shows up to buy it just after another patron has already purchased the last one, which he gives her to stop her freak out. They end up chatting, and we learn that Erik works at a firm in the same building as Sadie’s, and he is also an engineer. They end up hooking up, but Sadie finds out from her boss that Erik’s firm, at which he is a partner, has tried to buy out Sadie’s smaller firm and has not taken kindly to being denied. Then, on top of that, the client that Sadie pitched tells her that the company Erik works for pitched them the same ideas, but cheaper because its a bigger firm. Sadie puts 2 and 2 together and concludes that Erik slept with her to steal her client. Months later, Erik and Sadie are trapped in an elevator during a power outage, which gives them time to work out their issues and come back together in a beautiful way. This story was so much fun to read, because I didn’t know what was going to come next, and I loved how much fun Sadie was as a character and Erik as a strong, silent type. I also related to Sadie on a more personal level, because I also played soccer in undergrad and am a soccer fan (albeit not quite to the extreme that she is lol) but I enjoyed this story.
Last but not least, Below Zero is about Hannah, an aerospace engineer at NASA who has found herself stranded in desolate snow in Norway right before a blizzard with no way to be rescued. Ian, the big man at NASA and a previous not-quite-hookup for Hannah, is the only one willing to rescue her, but Hannah doesn’t want him to get her because he tried to stop the funding for her research because it was too dangerous and he didn’t think she could do it. That’s right, the exact research that got her into this predicament in the first place. Ian comes after her, and we get to see Hannah finally wrestle with her feelings about Ian and decide she should give him a chance. This story was a fun one to read, and it went by so quickly. I am not usually a fan of past-and-present stories, but I found myself gripped by this one because I wanted to know all of the tea that went down before the present between Ian and Hannah. Hannah also had a fun POV because she didn’t like learning before she became obsessed with Mars, and she didn’t take herself too seriously, which is so important in life.
As a whole, I loved reading this collection and I adored each of the individual characters and how they were so individual and didn’t really run together in my mind. Hazelwood did a great job at connecting the characters but keeping them separate, and that is hard to do in interconnected stand-alones. Of course, I say it every time, there is never going to be a book that you adore everything in, so a couple of things I didn’t adore include The Bachelor references (this is super niche, because I’ve never seen anything about the series so I just didn’t understand them I’m sorry) and the length of each of the stories. I understand that Hazelwood made these novellas, but I fell in love with each couple and would GLADLY buy the fuck out of the full length versions of these stories if they were ever made. I got so invested and drawn in that I was sad when they were over and that they only lasted about 120 pages.
Overall, I adored this compilation and I undoubtedly recommend it. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars, and I can’t wait to see what else Hazelwood puts out in the future. Consider me an avid reader of all things Ali Hazelwood, because I’m sure you will see more reviews from me about her books in the future.
How did you feel about each of the stories? Was there one that you liked more than the others?