Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Under One Roof by Ali Hazelwood
Narrator: Emma Wilder
Series: STEMinist Novellas #1
Published by Penguin Audio on February 8, 2022
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 3 hours, 38 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
A scientist should never cohabitate with her annoyingly hot nemesis – it leads to combustion.
Mara, Sadie, and Hannah are friends first, scientists always. Though their fields of study might take them to different corners of the world, they can all agree on this universal truth: when it comes to love and science, opposites attract and rivals make you burn….
As an environmental engineer, Mara knows all about the delicate nature of ecosystems. They require balance. And leaving the thermostat alone. And not stealing someone else’s food. And other rules Liam, her detestable big-oil lawyer of a roommate, knows nothing about. Okay, sure, technically she’s the interloper. Liam was already entrenched in his aunt’s house like some glowering grumpy giant when Mara moved in, with his big muscles and kissable mouth just sitting there on the couch tempting respectable scientists to the dark side…but Helena was her mentor and Mara’s not about to move out and give up her inheritance without a fight.
The problem is, living with someone means getting to know them. And the more Mara finds out about Liam, the harder it is to loathe him…and the easier it is to love him.
Under One Roof is part of a group of STEMinist Novellas . The audios are releasing before the ebooks by 3 months or so. The audio is about half of a regular audio. I did see the pages for this one listed as 312 in one place, which is a full book in my mind.
The story does seem short on character development and world building as can be the case with a novella. I wish it were more fully developed. I don’t think it was improved by the jumping around in time for different scenes.
I enjoyed the characters Mara and Liam. I liked learning about their careers and interests. Mara was strong-minded and well-educated as an engineer now working at the EPA. Her concerns for the environment were admirable. Liam went to school at Harvard and is now a corporate lawyer, for a polluter. We only get Mara’s point of view. I would have liked much more about them, their lives and their friends and family.
The beginning has a bit of an enemies-to-lovers vibe with both their career conflict over the environment, and that they were each left half of the house by Liam’s aunt. Mara just came there after the funeral and expected to move in after sending him an email which seemed a bit presumptuous. Liam is used to living alone in the house and at first tries to buy her out and be irritating so she would want to leave. It’s a good sized home so luckily it worked out as they got to know each other and their quirks. I enjoyed the growth in their relationship as they shared grief over the aunt and spent time together.
I liked Under One Roof but would have enjoyed more. It looks like each one of these novellas is about one of the three friends Mara, Hannah and Sadie. We are introduced to the two friends briefly, but I don’t think they live in the same city. I believe they have all just graduated with advanced degrees. The STEM careers also made this more fun for me.
I’ve listened to this narrator, Emma Wilder previously. Her performance added to my listening pleasure, especially when Mara is on a rant. I enjoyed both her male and female voices; they sound comfortably appropriate. Her narrating is a little faster than most so I reduced my speed a bit to 1.25x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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