Review copy was received from NetGalley, Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood
Narrator: Brooke Bloomingdale
Published by Berkley, Penguin Audio on August 23, 2022
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 11 hours, 7 minutes
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Like an avenging, purple-haired Jedi bringing balance to the mansplained universe, Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project—a literal dream come true after years scraping by on the crumbs of academia—Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.
Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. And sure, he caught her in his powerfully corded arms like a romance novel hero when she accidentally damseled in distress on her first day in the lab. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school—archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.
Now, her equipment is missing, the staff is ignoring her, and Bee finds her floundering career in somewhat of a pickle. Perhaps it’s her occipital cortex playing tricks on her, but Bee could swear she can see Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas…devouring her with those eyes. And the possibilities have all her neurons firing. But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there’s only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?
I always enjoy the books by this author. I realize now they have have some similarities. The characters are based in interesting science study or work. The female is talented, smart and has not had good experiences with men. She has focused on her intellectual life more than her emotional one. Sometimes they have good family or friends but not always. The men are also smart, usually totally fall for the woman, but like the woman, have focused intellectually rather than social relationships so they don’t tell her. The woman is insecure about relationships because they haven’t gone well, and this guy is actually amazing in his kindness and support. Although, he may be a typical male not realizing how other men ignore the woman’s contributions, ideas or authority unless backstopped by a man.
Bee and Levi follow much of this pattern. They crossed paths in grad school and Bee is sure Levi hates her. They are smart, caring people and actual fit together well. Others, maliciously, get in the way of their relationship, past and present. The project they are working is so exciting and so frustrating. The real problem is the politics of it. Like me, Bee wants to do the work, and hates the politics.
I really loved how perfect Bee and Levi were together. They brought out the best of each other, encouraging and supporting growth. They both have difficulties from their family history. They thrived in spite of those problems.
I enjoyed their story and the project they developed. Things were more complex, and even dangerous, than they seemed. The situation hit rock bottom before it was resolved. I didn’t figure anything out before it happened and was just along for the ride. Love on the Brain was true to the author’s style, sciencey, fun and with a bit of mystery.
The narrator was new to me. I was comfortable with all her voices, male and female with the men sounding authentic. I listened at my normal 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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