I love a good enemies to lovers romance, especially when the characters are independent, capable, and haven’t actually done anything so terrible that I would be annoyed at them in real life. That’s why I really like Ali Hazelwood’s books, because her characters are intelligent, capable, and not terrible people. Also, it’s a great romance.
1. Thoughts on the plot
This book follows Bee Könnigwasser, neurostimulation expert, as she works on NASA’s new project with her nemesis Levi Ward, who has hated her since grad school. And when you put two scientists who hate each other on the same project? Sparks. Lots of sparks.
I really liked the premise of this book, partly because it’s nice to read women in STEM books, but also because I like that Bee and Levi are both in equal roles on the project. There is no power imbalance, no sucking up to the boss, just two people who have to work together. I also really liked how the interactions played out between the characters. I wasn’t surprised when Levi’s true feelings came to light, but I think the way that it was done was absolutely fantastic. I will say that the plot twist at the end with the person causing the problems was a bit abrupt and out of the blue, but I’ll forgive it, since this is a romance novel, not a mystery.
2. Thoughts on the characters
I really liked both Bee and Levi, as they were the most well-developed characters and were a pleasure to read. Their interactions were just what I was hoping for: no power play, no disrespecting the other person, just really good dialogue. And they were great characters in their own rights, not just because of the romance. I will say that the other characters were a little less realistic than Bee and Levi. Partly because we spend less time on the secondary characters than otherwise, but also because I think they had more roles to fill that were plot-oriented rather than character oriented.
3. Favourite part
Most of my critique is to do with the plot twist at the end, just because it was extremely abrupt and seemed to come out of nowhere. We got some backstory about the reasoning earlier, but it was apparently incomplete, which is a thing I loathe in mystery novels. As this wasn’t even close to a mystery novel, then it’s fine.
Overall, I would say that Love on the Brain is a fun, entertaining, respectful romantic comedy and I wish there were more like this book. Very good.