Review: Love on the Brain

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 mean, who doesn’t love the enemies-to-lovers trope? Especially when the hate from one of the two involved isn’t even real. Okay, well, even if you don’t, I do. For the most part, I enjoyed this book. It’s not my favorite by any means, and I did have some issues with it, but in the end, I did like it.

Bee was an interesting character with a background that is quite unusual (but is based off the author’s, from what I read). Her background of living in many different places all over the world as a child had completely opposite effects on her and her twin sister, which I thought was cool. Bee wanted stability, and didn’t care for relationships as people tend to leave, meanwhile her twin sister is out traveling the world and Bee hardly ever sees her (but talks with her all the time). While I don’t understand the science talk in the story, I did enjoy Bee’s narration, especially about her research assistant, Rocio.

Levi, of course, is the tall, handsome, brooding enemy from Bee’s past in graduate school, who ends up as her love interest (duh). Since this story is told only from Bee’s point of view, we have no idea what Levi is thinking when she interacts with him, which I sometimes enjoy only getting one side of the story. It tends to leave a surprise or two here and there. While Levi seems like a total hard-ass, it is shown that he has a caring side when it comes to an old friend of his and her daughter, which makes him lovable.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a community of women trying to mind their own business must be in want of a random man’s opinion.”

As to be expected with any book that features a women in STEM, the book was very feminist, which is great. There was plenty of complaints from Bee in person and with her online persona (which is a tribute to Marie Curie) about men being dominant in STEM jobs. I believe there was even someone on Bee’s work crew (or from Twitter) who actually had the balls to say that women only get jobs in the field to diversify and not because they’re qualified. I mean, I’ve never been good with science, but that was just rude… and it’s sad that there are still many people out there who think that. I wish I was good with and passionate about science just to proves those wipes wrong.

A lot of the book was predictable, including the *eye roll* smut scenes (I’m really not a fan of those, so I just skipped them). However, there was one mini-mystery that took place with Bee’s online persona on Twitter where she got hacked and it threatened her job, as well as her experiment somehow getting sabotaged which did pretty much cost her her job until she found out who was behind it all. 

Again, I mostly enjoyed this book and my favorite part was actually the sub-plot of Bee’s online persona and what went on with that. I really could have done without the explicit scenes between Bee and Levi (again, had to skip because I really hate smut), but it is what it is. Other than that, it’s a good read.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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