‘The Love Hypothesis’ – Ali Hazlewood

After something of a thriller glut, this romance was just what was needed.
The love story of Adam and Olive takes time to get going, but I loved their interactions and that sense of knowing where things were likely to end up even if they didn’t.

Set in the world of academia, which definitely seems more ruthless than you might expect, we first meet Olive when she’s trying to interview for a PHD program. Financial constraints lead to her wearing old contact lenses and a strange meeting in a bathroom…of course, we assume this meeting to be important though the story picks up years later.

As a post graduate student at Stamford Olivia is used to feeling uncertain of herself. Our whole story hinges on a bizarre incident where she asks to kiss a random man she finds in the corridor one night, in order to convince her best friend that it would be okay to go on a date with someone she once dated. Can think of so many other ways to deal with that issue, but where would the fun be in that?

Of course, the random man is none other than Dr Adam Carson…grade A asshole, the man everyone fears and who reduces everyone to tears. Bizarrely, Adam seems amused by Olivia’s request (naturally, he’s the man from the initial bathroom incident) and then they agree to a period of fake-dating to maintain this illusion.

From their initial awkward meetings it’s clear they have a cute way of interacting. Neither wants to admit their feelings for the other, and there’s more than one or two ‘close’ moments where we think we might get somewhere. For a romance this was surprisingly chaste in approach, but I found myself enjoying the way their relationship developed. There was a lack of detail about some things we take for granted, but with a feel-good vibe like this it was easy to overlook.