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Review: Stuck With You by Ali Hazelwood

Title: Stuck With You
Author: Ali Hazelwood
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Tags: Women in STEM. Miscommunication. Steamy Novellas.
Series: STEMinist Novellas
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐/5


Nothing like a little rivalry between scientists to take love to the next level.

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…

Logically, Sadie knows that civil engineers are supposed to build bridges. However, as a woman of STEM, she also understands that variables can change, and when you are stuck for hours in a tiny New York elevator with the man who broke your heart, you earn the right to burn that brawny, blond bridge to the ground. Erik can apologize all he wants, but to quote her rebel leader—she’d just as soon kiss a Wookiee.

Not even the most sophisticated of Sadie’s superstitious rituals could have predicted such a disastrous reunion. But while she refuses to acknowledge the siren call of Erik’s steely forearms or the way his voice softens when he offers her his sweater, Sadie can’t help but wonder if there might be more layers to her cold-hearted nemesis than meet the eye. Maybe, possibly, even burned bridges can still be crossed….

Stuck With You is the second instalment in Ali Hazelwood’s #STEMinist Novellas series. While I can’t say I’m a fan of the title—STEMinist sounds tacky—one thing Hazelwood always manages to do is create protagonists that are drool-worthy—and in this case, the object of my fascination is Erik. An engineer, soccer-lover, and all-around darling.

After a meteoric love affair between Erik and Sadie—the male and female protagonists respectively—he falls head over heels for her. Too bad she isn’t picking his calls, has taken to ignoring him, and continually refuses all his visits. He chalks it up to his over-enthusiasm when they had sex.

On the other side, Sadie is left reeling because, while in a lust-filled haze, she spewed some of her seemingly confidential project information to Erik and turns out he’s a partner at her firm’s direct competitor. It might be tedious to rehash the whole miscommunication chain and how it was eventually resolved, but the bottom line is that Sadie was under the impression that Erik, capitalist business mogul extraordinaire, intentionally got her talking so he could steal her ideas and get her client.

Of course, these ADULTS don’t think it’s important to talk things out—well, at least Erik tries—and their misunderstanding lasts for weeks. The book takes place over the course of a single day while they’re stuck in the elevator, but there are multiple flashbacks that are enough to tell us the cause of her animosity towards Erik. The poor guy was flustered and couldn’t understand her reaction.

Eventually, they hash out their differences and talk through the thicket of misunderstanding. Everything’s fine. Everything’s okay now. Except, where do they go from there? Erik still wants a chance but Sadie is as prickly as a hedgehog. She womans up and bares herself to him—both body and soul *wink*—and they have their HEA.

Here’s the thing, I didn’t like this book. I’ve found that this author overplays the miscommunication trope—inadvertently sacrificing whatever plot should have existed—and although the romance genre is pervaded with both poorly-executed and nicely-done depictions of the trope, it gets tiring reading the same thing over and over again.

Unlike The Love Hypothesis and Under One Roof which had a direction, this one almost read like a detached manuscript with mismatched pieces. The plot was nonexistent and, as I mentioned before, regardless of it being a novella or not, the miscommunication trope should be tied to something unless it flops. Which it, unfortunately, did in this book.

This won’t put me off Ali Hazelwood in the least. I enjoy her writing style and her dreamy heroes will at least keep me coming back for more.

I really wished I enjoyed this book, because: hello, this is Ali Hazelwood. Sadly, I didn’t. I haven’t read the third book in the series, but I hope there would be a little more emphasis on the character development and the plot doesn’t feel superficial. Anyway, happy reading—I’m off to go live in a world where Adam Carlson, sadly, does not exist.

Recommended for:
1. You like the miscommunication trope.
2. You want to read about women in STEM.
3. You like a little business-rivals romance.
4. You like the forced proximity trope.

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