As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees. That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs. Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.
I’m not sure what drew me to this book, but I’m sure the cover and the fact that it has fake dating has something to do with it. I’ve realized that I am attracted to books by the smallest things. But seriously, the cover is adorable! And fake dating! Yes I wanted to read it. Trigger warnings: sexual harassment, sexism
I love this book so so so much. It’s so good it almost hurts.
Let’s start off with the fact that it’s adorable. It’s so adorable that a new word needs to be invented to encompass the pure adorableness that is in this book. Like, it makes me want to go glkhjflkxdjlklk so much.
It takes the grumpy/sunshine trope to the absolute maximum. And I loved it. I loved the characters. Olive is awkward, a bit weird, and just downright awesome. She has her doubts, and she does carry a lot of nerves with her, but this just made me love her all the more. I loved all of her. Her brightness, her humor, her drive. She was amazing. I also loved Adam. I loved Adam so much. He’s stoic, and blunt, and very reserved. He’s the kind of guy who seems to smile with just the edges of his mouth. But oh my gosh, seeing what lays underneath all of that was incredible. He buys Olive coffee, he calls her a smartass, he tried not to laugh at her jokes. He is amazing. He cared so much.
Their fake dating scheme was top notch, the angst and the feelings and the growing friendship, all of it was so well done. I love, love, loved seeing them grow closer and how their relationship evolved. They work so well together. They care about each other so much. There were moments when I wanted to stop and cry because they were just so sweet.
The side characters were also top notch. Friendship is a big piece of this book, and they were fantastic. They also care and love each other so much. They’re supportive, and hilarious, and all around wonderful.
This book was also hilarious. I cackled out loud multiple times. It was amazing.
I also think that Olive is demisexual which was amazing to see!!!
It also brought up consent, and not just for the kiss scene mentioned in the synopsis. I was a bit worried on how that was going to be addressed, or at all, but it was!
It’s always awkward to talk about the sex scenes, but I do want to mention that they were top notch haha.
All in all, I adored this book so much. I want to hug Olive I love her so much. I love Adam so much too. I love how much they care about it each other. I love the friendships. I love the writing, and how this book came together. I just love it a whole lot.