Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood Book Review

Love, Theoretically Book Review

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I was very excited to read Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood because I’ve read all her other books so far and enjoyed them. While this isn’t my favorite of hers, I still think it’s good.


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Love, Theoretically

Author: Ali Hazelwood

Narrator: Thérèse Plummer

Pub. Date: June 13, 2023

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Pages: 368 / 12 hours & 33 minutes

Rating: 4 stars

Spice: 4 hearts

Content Warnings: swearing, sexism, & explicit sexual content


The many lives of theoretical physicist Elsie Hannaway have finally caught up with her. By day, she’s an adjunct professor, toiling away at grading labs and teaching thermodynamics in the hopes of landing tenure. By other day, Elsie makes up for her non-existent paycheck by offering her services as a fake girlfriend, tapping into her expertly honed people-pleasing skills to embody whichever version of herself the client needs.

Honestly, it’s a pretty sweet gig–until her carefully constructed Elsie-verse comes crashing down. Because Jack Smith, the annoyingly attractive and arrogant older brother of her favorite client, turns out to be the cold-hearted experimental physicist who ruined her mentor’s career and undermined the reputation of theorists everywhere. And he’s the same Jack Smith who rules over the physics department at MIT, standing right between Elsie and her dream job.

Elsie is prepared for an all-out war of scholarly sabotage but…those long, penetrating looks? Not having to be anything other than her true self when she’s with him? Will falling into an experimentalist’s orbit finally tempt her to put her most guarded theories on love into practice?


Love, Theoretically Book Review

Thank you to for the complimentary ALC of this book. All opinions are my own.

My favorite Ali Hazelwood book is The Love Hypothesis, but I also really liked Love on the Brain. While this book does have similarities to those books, I think it is still pretty different.

The love interest, while a big guy (like all Ail Hazelwood heroes), had a very different personality than both Adam and Levi from her other two novels.

I also listened to this as an audiobook and thought the narrator did a great job differentiating voices.

What I Liked

  • Jack, the love interest, was so sweet and confident. Unlike other men in Ali Hazelwood’s books, he wasn’t grumpy. He was also very mature, patient, and understanding towards Elsie, the main character.
  • The academia setting was interesting without being overwhelming. While I may not have understood most of their physics references, I didn’t feel like it took away from the story.
  • The emails that Elsie gets as an adjunct professor were hilarious to me. There were so many wild and outrageous things that her students said, that they made me laugh.
  • Jack’s grandma was one of my favorite characters in this story because she was so funny. I also liked the relationship between her and Jack.


What I Didn’t Like

  • Elsie as a main character was very annoying. She was an extreme people-pleaser to the point that her personality completely changed depending on who she was interacting with at the time. Also, she was quite judgmental and mean to Jack without a good reason. She kept making assumptions throughout the book even though she could see what kind of person he actually was.
  • The mentor/mentee relationship between Elsie and her mentor was so frustrating. I hated how she accepted anything he said as fact and in her best interest. I just can’t comprehend allowing someone else to make all your career choices.
  • The spice level was more than I am comfortable with, and I wish their relationship wouldn’t have gone from no physical touches to explicit sexual content within a matter of pages.

Final Thoughts

I think I would have loved this book had the main character been different or maybe even just less extreme. Jack is my favorite love interest of all time, so I was disappointed that he didn’t get that good of a person to fall in love with like in Hazelwood’s other books.

I would recommend this book to some people, but I also think it had some major issues that would prevent me from ever wanting to re-read it.


Where to Purchase

You can purchase a copy of this book at the following retailers: (supports independent book stores) [affiliate]

Amazon [affiliate]

Books a Million (BAM) [affiliate]

AbeBooks [affiliate]

Barnes & Noble

Book of the Month also has this as an add-on option. You can use my link to get a discount on your first box 🙂


Have you read Love, Theoretically or any other books by Ali Hazelwood?

I would love to hear your thoughts! Comment down below.

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