Book Review

Business or Pleasure & Love, Theoretically {Combi Mini Book Reviews}

Business or Pleasure & Love, Theoretically {Reviews}

Hi everyone! Today I’m combining reviews for two highly anticipated romance releases of the past few months. Let’s go!

Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Chandler Cohen has never felt more like the ghost in “ghostwriter” until she attends a signing for a book she wrote—and the author doesn’t even recognize her. The evening turns more promising when she meets a charming man at the bar and immediately connects with him. But when all their sexual tension culminates in a spectacularly awkward hookup, she decides this is one night better off forgotten.

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. Her next project is ghostwriting a memoir for Finn Walsh, a C-list actor best known for playing a lovable nerd on a cult classic werewolf show who now makes a living appearing at fan conventions across the country. But Chandler knows him better from their one-night stand of hilarious mishaps.

Chandler’s determined to keep their partnership as professional as possible, but when she admits to Finn their night together wasn’t as mind-blowing as he thought it was, he’s distraught. He intrigues her enough that they strike a deal: when they’re not working on his book, Chandler will school Finn in the art of satisfaction. As they grow closer both in and out of the bedroom, they must figure out which is more important, business or pleasure—or if there’s a way for them to have both.

Business or Pleasure was such a fresh and unique read! I sped through this in just a few days because I just could not put this story down. I was so into the story and wanted to know what was next for Chandler and Finn. This was so fun, quite steamy and sex-positive but also super adorable!

Here’s a short list of everything I loved:

  • The unique romance premise
    Gasp, a romance where the sex is not immediately mind-blowingly, life-alteringly amazing? And the person it happens with is a genuinely good guy who can take the criticism and wants to learn how to do better? And then turns out to be quite the fast learner? Yes, please! The story is so sex-positive and focuses on communication and intimacy and is at the same time super steamy AND slow-burn adorableness and I am here for it all!
  • The characters: a ghostwriter and an actor meet in a bar…
    I loved both Chandler and Finn so much! Chandler is a ghostwriter who feels like she’s stuck in a career she doesn’t even like and Finn is an actor who starred in a werewolf show 10 years ago (am I the only one who just couldn’t stop picturing Teen Wolf and Stiles Stilinski? Because yes, that’s where my mind went even though there are no comparisons other than the werewolf and likeable nerd part) and is now stuck travelling the convention circuit over and over again. Not only are both of their worlds and careers so interesting, but they also both have their personal issues to overcome. And put them together and it’s just such an intriguing mix! I loved going on this journey with them, both literally as we travel the cons and meet fans and actors alike, and figuratively as both of them try to figure out what’s next for them on a personal and professional level.
  • The focus on mental health
    I really appreciated how the story really delved into the importance of mental health, as we have a character with anxiety and a character with OCD.
  • An absolutely delightful “Teach me how to talk dirty” scene
    That is all.

Overall, I really enjoyed this. It was a quick, easy and refreshing read with a lot of humor yet also depth, and with a lot of steam yet also slow-burn romance.

Four Stars
Love Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood

Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood

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 broody 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 that same Jack who now sits on the hiring committee at MIT, 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?

I’m sorry, but I think I’m going to have an unpopular opinion for this one and nobody is more disappointed by that than myself.

Because while Love, Theoretically was a good read overall, it was also my least favorite Ali Hazelwood so far. And I think it’s mostly because I just couldn’t connect to either of the main characters throughout the entire book. Both of them felt quite bland and vague to me. And okay, for Elsie there was a good reason as she was a people-pleaser who twisted herself to show only the version people wanted her to be, but despite that reasoning I still felt like her actual personality was just boiled down to cheese, physics and Twilight. And Jack? By the end of the book I still didn’t feel like I knew him at all. This also meant that I couldn’t really connect to the romance between the two of them. The steamy scenes even made me cringe, as I just felt so uncomfortable reading them because I did not feel any chemistry between them at all. So yes, unfortunately that took me out of the story quite a bit and while I sped through the book in a few days, I was left with a feeling of meh afterwards.

With that out of the way, I do want to focus on some of the things I DID enjoy about the story. Because I did enjoy it overall, and that’s mostly because of:

  • The academic setting: I know next to nothing about STEM, yet I always find myself deeply fascinated with the settings and issues and science in Ali’s books.
  • The secondary characters: Cece and Hedgie and Greg and Georgina. All of them were gold and I just wished we’d had more of them.
  • The Olive and Adam cameo: I’m already itching to re-read The Love Hypothesis now.
  • The Twilight mentions: Yep, I’m kind of itching to re-watch the entire Twilight saga now as well.

So yes, while it’s not my personal Ali Hazelwood favorite, it was still a nice and quick read. While I won’t be re-reading it any time soon, I’m still happy I read it and am very eager to try her next release!

Tell Me:
Have you read these books yet? What did you think about them?

Lindsey xoxo

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  1. Ok, you’ve convinced me to bump Business or Pleasure up my TBR cos we love sex-positive romances that cover mental health and eager to learn dirty-talking lovers, haha! 😂 Honestly though, it sounds really good! Sorry to hear that this Hazelwood didn’t turn out good for you. I still have so many of her books to catch up on but what a bummer that this didn’t pan out. Great reviews though!

    1. Business or Pleasure was so good indeed, I hope you’ll love it too!
      While I didn’t love Love, Theoretically as much as I’d hoped I would, I did rate all her other books 5 stars, so I hope you’ll enjoy them too 🙂

  2. I wish you had loved Hazelwood’s book more, but at least you liked it. I guess I need to read Business or Pleasure. Great reviews!

    1. I wished I loved Love, Theoretically more too, I rated all her other books 5 stars so far…
      I hope you’ll love Business or Pleasure!

  3. Love, Theoretically wasn’t a bad read but it’s also my least favorite book by the author. I hope to buy Business or Pleasure sometime soon!

    1. Yes, that’s exactly how I felt about Love, Theoretically too. Hope you’ll love Business or Pleasure!

  4. […] Rating: 4 stars | Read full review […]

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