E-galley Review: Not in Love by Ali Hazelwood

Posted June 10, 2024 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 6 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

E-galley Review:  Not in Love by Ali HazelwoodNot in Love by Ali Hazelwood
Published by Berkley on June 11, 2024
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance, Adult STEM romance
Pages: 384
Source: the publisher
Format: E-galley
My Rating: three-half-stars
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A forbidden, secret affair proves that all’s fair in love and science—from New York Timesbestselling author Ali Hazelwood.

Rue Siebert might not have it all, but she has enough: a few friends she can always count on, the financial stability she yearned for as a kid, and a successful career as a biotech engineer at Kline, one of the most promising start-ups in the field of food science. Her world is stable, pleasant, and hard-fought. Until a hostile takeover and its offensively attractive front man threatens to bring it all crumbling down.

Eli Killgore and his business partners want Kline, period. Eli has his own reasons for pushing this deal through—and he’s a man who gets what he wants. With one burning exception: Rue. The woman he can’t stop thinking about. The woman who’s off-limits to him.

Torn between loyalty and an undeniable attraction, Rue and Eli throw caution out the lab and the boardroom windows. Their affair is secret, no-strings-attached, and has a built-in deadline: the day one of their companies will prevail. But the heart is risky business—one that plays for keeps.

I was excited for this one because I have really liked all of this author’s books so far. Overall this wasn’t my favorite of her books, but it still had a lot of things in it that I did like. Honestly, for the first time I feel like finding out what was going on with Rue’s mentor was almost more the reason I kept going than the romance, which is unusual for me. Usually that aspect of the story is secondary as I’m really enjoying the romance.

I think because of some of that, it made it a little slower read for me, but then with all that has been going on in my life lately there are possibly other reasons it was slow for me that had nothing to do with the story.

As always, Hazelwood creates characters that may have some issues with intimacy. For example, when Rue met up with her hook-up dates, she took penetration off the list of acts they might engage in. However with Eli, things seemed different and she was able to try some new things and learned maybe her past experiences had more to do with the people as opposed to whether she would enjoy the acts or not. But I also don’t feel like it was set up that all of a sudden the right person made everything perfect in that way either. It had more to do with how Eli handled things and made sure she was enjoying what they did.

Eli’s character was charming and persistent, kind of like a puppy dog at times. In fact his dog and Rue’s attitude toward it was interesting. His POV when we got it was third person, whereas Rue’s was first person. We didn’t quite get the whole back story on Rue’s boss and why Eli and his friends were out to get her company from her, but it was obvious something bad had happened. And after we met his friends in the story, it was also obvious to me that it really must have been something that had been done to them, they were too nice/good of people to just be out for petty revenge.

As I mentioned it was needing to know just what their reasons were that kept me going in the story. Finding it out, and seeing how she reacted when confronted, well it was interesting, and also made Rue’s decision make a lot of sense for me. So while I did enjoy this story, and am glad I read it, it isn’t my favorite by the author, although there were parts that did stick out for me that I enjoyed. And one of the bedroom scenes was really, really hot. Which with how she kind of discussed the hook up with him at the beginning I wasn’t sure if I would be able to feel that way about those scenes in this book. But in the end, it was good!

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6 responses to “E-galley Review: Not in Love by Ali Hazelwood

  1. My review is this weekend but I had some feelings similar to yours. It wasn’t porn without plot but the sexy times really slowed the pace of everything because they didn’t advance the plot. The relationship also felt too insta even for “just sex” because it wasn’t after they kept going instead of one time. Florence was a piece of work, the type seen too often these days, where she took because she could for herself, without thought of anyone else’s needs.

  2. Nice review and I agree about this not being her best work. I actually stopped reading the book for about three weeks and then came back to it, rather than DNFing it. Eli made the relationship work, so I needed him to be happy in the end.

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