Not in Love

Berkley. Jun. 2024. 400p. ISBN 9780593550427. pap. $19. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Hazelwood blends business and STEM after her paranormal Bride. Rue works as a biotech engineer at Kline, a hot start-up born, so she thinks, from the mind of a woman she has long admired. She has built a good life doing good work, and that focus has gone a long way to help her overcome challenging childhood issues—even as her brother’s distressing and dangerous behavior casts a pall. Meanwhile, Eli, along with an avenging and motivated group of friends, have designs on Kline and strong reasons to take Rue’s boss down. The couple first meet via an anonymous hook-up that gets derailed and then again as Eli and his friends begin to take over the company. Tossed together as antagonists, their chemistry supports both a steamy-tense relationship and a business showdown. As Rue learns more about Eli and his plans, and Eli makes multiple moves, they face a difficult reality: few outcomes are going to be harm-free.
VERDICT Hazelwood fills the plot with tension and stress and employs a dual point-of-view that allows intimate access to both Rue and Eli’s roller-coasting emotions. It is less quirky-charming than some of her past work but showcases much of what her readers love.
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