The review was originally published on The Geeky Waffle and has been reposted here with permission
You know what’s an interesting twist on Enemies to Lovers I hadn’t considered before? Lovers to Enemies to Lovers. But after Stuck With You I think I’m going to need more of that ASAP.
The second of Ali Hazelwood’s STEMinist novellas, Stuck With You, follows Sadie, an engineering Ph.D. who works at a small, environmentally-focused engineering firm in New York. A chance encounter before a big meeting puts her in the path of Erik, an engineer working for a rival firm that operates out of the same building as Sadie’s.
The two of them hit it off – like, really hit it off – but when Sadie learns the next day exactly who Erik is, it stops their happy ever after before it really has a chance to begin.
Three weeks later, a late-night building-wide power outage sees Sadie and Erik trapped in an elevator together, and with nowhere to run, the two of them are forced to confront exactly where things went wrong between them.
The story cuts back and forth between the day they met and the night in the elevator, building up the mystery of what exactly went down between the rival engineers. Though the general idea of what messed them up is pretty easy to guess, as with all romance novels the genius is not in subverting the trope, but in how the author makes the trope work for them.
Hazelwood continues to demonstrate how many unique, equally compelling love stories she can craft out of a familiar, transformative premise. It’s really just a matter of sprinkling in new tropes we all know and love into an already familiar dynamic. And though the dynamics across her work are very similar – after all, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it – none of her couples ever feel like retreads of her earlier ones. Each stands out in their own unique way, and it makes me even more excited to meet Hannah and Ian next month!
As with Under One Roof, this one is an audiobook-first exclusive. I mentioned in my earlier review that the narrator is an essential part of audiobooks, particularly within the romance genre, as things can cross that line from engaging to cringe very quickly. Fortunately, narrator Meg Sylvan is only ever engaging and absolutely makes Sadie and Erik come to life.
I cannot wait for the final STEMinist novella to come out next month. This series is such a wonderful treat, giving us big romantic feelings in small doses.
And if you’re keeping score at home, unlike previous Hazelwood heroines, Sadie drinks her coffee black and bitter.
Stuck With You is available in audiobook format on March 8, 2022 and in ebook format on June 7, 2022.
Special thanks to Penguin Audio for the advance copy for review purposes.
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