Last night I read Below Zero by Ali Hazelwood, the writer behind the bestselling TikTok sensation – The Love Hypothesis. Below Zero is a 139-page novella that is currently available as an ebook.
“It will take the frosty terrain of the Arctic to show these rival scientists that their chemistry burns hot.
Mara, Sadie, and Hannah are friends first, scientists always. Though their fields of study might take them to different corners of the world, they can all agree on this universal truth: when it comes to love and science, opposites attract and rivals make you burn…
Hannah’s got a bad feeling about this. Not only has the NASA aerospace engineer found herself injured and stranded at a remote Arctic research station-but the one person willing to undertake the hazardous rescue mission is her longtime rival.”
Below Zero is actually one in a set of three novellas. The other two focus on her flatmates; Mara and Sadie. Once again, I find out too late that I’ve read a series out of order but it didn’t impact my enjoyment in the slightest.
I adore how Hazelwood is continuing to have a woman in STEM as her protagonist. Hannah is a NASA aerospace engineer. Her research takes her on an exhibition to the Arctic so that she can test her rover model in meteorological conditions that are similar to the surface of Mars, but it all goes terribly wrong.
I really appreciate how direct, sarcastic, and sex-positive Hannah is. I also liked how Ian wasn’t the generic cookie-cutter love interest. Give me a cute, ginger tech guy any day of the week over a morally grey fae Prince. Well… not really but it’s nice to have options when it comes to fictional boyfriends.
Below Zero was a short steamy little read. It’s a novella so obviously expect a fast-paced story. There’s just enough background and depth to be invested in the characters and the relationship which is impressive in such a small time frame. I found that the sex scenes were a little too awkward for my taste, especially their first rather unsatisfying encounter. Perhaps that’s just because I’m a fan of a slow-burn type relationship. Similar to The Love Hypothesis, the miscommunication trope is at large, however, I found it more believable in this case.
I’m looking forward to treating myself to a glass of wine, a takeaway and another novella from Hazelwood tonight. Spicy rom-coms are definitely my not-to-guilty pleasure and Below Zero was incredibly entertaining and fun.
Below Zero by Ali Hazelwood is available HERE.
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