Ali Hazelwood is a bestselling author who has written 7 novels, but her most popular and well-received is The Love Hypothesis.
The Love Hypothesis is the ultimate fake romance novel, but it manages to make this relatively common trope feel fresh and exciting with its workplace setting and themes of science and academia.
In this novel, Olive Smith, a Ph.D. candidate in her third year, sets out to convince her best friend that she has moved on from her past relationship.
To do this, she impulsively kisses the widely-disliked Professor Adam Carlsen, and the two agree to enter into a fake relationship.
What follows is a series of comedic, yet emotional events that lead both Olive and Adam to question whether their facade could turn into something more.
If you’ve finished The Love Hypothesis and want to read another book with similar themes, check out our list of recommendations!
Including another book by Ali Hazel wood herself, as well as romantic comedies by other writers, we’ve found 20 books like The Love Hypothesis centering around complicated romance, coworker relationships, shared interests, and unexpected pairings that we think you’ll enjoy!
If The Love Hypothesis is one of your favorite books, we hypothesize that you’ll also love novels such as The Spanish Love Deception, Love on the Brain, The Hating Game, If I Never Met You, and I’m So (Not) Over You. Here are 20 more books like The Love Hypothesis for your reading list.
Themes In The Love Hypothesis
At its core, The Love Hypothesis is a romance novel, but it specifically makes use of the fake romance trope.
The fake romance trope is exactly what it sounds like: when two characters put on a show of being in a relationship when they are not really romantically involved.
This is a really interesting way to start a romance novel because both characters are adamant that they are not interested in one another while simultaneously putting themselves into situations and dynamics that can easily spark romantic feelings.
In The Love Hypothesis, one of the main themes is academia – specifically, in the field of STEM.
Olive, the protagonist, is a third-year Ph.D. candidate researching pancreatic cancer, while her love interest, Adam, is a Biology professor.
While the biology lab may not be everyone’s first thought for a romantic setting, this makes the book more interesting since it’s out of the ordinary and allows for some genuine bonding between the main characters.
The academic setting of the novel also contributes a sense of tension and raises the stakes, since this is an environment in which deviating from the rules is frowned upon. And, of course, there’s the issue of the novel’s next big theme…
Because Olive is a Ph.D. student and Adam is a professor, there is inherently a power dynamic in this pairing. This complicates the plot and the relationship between the main characters, as does any workplace relationship.
Workplace relationships are a common theme in romance novels because it’s a great way to have two characters thrown together, even if they don’t like each other at first.
You’ll see coworker and business relationships pop up repeatedly throughout our recommendations, both in scientific fields and in other career paths.
Books Like The Love Hypothesis
The Spanish Love Deception is a romantic comedy novel that uses the fake dating trope just as expertly as The Love Hypothesis.
However, instead of the romance unfolding in an academic setting, the premise is that the protagonist, Catalina, is looking for a date to attend her sister’s wedding.
It does still have a workplace element, though, so if that’s what you loved about The Love Hypothesis, you’ll enjoy this novel, too.
Catalina has been lying to her family about her relationship status, and now that her sister’s wedding is approaching, the cat is about to get out of the bag.
Unless, that is, she takes up her colleague, Aaron Blackford, on his offer to be her fake date. Despite disliking Aaron, Catalina agrees to bring him to Spain.
As drama and awkwardness unfold, however, her feelings begin to change.
- Consistent tension and drama keep readers interested
- Subtle and believable romance
- Deals with relatable real-life issues
- Slightly longer than it needed to be
Themes: Fake dating, workplace romance, family dynamics, enemies to lovers, appearances, trust
If you’re part of the BookTok community, you may already have heard of The Kiss Quotient.
In this novel, the protagonist, Stella, believes that everything in the universe comes down to a mathematical calculation.
Determined to expand on her limited dating experience, Stella hires Michael (an escort) for practice purposes, but she soon begins to realize that no algorithm could have predicted her feelings as her relationship with Michael develops.
As in The Love Hypothesis, there is a central theme of math and scientific theory running through this novel, which only serves to heighten the romantic elements of the plot by contrast.
The Love Hypothesis fans will enjoy watching the once purely transactional dynamic between the two protagonists unfold into something more.
- Easy to read
- Well-paced slow burn
- Explores neurodivergence sensitively
- Subplots are much less interesting than the main plot
Themes: Romance, math, science, neurodivergence
Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions is the first of two books in the Talking Nerdy series.
The protagonist is Kaya Rubio, who is a twenty-five-year-old research assistant in the field of Molecular Genetics.
Kaya has never been in a relationship and has never particularly wanted one, but her family’s constant pressure leads her to design a scientific method for finding a boyfriend.
When Kaya meets Nero Sison, the complete opposite of everything she thinks she wants in a partner, she sees him as the perfect negative control, but her feelings toward Nero take her by surprise.
Beginner’s Guide presents a different take on the fake dating trope seen in The Love Hypothesis, with one partner rather than both entering into the relationship under false pretenses rather than both parties coming to an agreement ahead of time.
- Easy and quick to get through
- Funny and light-hearted
- A great read for science-lovers
- The chemistry between the main characters is lacking in places
Themes: Fake dating, science, family dynamics, romance, experiments
Lovelight Farms is different from the other books we’ve recommended for fans of The Love Hypothesis so far, mainly because it doesn’t feature scientific or mathematical themes (apart from the data analyst love interest), or a coworker romance.
However, if you love the fake dating trope and want to see it in other settings, you’ll adore this heartwarming, Christmas-themed romantic comedy.
Stella’s Christmas tree farm is in danger of being closed down, and when she hears of an Instagram competition with a huge cash prize, she jumps at the chance to enter.
However, to win, she needs to make the farm appear to be a romantic destination.
To do this, she convinces her best friend Luka to pretend to be her boyfriend, but it turns out that both Luka and Stella have deeper feelings than friendship for one another.
- Cute and heartwarming premise
- Light-hearted, fun mystery subplot
- Perfect for the holiday season
- Fairly slow-paced at the beginning
Themes: Holidays, fake dating, friends to lovers, romance
Some Kind of Magic is Mary Ann Marlow’s debut novel. The story follows Eden Sinclair, a biochemist, who accidentally enhances her pheromones in the lab one day and attracts the attention of rock star Adam Copeland.
By the time Eden figures out the cause of Adam’s intense interest, the two are already dating.
At this point, Eden is caught in a dilemma: stop using the perfume and risk losing an incredible relationship, or live with the guilt of her secret.
As Eden’s relationship with Adam develops further, the stakes get even higher, and the decision gets all the more difficult to make.
Like The Love Hypothesis, this novel has scientific undercurrents to the romance plot, so if you’re interested in literal chemistry as well as the dating kind, this is the book for you.
- The interesting and fun main character
- Witty and amusing throughout
- The fresh and suspenseful plot
- Quite slow-paced for the most part
Themes: Chemistry, romance, deception, honesty, moral dilemma
In Dating Dr. Dil, the reader is introduced to Kareena Mann, who has always dreamed of finding a love like her parents’.
After making a deal with her father to find her soulmate in exchange for the gift of her parents’ house, Kareena meets a cardiologist and host of the Dr. Dil Show, Prem.
When Prem’s reputation is damaged by the public response to his interview with Kareena, the two begin dating in an attempt to salvage his image, but the real feelings that develop are beyond what either of them could have expected.
Another novel that explores the intersection between science and love, Dating Dr. Dil is a great example of both the fake dating and enemies-to-lovers tropes.
- Strong female protagonist
- An easy, fast-paced read
- Some very funny moments
- Feels repetitive in places
Themes: Science, medicine, love, enemies to lovers, fake dating
Act Like You Mean It is a fascinating romance novel that plays with the concept of actors pretending to be romantically involved, and takes it offscreen.
In this novel, Hollywood leading man August Chambers is looking for a (fake) girlfriend that his fanbase will approve of to boost his image.
When socialite Xandra Nicole agrees to play the public role of his partner, both parties realize that they are experiencing real feelings for one another… The only problem is, how do you know what’s real or not in Hollywood?
Admittedly, this book might seem quite different from The Love Hypothesis at first, mostly because there’s no scientific theme here.
However, it still has two main characters in roughly the same industry engaging in the fake dating trope.
- Intriguing premise
- Romance feels realistic and raw
- Good character development in a short space of time
- Fairly slow-paced
Themes: Fake dating, fame, appearances, media, romance
Emily Henry is a very successful romance author, and Book Lovers is one of her most beloved works.
Luckily for fans of The Love Hypothesis, it also features two protagonists in roughly the same line of work: literary agent Nora, and editor Charlie.
When Nora takes a trip to North Carolina, she finds herself running into Charlie repeatedly – something that doesn’t delight either of them.
However, fate seems to want these two book lovers to come together, and that’s exactly what happens, in the most unexpected ways.
Although there’s no fake romance plot line in Book Lovers, the enemies-to-lovers trope is expertly handled, and the shared interest both protagonists share in literature helps to bring them together, similar to Olive and Adam in The Love Hypothesis.
- Emotional and touching
- Characters have unique quirks
- Ideal plot for writers and bookworms
- Heavy themes sometimes overshadow the romance
Themes: Literature, vacation romance, fate, enemies to lovers
The Hating Game has been adapted for the big screen and is one of bestselling author Sally Thorne’s most well-received works.
It tells a classic enemies-to-lovers story in which colleagues Lucy and Joshua compete for the same promotion, with unexpected consequences.
Joshua and Lucy are complete opposites, despite both working as executive assistants in the same publishing company.
They actively despise each other, but when the tension mounts between them in the run-up to a big promotion, they find that their contempt for one another may mask some more tender feelings.
This workplace romance is the perfect follow-up read for bookworms who loved the colleagues-to-lovers relationship in The Love Hypothesis.
- Believable use of enemies-to-lovers
- Fun and easy to read
- Well-written and developed characters
- Quite cheesy in places
Themes: Workplace romance, enemies to lovers, opposites attract competition, career, ambition
Anyone who loves the enemies-to-lovers trope and romance between people in the same line of work as in The Love Hypothesis, you’ll really enjoy Battle Royal, particularly if you love baking.
In this novel, Sylvie is a famous baker following her appearance on a popular baking show.
Dominic is famed for being a favorite baker of the King himself and was the one to vote Sylvie off the show years ago. Not only that, but their personalities are total opposites.
Dominic and Sylvie must now compete for the opportunity to bake Princess Rose’s wedding cake, bringing tensions between them to an all-time high in this romantic comedy.
- Heart-warming concept and story
- Some funny moments throughout
- Perfect for baking enthusiasts
- Lots of minor plots can get confusing
Themes: Baking, competition, enemies to lovers, and opposites attract
We recommend The Unhoneymooners to readers who enjoyed The Love Hypothesis as well as other similar novels, like The Spanish Love Deception (see above).
This is another book that uses the enemies-to-lovers trope in the context of a destination wedding. It also has a fake romance plot, like the one we see in The Love Hypothesis.
Olive is dreading attending her twin sister’s wedding, and she dreads having to spend time with the groom’s best man, Ethan, even more.
That is until the whole wedding party except Olive and Ethan come down with food poisoning and the two get the opportunity to go on a honeymoon to Maui together.
As they pretend to be a couple, the tension between these sworn enemies begins to soften.
- Classic enemies-to-lovers story
- Humorous and light-hearted
- Good escapism
- Two authors’ writing styles are identifiable
Themes: Vacation, enemies to lovers, fake dating, family drama
I’m So (Not) Over You is one of the most interesting takes on the fake dating trope we’ve seen, so it’s the perfect follow-up read for fans of The Love Hypothesis.
In this romantic comedy, Kian Andrews gets a text from his ex, Hudson. As it turns out, Hudson wants Kian to stand in as his fake boyfriend to maintain the image of a relationship while his family are visiting.
Then, in an unexpected turn, Kian is invited to be Hudson’s plus one at a wedding.
Pretending to be romantically involved again has both Kian and Hudson questioning whether their feelings for one another are really in the past after all.
- Easy and enjoyable to read
- Explores important societal issues
- Uses common tropes in fresh ways
- Possibly longer than necessary
Themes: Fake dating, marriage, family, career, heartbreak, reconnection
Beach Read by Emily Henry has been one of the most talked-about romance novels in recent years. If you enjoyed The Love Hypothesis, especially if you’ve also read Book Lovers, this is the romantic comedy for you.
Augustus and January are total opposites of one another. They’re both authors, but while Augusts writes prestigious literary fiction, January is a romance author.
These writers find themselves in beach houses next to each other for three months over the summer, both trying to get over their writer’s block.
Neither one of them would have thought the other could help them out of their predicament until they agree to try swapping genres.
Another novel about two people in the same field of work, this one skips the fake romance and enemies-to-lovers tropes and delivers on feel-good, opposites attract romance.
It’s a great read if you don’t want to deal with a lot of tension and just want a classic romantic comedy to escape into.
- Funny and feel-good
- Tackles difficult themes such as depression well
- An interesting read for literary professionals
- Romance feels cliché in places
Themes: Writing, vacation, mental health, opposites attract, romance
The Soulmate Equation takes us back to the science-themed romance of The Love Hypothesis with a story about a statistics-obsessed single mom who is cynical about the idea of love.
However, when she hears about a matchmaking company that pairs people based on their DNA, Jess knows she has to give it a try.
After matching with scientist Dr. River Pena, whom she already knows and has never liked, Jess is confused but agrees to get to know him in order to claim a monetary reward from the company.
What follows is the world’s most romantic scientific experiment and an excellent romantic comedy for The Love Hypothesis fans.
- Interesting take on enemies to lovers
- Compelling chemistry between characters
- Powerful insight into the protagonist’s emotions
- Slow burn for the most part
Themes: Science, online dating, romance, enemies to lovers, experiments
My Mechanical Romance is a YA novel with similar themes to The Love Hypothesis, except instead of the biology lab, our two love interests meet in engineering class.
Bel is the only girl in the class, and Teo wants her on the robotics team, not just because she has talent, but because he has feelings for her.
Bel is strong-willed and challenges Teo at every turn, but could romance still blossom as Bel navigates the difficulties of being a woman in STEM?
This is another great read for those who loved The Love Hypothesis because of its focus on women in STEM.
- Strong female protagonist
- Very funny at points
- Discusses the reality of being a woman in STEM
- Unrealistic dialogue in places
Themes: STEM, engineering, gender roles, romance, female empowerment
If you loved The Love Hypothesis and want to read more by Ali Hazelwood, the next read we recommend is Love on the Brain.
This romantic comedy also takes place in an academic setting and while it doesn’t feature fake dating, it does have a compelling enemies-to-lovers storyline.
Bee has always dreamed of working for NASA and idolizes Marie Curie. When she’s asked to co-lead with Levi Ward, with whom she has never seen eye to eye, she is understandably hesitant.
However, as the project goes on, she starts to suspect that her handsome colleague may have some feelings for her. But will Bee confront Levi about his feelings for a chance at love?
- Witty and amusing
- The same writing style as The Love Hypothesis
- Likable protagonists
- Some readers find it too similar to The Love Hypothesis
Themes: Science, romance, career, ambition, enemies to lovers
A Lady’s Formula for Love is the perfect bookshelf addition for The Love Hypothesis fans who are also interested in historical fiction.
This book has many of the same themes as The Love Hypothesis, including women in science, but it’s set in Victorian England and also features a suspenseful mystery plot.
Lady Violet is one of the most prominent women in the scientific field, at a time when women were actively discouraged from going into science.
She is working on a secret mission for the Queen, and she happens to be in love with Arthur, her protection officer.
When Violet’s laboratory and her life are threatened, she and Arthur must work together to unveil the culprit, but they may also unveil some secret feelings along the way.
- An easy read for historical fiction fans
- The tense and intriguing mystery plot
- Discusses important events like the Suffragette movement
- Not the best character development
Themes: Science, women in science, gender roles, romance, hidden feelings, mystery
If I Never Met You makes masterful use of the fake romance trope, and it also has a coworker romance plot, so it’s very similar to The Love Hypothesis, minus the scientific themes.
Laurie has just been through a difficult breakup, and to make things even more painful, her ex works in the same law firm as her.
When she finds out that her ex’s new girlfriend is pregnant, Laurie decides to enter into a fake relationship with Jamie, who also needs a partner to project an image of stability at work.
As Laurie and Jamie present themselves as the new power couple in the office, they discover that pretending to be in love with someone is one of the easiest ways to fall in love for real.
- Likable protagonist
- Plenty of emotional depth
- Lots of drama to keep readers entertained
- The slow pace throughout most of the book
Themes: Coworker romance, career, fake romance, heartbreak
Red, White & Royal Blue is a romantic comedy that involves secret romance, enemies to lovers, and international politics.
It might not have the science or coworker romance themes seen in The Love Hypothesis, but it does feature an interesting take on the fake dating trope that fans of The Love Hypothesis shouldn’t miss.
The story centers around the son of the new President of the United States, and the United Kingdom’s Prince Henry.
These two had an altercation in the past, and when the tabloids find out about it, it’s an international relations disaster – until the two men decide to fake a truce on social media.
However, as their fake friendship grows, romantic feelings start to blossom, and before they know it, these two public figures are secretly dating.
- High-stakes plot line creates suspense
- Amusing and emotional simultaneously
- Excellent escapist and light-hearted read
- Storyline requires the reader to suspend disbelief
Themes: Politics, international relations, fake friendship, secret romance, enemies to lovers
In How to Fail at Flirting, Naya’s friends encourage her to take one night off from her stressful job and have some fun.
They give her a checklist of things to do, and when Naya meets Jake on business, she starts to cross off the items, starting with letting him buy her a drink.
However, Naya’s budding romance with Jake is complicated. For one thing, their relationship could damage her career, and for another, she’s still recovering from the trauma of her past abusive relationship.
Will Naya open herself up to love and risk her job in the process, or will she play it safe at the expense of what could be the romance of a lifetime?
Like The Love Hypothesis, this romantic novel deals with the complexities of combining career and love.
- Believable chemistry between protagonists
- Exemplifies healthy communication in relationships
- Witty, compelling writing
- Some upsetting themes
Themes: Career, romance, dilemma, friendships, trauma
If you’ve been struggling to find a book to follow The Love Hypothesis, our 20 recommendations should help you to fill more spaces on your bookshelves with science-themed, fake dating, and coworker romances.
Since The Love Hypothesis has a strong focus on STEM, and women in STEM, in particular, a lot of our recommendations feature similar themes.
If you were drawn in by the scientific themes in The Love Hypothesis, you should pick up books like The Kiss Quotient, The Soulmate Equation, Love on the Brain, and Dating Dr. Dil next.
On the other hand, if you’re mainly interested in the workplace or career romance theme, consider books such as The Hating Game, Beach Read, Book Lovers, Battle Royal, or A Lady’s Formula for Love.
For fans of the fake dating trope, we have included plenty of recommendations, including I’m So (Not) Over You, Act Like You Mean It, Lovelight Farms, and If I Never Met You.
With so many romantic comedies involving fake dating, career dilemmas, and women in science, you should have plenty to read after finishing The Love Hypothesis!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is The Love Hypothesis Based On Fanfiction?
Yes, The Love Hypothesis started out as a piece of Star Wars fanfiction, and the characters of Olive and Adam are based around Rey Skywalker and Kylo Ren. T
his makes The Love Hypothesis a great read for science fiction fans as well as romance lovers.
What Age Group Is The Love Hypothesis Written For?
The Love Hypothesis, like many of Ali Hazelwood’s other books, contains some explicit scenes and language that would be inappropriate for younger readers. Therefore, this book is marketed toward adults aged 18 and over.
Why Is The Love Hypothesis So Popular?
The Love Hypothesis is so popular because of its unique setting and context, combined with the well-liked fake dating romance trope. Together, these aspects of the novel make for an interesting read.
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