REVIEW: Chemistry Lesson Series

REVIEW: Chemistry Lesson Series


In which I review the first two books in the Chemistry Lessons Series by Susannah Nix.  The third book, Advanced Physical Chemistry, is slated to come out in 2018.


Remedial Rocket Science (Book 1) 

By Susannah Nix

published: June 21, 2017, Haver Street Press

Rocket science is no problem. Falling in love, on the other hand…

College student Melody Gage is craving a night of no-strings fun when she meets charming out-of-towner Jeremy, and that’s exactly what she gets. Until three years later, when Melody relocates to Los Angeles and finds herself thrust back into Jeremy’s orbit.

Not only does her hunky one-night stand work at the same aerospace company where she’s just started her dream job, he’s the CEO’s son. Jeremy’s got a girlfriend and a reputation as a bad boy, so Melody resolves to keep her distance. Despite her good intentions, a series of awkward circumstances–including an embarrassing crying jag, a latte vs. computer catastrophe, and an emergency fake date–throw her together with the heavenly-smelling paragon of hotness.

As the billionaire playboy and geeky IT girl forge an unlikely friendship, Melody’s attraction to Jeremy grows deeper than she’s ready to admit. How much will she risk for a shot at her happy ending?

The debut novel from author Susannah Nix, Remedial Rocket Science follows in the tradition of contemporary romantic comedy favorites like Penny Reid, Sally Thorne, and Jennifer Crusie. This slow burn sweet romance is the first in a series of standalone rom-coms featuring heroines who work in STEM fields.

Melody was a recent graduate from MIT.  She moved to a new town and the only person she knows is an old one-night-stand from her freshman year. There’s definitely a bit of reality suspension here in the plot getting there, but that’s alright.  It is FICTION after all.  I did think that her ex-boyfriend was a bit of a plot prop and he could have easily been removed from the story.

Jeremy might have been too much for real life, I mean he was literally a billionaire playboy. He was also deeply flawed and almost unlikeable.  He made a lot of poor choices in his youth and he genuinely tries to improve himself in the book.  Jeremy so desperately wants to be normal and fit in a typical family, but he just seems a little out of touch with Melody’s world. The chemistry between the two was fine, however didn’t feel like the two of them had that much in common.  

The romance was almost secondary to the other relationships in the story, which was surprising to me.  What I really appreciated was Melody’s friendship with the other women in the book.  It’s hard to move to a new city and not know anyone, but Melody was able to meet some great women, including Jeremy’s girlfriend, Lacey. They weren’t catty to each other, they were supportive and caring and I genuinely liked that.

Remedial Rocket Science wasn’t quite a rom-com, though it did have quite a few funny moments. Lighthearted, sure, but not really a comedy. It was also not quite as geeky as something by Penny Reid or Eliza Gordon, but it still featured a nerdy girl main character, which was great.  Melody was the only one who had any nerdy tendencies, but I think given time Jeremy could grow to love a few nerdy things.

Despite being the first in a romantic series featuring women in technology, there was surprisingly little technology or science at all. Also, rocket science had nothing to do with anything.  Melody worked in IT.  (Side note: I was annoyed that she had a degree in ComSci from MIT, did computer engineering in her spare time, but worked on servers for her job.  Those are not the same things.)   

This is Nix’s debut novel.  While the writing was fantastic, I had a few quibbles with it. Overall, it’s a lighthearted New Adult romance featuring a lovely, nerdy girl and a hunky billionaire. If you like reading billionaire/normal girl, celebrity love stories, and stories about friendship after moving to a new town, this book is a good bet.

Grade: 3 stars/C+

Recommended drink pairing:  Chai latte with a dusting of cinnamon on top. 

Amazon | Goodreads



Intermediate Thermodynamics (Book 2)

By Susannah Nix

published: September 21, 2017, Haver Street Press

Aerospace engineer Esther Abbott doesn’t believe in love, but she’s perfectly happy hating her screenwriter neighbor, Jonathan. Until she’s forced to make a devil’s bargain with him: if he distracts her best friend from a mouth-breather ex, Esther will be his science advisor for the sci-fi script he’s writing.

Her patience is put to the test when it’s time to fulfill her end of the deal. But the more time she spends with her nemesis, the more hate turns into attraction—and attraction into something much deeper. As Esther’s carefully-constructed defenses start to crumble, will love be her undoing or her salvation?

Intermediate Thermodynamics follows in the tradition of contemporary romantic comedy favorites like Penny Reid, Sally Thorne, and Jennifer Crusie. This sweet, enemies-to-lovers romance is the second in a series of standalone rom-coms featuring geeky heroines who work in STEM fields.

Intermediate Thermodynamics is the second book in the Chemistry Lessons series and I liked it even more than Remedial Rocket Science. They both take place in the same location, but each has a parallel story.  You might see some of the previous characters drop in now and then, but this is not a sequel.

Here’s another opposites attract romance novel, this time she’s an aerospace engineer and the smartest girl in the room, and won’t let you forget it. He’s a bearded screenwriter who takes himself a bit too seriously. 

Esther was so enjoyable and (ugh) totally relatable.

Forget love-at-first-sight, this is hate at first sight (I am also guilty of this).  Esther has this miserable hipster guy who lives in her building.  He’s obsessed with wearing beanies, is terrible at parking, smokes too much, and won’t stop prattling on about how he’s a screenwriter. Esther does not like most people and especially does not like Jonathan. 

 I related to Esther a lot. She knit, she was grouchy, she loved science fiction films, and tended to be a bit of a know-it-all. I adored her, though I was worried that I would be too critical of her character because I identified so well with her.  I am also a kinda nerdy knitter, so I can get pretty critical.  Nix got it right on all counts.  Esther’s experiences in a male dominated tech field were totally accurate.  It was nice to not only see women engineers in a romance, but to catch a glimpse of their every-day work life.

The story development was much improved from the previous story.  This one was much more natural. Both characters grow a lot as people. They started out as frustrating and almost un-likable characters, but they genuinely blossomed throughout the story. He tried so hard and was overly earnest about everything, but ironically uptight Esther helped him to relax and just be himself.

I am already looking forward to the next installment of this series.  I totally adore that these ladies are into science and their guys are like, “Sure!  Great!  Use that brain!”  

Recommended drink pairing:  A single origin pour over coffee. Absolutely no room for cream.

Grade: 4 stars/B

Amazon | Goodreads

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