Under One Roof by Ali Hazelwood Spoilers Ahead
Novellas might be easier to read with fewer pages, but make no mistake thinking they are easier to write. In fact, it’s harder to tell compelling stories with limitations, and, more often than not, they don’t hit the same way full-length novels do. But that’s not the case with Ali Hazelwood‘s latest novellas, the STEMinist trilogy. The Love Hypothesis author is back with yet another hit that’ll leave you wanting more after devouring the delightfully charming romance between Mara Floyd and Liam Harding.
Under One Roof by Ali Hazelwood puts a fascinating spin on the forced proximity roommates trope while sprinkling in enemies-to-lovers into a friends-to-lovers that works stupendously. A romance between an environmental engineer and a prominent oil company lawyer sounds like a match made in Heaven, but throw in the gradual progression in a span of one hundred or so pages and Demisexual male representation, and we’re completely in. The novella is a page-turner from start to finish, leading to a kind of steamy collision that’s not only worth the wait but one that’ll quickly become part of the hottest scenes of 2022, without question.
Mara and Liam are easy to root for from the start as Hazelwood takes us through various periods out of order, which surprisingly work better for the shorter text than if it were to go in chronological order. Because the Prologue doesn’t follow the first meeting, as readers get there, it’s almost effortless to find ourselves that much more invested. See, where spoilers are sometimes a bad thing, other times, they make the story riveting to swim through. And for this love story, the structure is part of the charm.
There’s a bit of a grump and sunshine if we consider their initial meeting, which results in Liam being the kind of fictional boyfriend we’ll all be longing for. And dare I say, he might’ve beat Adam for me (oops). Under One Roof by Ali Hazelwood fleshes out the characters with a limited amount of time admirably and dives into the risks worth taking when people find themselves around others who believe in them. It looks into the art of setting our sights on more prominent dreams as opposed to settling, and it beautifully highlights friendship alongside the romance.
To have strong female characters in STEM who know their worth and simultaneously deal with the kind of doubts we all do brings relatable characters front and center, allowing readers outside of the career path to resonate that much more. It’s the kind of novella that understands where it wants to go and how it wants to get there through storytelling where every single word feels rightfully earned.
It’s short, spicy, and achingly sweet, but it’s hugely impactful. Ali Hazelwood’s way of threading words together is enchantingly gripping, and the complexities she writes her characters with remain top-notch. Under One Roof is a joy ride through and through, continuing to prove that Hazelwood is indeed one of the greatest writers of our time.