Cover Image: The Sizzle Paradox

The Sizzle Paradox

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Member Reviews

Just a fun romance with a lot of enjoyable characters. The whole book was just a lot of what I needed at the moment.  I really liked reading this.
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This book was cute! Lyric and Kian have been friends and roommates for years, as they work towards their doctorate degrees. Lyric is studying true love in a psychology context, but feels like a fraud since she hasn't experienced it herself. Sparks fly, etc etc. It's a sweet story that is perfect for your summer vacation.
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I'm finding it hard to rate this book. There were aspects I enjoyed and some that confused me. I was interested to know why in seven years, there'd been no attraction between them. Lyric came across as flighty sometimes, and other times, quite serious. Their friendship was nice though and I appreciated how they respected each other and their relationship choices. The chemistry when they did get together was good to read.
I liked that the story was a decent length and had good side characters.  
I received an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Fun, quick read about Kian and Lyric, best friends who end up realizing they were made for more! It was an enjoyable read. I appreciated that it was a good length—allowing for depth of character but the resolve and happy ending wasn’t drawn out.
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Lyric and Kian have been roommates for seven years-through undergrad and graduate school.  They are best friends.  Lyric is working on her research for her doctorate in experimental psychology.  She is comparing the romantic and sexual chemistry within couples to determine what makes a successful relationship.  She has a lot of data but is stuck when her own relationships seem to fail.  Kian, who never has trouble getting a girl, decides to tutor Lyric in the ways of connecting with a guy.  As they fake date, their relationship changes.  I liked this book.  Relationships are hard.  The many couples in this story all have different ways of connecting.  Lyric learns that one formula does not fit all.  I liked how friendships are portrayed, both with the same sex and the opposite sex.  The relationships within families are also important.  The encounters along the way were fun and creative.  Great characters and great lessons learned.
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I regretted asking for this book on Netgalley only a few chapters in. <i>The Sizzle Paradox</i> was a big fizzle (ha ha ha) for a lot of reasons. I thought it portrayed grad school inaccurately (LOL you don't do lab work "overtime" to get more money) and the main female lead was totally insufferable. She was a combination of clueless, annoying and superstitious in a decidedly non-relatable nor endearing way. I also think the dialogue, chemistry and pacing made it hard for me to ever engage with the book. I was very happy to have finished.

I'm rounding up to a 2-star rating because I think it's cool to have STEM romances. I was hoping this would be another [book:The Love Hypothesis|56732449], but this ended up being a big pass.

I voluntarily obtained a digital version of this book free from Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.
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Lyric and Kian are best friends and studying at college. Lyric needs help one day and Kian is there to help with her thesis. This book was a cute friends to lovers trope. I really enjoyed this book. It was super cute. 

I received this ARC through #netgalley and I am voluntarily reviewing this book
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The Sizzle Paradox by Lily Menon
Tags: Contemporary Romance; RomCom; Friends To Lovers; New Adult Romance

Lyric and Kian are grad students, roommates and best friends. They are also both unfulfilled in the romance department – with graduation looming for Kian and Lyric’s research on sexual and emotional chemistry stalled, they embark on a experiment to try and solve each other’s romantic issues before they part ways.

I appreciated that the two main characters were given a variety of back story to flesh them out – interests, lives, relationships. I also enjoyed the dual pov that alternated between the two over the course of the story. Another point in favor would be the secondary characters, I was intrigued by Lyric’s family members, and wanted to see more / hear more about them and their stories. 

Overall, I found the premise of the story interesting, and I liked the idea of the friendship set up between Lyric and Kian and ultimately it was an okay read for me. The start felt slow to me, and I despite interest in the premise, I never felt really connected to either of the main characters or their journey. I wanted to feel more chemistry between them, but for me it felt a bit stilted and awkward and the jump from platonic to sexual partners felt kind of sudden. 

A lighthearted, romcom that fans of friends to lovers and new adult romance fans will enjoy.

Thank you to St Martins Griffin and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an early copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own and offered freely.
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Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me an arc in exchange for an honest review. 

This was a great lighthearted romance. There’s something so comforting about romances with an academic/academia background. I can’t get enough of them and this book totally delivers. I think fans of The Love Hypothesis would also devour this book. It’s not quite as steamy as I expected, but that’s okay. Overall a great, fun book.
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Thanks to NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Lyric (LB) is a PhD student studying sexual and romantic chemistry between partners in serious relationships. Kian is her super hot best friend/roommate who (I think) is getting his Master's degree in chemistry. Kian is a bit of a womanizer and LB is the total opposite. Both unhappy with their current dating lives, they decide to impart their knowledge on each other and end up catching feelings for each other in the process.

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I am a fan of this. I read some reviews beforehand that weren't great, but I was surprised at how much I liked this. It definitely isn't anything groundbreaking, but I had fun reading it and think it's a solid, lighthearted romcom. I'd definitely recommend this to fans of The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazlewood and The Kiss Quotient by Helen Huang, as both are along the same vein - but with friends to lovers trope in addition to fake dating.

There were a few issues I had - some of the language surrounding graduate school was just incorrect. I have a doctorate and we did not use "thesis" and "dissertation" interchangeably. Additionally (I know this is going to make me sound pretentious, but it bothered me nonetheless) there is one character who couldn't tell the difference between a t-test and a one-way ANOVA. I struggled HARD with stats in grad school, but that was one of the only concepts I easily grasped. It wasn't that believable to have a non-first year student who's working in a lab have that kind of struggle.

I really liked the representation and felt it was super similar to what might be found in academia.

I liked the characters a lot. Kian was super cute and I really related to a lot of what Lyric was feeling at times. I thought they were well developed and their friendship was believable. I liked that we got to learn about Lyric's crazy family and I thought they were used well to further the plot. I think this will be popular when it's released!
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I’m never getting tired of a light hearted, quick paced and well written romcom novel, and this was exactly just that. Ahh I just devoured it in a single sitting. I so enjoyed this friends-to-lovers novel. The main characters were delightfully nerdy and their friendship was one absolute gem, left me all jelly here. It gets a teeny tiny bit corny at times, but, that might just be me. 
Nonetheless, it was a very fun read. I totally enjoyed it!!
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This felt more like NA than I was expecting, but in a good way. It's a fascinating idea - how people fall and start in love, so I liked that. I am personally very suspicious of the friends-to-lovers trope when it's presented as a surprise to both parties. That seems unlikely, at best. But, my own issues aside, I thought it was an feel-good read. 

*ARC through Netgalley*
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I loved this book so much! The passion and smoking chemistry between the characters, smart banters, the high tension friends to lovers premise stole my heart!
I couldn’t put it down, it was the perfect kind of romance for a reader like me and I highly recommend it!

Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.
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Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for this arc in exchange for an honest review.

Lyric Bishop, affectionately called LB, is a psych doctoral student at Columbia. Full of academic steam and determination, LB has a cute quirk for liking crystals and their specific apparent properties, which she uses nunerlus times in the novel. LB is preparing submit her thesis to her advisor: The Sizzle Pradox. Finding how couples can find the perfect balance between sexual and emotional chemistry. LB’s problem is that she’s never been able to find the right person for herself who meets that balance.

Kian is an environmental studies student in the cusp on graduating and leaving university behind, which also means leaving behind his best friend and roommate, LB. It also means leaving behind his casual dating ways. I was pleased to find Kian was a BIPOC MMC, as I find this is rare in romcoms, but is becoming more popular. He was so swoon worthy, and a sweet MMC that I found myself blushing over A LOT.

While both Kian and LB struggle with their romantic endeavours, Kian suggests they do some practice dates. Kian will show LB how to properly date someone without using jargon and talking about the sexual habits of certain species, and LB will teach Kian how to date women that are different than what he’s used to.

While some aspects of this romcom are cheesy (and some economical logistics are unrealistic for people living and working in Manhattan), and feature a few too many pop culture references for my liking, this was a splendid friends-to-lovers romance that had some great tropes that I love. Parents think your best friend is the one? Check. Fake dating? Check. Getting “it” out of their system? CHECK. 

This was a cute little romcom that many will enjoy.
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Lyric and Kian are both grad students at Columbia, are best friends and roommates and both are disenchanted with dating. As best friends they never think of dating one another. It would kill their friendship. But Lyric is studying romantic attraction for her PhD and she is stuck. Kian agrees to ‘fake-date’ her then fake kiss her then… they make real love. The confusion over their feelings creates a strain on their relationship that neither understands. Perhaps they’ve fallen in love?
The story is told in dual perspectives and that is so satisfying. It is a juxtaposition: the more Lyric and Kian are confused about what they are feeling, we as readers get to know what is going on. And it is fun and easy to fall in love with both of these characters. I will love recommending this book.
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A heartfelt friends to lovers! 

Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis:

Lyric Bishop feels like a fraud – she’s studying sexual chemistry in romantic partners and what makes for a successful long-term relationship, only she can’t seem to figure it out in her own dating life. The science is sound, but how can she give her expert opinion with no real-world experience? In order to complete her doctoral thesis, she must crack the Sizzle Paradox – it seems the more sexually attractive she finds a guy, the less likely it is to come with an emotional connection; but why? – and to do that she must get the help she desperately needs.

Kian Montgomery, her best friend, roommate, and fellow grad student, has no trouble bringing both romance and sizzle to his own relationships. When he offers to tutor Lyric on dating tactics to find a good match, she’s certain it will solve her problems, and in exchange she agrees to set long-term-commitment-averse Kian up with someone different to give his romantic life a much-needed shakeup.

But once the two progress with their "tutoring sessions," they start to feel less like the academic exercise they were supposed to be as real feelings develop. Which is a problem, because Lyric and Kian are best friends and absolutely, irrefutably nothing else... Right?

Thank you NetGalley for giving me an ARC!
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(2/5 stars) Lyric is a grad student in experimental psychology studying physical and emotional chemistry between romantic partners. She feels like a fraud, since she hasn't cracked the Sizzle Paradox (finding a partner with BOTH physical AND emotional attraction) for herself. When her roommate and best friend of 7 years, Kian, offers to help tutor Lyric in bringing romance and sizzle to her relationships, Lyric is certain that will solve her problem. But when what seemed solidly the friend zone turns into more over the course of his tutoring, Lyric has to decide what the future holds for her and Kian as graduation looms.

Honestly this book just did NOT do it for me. I liked the dual point of view (I always prefer dual POV) and the general idea of the book, but the execution just wasn't there. The combo hit of friends to lovers and miscommunication tropes was just too much, and there wasn't good writing to overcome it. I almost DNFed when the author used the phrase "curly brown hair the color of wet dirt." 

Not to mention this book is about grad students but I'm not sure that the author actually talked to any grad students before writing this book, since she uses "thesis" and "dissertation" interchangeably, among other things. There were also a few plot holes/mistakes where it felt like the author had written it from the other characters POV and then forgotten to fully switch it. For example, Lyric says she has to work overtime in the lab to make some extra money when earlier in the book it says she's funded by a teaching assistantship while Kian has a research assistantship in a lab. Finally, it seems silly that Lyric can't do research/data analysis on something until she's experienced it for herself - since plenty of scientists (especially in psychology) study things that they aren't personally experiencing (but maybe that's a bit harsh).

Overall, if you're not a grad student, this is probably a fine read. If you are, just be warned.
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an early look at this book.  I very much appreciate it!

I enjoyed this friends-to-lovers book quite a bit.    The main characters were delightfully nerdy and their friendship  felt real.    Their families were the right amount of complicated and added to the story.    Their friends and co-workers felt very real as well.    I liked that the struggle Lyric had with her research wasn't just glossed over but instead added tension.  However,   I didn't think the sex scenes were really necessary.

I adored that the heroine's initials were "LB" and the hero called her "Pound" in private;  that was a great touch!!   I I loved Make Up Break Up and this book is a winner as well.
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BRIEF SUMMARY: Lyric and Kian met six years ago as undergrads at Columbia. Now her longtime roommate and best friend Kian is graduating with a PhD she still has another year of school. Her thesis, The Sizzle Paradox, finding the perfect balance between physical and emotional feelings, i.e. couples that are perfect and have lasting relationships. Lyric has lost her “sizzle” and cannot write her thesis. She tries to go on a number of dates desperately trying to find it, but with her lack of dating history, she needs some help. Cue Kian, the sexy roommate to provide dating lessons to help Lyric up her game. Kian and Lyric kiss during a dating lesson and throws everything topsy turvy. Is there something more under the surface of their platonic relationship. 

MY THOUGHTS: This friends to lovers trope is the antithesis to The Love Hypothesis.  These characters are smart, witty, and a bit nerdy (which I love).  If you are looking for something light, funny, and with a tad of romantic steam, this is the book for you!
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I really enjoyed this book. The plot was quick and the characters well developed. I would enjoy reading other works by this author in the future.
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