The Unbalanced Equation by H. L. Macfarlane || Book Review

The book made me think back to The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, which I read earlier this year but it didn’t live up to the exact expectation of that book.

I requested this book on NetGalley and I was very pleased when my request was approved!

For those not familiar with NetGalley:

NetGalley helps publishers and authors promote digital review copies to book advocates and industry professionals. Publishers make digital review copies and audiobooks available for the NetGalley community to discover, request, read, and review.

DISCLAIMER: This review could contain possible spoilers based on my opinions. All opinions and views are my own.

The Unbalanced Equation by H. L. Macfarlane #bookreview #hlmacfarlane #theunbalancedequation #romancebooks #booktwt #bookaddict #booktwitter

Challenge prompt: The letter U in the A-Z Book Challenge 2022
Originally published: 2022

Pages: 416
Format: E-book

Plot from GoodReads:

What do a bad landlord, a family wedding and a rogue Bunsen burner all have in common? 

After suffering four years of scrutiny from her PhD assessor, Elizabeth Maclean believes she’s finally free of Dr Thomas Henderson’s tyranny when she begins her postdoc. But when a fire goes off in Tom’s lab (stupid undergrads) he ends up working in the same lab as Liz. 

On the same bench, no less. 

For three whole months.

To make matters worse – and much to their mutual surprise – Tom’s mum and Liz’s dad announce their impending marriage after a whirlwind romance. So when Liz’s landlord tells her to move out, pronto, it tips her over the edge. Desperate for a place to stay and in need of a saviour, the last person Liz expects to offer her a temporary home is Tom himself. 

Now stuck working together, living together and planning their parents’ Christmas wedding together, will Liz discover that Tom’s attitude over the last four years was all a ruse to hide his true feelings? Or are the two doomed to fail in their co-existence experiment?


This book juggles a couple popular tropes you’ll come to expect from the romance/chick lit genre: enemies to lovers, forced proximity, age gap, STEM. While they all fell quite well into the flow of the story, I feel that maybe there were just too many tropes for one book. I mean, you can perfectly complicated a romance novel without needing so many different tropes.

The tension build up between Liz and Tom was written well, which started off as just enemy tension and then fusing into some severe sexual tension. The romance between them was actually kind of cute, when it finally came around in the book.

The sex scenes were steamy in the book and can possibly quicken your own breathing while reading, however there were some of the parts in the book that struck me as a little uncomfortable with the lack of consent shown by each of the characters.

The manipulation that Liz and Tom exert on one another is borderline worrisome and extremely unhealthy, thinking that this helps them along into a relationship. One of the characters behaviours was a little more extreme than the other, and I really couldn’t wrap my ahead around why the author would create a character to this extreme, knowing what the social implications around it are.

The non-consent scenes and narcissistic scenes were the only real problems I picked up in the book that was otherwise entertaining.

The parents staying with Tom and Liz made the characters seem younger than they actually were and messed a little with my head with the steamy scenes started up. I had to constantly remind myself that these were actually adults in this book.

My Rating:

The book has a rating of 3.43 on GoodReads. I gave it a 4.

The Unbalanced Equation by H. L. Macfarlane #bookreview #hlmacfarlane #theunbalancedequation #romancebooks #bookaddict #booktwitter

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