Cover of Stuck with You, featuring an illustrated man and woman with cranky looks on their faces standing back to back

About the Book

Title: Stuck with You (The STEMinist Novellas #2)
Published: 2022

First Impressions: Elementary, My Dear
What’s Your Type? Lovers to Enemies to Lovers, Career Rivals, Miscommunication, Stuck in an Elevator with the Person You Hate
Meet Cute: Only One Croissant
The Lean: Just One Day
Dirty Talk: Consent Matters
We Need to Talk: Quickie
Was it Good For You? Going Up

First Impressions: Elementary, My Dear

While the cover for the first novella in this series has major Merida vibes, this one feels very Sherlock Holmes to me. I’m not entirely sure why, but the blond person definitely looks like John Watson. And perhaps the brunette is a gender-bent Sherlock? 

Will every cover in this series remind me of some other IP, specifically an AU fanfic version? Only time will tell!

What’s Your Type?

  • Lovers to Enemies to Lovers
  • Career Rivals
  • Miscommunication
  • Stuck in an Elevator with the Person You Hate

Dating Profile

Sadie Grantham is a civil engineer who works for a tiny (see: two people) engineering firm with a focus on sustainability. She’s super passionate about her work and the environment and might just be a little superstitious (see: very superstitious).

Erik Nowak is a lawyer at a rival firm, and one that is much, much larger. He’s also probably a Viking who may or may not have stolen some of Sadie’s ideas to poach a potential client.

Meet Cute: Only One Croissant

Sadie’s very particular about her rituals, and one of the most important—other than wearing purple underwear on days she makes pitches to potential clients—is eating a croissant at her favorite local coffee shop before a big presentation. Are the croissants good? No. But Sadie counts on them to make her presentations a success. So when she finds that the last croissant has just been bought by a giant of a Scandinavian man, she panics. 

Thankfully, the giant Scandinavian man is actually a really lovely person, and Sadie finds herself spending a lot of time with him over the course of the day. And night. And the following day, when she’s still basking in the glow of their meet cute, she finds out that his company has stolen the client she was relying on that croissant to get. So she ghosts him, avoiding his calls, blocking his number, and purposefully taking the wonky elevator in their building to avoid him. But fate’s a fickle mistress, and Sadie can’t ritual her way out of a power outage trapping her in an elevator with the guy she hates.

The Lean: Just One Day

Where in the first novella in this series, Under One Roof, it took a while for the main characters to warm up to each other, the swoon in Stuck with You is immediate. Sadie and Erik have a first day of knowing each other that every hopeless romantic dreams of (even if work did get in the way for some of it), and they’re both walking around like the literal embodiment of the heart-eyes emoji before 24 hours is even up. It’s especially delightful that Erik voices it, too. Not the L-word, but the idea that the overwhelming feelings they’re both feeling could be “it” for them.

Which makes that much worse when Sadie thinks that Erik used her. The tension in the elevator is palpable because of how much chemistry the two had and the sting of the burst bubble of what could have been.

Dirty Talk: Consent Matters 

Sadie and Erik end up at Erik’s place the night they meet. (Bit of a spoiler, sure, but the fact that they sleep together almost immediately isn’t the climax of the book, so you’ll have to deal.) The swoon is smoking, but when Sadie’s head catches up with her lady parts, the swoon comes to a near standstill. And Erik is 100% on board with stopping to make sure that she feels safe and in control of the situation. It’s a record-scratch, “how did I get here” moment, but it’s SO important for people to realize that if they’re not totally comfortable with what they’re doing, their partner shouldn’t be, either.

“Sadie, you …” He exhales and reaches for me again. This time he doesn’t stop and pushes back my hair, tucking it behind my ear like he wants to see my face in full. Like he wants me to see him. “You don’t have to be any way. I didn’t bring you here so you could perform for me.”

I swallow against the lump in my throat. “Right. You brought me here because I propositioned you, and then—”

“I brought you here because I wanted to be with you. I’d have kept on walking around the city till dawn if that was what you wanted. So, here’s the deal: We can spend the night fucking, and I won’t lie, I’d greatly enjoy that, but we could also play Guess Who?, or you could help me give my brother’s cat his flea medication, since it’s a two-, maybe three-person job. Any of the above works.”

Things get heated again pretty quickly after that.

“Oh my God,” I whisper into the back of my hand. Then I bite it, because if I don’t, I will scream. Maybe I’ll scream anyway, because he grunts and arches his throat to lick up into me, pressing my pelvis against his mouth, and the noises he makes—the noises we make—are wet and filthy and obscene.”

Ed. note: I pulled these quotes from an e-galley copy of the novella; the final version might be different.

Ms. Perky’s Prize for Purplest Prose

In addition to being super sexy and highlighting the importance of consent and comfort in a physical relationship, Stuck with You—like all of Hazelwood’s writing—is delightfully nerdy. But what I loved even more about this story, and the series in general, is how it highlights the three main characters’ friendship. Mara, Sadie, and Hannah—the MC of the third and final book in the series, Below Zero (review to come)—found each other in grad school and have been figuratively inseparable since. The conversations they have in this series are great interludes into the romance plots and are generally just friendship goals.

“Wait. Wait wait wait wait wait. Wait wait wait. Wait.” In the center of my Mac’s monitor, Mara holds up both index fingers to command Hannah’s and my attention. Despite the fact that we already had it. “Wait. What youre saying is that all this time we’ve been doing weekly summoning circles to give this guy disfiguring genital warts and toenail funguses and those giant subcutaneous pimples people get surgically removed on YouTube … but he did not, in fact, deserve any of it?”

Ed. note: I pulled this quote from an e-galley copy of the novella; the final version might be different.

We Need to Talk: Quickie

Much like Under One Roof, Stuck with You is a very quick read. (Only 127 Kindle pages.) But it continues to impress me how much Hazelwood can pack into those few pages. Sadie and Erik became fully formed characters in a matter of paragraphs, and the escalation of the plot never seems rushed. The ending does wrap up a little neatly, but—thankfully—not in a way that makes it seem like Hazelwood was running out of time and just needed to get something on paper. I’d read a whole actual 300+ page book about these characters, but I don’t need to to get the satisfaction I was looking for.

Was it Good For You? Going Up

A person doesn’t always need a night full of passion—sometimes it’s good to have a moment or ten of unbridled fun. This novella wasn’t that world-shaking, but I certainly wouldn’t complain about the time we spent together.

(Steve Rogers would be appalled at me using this GIF for innuendo purposes.)

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Berkley Books, but got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Stuck with You is available now.

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Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.