Down to a Science by Haley CassDown to a Science by Haley Cass is a slow burn, angsty friends to lovers with a neurodivergent lead.

Ellie Beckett is a scientific genius finishing a Ph.D. at MIT, sitting on her stool at her favorite bar, putting the final touches on her thesis at The Witching Hour where she knows no one will try to interact with her but her bartender. Her life is predictable and comfortable enough, until the night Mia Sharpe walks in to play pool with some friends and things are never the same again.

Mia has just moved to Boston to start a new job as a firefighter when she sees Ellie on her barstool and discovers the pretty young scientist might be socially awkward but has a warm heart, a sexy brain, and might just be her number one person in life.

Pros And My Favourite Parts

Mildred: Ellie is socially awkward and seriously doesn’t read people well, which I can really relate to. This also means she finds being around crowds and/or loud places uncomfortable. I found the author’s depiction of that aspect of Ellie’s character to be spot on and well done throughout the book.

Rach: I agree, Haley Cass did a great job of submerging the reader into Ellie’s world and how it works for her. Ellie is a wonderful character and watching her slowly come to terms with the fact that she is a lesbian and is in love with her best friend was heartwarming, funny, and beautiful. I quickly became enchanted by her and wanted her to be happy and comfortable with who she is. Science and being smart are super sexy and I love that Ellie found someone to love and appreciate her for who she is, smarts and all.

I also loved the relationship she had with her twin sister Riley. Riley knew just when to push Ellie out of her comfort zone and always made sure that Ellie didn’t disappear into her world of work. There was a great group of friends that were all respectful but helped to keep Ellie grounded and surrounded by just the right amount of social interactions.

Mildred: It was very easy to love both Ellie and Mia, and the slow burn romance, which I would more accurately describe as a slow inferno, is seriously and believably dripping with angst.

Rach: Oh, I so agree Mildred, these two were so easy to love. Even if I shouted at the page several times for them to “Just tell each other”, I could never hold it against them for long. The slow burn was incredible on two levels, firstly how slowly their friendship progressed. It took them months after their first meeting to even talk to each other again and then watching that friendship blossom was truly delightful. Secondly was that slow inferno, wow. They may have taken their time to get there, but all that delicious tension, heat, and uncertainty had to explode at some point, and my oh my did it explode.

I’d like to add a bit about Mia. She was such an interesting character and such a contradiction in terms. She was so confident, friendly, and sweet, but at the same time, she was guarded and full of self-doubt. It was hard at times to see her struggle and the author did a good job at slowly revealing her to us through Ellie’s eyes. She was so brave and thoughtful, at the same time as being scared and unwilling to open herself up too much. And hello she’s a firefighter, totally swoon-worthy.

This book is written in the third person and is told from Ellie’s POV. Having read a Haley Cass book before I was ready for how she manages to capture the character’s anguish and make you feel it all in the best possible ways.

Finding your one and getting to know them so completely whether it be for friendship, or more is a beautiful thing. Haley Cass has exquisitely managed to capture that. This book made my eyes sting, my chest hurt, and my heart full of love.

Cons And Heads Up

Mildred: I will admit that I found the writing style difficult to adjust to, but once I finally found myself wrapped up in the story, I couldn’t put it down.

Rach: None

The Conclusion

Rach: This is a beautiful friends-to-lovers romance that is slow-burn and filled with tension. There’s a cute dingy pub, that stars as the meeting place for Ellie and Mia to expand their budding friendship, a bartender who has the knowing look perfected, and a pool table that is the center of many a meaningful heated gaze. It is a roller coaster of highs that will make you smile and lows filled with anguish and I couldn’t stop reading. If you like your romance full of all the feels, with an explosive happy ending then this one is for you.

Mildred: Rach and I had the same reaction to the slow burn as we verbally rooted for the women to overcome their issues and find each other. The author has a real feel for the inner lives of the characters she shares with the readers, and portrays them in a passionate and believable way.

Excerpt from Down to a Science by Haley Cass

This place, it was hers. She even had the barstool with her name on it.

Okay, so it didn’t actually, but she always sat in the same one every time since she’d wandered in three years ago. And the one time Ellie had sat in another seat, Megan had mocked her about being in the wrong place and had feigned not recognizing her.

Ellie took that to heart.

And Ellie was sitting right there, in her spot where the stool faced the door, when she walked right in.

The woman’s hair was long and dark, falling loosely over her shoulders, as she wore a buttoned-up linen shirt, tucked into a tight pair of jeans. Her hands were slipped into the back pockets of said jeans, and her hips swayed with confidence as she walked.

It should have been funny that she seemed like she owned the room, really, because she had to have stood at just over five feet, if an inch. But her eyes took in every single nook and cranny, measuring everything and everyone – Ellie included – and she emanated such an aura that she knew exactly who she was and where she was and that she wasn’t afraid of anything.

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Bits and Bobs

AISN number: B09Z78PKHH

Publisher: Indie Author

Haley Cass Online


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