Love By The Numbers – Karin Kallmaker

Lambda Literary FInalistLove by the Numbers - Karin KallmakerProfessor Nicole Hathaway’s life is controlled, ordered and organized. As a specialist in neurobiology and biopsychology – behavioral sciences – she knows that every human emotion is caused by chemical reactions in the brain. The success of her research work, on how DNA analysis can show relationship compatibility, has brought unexpected demands from her publisher and she is bound to a speaking tour around Europe and the USA.

Having driven away 3 assistants sent to organize the tour and accompany her on it, Nicole is hopeful that she can get away alone. However when her publisher sends along Lily Smith, Nicole may have met her match. Lillian Linden-Smith has been in hiding for months from a media bloodhound determined to prove she is guilty by association with her parents’ fraudulent schemes. Financially ruined and personally bereft, Lily knows this is her best chance to get away from the public eye and start moving forwards with her life.

All Nicole sees is a Barbie doll wanna-be Stepford Wife. All Lily sees is an emotionless academic bitch from hell. Spending weeks on the road together is going to test both of their fortitude.

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Karin Kallmaker is an expert at the coming out story and this is another great example of the genre. Even more it is a wonderful witty romance and a great tale of character development and growth.

The two main characters are chalk and cheese. Nicole, sterile, bottled up, suppressed by her heritage, her family expectations and her alien-ness. Lily is open, intelligent, caring and wants to be loved, damaged by thoughtless parents, media bullying and the court case from hell. Nicole’s journey is one of learning that emotions can’t always be controlled and feelings can’t be counted. She is the chrysalis emerging from its shell. Lily’s journey is one of self belief. She is already a wonderful person, she just needs to believe she can find a new place in the world. She is the flower opening in warmth and sunshine.

The backdrop of bigoted radio hosts, suggestive frat boys, ridiculous male cousins and occasional hot liasons makes for a wonderful read. The Hathaway family dynamic is outstanding, and all kudos to Nicole’s wonderful mother Indira for her brilliant role. Lily doesn’t have a family except her supportive uncle, instead she has the most colorful of super egos; Libido, Circumspect and occasionally even Common Sense. Would love to see what they wear to the wedding.

Karin kallmaker bioThe writing is first class, and the humor is better. If you have ever spent any time with bunged up academics, especially mathematicians, and/or upper class Indians, you will fall about at the stilted computer speak, the bizarre family dynamics and the lengths Nicole has gone to in order to hide from her mother.. and avoid the vindaloo. This isn’t a book full of jokes, but the wit is literally laugh out loud and the characterization is spot on.

The romance is sweet and the sex is hot, all in all this had my dopamine, seratonin and oxytocin levels creeping higher and higher. First class RomCom written with love, humour and an exceedingly good eye for our human foibles.

Product info:

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • First published 2013
  • Publisher: Bella Books (March 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D0U2924
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