Sunday, March 7, 2021

Intermediate Thermodynamics by Susannah Nix

Recently, I had read Remedial Rocket Science, the first book in the Chemistry Lessons series by author, Susannah Nix. The series is described on her website as "…standalone romantic comedies feature smart, geeky STEM heroines who discover that romantic chemistry isn’t as predictable as the laws of science…". I had thoroughly enjoyed reading that book, so as I waited on a couple of ARCS to arrive, I was fortunate to be able to get Intermediate Thermodynamics, the second book in the series, by Susannah Nix through the library and just finished reading it.

In Intermediate Thermodynamics, our heroine is Esther, an Aerospace engineer. The other primary characters that we are introduced to are her best-friend Jinny, her co-worker Yemi and her neighbor, Jonathan. I was pretty excited part-way into the story to discover that Jonathan was the same Jonathan we first met in Remedial Rocket Science when he had a blind date with Melody. Esther also works for the same company as Melody and Jeremy, just at a different location. I was so glad to get a glimpse, even if it was minimal, into the story of the characters we met in Remedial Rocket Science.

Esther has never really paid much attention to Jonathon, finding him an annoyance most of the time when she encounters him. Esther wants to help her best friend Jinny keep from falling back into a bad relationship, so when Jonathan asks for a favor, she flips the tables and agrees to help him out as long as he will help her out. Through this deal, she winds up spending time with Jonathan and discovering that me might not be as annoying as she once thought. The challenge is now that she set them up, she can't possibly fall for Jonathan, it would be a violation of the best friend code. Her actions nearly jeopardizes her friendship with Jinny and her new found connection with Jonathan. Its her brother that finally helps her recognize what she is doing and how to try to salvage things before it is too late.

Intermediate Thermodynamics was enjoyable and the short chapters helped keep the story moving. The characters were well developed, very relatable and likeable. I liked that Esther was established in her community, unlike Melody who was struggling to find a fit; Esther had a best friend, a connection with her co-worker, and a knitting group that supported her. Esther is at the same time very comfortable in her own skin at work (perhaps too so, when her boss calls her 'aggressive') and with her friends but not so much when it comes to guys. In fact, at one point, she tells Jonathan that she thinks she was meant to be alone since she would rather spend time alone or with friends over any man she has ever dated. To this he responds, 'maybe the problem isn't you, it's the kind of men you date.' He offers up more perspective, concluding 'you should be looking for someone you actually enjoy spending time with. Ideally, you're looking for a best friend. That's the goal, isn't it? To marry your best friend'. I loved Jonathan's perspective and I could totally relate to the self-doubting reaction that Esther had, asking Jinny the next time she sees her if she has bad taste in men.

If you are looking for a contemporary, romantic comedy story, I would highly recommend checking out this book. Although a series, each book can be read on it's own. There are five other books in this series and in addition, the Nix has several other books that I plan to check out. Up next, I will be requesting a copy of the third book in the series: Advanced Physcial Chemistry. In that one, the heroine is a Chemical degree!, I really can't wait to read it.

What are you reading?