Amazing Women In Stem Novels (From A Woman in STEM)
Last year in 2022, I discovered a genre I didn’t know I needed. There are nonfiction poli-sci books, there are stalker romances (not my thing), psychological thrillers, and fantasy romances (which are, in fact.. my thing).. but I had no idea that ‘Women In Stem Novels’… were a thing.
And not only are they a thing… they’re a highly profitable exploding genre that women worldwide have been starved for. Women in the science, technology, education, and math fields, (STEM), have long gone without their stories being told. This new era is where we’ve glamorized and made a forgotten part of women’s history relatable and accessible. We need the romances, the novels that teach us something, and even the non-fiction ones documenting stories that have sat far too long in a dusty filing cabinet that someone doesn’t want to be told. Without adieu, these are a few of my favorite Women in Stem novels… and some I didn’t love!
**My reviews may not always be positive – but I feel it’s more important to be honest with my audience than to claim every book is good. If I’ve written a review, it’s below the book preview… feel free to comment with your thoughts if you’ve read the book too!
Historical Fiction Women In Stem Novels I’ve Read
I wouldn’t necessarily classify some of these as romance novels, because while they have a romantic component, I feel that the real points the authors are trying to make transcend day-to-day romantic ideals.
Atomic Love by Jennie Fields
If you’ve ever been silly in your love life and done things you know you shouldn’t all for a man.. Atomic Love is the Women in STEM romance novel for you.
A SHORT PREVIEW: Follow the story of Rosalind, breaking through societal expectations of the 1950s by becoming a nuclear physicist and falling in love with her handsome co-worker, Thomas Weaver. Five years after her work on the atomic bomb ends and her relationship with Thomas is cut short, Rosalind finds herself missing her old life. Just as she’s contemplating a change, Thomas Weaver gets back in touch… followed shortly by the FBI. As Rosalind realizes that Thomas’s entrance back into her life may have more sinister implications for the United States and the future of the atomic bomb across the world, she’s also falling for her handler FBI Special Agent Charlie Szydlo. As Charlie pushes Roz to find out more and more about where Thomas’s atomic bomb research has gone, things start to heat up and become more and more dangerous.
My Review of Atomic Love
I finished Atomic Love in March 2023, and even though I’m most definitely nowhere near as intelligent as the main character when it comes to nuclear physics.. at this point in my life, I have gained more social/emotional intelligence than Rosalind Porter. Maybe that’s a sign of the times… maybe it’s because of society’s expectations of women in the 50s.. but whatever the reason… I found myself personally frustrated by Roz’s character. Here are some of my main thoughts whilst reading:
- Do we all do silly things for love? YES. But when it comes to state secrets… I want to think I’d be more discerning than our heroine Roz? Women who defied the world’s expectations of them and became scientists do not seem like the kind of women who lack courage??
- This whole plot just annoyed me. This book is such a good premise – but the ‘secrets’ took too long to flesh out. When they did, they weren’t dramatic enough to justify the slow trickle of info throughout the unveiling, making the suspense feel anticlimactic.
- What did I enjoy to leave a 2-star review? Mostly just that women’s voices are being heard in the STEM field and the casual reminder that even in the 1950s, they were committing women to asylums for being sad. Always something to be grateful for, I suppose? They’d get stuck that way if I rolled my eyes any harder.
My Rating: 2/5 Stars || Find on Amazon Here
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
So far, Lessons In Chemistry is my favorite novel featuring an absolutely fearless woman in STEM. Fearless in her career, fearless in redefining what motherhood meant to her – and most importantly – fearless in defining who she wanted to be beyond what many people say her life SHOULD have been.
A SHORT PREVIEW: When Elizabeth Zott is growing up… the only thing she knows for certain is that she likes science. During the 1960s, while she was working at the Hastings Institute on groundbreaking research in abiogenesis – gender equality was nonexistent (even among scientists who should know better.) Life takes her through unexpected turns into falling in love with her co-worker Calvin Evans. Years later, as a single mother, Elizabeth finds herself the star of a live cooking show: Supper at Six. With her… unique… approach to cooking and can-do-attitude… Elizabeth finds herself teaching women more than to cook. She’s teaching them to value themselves and change the world.
My Review of Lessons in Chemistry
Every single person I know needs to read this book. Not every woman.. every person. Insightful, truly hilarious at times, and with more than enough charisma to make you want to be the best version of yourself is Bonnie Garmus’s masterpiece: Lessons In Chemistry.
This is one of those books that reminds us we can absolutely do anything we put our minds to, even in the face of challenging circumstances. So much of Elizabeth’s character revolves around building herself up and building up the women around her.. she somewhat reminds me of Jessica Chastain’s character in The Help? (Another incredible book/movie adaptation!) She doesn’t care that society’s expectations of her dictate a certain kind of life. The book’s take on what women really go through in the most thankless job in the world: motherhood and ‘keeping house’ are insights that we all truly need!
P.S. ‘Lessons in Chemistry’ is coming to Apple TV in 2023! Be on the lookout!
Content Warnings: Sexual Assault is mentioned more than once, and once in somewhat graphic detail. If you want to read this book and skip that graphic scene – skip pages . You’ll still get the overall feel of the book!
My Rating: 4.5/5 || Find On Amazon Here
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Obviously, we have a plethora of smutty 18th-century Great Britain shows to watch thanks to a massive fan base built on Sam Heughan’s smoldering Scottish good looks.. but at its heart – Claire is an Englishwoman thrown into the worlds of balls and fancy carriages, all while trying to help save people’s lives with modern medicine! (She becomes a surgeon.. and since medicine is science – I’m including this amazing series on this list!)
Contemporary Standalone Women In STEM Romance Novels
Not into historical fiction? Here are a few contemporary women in STEM novels just waiting to be devoured on your next lunch break.
The Chemistry of Love by Sariah Wilson
The Chemistry of Love is a new adult/coming-of-age novel, and women in STEM romance novel all wrapped in one.
A SHORT PREVIEW: A budding cosmetic chemist, in love with her boss and bursting with good ideas, suddenly finds herself out of a job when she quits with the romantic notion of wooing said boss to love her and her great ideas. As with all snap decisions, though, things don’t exactly go according to plan for Anna, our spunky, gloriously nerdy heroine. In swoops the CEO of her late job’s company with a deal: fake date him to help him save his company .. and he’ll help her win the heart of her old boss… who also happens to be his *brother*.
MY THOUGHTS: Overall, this is a light and cute #womeninSTEM romance (once you get past that first 29% of insidiously cringe-worthy conversations), but definitely more of a New Adult romance. Both the FMC and the MMC are in their twenties, and some of their communication is very immature/ angsty.
- I feel like this would be a great rom-com for any young gal, especially since it’s such a fast read (or listen as I did.)
- Light-hearted feminist romance read. (Yes – that is a thing!)
- This whole book felt like that Freddie Prince Jr. movie ‘She’s All That’ but the even nerdier version – and also a little of that movie ‘Something Borrowed’ where Ginnifer Goodwin is a nerdy lawyer pining over someone else’s guy… Make of that what you will.. I can’t decide if those are good or bad comparisons.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
I’ve enjoyed Helen Hoang’s books for a while now and can’t wait to read this one! It just came in the mail recently, so if you see me reading on my lunch break… let me be! 😉
A SHORT PREVIEW: A mathematician with Aspberger’s hires an escort to teach her about love. (While this might seem like just another smutty romance, that’s not Helen Hoang’s writing style. She’s a master of balancing romances with deeper connections!) This story has over 20,000 reviews on Amazon and 4.5/5 stars! Definitely a story worth reading, and I can’t wait to drop my review!
* While The Kiss Quotient is part of a longer series, the characters and storylines aren’t related so you don’t have to read the other two to get your Women in STEM romance novel happy ever after ending! However, both The Bride Test and The Heart Principle are great books! The Heart Principle was one of my 5-star reads of 2022!
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
T3, as I like to refer to Zevin’s creation affectionately, has won many awards in the last two years, and for good reason!! Differing from your traditional Women In STEM romance novel, the main character Sadie Green is a video game designer and highly talented programmer! I’ve never read anything about video games, so T3 was a fresh storyline for me!
A SHORT PREVIEW: Sadie Green and Sam Masur have been friends since childhood. Bonding over video games while in the hospital under very different circumstances, it’s not until their college years that they strike up a friendship again. After deciding to design a video game together, what follows is one of the most beautiful platonic love stories I’ve ever read.
MY THOUGHTS: This story has a timeless beauty, and Zevin is a very talented storyteller. There has never been a time when I wasn’t thinking about books in much the same way that the main characters view video games; they’re a lifeline when the reality is hard. There is so much more to this book than meets the eye, and I could probably write a full blog post on it if I wanted to! If you’re interested in talking about the book – comment here or read my review on Goodreads and comment there!
A few others that I haven’t investigated yet
There are always more books to read and add to my never-ending TBR list! These are a few more Women in STEM novels that I plan on reading in the next few years. (I say in the next few years because, as any reader knows, when you like multiple genres, the possibilities for your next read are endless.
The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon
In The Boyfriend Project, our woman in STEM is an app developer who gets catfished for the third time. Fed up with men in general, she decides to take time off from the dating world along with all the other women her boyfriend was cheating on her with. While focusing on working on herself, she meets a sexy guy at work… who might just be too good to be true?!
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
The main Women In Stem is an astronomer! I love the prospect of anything space related, so this will probably be a home run for me! Honey Girl was also on Oprah’s List, in Cosmo, and many other lists. Could be your next great book club pick?
Pulling Doubles by Christina C. Jones
A quick women in STEM romance novel under 300 pages for all the Grey’s Anatomy fans out there! In Pulling Doubles, our women in STEM heroine is a feisty nurse trying, unsuccessfully, not to fall in love with a curmudgeonly doctor.
- Find Pulling Doubles on Amazon Here – Also available on Kindle Unlimited!
To the Stars and Back by Camilla Isley
Remember that movie Shes All That with Freddie Prince Junior? This is the Women in STEM version of that story with a plucky rocket scientist trying her best to navigate a relationship with a well-known Hollywood heartthrob.
Truth or Beard by Penny Reid
The small-town bearded love interest that many women in STEM look for! There’s just something about those bearded guys that makes a hard-working gal want a change in scenery!
How To Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams
A college professor desperately wants to save her struggling department but decides she needs a bit of fun to help blow off steam. After starting a whirlwind romance, she starts to think there might be more to life than just her academic career.
Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
Part of the Brown Sisters series, Get A Life, Chloe Brown follows a chronically ill computer geek looking to revamp her personal life. Hiring her handyman next door to help her do all the things she never could before… she might get a surprise in finding out that there’s one more thing shes never done before – falling in love!
Anything You Can Do by R.S. Grey
Two small-town successful kids competed in high school for everything, and now they’re up to their old tricks – but with MDs behind their names. Follow Daisy and Lucas in their epic enemies-to-lovers romance!
- Find Anything You Can Do on Amazon Here – Also available on Kindle Unlimited!
Contemporary New Adult Women In Stem Romances
- My Mechanical Romance by Alexene Follmuth (A.K.A. Olivia Blake – The bestselling author of The Atlas Six)
- When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon – Inspired the Netflix series Mismatched and the first in a three-part series!
Regency Romance Women In Stem Novels
These are a thing.. and combine one of the first genres I ever loved (regency romance) with one of my fave new genres: Women in Stem novels. If you’ve ever read Regency romance and wanted a little more depth to the stories, these provide an interesting take on what the first women who dared to challenge the status quo might have gone through!!
- How To Love A Duke In 10 Days by Kerrigan Byrne (Also available on Kindle Unlimited!)
- The Countess Conspiracy and Talk Sweetly To Me by Courtney Milan
- Sweet Enemy by Heather Snow
The Secret Scientists of London Series by Elizabeth Everett
Authors With Women In Stem Series
Don’t you love finding an author you can relate to? And then reading more of that same author and finding you like their other books too? It’s a great feeling to find an author you love – makes it super easy at the bookstore, too… especially when you have someone impatiently waiting for you to select your books!
Abby Jimenez’s Women in Stem Romance Novels
- Part Of Your World – An age gap, small-town romance I absolutely adored between a doctor and the handsome carpenter she meets by chance!
- Yours Truly – I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced reader copy of this book and Abby Jimenez continues to slay the women in STEM romance novel genre!! A doctor with a broken heart competes for a job with a fellow doctor… complete with adorably written notes!
**The Friend Zone Trilogy by Abby Jimenez is also worth noting that they’re great books but not Women In STEM romance novels – just regular old, really well-written romance novels!
Ali Hazelwood’s Women In Stem Romance Novels
This is literally what Ali Hazelwood made her career on. She herself is a neuroscientist whos written a collection of romance novels and novellas that, while not all are great – are an easy, lighthearted way to get started in the genre if you’ve never read any women in STEM novels but you love romances in general.
- The Love Hypothesis: The first book I ever read by Ali Hazelwood and the first novel she published – shot to TikTok and Instagram fame, much to the surprise of everyone who ever said the word nerd with an ugly sneer. *Insert eye-roll here*. I think this particular Women In STEM novel opens the minds of many who had never considered the idea that science could be romantic!
- Love on The Brain: Neuroscientists fight the boys club. Many have loved this one – I’ll admit it wasn’t my favorite, but I’m excited about the next book!
- Love Theoretically: Comes out June 13th, 2023 – make sure you pre-order now! I have a feeling it’ll be snatched up as soon as it drops in bookstores!
As for Ali Hazelwood’s novellas, I’ll be honest with you when I say none of them were my favorite. However, they’re cute and worth a quick audiobook listen if you’re looking for a palette cleanser between more serious reads!
The three novellas are available digitally: Under One Roof, Stuck With You, and Below Zero. Rather than buying all three Kindle copies, though – I bought them all in one physical book Loathe to Love You.
Christina Lauren’s Women In Stem Romance Novels
Written by two authors in collaboration, Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings have written a massive amount of women in STEM romance novels that are more on the believable sweet side! All of these have a happy-ever-after ending, no cheating between main characters, and are easy reads perfect for that beach getaway or a day by the pool! (Here’s to the perfect day spent daydreaming!)
THE UNHONEYMOONERS – For all those that are unlucky in love and forever dealing with not being the put-together child in the family… The Unhoneymooners is the romance for you!
THE SOULMATE EQUATION – The best way I can describe this one is a super sweet romance between a single-mom statistician and the budding CEO of a matchmaking company. It’s an incredibly well-written story that feels like it could actually happen!!
LOVE AND OTHER WORDS – So far, this is the saddest of all Christina Lauren books that I’ve read, but as the story is unveiled, it’s such an incredible ending. Truly a #sadgirlread if there ever was one!
SOMETHING WILDER – I started Something Wilder the day I wrote this post! I’ve been waiting for this one since it debuted in February 2023. Something Wilder’s Women In STEM is an amateur archeologist… AKA treasure hunter.
DATING YOU HATING YOU – In full disclosure, I haven’t read this one yet, but I plan to within the year. (I’m not even sure if it’s a women in STEM novel.. but all of their other books are, so I’ll report back!)
Elena Armas Romance novels With Women in Stem
These were surprisingly good! I’m always nervous when a book is a TikTok (#BookTok) sensation, but I loved both of these fake dating romances and the second one – The American Roommate Experiment, even more. Maybe it’s because my expectations were low, but I thoroughly enjoyed both of these women in STEM romance novels because they felt so realistic!
Non-Fiction Women In Stem Books
- Women in White Coats: How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine by Olivia Campbell – I’m reading Women in White Coats this month – April 2023! Can’t wait to share my review!
Check back soon to see all of my Women in Stem novel updates!!