Love and the Laws of Motion
Love and the Laws of Motion is an enjoyable tale of unexpected love between a reclusive astrophysicist and a brilliant, but slightly misguided computer hacker. It’s the second book in Amanda Weaver’s The Romano Sisters trilogy and, like the first book, it’s a delightful read full of lovable characters and sweet romance.
Family is the most important thing in Olivia Romano’s world. After losing her mother at an early age, Livie has built her life around staying close to them, even turning down generous offers at prestigious colleges so she could stay in Brooklyn. She spends all her time at school or with her family, not really allowing herself time for friendship or social activities. Now she finds herself working with a brilliant advisor (in a not so brilliant college) on the project of a lifetime – analyzing information from the Hubble telescope and looking for primordial black holes. She just needs to find a genius computer programmer to help her interpret the data. A neighbor tells Livie about Nick DeSantis and she tracks him down.
Nick DeSantis has no idea what the most important thing is, he just knows it’s not family. After starting college early, then getting kicked out after hacking into the Department of Defense (to prove to someone that he could do it), he had a fight with his family and never looked back. He now works for himself, only taking on projects that interest and challenge him.
“You’re going to get to use the Hubble telescope?”
“We probably won’t get an observing time until next spring, so between now and then, I need to write this program. Do you know anything about astronomy?”
“Not a thing. I’m in.”
“Wait…you’ll do it? I haven’t even told you how much the budget is?”
“Don’t know. Don’t care. Writing code for Hubble data…see, that’s interesting. I’m in. That’s the pitch I was looking for.”
Livie feels an immediate attraction to Nick – he’s good-looking, dynamic, and smart. She’s confused by his “alarming moral flexibility” but also intrigued by his outlook on life. They start to work together and the attraction grows as she gets to know him better. Too bad he’s engaged.
Nick has made quite a life for himself – big New York apartment, gorgeous model fiancée – but with all this, he still hasn’t managed to find happiness and he doesn’t even realize he’s unhappy until his fiancée breaks the engagement and he has to take a good, long look at his life. Homeless for the moment, Nick takes Livie up on her offer for him to move into the spare bedroom in the Romano house (where Livie, her two sisters, and her dad still live) so they can continue their work uninterrupted. Livie is hopeful that being with Nick 24/7 will stop her infatuation but it doesn’t work out that way.
He was mercurial, sometimes hopping between five projects in an hour and sometimes closing himself away with an almost obsessive single-mindedness..He was, in short, everything she was not, and nothing she wanted to be. Nothing about him should have appealed to her. And yet he haunted her, and nothing she did-nothing he did-seemed to exorcize him. She was beginning to think nothing ever would.
Nick is suddenly awash in family life and spending more and more time with Livie. He wants her, but he also knows himself well enough to realize that, like all of his relationships, this one has an expiration date and he doesn’t want to hurt her. Livie and Nick circle around each other for quite a while before giving in to the attraction. Ms. Weaver does a marvelous job making us feel the angst both are experiencing and showing us why Nick might not be the best fit for Livie. But she also shows us the tender and vulnerable side of each of them. Both Livie and Nick evolve into fuller versions of themselves throughout the story and I couldn’t help but cheer for them. I had my doubts that Nick could become a man worthy of Livie but Ms. Weaver shows us that there is much more depth and kindness in Nick than he shows the rest of the world. In the end, Nick goes out on a huge, shaky limb to support Livie and her project – a move that stuns Livie and puts Nick’s future at risk.
Love and the Laws of Motion is a pleasing story that I am happy to recommend. Be aware that this is a New Adult book and provides a HFN ending and not a full-on HEA – totally appropriate for Livie and Nick. I’m eager to read the next sister’s story and hear more about Livie’s father’s romance and all the regulars at Romano’s bar.