Book Review: The Unbalanced Equation By H. L McFarlane


What do a bad landlord, a family wedding and a rogue Bunsen burner all have in common?

After suffering four years of scrutiny from her PhD assessor, Elizabeth Maclean believes she’s finally free of Dr Thomas Henderson’s tyranny when she begins her postdoc. But when a fire goes off in Tom’s lab (stupid undergrads) he ends up working in the same lab as Liz.

On the same bench, no less.

For three whole months.

To make matters worse – and much to their mutual surprise – Tom’s mum and Liz’s dad announce their impending marriage after a whirlwind romance. So when Liz’s landlord tells her to move out, pronto, it tips her over the edge. Desperate for a place to stay and in need of a saviour, the last person Liz expects to offer her a temporary home is Tom himself.

Now stuck working together, living together and planning their parents’ Christmas wedding together, will Liz discover that Tom’s attitude over the last four years was all a ruse to hide his true feelings? Or are the two doomed to fail in their co-existence experiment?

A smart, sexy enemies-to-lovers story perfect for fans of The Hating Game and The Love Hypothesis, The Unbalanced Equation is H. L. Macfarlane’s first foray into contemporary rom-com territory. She swears there are no faeries this time.


I heard that this was a hate-to-love relationship and very, very similar to The Love Hypothesis. But unfortunately, it didn’t meet my standards.

With that in mind, novels usually have some distinct differences however, this one was very much like a duplicate of the famous book I mentioned.

Both the main characters both have red flags. For example, Tom is on Liz’s phone, sabotaging her chances in getting her own flat, and putting Liz in sexually uncomfortable situations. He is also this weird manly type of man personality, but I could not really see him like that.

Liz is literally the definition of “play silly games to win things”.

She is the person who is like “I never knew you liked me!!!” even though Tom literally says he liked her from very early on so she clearly refuses to communicate when it is there clearly. These two characters unfortunately did not vibe with me, though sometimes they were cute.

Other than that, I didn’t have any major issues with the book. The side characters were meh and barely served any purpose. There’s not as much science-y stuff going on, though there were times where people talked in science-y jargon.

The “get back together” scene wasn’t too exciting as you usually get with these types of novels. However, I did appreciate that the couple’s happy ending was not getting married or having kids—because some people don’t need that in their lives.

Overall, this book was average. The red flags in the protagonists really just threw me off.

Thanks to the publishers for sending me this novel in exchange for my honest thoughts

3/5 Stars

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