Series Review: Elements of Chemistry by Penny Reid

Posted November 28, 2015 by Kim in 5 Stars, In Review, Series Review / 0 Comments


Penny Reid is one of those authors whose books have been on my TBR forever, but I’ve just never found time to read. Well, after listening to another friend give glowing reviews of her latest binge of Penny’s books, I decided there was no time like the present to put everything else aside and dive on in. So, I did just that with the Elements of Chemistry series because I was in the mood for something smart and nerdy. I’m so, so glad I did. I’ve fallen helplessly in love.

Series Review: Elements of Chemistry by Penny ReidAttraction by Penny Reid
Series: Elements of Chemistry #1
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: April 6, 2015
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: eBook, 169 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My rating:

One week.
Private beach.
Invisible girl.
Jerk-faced bully.
What’s the worst that could happen?

Kaitlyn Parker has no problem being the invisible girl, which is why she finds herself hiding in various cabinets and closets all over her college campus. Despite her best efforts, she can’t escape the notice of Martin Sandeke—bad boy, jerkface bully, and the universe’s hottest, wealthiest, and most unobtainable bachelor—who also happens to be Kaitlyn’s chemistry lab partner.

Kaitlyn might be the only girl who isn’t interested in exploiting his stunning rower’s build, chiseled features, and family's billionaire fortune. Kaitlyn wants Martin for his brain, specifically to tabulate findings of trace elements in surface water.

When Kaitlyn saves Martin from a nefarious plot, Martin uses the opportunity to push Kaitlyn out of her comfort zone: spring break, one week, house parties, bathing suits, and suntan lotion. Can she overcome her aversion to being noticed? Will he be able grow beyond his self-centered nature? Or, despite their obvious chemistry, will Martin be the one to drive Kaitlyn into the science cabinet of obscurity for good?

in review my thoughts

I’m just gonna say it – I fell hopelessly in love with Penny’s writing, Kaitlyn and Martin nearly immediately upon starting this book. (Ok, so I was enchanted by Martin, but I didn’t quite surrender to him until later in the book.) Attraction was refreshing. It was laugh out loud funny and awkward, without being over the top or trying too hard.

I have a “thing” for smart, awkward characters and Kaitlyn definitely fit the bill. She was amazing. I loved how candid she was and that she didn’t just fall into swoony lust with Martin immediately. Her inner dialogue and conversations were both hilarious. I highlighted so many passages that made me chuckle along the way. I wanted so badly for Martin to be a good guy, but it was touch and go there for awhile. I knew there was more to him than the jerk-faced bully manwhore and I suspected I’d fall head over heels for him before it was all said and done. Like Kaitlyn, I just had to hope he wouldn’t break my heart.

Attraction was wonderful. It had the kissing and swooniness I expect from a romance novel and the humor made it that much better. I knew there would likely be a wicked cliffhanger and I wasn’t wrong. Fortunately, I was able to jump right on into the second book with little delay so I could get more of a Kaitlyn and Martin fix.

Series Review: Elements of Chemistry by Penny ReidHeat by Penny Reid
Series: Elements of Chemistry #2
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: April 19, 2015
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: eBook, 188 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My rating:

Four days left.
Private beach (…and boat).
Not so invisible girl.
And maybe less of a jerk-faced bully than originally thought.
What’s the worst (or the best) that could happen?

Kaitlyn is finding life outside of the science cabinet of obscurity to be quite illuminating …and so are her pants.

When things heat up between Kaitlyn Parker and Martin—previously known as the jerk-faced bully—Sandeke, she places her trust in the one person she never thought capable of earning it, let alone keeping it safe. Fortunately or unfortunately for Kaitlyn, where she gives her trust she can’t help but also give her heart.

But how will the world beyond the sanctuary of their newfound connection react to their relationship? Soon senators, chinless billionaires, and elements beyond Martin and Kaitlyn’s control want to weigh in on the young couple’s future.

Navigating the chaotic inferno of new love might be more than Kaitlyn bargained for, and much, much more than her trust—or her heart—can handle.

in review my thoughts

Attraction was the start to Kaitlyn to Martin’s intense chemistry and Heat is where it all came to a head. Holy hot sexy times. *fans self* Of course, it’s not all sexy fun this time around. There’s plenty of awkwardness, humor and the heart I’ve come to expect from Penny’s writing. Oh, and there are some feels ahead too.

During Heat, Kaitlyn and Martin are no longer fighting the attraction and the chemistry between them. It starts with oodles of sexual tension – and some reservations from Kaitlyn – but quickly gets hot. I loved watching Kaitlyn discover more about herself and more fully embrace her sexuality. As much as I enjoyed the romance, I enjoyed the character growth at least as much. Now, that’s not to say that Kaitlyn and Martin didn’t both have their immature moments, but it all felt real. Things aren’t perfect between them and they have their challenges, which are now more prevalent because they’re no longer isolated on the island.

The cliffhanger at the end of Heat was particularly brutal. Thankfully I had the next part on hand (or, you know, on my iPad) so I could start it immediately. And I did, too. I had to see if/how Kaitlyn and Martin would overcome this latest round of hurdles to this thing they were building.

Series Review: Elements of Chemistry by Penny ReidCapture by Penny Reid
Series: Elements of Chemistry #3
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: May 8, 2015
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: eBook, 208 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My rating:

One week.
Manhattan apartment.
Super-hot ex-boyfriend.
…What’s the worst that could happen?

It’s been nine months since Kaitlyn Parker has seen or heard from Martin Sandeke—nine months and five stages of matter. She’s lived through the worst of first-love heartbreak, and is most certainly stronger (and less likely to hide in science cabinets) than ever before.

But now Martin is back. And he wants to be friends. But he’s sending mixed signals to the Bunsen burner in Kaitlyn’s pants.

Will Martin re-capture Kaitlyn’s heart? Can Kaitlyn and Martin ever be just friends? Or, despite an abundance of chemistry, are some bonds just too unstable to endure?

in review my thoughts

Oooooooh boy. Capture. I can’t even lie, this book started out ROUGH from a romantic standpoint. I hated seeing Kaitlyn and Martin apart. It broke my heart more than just a little. I had to keep reading though. I needed to know what would happen. While I enjoyed seeing Kaitlyn really come into her own during this book, there were some kick in the stomach moments, too. It was probably the toughest of the three to read, but I just had to keep hoping Penny wouldn’t disappoint me when it was all said and done. (She totally didn’t.)

I loved Kaitlyn and her quirks. I wanted her to find happiness, no matter whether it was with Martin or not. (But, you know, I really wanted to see her happy WITH him. I just wasn’t sure they would get back there so I had to think about embracing alternative endings.) I was proud of her for finally taking control of her life. She grew tremendously over the course of these three novellas and it made my heart happy.

It was a little tough to watch Kaitlyn and Martin attempt to build a friendship, because I wanted to see them together so badly. Yet, at the same time, I enjoyed the scenes with them exploring their new friendship. There was so much potential between them. I wanted to see them more fully explore it – take what they’d learned separately and apply it to their relationship. But could they? Only time would tell.

This entire series was a breath of fresh air. It’s been a long time since I found myself literally laughing out loud during a book. Kaitlyn, Martin and the side characters felt real. And I totally connected with all of them. If they were real, we’d be friends. I hated giving them up when the series ended, but I loved seeing how it all wrapped up. I’ll absolutely reread this series. But first I have to devour the remainder of Penny’s backlist.

About Penny Reid

Penny Reid is a part time author of romantic fiction. When she's not immersed in penning smart romances she works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She's also a full time mom to two diminutive adults (boy-8 and girl-5), wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

Kim Sig_edited-1

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