Safety in Numbers by Sophie Penhaligon, Review: Steamy sugar hit

Safety in Numbers’ STEM and disability premise holds great promise, but does Sophie Penhaligon’s execution offer more than a romantic sugar hit? Read my review.

Safety in Numbers Book Synopsis

Safety in Number Review - Sophie Penhaligon romance novel

When a tragic accident leaves mathematician Seraphina Ellis broken and despairing, she is convinced that she will live out the remainder of her life in lonely solitude. Determined to conceal her disability from her co-workers, she hides away in her desolate cubicle, crossing off the days of her life, unfulfilled and defeated.

A chance meeting with irascible but mesmerizing billionaire scientist and CEO Milo Grant provides her with the job of her dreams, and the chance of escape from cubicle land. But Grant is haunted by his own monsters and is increasingly interested in more than just her mathematical magic.

In this touching and sexually charged contemporary romance, Sophie Penhaligon manages to deliver a novel that is lighthearted and fun whilst dealing with the difficult topics of loss and disability.

Genre: Romance, Drama, ChickLit

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Book Review

I think we can all agree the world could use more leading ladies in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). And, we definitely need more characters with disabilities represented in our fiction. So Sophie Penhaligon’s Safety in Numbers synopsis sounded like a recipe for success to me.

For me there was a safety in numbers; you could always rely on them. I could see the beauty in math that no one else could. That was, at least, until I hit university and met other like-minded freaks. It had been reassuring to discover that I wasn’t the only one with this interest, and I’d blossomed in my own quiet way…. It had felt like everything had fallen into place for me. But, sadly, I would soon discover that life was not a math concept. It was messy and unpredictable and my old belief in safety in numbers was about to come back and bite me on the ass…

In the context of the light-romance genre, Safety in Numbers got off to a strong start, with well-paced opening chapters and solid character development. But then all of a sudden things got steamy very quickly…

Now, don’t get me wrong – this made for an entertaining escapist read. But in that almost impatient jump to the bedsheets, I just felt Penhaligon sacrificed great simmer potential and from that point on, left much of the heavy-lifting to the stereotypical tropes. Also, the dialogue often lacked the cerebral threads I would expect from characters with such intellects. But multiple interesting secondary and tertiary characters added depth and enhanced my engagement.

Putting aside the untapped character growth potential, Sophie Penhaligon’s novel is still a fun ‘day-after-a-big-night’ binge-read featuring characters you will love and ones you will detest. And, at only 235 pages, Safety in Numbers is an inexpensive, easily digestible novel for when you are in need of a romantic sugar treat.

BOOK RATING: The Story 3 / 5 ; The Writing 3 / 5

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About the Author, Sophie Penhaligon

Sophie Penhaligon was born and raised in England before moving to the Canadian Rockies. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family and her rather naughty black Labrador. Sophie enjoys writing novels about heroines she can relate to and heroes she can fall in love with, and she is a voracious reader of fun and sexy romances. She has a master’s degree in education and has enjoyed a variety of interesting careers, drawing inspiration from her colourful life experiences. Check out her website and connect with her on Twitter.

More novels by Sophie Penhaligon:

* My receipt of a review copy from the publisher did not impact the expression of my honest opinions above.