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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren

The True Love Experiment is a wonderful, romantic read about forbidden attraction and heartwarming vulnerability, with steamy scenes, will-they/won't-they tensions, funny dialogue, behind-the-scenes televised moments, and loooooooove.

"...I sometimes think we as a society hold too many things back. We're afraid of being vulnerable or rejected, we're scared that we're weird or say things that no one else thinks. And that's okay. I'm not scared of that with you. I know I'm being rejected, I know I'm weird, and I know for a fact that no one else thinks exactly what I'm thinking right now because no one knows you the way I do. No one loves you in such an exact, perfect, consuming way."

I loved The Soulmate Equation from the writing team known as Christina Lauren. That book introduced the fantastic best-friend character of Felicity "Fizzy" Chen. The True Love Experiment is Fizzy's story.

Fizzy is a straight talker, a sex-positive woman, and a successful romance writer, but she's never been in love, only in lust. Now she's beginning to feel like she's been selling her readers a lie.

“Romance isn’t gratuitous bodice ripping. It can be, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but in the end, romance isn’t about the fantasy of being wealthy or beautiful or even being tied to the bed.” More laughter, but I have their attention now. “It’s about elevating stories of joy above stories of pain. It is about seeing yourself as the main character in a very interesting—or maybe even quiet—life that is entirely yours to control.”

Connor Prince (his last name is Prince!) is a single dad and documentary filmmaker slated by his boss to create a reality TV program about finding love. He's completely out of his comfort zone and the pressure is on--but when he meets Fizzy, he just knows he's found the perfect star for the show.

“People think romances are just about sex—and some are, which is fine—but they’re also about social change and challenging the status quo, such as who the world thinks deserves a happily ever after.”

But in order to get Fizzy to agree to participate, he'll have to meet her many demands, turn stereotypes of reality dating shows on their heads, provide beautiful, smart, self-possessed potential suitors, and leave Fizzy in the driver's seat of it all.

Connor finds himself intrigued with Fizzy in a way that is far from professional, and Fizzy can't deny her growing fascination with Connor. But his career and his ability to support and live near his daughter are on the line, and he can't risk any of it for what's likely to be a fling. Fizzy is contractually obligated not to date outside the show for its duration, so she can't pursue her feelings for Connor either. Maybe one of these producer-chosen guys could even be her match. But there's Connor, always standing to the side and drawing her eye.

I looooved Fizzy and Connor's heart-bursting friendship, forbidden attraction, and their funny banter.

“If I eat something delicious, I want him there to take a bite. If I see something beautiful, I want to turn to him and point it out. If I hear something hilarious, I immediately want to call him and tell him everything.”

The True Love Experiment is an irresistible exploration of a spark of feelings, impossible difficulties, terrifying vulnerability, and hard-won joy.

The issues keeping the two love interests apart felt powerful and heartbreaking and offered tantalizing tension to the story. The happy ending made me tear up and also made me want to cheer.

This was a wonderful summer read for me and I loved it.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

The writing team of Christina Lauren also authored the books The Unhoneymooners, In a Holidaze, Love and Other Words, Something Wilder, and Autoboyography.

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