Check out my book review of The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren. It’s their latest contemporary romance novel about a romance book author who signs onto a reality TV show to find her soulmate among a group of heroes.
Read on to see what I thought of this romance and if it’s a book worth reading!
*Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Affiliates program so if you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
The True Love Experiment
by Christina Lauren
Category: Contemporary Romance
Romance Trope Tags: Author, Reality TV, Single Dad
Published May 2023
Amazon | Goodreads
The True Love Experiment Main Characters: Felicity “Fizzy” Chen and Connor Prince III
The True Love Experiment Summary:
Felicity “Fizzy” Chen is lost. Sure, she’s got an incredible career as a beloved romance novelist with a slew of bestsellers under her belt, but when she’s asked to give a commencement address, it hits her: she hasn’t been practicing what she’s preached.
Fizzy hasn’t ever really been in love. Lust? Definitely. But that swoon-worthy, can’t-stop-thinking-about-him, all-encompassing feeling? Nope. Nothing. What happens when the optimism she’s spent her career encouraging in readers starts to feel like a lie?
Connor Prince, documentary filmmaker and single father, loves his work in large part because it allows him to live near his daughter.
But when his profit-minded boss orders him to create a reality TV show, putting his job on the line, Connor is out of his element.
Desperate to find his romantic lead, a chance run-in with an exasperated Fizzy offers Connor the perfect solution.
What if he could show the queen of romance herself falling head-over-heels for all the world to see? Fizzy gives him a hard pass—unless he agrees to cast the contestants according to a list of romance archetypes.
When he says yes, and production on The True Love Experiment begins, Connor wonders if that perfect match will ever be in the cue cards for him, too.
The True Love Experiment: My Review
Christina Lauren have wowed me with so many of their romance novels but this is truly one of their best. A passionate love letter to romance and its readers and I’m so grateful!
I’ve loved so many of their novels and unique stories that this author duo is still a one-click writing team for me but I really couldn’t wait to get my hands on this story.
Yes, I was interested to get Fizzy’s story (who we first met in Christina Lauren’s The Soulmate Equation) but once I saw what this was about, I was chomping at the bit.
Now, I should say that I am NOT a fan of reality TV. In fact, I avoid it like the plague, but a reality TV show starring a romance author with men representing different romance book hero types is something I could definitely get behind and watch.
I think it’s hilarious that Fizzy threw out that idea anticipating it would derail her chances of being cast on the show but Connor stepped up and delivered (the casting of a vampire was genius!).
And so launches Fizzy’s entrance into reality TV, which she’s hoping will either distract her from her current writer’s block or simply inspire some joy and spiciness in her life again. She just didn’t anticipate clicking and then falling for the producer of the show!
This book is all about Fizzy. I found her to be refreshingly “real” in the sense that she was a woman who lived life on her terms – writing romance and dating tons of guys – even if others may judge her for it.
“The person my heroines choose is always the person who makes them feel like the best version of themselves. You make me feel that way.”Fizzy, The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren
There were so many one-liners that had me laughing out loud because this woman just said what was on her mind and I loved it.
I felt for her struggle to get words on a page and to wonder if she’d ever find the epic love that she once easily wrote about.
There are some nods to familial expectations related to her work and lack of finding a partner and starting a family compared to her siblings, but these were just nuggets to give more context to her character but didn’t weigh down the focus on her growing relationship with Connor.
Connor was a different character in that his personality slowly came to light the deeper you get into the story. He wasn’t easy to flush out at first but it worked because what finally did emerge was this hero that surpasses any stereotypical romance hero.
“You’d enjoy a man who understands that you just want a hot best friend who makes you laugh and come in equal measure.”-Connor, The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren
I loved the backdrop of the reality TV show to grow their “forbidden” connection. It totally reminded me of the made-for-TV movie, The Reality of Love starring Bradley Cooper. (If you have a chance to watch it- definitely do!).
But even without having a visual representation of this TV show to watch, I could “see” the chemistry jump off the page between Fizzy and Connor in so many moments and I adored their confessional tapings.
“No matter what poetry tells us, love isn’t always patient; it is urgent and hungry, eating up all of the blank space in my head.”Fizzy, The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren
What I love most about Christina Lauren’s storytelling is that every book is so fresh and their writing only gets better and better. Their plotting and character development is spot-on in this one. While it might have been a tad slow in the first quarter, they really set the stage for how the book later progressed.
Even the moment of conflict was really perfect – not what I expected and yet it wasn’t this drama-filled event. It fits these thirty-something characters and showed their maturity which I adored.
Thank you Christina Lauren for this love letter to romance. I loved it and can’t wait for even more. It was one of my most anticipated new romance books of 2023 and is now truly one of the best of 2023.
*Thank you to Netgalley for the advanced reader copy. All opinions are my own.
Book Lists With this Book:
Related Book Lists:
More Christina Lauren Book Reviews:
- Something Wilder by Christina Lauren
- Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
- In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren