Book Review

An Ode To Romance — The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren {Book Review}

Title: The True Love Experiment
Author: Christina Lauren
Release Date: May 16th, 2023
Standalone/Series: Standalone
Genre: Adult Fiction – Romance – Contemporary

My rating in stars: 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My rating in words: 

Check it out on Goodreads


Sparks fly when a romance novelist and a documentary filmmaker join forces to craft the perfect Hollywood love story and take both of their careers to the next level—but only if they can keep the chemistry between them from taking the whole thing off script.

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 her list of demands. 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 is the book fans have been waiting for ever since Fizzy’s debut in The Soulmate Equation. But when the lights come on and all eyes are on her, it turns out the happily ever after Fizzy had all but given up on might lie just behind the camera.

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The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren {Book Review}

MY THOUGHTS (spoiler-free):

“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.”

I’ve been looking forward to The True Love Experiment ever since I read The Soulmate Equation and fell in love with Fizzy, who was a secondary character there but already stole the show. I wanted her to have her own book so badly and luckily for me, Christina Lauren delivered! And not just delivered, they exceeded all my expectations. The True Love Experiment is now one of my favorite Christina Lauren reads ever, and here’s why:

The reality tv dating show premise, with a twist

I have to admit I don’t watch any real-life reality tv dating shows, but I’m a sucker for them in books every single time. And this was no different. After successful romance author Felicity ‘Fizzy’ Chen gets into a romance slump and writer’s block, she gets the offer to participate in a dating show. Hesitant at first – because she does not get along with the producer, Connor – she sends in a hilarious list of requirements that she does not expect will be met at all. For example, all contestants need to fit into a specific romance trope, like hot nerd or cinnamon roll. But she underestimates how desperate Connor is for this show to work, meaning all her requirements are met and the show is on!


As much as I wanted a book about Fizzy, I was also a little hesitant because in The Soulmate Equation Fizzy, worked well as the hilarious, fun and confident best friend side character. But would this be enough as a main character? I should not have doubted Christina Lauren for one second, because they gave Fizzy so much depth and dimension, while still maintaining her core Fizzy-ness. Meaning, Fizzy is an amazing main character – she’s so immensely likeable that you can’t help but root for her. She’s loud and fun and speaks her mind, but she’s also so caring, loyal and deeply intelligent and the type of woman everyone wishes was their friend.


Connor was the perfect love interest for Fizzy. I love that we got a dual POV so that we could also see his POV and see him fall for Fizzy as well. I loved how Fizzy started off trying to put a label on him – hot billionaire, hot DILF, hot Brit, but found that he wasn’t so easily labeled after all. Connor IS indeed a hot, British, single dad (not a billionaire though) but he’s also very caring, hardworking and very sincere. I loved that he was respectful of this show he was working on, even if it wasn’t a genre he was used to (and even a little judgmental about) at first, but that he was open and willing to listen and learn.

The sizzling chemistry!

The connection between our two main characters was sizzling and I loved every minute of it. I loved how they got off on the wrong foot at first, but then grew to understand each other, which then grew to respect and friendship and adoration and love. There was a physical attraction quite early on, but there was also a lot of focus on their emotional attraction, which grew stronger and stronger throughout the story. Their flirtations and banter were exquisite. And I also quite enjoyed the ‘forbidden’ aspect about their romance, as Connor was Fizzy’s producer (and technically, her boss) and his job depended on this show coming to a good end with Fizzy choosing one of the participants.

The Jess-River-Juno cameos

I know it was Fizzy’s book, but my heart was still so happy to see regular Jess, River and Juno appearances. They all made sense too, since not only is Jess Fizzy’s best friend but the DNAduo science was also an integral part of the reality show, and as such River was also (reluctantly) involved. It was so nice to catch up with these characters again.

The defense of romance as a genre

I loved the fact that main character Fizzy is a romance writer who did not take any crap from people who look down on the romance genre and romance writers! The entire story is just drenched with a love of the romance genre and as a romance lover, I very much appreciated that.

The pop culture references

I can’t help it, I love when a contemporary romance has pop culture references in them, as it makes it feel even more real. For example, we have a few mentions of Harry Styles as well as Twilight, and of course The Bachelor. And there is a band in here called Wonderland, which is very much a fictional band but which also had very big BTS vibes (as Christina Lauren are big fans). So naturally, I at it all up.

So as you can see, I highly recommend this story. Whether or not you read and loved The Soulmate Equation (it’s nice to get the background of the DNAduo app, but not a must), I still recommend The True Love Experiment to anyone who loves reality tv dating shows, forbidden romance, the single dad trope, forced proximity, sizzling chemistry, dual POV romance and really just anyone who loves romance as a genre!

Five Stars
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Tell Me:
Have you read The True Love Experiment? What did you think about it?

Lindsey xoxo

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  1. Sophie @BewareOfTheReader says:

    Ok you convinced me to try their books again!

    1. Yay, hope you’ll enjoy this one if you decide t give it a try!

  2. Everyone is raving about this one! I wasn’t planning on reading it, but this review might have changed my mind.

    1. Oh, I do hope you’ll love it too if you decide to give it a try!

  3. I hear nothing but amazing things from this book and now I wanna read it even more because you loved it too. Also love that it features a romance writer and how it’s also about loving the genre. Just LOVE!

    1. It’s definitely been getting a lot of love and I think it is all well deserved <3 Hope you'll love it too if you decide to read it!

  4. I love a reality tv element – it’s fun to get that behind-the-scenes peek!

    1. It is indeed so much fun to read about!

  5. I haven’t read this one yet, but definitely plan to. Based on your review, I think I’m going to love this story as much as you did!

    1. I hope you’ll love it just as much as I did!

  6. Yay, so glad you loved this one too. It’s one of my favorites of the year so far. 🙂

    1. Mine too, it was such a great book! 🙂

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