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The True Love Experiment
Table of Contents
About The Book
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 New York Times bestselling 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.
Reading Group Guide
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Felicity “Fizzy” Chen is lost. Sure, she’s got an incredible career as a beloved romance novelist, but when she’s asked to give a commencement address, it hits her: she hasn’t ever really been in love. Meanwhile, Connor Prince, documentary filmmaker and single father, loves his work in large part because it allows him to live near his daughter. When his profit-minded boss orders him to create a reality TV show, putting his job on the line, Connor is 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 quickly picks up on his disdain for her genre and gives him a hard pass . . . unless he agrees to cast the contestants according to a list of romance archetypes. When production on The True Love Experiment begins, both Connor and Fizzy start to wonder if happily ever after might just lie behind the camera.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. At the beginning of the story, Fizzy and Connor take notice of each other for the first time across a bar. As romance readers, discuss your thoughts on the idea of love at first sight. Is it possible? Is it simply lust? Does fate come into play? Can two people have a true connection without ever speaking?
2. Jess and Ash, Fizzy’s and Connor’s best friends, are important support systems for both main characters as their stories unfold. At what moments can you see where Jess and Ash push their friends forward, or try to pull them back? How do you think Fizzy’s and Connor’s stories would have been different if not for their friends?
3. Fizzy’s biggest demand when signing on to the dating show was casting the contestants by romance archetypes. Discuss your opinions of this stipulation. If you had to do the same, what archetypes would you ask for?
4. Fizzy has a strong personality from the start. Discuss your initial reactions to her character and how your interpretation of her may have changed from the beginning of the story to the end.
5. How does introducing these hero archetypes influence the way Fizzy—or the reader—perceives Connor? Does he fit into any of these categories?
6. As a romance writer, Fizzy has created all kinds of romance tropes within her stories. Discuss what trope(s) are present in Fizzy and Connor’s story. Is there a trope that was missing that you would have liked to see?
7. Both on and off set, Fizzy and Connor find themselves in TV-worthy moments. What was your favorite interaction between the two of them and why?
8. Throughout the book, Fizzy mentioned combatting the stigma surrounding romance as a genre. As romance readers, have you ever come across this judgment? Have you ever felt judged—or judged yourself—for enjoying romance novels? Discuss your experiences and how you combat any negativity.
9. Fizzy claimed that a deal breaker in her past relationship with one of the heroes, Evan, was a horrible tattoo. Would this be a deal breaker for you? Discuss what other nonstarters you may have seen both in the story and in real life.
10. Fear is a central theme throughout the book. From the fear of never finding love to the fear of losing the life you have built to the fear of taking risks, the characters of The True Love Experiment are combating this emotion at every turn. Discuss how you think fear impacted Fizzy and Connor’s story. Did it push them forward, or hold them back?
11. Fizzy partakes in many first dates within The True Love Experiment. What do you think is important for the perfect date? What should you look for when meeting someone for the very first time? What did you think of Fizzy’s priorities while dating the Heroes?
12. Some of the most impactful relationships in the story are between Connor, his ex-wife, and his daughter. Discuss how their nontraditional family structure and dynamic may have affected Connor’s story line.
13. If you had to describe Fizzy and Connor in three words each, what words would you choose and why?
14. Fizzy’s close and meaningful relationship to her fans and the romance reader community comes up throughout the book. Discuss the importance of this community and your experiences as romance readers. Do you relate to this dynamic within the book?
15. If you were the lead on the show The True Love Experiment, who would you have picked as your winning Hero and why?
Enhance Your Book Club
1. One thing Connor’s boss was right about is the popularity of reality TV dating shows. With dozens of options streaming today, there is one for everyone. However, if you were tasked with creating a new dating show for the masses, what would your pitch be? In small groups, or individually, create your own dating show pitches and share with the group. May the best producer win . . .
2. Fizzy is always down for some fun, and what could be more entertaining than party games? Gather your group and play Kiss, Marry, Kill with the characters of The True Love Experiment.
3. If you were invited to give a commencement address at your alma mater, what advice would you want to give future generations? Sit down with your group and take turns discussing the best life advice you’ve got to offer. You never know who might need it!
- Publisher: Gallery Books (May 16, 2023)
- Length: 416 pages
- ISBN13: 9781982173456
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Raves and Reviews
"Another winning romance from Lauren, full of big laughs, a few tears, and some seriously steamy scenes."
– - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"The authors gleefully play with romance tropes, blending the delight of the meet cute with smart critiques of more toxic dating habits and wrapping the whole in clever dialogue and refreshing sex-positivity. Readers will have no trouble rooting for Fizzy."
– -Publishers Weekly
“The True Love Experiment is my favorite kind of book to devour: something that manages to be hot and intense, yet still the very best comfort food. The divine Christina Lauren has created the ultimate reality dating show, and like all its fictional viewers, you’ll fall for Fizzy.”
– - Jodi Picoult, NYT bestselling author of MAD HONEY
Resources and Downloads
High Resolution Images
- Book Cover Image (jpg): The True Love Experiment eBook 9781982173456
- Author Photo (jpg): Christina Lauren Photograph by Brystan Studios(0.1 MB)
Any use of an author photo must include its respective photo credit
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