The Love Experiment // I Didn’t Fall In Love In 36 Questions… It Just Took A Shirtless Man Holding A Cat

17 October 2017

The Love Experiment
Published: 1st October 2017
Source: Bought
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:
Can you fall in love in thirty-six questions?
The closest rookie lifestyle writer Derelie Honeywell gets to megastar reporter Jackson Haley is an accidental shoulder brush in The Courier's elevator. That is, until the love experiment: a study designed to accelerate intimacy using thirty-six questions and four minutes of sustained eye contact.

As far as Derelie is concerned, Jack Haley has always been a man best imagined in his underwear. He's too intimidating otherwise. But participating in the love experiment is her make-or-break chance. With another round of layoffs looming, Derelie knows holding on to her job means getting the story no matter what. Even when the what is kissing Jack like a maniac.

Jack Haley has zero interest in participating in a clickbait story. He didn't plan on finding Derelie smart and feisty and being mesmerized by her eyes. He certainly had no intention at all of actually falling in love with her.

The conclusion to this experiment? Thirty-six questions might lead to love, but finding the answer to happily-ever-after is a lot more complicated.
I had never heard of Ainslie Paton before and I only picked up The Love Experiment because Nick reviewed it and said it came on her radar because of Lucy Parker, an author I love, so I had to check this out. I preordered it and everything. I have no regrets, it was a swoon-worthy and addictive read I wasn't 100% I'd love but went in optimistic.

It all revolves around two reporters at a struggling newspaper answering questions to an experiment to see if it can forge a connection between them. As the title demonstrates, love is definitely involved, it's classified as romance after all. Jackson Haley is a respected investigative reporter who thinks he is above such ridiculous lifestyle pieces and Derelie (rhymes with merrily) is a relative newbie hoping to keep her job and solidify her position at the paper as rumours of cutbacks continually swirl. Jackson is reluctant and is strong-armed into it all and Derelie demonstrates she is determined and not easily put off.

I adored Derelie as soon as I met her on the page, even if she did have questionable tastes when it came to Yogaboy and his man bun (few can pull off a man bun and anyone I see with one immediately makes me think knob... sorry to man buns everywhere). She was likeable as the woman just beginning her career. Who bravely left her comfortable small town for an adventure and who was determined to succeed. You can easily relate to her as we all have had similar struggles. You want her to succeed with the story and you want her to get everything she wants because she may be sweet, but she's fun and determined and doesn't put up with shit and will ugly cry when an occasion calls for it, but only later when no one can see.

Jackson was not as easy to like. He began acting like a dick and he continued to lash out and be a jerk, and a condescending jerk at that. He seemed like I wouldn't like him with his putting down Derelie and refusing to cooperate at every turn like he was such hot shit. But then Derelie went to his apartment and the Jesus Jeans happened and you met Martha, his cat. I am a sucker for a man with animals and so when you met Martha the determined cat escape artist and learnt Jackson was messy and an actual human being, then I began to fall for him. He actually had all kinds of emotional issues, but he wasn't a bad person and he was so damn scared of revealing a soft underbelly that you vaguely got his dickish behaviour. It doesn't excuse it but then he cooperates with the experiment and all kinds of good stuff happens from there.

I thought as the book progressed I would love it and it would be predictable and maybe not stick with me but it kept doing things a little differently than I expected and by the end, I was in love. I even misted up a bit with the grand romantic finale (there were animals involved again, how could I not?).

Ainslie Paton may not have been an author on my radar before reading The Love Experiment but she definitely is now. This book hooked me in all the right ways and when I was beginning to think I'd never find I book I fancied reading either. I am tempted to employ this question asking approach to my dating life, what could go wrong?

Have you read this or anything else by Ainslie Paton? What was the best romance you read that just fell on your radar by accident? And why are romances which involve pets so good?
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