Review: The Love Experiment by Ainslie Paton


Title: The Love Experiment 
Author: Ainslie Paton
Genre: Contemporary romance, Journalists
Release Date: 2 Oct 2017

Author's links:
Add on Goodreads

My rating: 4 Stars


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.


This was my first book by this author and I enjoyed it a lot. It's a modern day sort of opposites-attract romance with complex character, a love story full of twists and turns unfolding at the background of the desperate struggle of old-school newspaper against going digital edition only. I'm in general wary of office romances but here the hero and heroine are colleagues, albeit he is much more professionally successful and influential (in a way) but there is none of the boss-employee dynamics which I find problematic.

The romance starts (or rather has a false start) with a very interesting premise - hero and heroine are cast to do a quistionnaire of 36 questions designed to help create connection/intimacy between people. It had all the possibilities - to be fun and friendly, flirty and playful, downright seductive but it was all a bust because of Jack's refusal to engage with it. 

He is a city boy, investigative journalist, media star, defender of the people while she is a small town girl, trying to make it in the big city and find her place in the changing world of journalism. There is lots of tension between them both professional and on a personal level. 

I liked the slow burn, the gradual change from outright dismissal on his side through interest  and fascination to full-blown being completely smitten by her. And he didn't know how to react to that, what to do with his love for her. 

There is a Fight Club element in his arc which is usually not my thing but worked brilliantly here. I was totally convinced of it being the right thing for Jack and could see how he needed/used it to cope with the pressures of his life. 

One of the things I liked the most in this romance was that we saw so much of their life after they got together and all the efforts it took to make the relationship work. Falling in love is not a miracle cure for all your problems. They were happy together but they still have their professional struggles (and a bit of adversary to be honest). Hiding their relationship at work while each of them tried to make the best of a difficult professional situation was not easy and put a lot of strain of their relationship. We also get a glimpse of how difficult it is for someone used to live alone to learn to share their personal space, their daily routines with someone. It was new and unfamiliar territory for Jack, yet it made him so unspeakably happy, most of the time.

I found both Jack and Derelie and the supporting cast really interesting, realistic characters. I liked that neither was presented as perfect, they were human, made mistakes, learned some lessons the hard way, fought for their dreams (won some but also lost some and that was Ok in my book because that's how life is). 

There was a big fight towards the end and a bit too much drama for my liking, all ending in what felt a somewhat rushed HEA but nevertheless, I liked the overall story very much. It's deep and thought provoking, a reflection of the times and the slow death of serious investigative journalist. i liked how it brought to the fore something I personally find very important - the ability to adapt to the changes in your personal and professional world, to dream new dreams for yourselves, to be open to give and receive love, to move forward and to be happy. 

Purchase Links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo

You Might Also Like


Flickr Images