The True Love Experiment Read Online Christina Lauren

Categories Genre: Contemporary Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 118
Estimated words: 112961 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 565(@200wpm)___ 452(@250wpm)___ 377(@300wpm)

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.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

prologue FIZZY

I was born the first of three children, but I joke that I’m like that first pancake.” A smattering of laughter ripples across the assembled crowd and I smile. “You know what I mean? A little messy, slightly undercooked, but still tastes good?”

The laughter intensifies, but mixed in now are a few bawdy catcalls, and I burst out laughing in realization. “See, and that wasn’t even meant to sound saucy! Look at me trying to be professional, and I’m still a mess.” I glance over my shoulder and grin at Dr. Leila Nguyen, the provost of UC San Diego’s Revelle College and my former creative writing professor. “I guess that’s what you get for inviting a romance author to give the commencement address.”

Beside Dr. Nguyen sits another person struggling to smother a smile. Dr. River Peña—close friend, hot genius, and unconfirmed vampire—is also a special guest today; I guess he’s receiving yet another honorary degree for being some type of sexy prodigy. He looks like he belongs up here: stiff collar, perfectly pressed suit pants visible below the hem of his full doctoral regalia, shiny dress shoes, and an air of austerity I’ve never been able to master. Right now, I can see the knowing amusement light up his smug, thickly lashed eyes.

When I first received the invitation to speak at this ceremony, River immediately slapped a twenty-dollar bill down onto the table between us and declared, “This is going to go completely sideways, Fizzy. Convince me otherwise.”

I’m sure he and my best friend, Jess—his wife—expected that I would get up onstage and deliver The Vagina Monologues to the academic masses, or pull out a banana and remind everyone while I rolled a condom onto it that safe sex is still important in this here year of our Lord Harry Styles—but I swear I can play the part of a buttoned-down literary type when the situation calls for it.

At the very least, I thought I’d make it further than one line into my speech before dropping a double entendre—and that one wasn’t even intentional.

I turn back to the sea of black, blue, and yellow–clad grads that stretches far across RIMAC Field and experience a wave of vicarious, breathless anticipation for all these youngsters taking flight. So many opportunities ahead. So much student loan stress. But also so much great sex.

“My younger sister is a neurosurgeon,” I tell them. “My little brother? Yeah, he’s the youngest partner in his firm’s history. One of my best friends, sitting right behind me, is a world-famous geneticist.” There’s genuine applause for biotech’s It boy, and once it dies back down, I go in for the kill: “But you know what? Despite all their accomplishments, none of them wrote a book called Cloaked Lust, so I think we all know who the real success story is here.”

Smiling at a fresh wave of cheers, I continue. “So listen. Giving this kind of speech is a big deal. Most people invited to send off a group of young superstars like yourselves will list concrete ways to find your place in an ever-changing culture, or encourage you to amplify your impact by reducing your carbon footprint. They would tell you to go out and change the world, and of course yes—do that. I support those ambitions. Global citizen: good. Ecoterrorist: bad. But Dr. Nguyen didn’t invite an inspiring climate scientist or charismatic and acceptably neutral politician. She invited me, Felicity Chen, author of books full of love and accountability and sex-positivity, and frankly the only professional advice I’m qualified to give about being eco-conscious is to support your local library.” Another muted wave of laughter. “In fact, the only thing I care about—the one thing that matters most in the world to me—is that when every single one of you gets to the end of this crazy ride, you look back and can truly say you were happy.”

It is a perfect day: bright and blue. Eucalyptus trees sway at the edge of the field, and if you breathe in at just the right moment, on the perfect gust of warm San Diego breeze, you can smell the ocean less than a mile away. Despite that, my stomach feels a little tilty at this next part of my speech. I’ve spent a majority of my adult years defending my profession, and the last thing I want to do is sound defensive. I’m standing up here in my own cap and gown with a lecture that I typed up and printed out so I wouldn’t start winging it, derailing the whole thing with penis jokes exactly the way River expects me to. I want them to hear the sincerity in my words.

“I’m going to tell you to live your life like it’s a romance novel.” I hold up a hand when those smiling graduates begin to titter, but I don’t blame them for thinking it’s a joke, that I’m being coy. “Listen.” I pause for effect, waiting for the laughter to subside and curiosity to take over. “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. It is, my friends, the fantasy of significance.” I pause again, just like I practiced, because all these babies have been raised under the dreary cloud of the patriarchy and I consider it my mission on earth to smash that with a proverbial hammer. The truth that we all deserve significance needs time to sink in.