Title: The Love Study
Author: Kris Ripper
Published: September 2020
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Romance, LGBTQIA+
I received a copy of The Love Study from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
What happens when the search for the perfect date goes perfectly wrong?
Don’t miss this charming romantic comedy from critically acclaimed author Kris Ripper.
Declan has commitment issues. He’s been an office temp for literally years now, and his friends delight in telling people that he left his last boyfriend at the altar.
And that’s all true. But he’s starting to think it’s time to start working on his issues. Maybe.
When Declan meets Sidney—a popular nonbinary YouTuber with an advice show—an opportunity presents itself: as part of The Love Study, Declan will go on a series of dates arranged by Sidney and report back on how the date went in the next episode.
The dates are…sort of blah. It’s not Sidney’s fault; the folks participating are (mostly) great people, but there’s no chemistry there. Maybe Declan’s just broken.
Or maybe the problem is that the only person he’s feeling chemistry with is Sidney.
The Love Study is the story of Declan, a self-declared commitment-phobe in all aspects of his life. He’s been working as a temp in (the same) office for years and he famously left his fiancé at the altar on the day of their wedding (and none of his friends will let him forget it). As Declan decides that he might be willing to try and commit to a relationship he meets Sidney, a nonbinary Youtuber, who presents him with a unique opportunity: star in an online series on Sidney’s channel called The Love Study. In exchange for being set up on dates with potential matches, Declan will report back on said dates and be interview by Sidney. It’s an experiment and one that might help get Declan out his funk… until he realises that it’s not the dates that are the problem, he’s just started to fall for Sidney instead.
This was a really fun, quick and easy weekend read that includes a delightfully fun and funny main and supporting cast of characters. The premise is kind of cheesy, but also very relevant to today’s demographic market and it was nice to see Youtube being portrayed as a stable career opportunity for people who have decided to genuinely pursue it (although I am the first to admit it’s not for everyone).
Declan and Sidney were interesting characters, although I don’t know if they had quite the emotional chemistry to carry the entire story. They both have their own issues they’re working through – and stumble their way through together in the book – and even though I know that by the end of the book they’re willing to try and make it work, I question whether the relationship would survive long term.
The true standouts in this book were Declan’s close-knit circle of friends (including Declan’s ex-fiance). It’s clear they’ve all been through the highs and lows with each other and they know exactly which buttons to push to get an emotional reaction from each other. And, at the same time, you know they would do anything to help each other out. A lot of the truly hilarious scenes and banter come about when you get a few of the group together and I loved every one of them by the end of the book.
So while it’s not necessarily one of my favourite books it’s definitely something that I enjoyed overall and I’m interested in trying some of Kris Ripper’s other works at a later date.