The True Love Experiment Summary, Characters and Themes

The True Love Experiment is a romance novel by Christina Lauren, the author duo behind The Soulmate Equation. It tells the story of Fizzy, a quirky and independent woman who works as a documentary filmmaker. She is approached by Connor, a charming reality TV producer, to help him create a new dating show called The True Love Experiment.

Fizzy agrees to help, but only if she can cast the contestants according to a list of romance archetypes. As the show begins production, Fizzy finds herself unexpectedly drawn to Connor. However, she is hesitant to pursue a relationship with him because of her past experiences with love.


Fizzy, a romance novelist, is in a creative and romantic slump. When approached to star in a reality dating show based on DNA matchmaking, she reluctantly agrees, seeing it as a chance to promote the romance genre and women’s sexuality. 

Connor, the documentary filmmaker producing the show, initially clashes with Fizzy due to his disdain for romance novels. However, as they work together, their mutual attraction grows.

Fizzy sets specific terms for the show, including casting her potential suitors based on romance archetypes. As filming begins, Fizzy finds herself drawn to Connor, who struggles with his growing feelings for her due to the ethical implications of their relationship.

Their connection deepens, and they eventually give in to their desires. However, Connor’s past infidelity and Fizzy’s traumatic experience with a married man lead to a breakdown in their trust. 

Connor distances himself, determined to protect his job and the show’s success.

Despite the tension, Fizzy rediscovers her passion for writing and embraces her new role as an aunt. 

Meanwhile, Connor grapples with his feelings for Fizzy and the unexpected popularity he gains from viewers who want him to be one of Fizzy’s potential matches.

In the final episode, Connor is revealed as Fizzy’s highest DNA match. 

The two confess their love for each other and embark on a new relationship, having both found personal and professional fulfillment through the unexpected journey of “The True Love Experiment.”

The True Love Experiment Summary


Felicity “Fizzy” Chen

Fizzy is the protagonist of the novel, a quirky and independent romance author who is experiencing a slump in both her writing and personal life. She is passionate about romance novels and believes in the power of love. 

Fizzy is known for her wit, humor, and her ability to connect with people on a deep level. She is also fiercely independent and has a strong sense of self. 

Throughout the novel, Fizzy undergoes significant personal growth as she navigates the challenges of the reality dating show and her feelings for Connor. She learns to embrace vulnerability and to open herself up to the possibility of true love.

Connor Prince

Connor is the male protagonist of the story, a documentary filmmaker who is tasked with producing the reality dating show. 

He is initially hesitant about the project and has a preconceived notion about romance novels and their readers. Connor is a complex character who is struggling with his past mistakes and his fear of vulnerability. 

He is fiercely protective of his daughter and has a strong sense of responsibility. 

However, as he gets to know Fizzy and the other contestants, Connor begins to question his assumptions and to open himself up to the possibility of love.


Jess is Fizzy’s best friend and a supporting character in the novel. She is happily married to River, one of the creators of the DNADuo technology. Jess is a loyal and supportive friend who provides Fizzy with guidance and encouragement throughout the story. 

She is also a source of comic relief with her witty remarks and humorous observations.


River is Jess’s husband and one of the creators of DNADuo. He is a successful businessman who is passionate about his work. 

River is a kind and supportive husband who is deeply in love with Jess. He plays a minor role in the novel, but his creation of DNADuo serves as a catalyst for the events of the story.


Stevie is Connor’s 10-year-old daughter. She is a bright and curious child who is deeply loved by her father. 

Stevie shares a special bond with Fizzy, bonding over their shared love for the boy band Wonderland. She plays a crucial role in bringing Fizzy and Connor closer together.

The Heroes

The Heroes are the eight contestants on the reality dating show, each representing a different romance archetype. 

They include a cowboy, a vampire, a Darcy, a cinnamon roll, and others. Each hero brings a unique personality and charm to the show, and they all contribute to Fizzy’s journey of self-discovery and her search for love.


The Power of Vulnerability and Authenticity

Throughout the novel, vulnerability and authenticity emerge as key themes that drive the development of both Fizzy and Connor’s characters and their relationship. 

Fizzy, despite her outgoing personality and success as a romance novelist, harbors deep-seated insecurities about love and her ability to find lasting happiness. 

Connor, on the other hand, maintains a carefully constructed facade of professionalism and control, hiding his own anxieties and past mistakes. However, as their connection deepens, both characters begin to shed their protective layers and embrace vulnerability.

Fizzy’s willingness to open up about her past heartaches and insecurities, as well as her passion for romance and female sexuality, allows Connor to see her in a new light. 

In turn, Connor’s confession of his infidelity and his struggle to balance his career and fatherhood reveals a more human and relatable side to his character. 

By sharing their vulnerabilities, they create a space for trust and understanding to flourish. 

This authenticity strengthens their bond and ultimately leads them to find true love.

Romance as Empowerment and Self-Discovery

The novel celebrates romance as a powerful tool for empowerment and self-discovery. 

Fizzy, as a romance novelist and participant in the reality dating show, embodies this theme. She uses her platform to advocate for the genre’s value, emphasizing its ability to validate women’s desires and explore different aspects of love and relationships.

Through her interactions with the various hero archetypes on the show, Fizzy gains new insights into herself and what she truly wants in a partner. 

She discovers that love doesn’t always fit neatly into predetermined categories, and that true connection transcends stereotypes. The journey of self-discovery she undertakes both on and off the show ultimately leads her to a more fulfilling and authentic relationship with Connor. 

The novel suggests that by embracing romance and all its complexities, individuals can unlock a deeper understanding of themselves and forge connections that are both passionate and meaningful.

The Importance of Female Friendship and Support

Female friendship plays a vital role in “The True Love Experiment.” Fizzy’s bond with her best friend, Jess, provides her with a constant source of encouragement, advice, and laughter. 

Jess not only celebrates Fizzy’s successes but also offers a shoulder to lean on during her moments of doubt and vulnerability. 

Their conversations about love, relationships, and life’s challenges are honest and heartfelt, reflecting the deep connection they share.

This friendship also extends to Jess’s daughter, Juno, who becomes a surrogate niece to Fizzy. 

This intergenerational bond emphasizes the importance of women supporting and empowering each other across different stages of life. 

Fizzy’s relationship with Jess and Juno serves as a reminder of the strength and resilience found in female friendships, highlighting the invaluable role they play in navigating life’s ups and downs.

Family Dynamics and the Healing Power of Love

While romantic love takes center stage in “The True Love Experiment,” the novel also explores the complexities of family dynamics and the healing power of love within those relationships. 

Connor’s relationship with his daughter, Stevie, is central to his character development. His love for her motivates his career choices and his desire to be a good father. 

Despite the challenges he faces as a single parent and the guilt he carries from his past mistakes, Connor’s unwavering love for Stevie ultimately allows him to find redemption and happiness.

Fizzy’s own family experiences, including her brother’s wedding and the birth of her niece, contribute to her growth and sense of belonging. 

These events remind her of the importance of family and the unconditional love they offer. 

The novel suggests that love, in all its forms, can be a powerful catalyst for healing, growth, and connection, whether it’s the love between partners, friends, or family members.