The Dating Experiment, by Elodia Strain
2017, 240p, Clean Contemporary Romance
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way
After losing her job, her house, and her guy, the last thing Gabby wants to do is be in a dating experiment—especially with her ex. Her only chance of making it through is with help from her best friend, Ian. But as the study and all its hilariously awkward dates goes on, Gabby finds herself wondering what exactly this experiment is all about.
I love Elodia Strain's books and was excited to learn she was coming out with a new one! Gabby is having a rough time: she's working a temp job that she doesn't enjoy, her boyfriend is on a three-month trip so he can figure things out, and she's flat broke. Being desperate for money, she agrees to join a study that examines the roles of social media mobile dating apps in modern dating. She learns a lot about herself and the type of man she wants to be with during this process. This book is entertaining from beginning to end! I started laughing right away at Gabby's explanation of her temp job. Life is currently rough for her but she has a good attitude and is able to find the humor in it. There are lots of fun characters to get to know: her roommate, Paige; her maybe boyfriend, Dillon; her childhood friend, Ian; her Aunt Kit, who runs a B&B and who she spent a lot of time with during her high school summers; and, of course, the guys she dates during the study. Some of those dates were disastrous and hilarious, while others were pretty good and left her (and me) with some hope. There's also a 17-year-old girl named Lennox who is involved in an uplifting message about spreading more good in the world. I don't often have enough time to read a book in one sitting, but this one was so much fun, that I made the time to finish it. I was hoping for a particular outcome and wanted to know if and how it would happen. I obviously enjoyed the humor in this book, but it also has some sweet, tender moments as well, which I also loved. This is a book I can easily recommend to anyone that enjoys reading clean, humorous, heartwarming romance!
Elodia Strain was born in Alaska and grew up in the middle of California. She spent her childhood exploring Yosemite National Park, skiing—badly—at Lake Tahoe, and enjoying the beaches along California’s famed central coast. She graduated cum laude from Brigham Young University with a degree in marketing communications. She is the author of three previous books from Cedar Fort. Her debut novel, “The Icing on the Cake,” was well received by readers of all ages, and earned Elodia the Best New Fiction Author award from CFI. Her second book, “Previously Engaged,” was a Whitney Award finalist. Elodia also wrote “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” the novelization of the widely successful eponymous major motion picture, starring Alyssa Milano. In addition to her creative writing pursuits, Elodia has spoken at writers’ conferences, had the privilege of signing books at national events such as her alma mater’s Women’s Conference and Education Week, and is also one of the founders of Ink Ladies Plus (formerly the Ink Ladies blog), a group of CFI and independent authors who work together to strengthen and promote each other’s work. When not writing or marketing, Elodia spends her time bargain shopping, enjoying staycations with her husband, and spoiling her nieces and nephews.