Title: The Love Study
Author: Kris Ripper
Series: The Love Study #1
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: September 29, 2020
Pages: 336
Book Source: Netgalley

“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.” – Amazon

Kim’s Review

I am so torn on The Love Study by Kris Ripper. I really loved the fast pace of the dialogue when the MF’s group gets together, along with all of their snark and how they hold each other accountable and feel comfortable calling each other out. I felt a kinship with Declan since I often talk in tangents and say awkward things.

But I just couldn’t get over how for a bunch of people in their late 20’s and Sydney being mid-20’s (at least that’s what I gathered) act like a bunch of junior high kids. And all of that giggling. I can’t. I’m a happy person and laugh a lot, but everyone continually giggling, it just kept pulling me out of the story. If this was marketed towards a YA audience I would be giving it a higher score. And I do recommend high schoolers to give The Love Study a read.

There was so much talking about every aspect of the relationship which is great because I feel communication is the most important thing in every relationship, but it was through the entire book. I know communication should not stop once you start sleeping together (you should probably even do more), but as a reader it was too much. I felt like I had a teacher repeating the lessons on love and relationships over and over, instead of enjoying a romance book and seeing the two main characters grow.

Talking about growth, there was very little of it in regards to Declan. In fact, at 80% into the story he had a total meltdown and just threw it all away. Now I know this happens all the time in romance movies/books where the main character doesn’t feel like they are good enough for the other one, but the world is open here. With so much new in queer and glbta writing, why do the conventional norms need to be followed. Ripper could have just skipped all of the drama and continued on with the happily ever after. Or skipped over the breakdown and given us more of a look into queer dates. Sure there were three before Sidney, but since this was a study in queer dating, having Declan go on more dates would have enhanced the story even more.

There is a lot of potential with The Love Study if the story was tightened up, but I think before reading another romance by Ripper I would check the reviews to see if the writing style has changed at all.

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