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I had to think about this for a bit before writing my review, because while I really enjoyed this book, I flip-flopped between what star rating to give. There were parts of the book where I loved it so much that it was getting 5 stars from me, but then there were other parts, particularly when the hero was being a giant pain in the rear, when I was going down to 3 stars. Ultimately, though, what rounded it out to a 4-star rating was the fantastic writing by Ainslie Paton. Absolutely superb, kept so many emotions flowing throughout the story, going from humorous to serious to romantic multiple times. I was hooked.
Rookie lifestyle writer Derelie Honeywell needs to get the cooperation of megastar reporter Jackson Haley if she is to make it in the journalism world. Both wrangled into participating in a clickbait-esque article about a love experiment, Derelie is resigned to making this work, but Jackson is digging in his heels. While Jackson is hugely successful in his work, he is also extremely jaded and gives zero figs about anyone else's feelings. He knows that he's like this, but he doesn't realize the toll it takes on others until the first caustic remark that shoots out of his mouth causes Derelie, a sweet, eager young woman, to almost cry. Seeking to repent his words, in more ways than one, he reluctantly agrees to the experiment. What he didn't expect, however, is for it to actually work. 36 questions - is that really all it takes to find true love?
I'll start with Derelie, because I really liked her. She was spunky, didn't take crap from Jackson (for the most part), and she was determined to make it in the journalism world despite her family, friends, and the lack of stars in the sky over Chicago. The problem with this couple was really just one person - Jackson My-Crap-Doesn't-Stink Haley. He was a bonafide jackwagon whose main purpose in Derelie's life, it seemed, was to drag her self-esteem into the mud and kick it until it stays down. I wanted to hit him quite often while reading. He eventually redeems himself - sort of - but it takes a lot of effort, many fights in a ring run by an ex-priest named Barney, and lots of beautiful apology emails. It was definitely a story of redemption for Jackson and a story of courage for Derelie.
It was irritating, it was hysterical, and it was romantic. Just read it. You can thank me later.
**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**