Book Review: The Alice Equation by Davina Stone


Alice Montgomery’s life is like Groundhog Day. Five years after graduating, she’s still working in her mum’s bookshop, hiding her stash of romance novels under the bed and pining for the gorgeous guy who helped her over a panic attack before her final uni exam. Aaron Blake loves to party—hard. His idea of commitment to anything other than his legal career is strictly three months. Until landing a job with the most prestigious—but conservative—law firm in town means he has to convince the partners he’s deeply committed to family values. Aaron needs a fake date fast—and who could be safer than his bookish friend Alice? Soon Alice finds herself dating her secret crush, sporting a daring new look of vintage frocks and itsy-bitsy lace lingerie, Now the heat is notching up. Aaron’s feelings for his fake date are proving anything but safe, and Alice is discovering her inner sex-goddess. But when secrets are revealed and lies uncovered, both Alice and Aaron will have to work out the hardest equation of all… what this crazy thing called love is all about.


When I saw that The Alice Equation was a fake dating book I instantly knew I needed to read it. I’ve talked about it a few times, but it is my favourite trope and I’m seriously in need of more fake dating books.

Sadly, I didn’t enjoy this as much as I thought I would. The fake dating wasn’t actually a large part of the story and I feel like it got pushed to the sidelines. I did enjoy the few fake dates Alice and Aaron went on, but because they were already good friends, it wasn’t as enjoyable. I like it when they either don’t know each other well or dislike each other. The relationship feels more risky and like they could be found out at any point.

The arrangement was also slightly ruined by the fact that Alice has been in love with Aaron for the last five years. This type of pining can be good sometimes, but it was a little icky that she took advantage of the situation to get Aaron to sleep with her. It was obviously consensual, but it still felt wrong.

At one point I thought this book was going down the ‘she took off her glasses and wore her hair down, now I think she’s hot’ route, but thankfully it didn’t. Aaron liked her both ways, but her newfound confidence is what made him think of her as more than a friend.

You could smell the tropes coming from a mile away, especially the one mentioned above. There’s a moment where Aaron takes a woman he works with to a bar, completely platonically, after a misunderstanding and you just knew Alice was going to see them together and expect the worst. I know romance books heavily depend on the miscommunication trope, but god do I hate it.

The most infuriating thing about this situation is that Aaron gives her a perfectly fine explanation of what happens and she doesn’t believe him. I’d get it if they’d just met, but they’ve been friends for over five years. If you can’t trust him, why agree to the arrangement in the first place?

It sounds like I really disliked The Alice Equation, but I didn’t. It was actually a pretty decent read, even if the smutty sections made me cringe. I don’t think I’m a fan of this kind of content if I’m being honest. It literally makes me laugh out loud sometimes. The characters seem to completely change personalities in these situations and it really takes me out of the story.

Anyway, this was a pretty good friends to lovers romance with a sprinkling of fake dating. I think it would have been better if the roles were reversed though. I love it when the guy falls first, make him work for it.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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