Their romance is set to be the most anticipated one on Bachelor In Paradise, but TV WEEK can reveal Alex and Brooke's love story started way before arriving in Fiji.
Alex, who rose to fame in 2016 when she won the heart of Bachelor Richie Strahan on The Bachelor Australia, confirms the pair's flirtation dates back to August last year.
"When she was on Nick's season, I knew there was something about her. I just thought, 'Gosh, this woman is so intelligent, beautiful and has her head screwed on,'" Alex, 27, enthuses over why she first fell for Brooke. "She was at the top of my wish list."
And the mum-of-one's wishes have come true as the pair are set to connect in front of the cameras after a series of false starts – including one last year when Alex was "stood up" by the youth social worker.
"We were meant to catch up for a drink in Sydney, but it didn't happen," Alex explains. "So the thought of actually meeting her was really exciting."
While Brooke says she "feels really bad" about the failed date, she tells TV WEEK she was over the moon to get a second chance.
"After The Bachelor, I researched her and thought she was gorgeous," Brooke admits. "So after all the stalking, I was really excited to meet her."
Brooke says she's hoping for a happy ever after, following her showmance with Bachelor Nick Cummins.
"On The Bachelor, I'd opened myself up and spoken about things really close to my heart. I was vulnerable and, because it wasn't reciprocated, I felt exposed," she says.
"I guess I was hoping that in Paradise, maybe if I can open up again and get to know someone, I'll find someone who will reciprocate that in that way."
Alex says she's ready to be that person in Bachelor In Paradise.
"I was a ball of nerves [before arriving]," she says. "I thought, 'Oh, my God – what am I going to do to impress her? Will she like me?' I have a big fat crush on her!"
Of course, before Alex and Brooke can kick off their fairytale, Alex needs to take care of business – by confronting her ex Richie, who she's set to face for the first time since their split in 2017.
"I just thought no way [will he be in Paradise]," she spills. "I know he really wanted to leave the Bachelor brand behind. From knowing him and his feelings towards it – because he struggled after the show – I was quite surprised he was there."
As for why things ended, Alex says it will be revealed on screen, but hinted that Richie, 33, just didn't make time for her.
"Distance was a huge factor for us," she says. "Whoever said distance makes the heart grow fonder doesn't know s**t about relationships.
"I've got a child and I have to really plan things to make time for him. So in the end, it kind of felt like I was just chasing time with him that I didn't get."
Bachelor in Paradise airs Tuesday to Thursday, 7.30pm, on Network 10.