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Dual Reviews ❤️ The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

May 18, 2021


Single mom Jessica Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents—who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno—Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father was never around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands.

At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98 percent compatibility with another subject in the database: one of GeneticAlly’s founders, Dr. River Peña. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Peña. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess—who is barely making ends meet—is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond Match” that could launch GeneticAlly’s valuation sky-high, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist—and the science behind a soulmate—than she thought.

Release Date:
 May 18, 2021
Heat Level: Hot
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Imprint: Gallery
Price: $12.99

The Soulmate Equation is a stand-alone romantic comedy by one of my personal favorites: Christina Lauren. Lauren is a master at that laugh-out-loud dialogue and (mostly) realistic storylines with strong female leads.

This particular book follows single mother, Jess Davis, as she get roped by her best friend into trying a new dating service that takes a look at matching suitors based on their DNA. Jess is not about the dating scene, she is working freelance as a statistician and trying to raise her boisterous seven year old daughter, Juno, and also trying to find a way to repay her grandparents for everything they have done to help raise herself and her daughter. Safe to say, Jess is busy and doesn’t have time for men. Thanks to her number-crunching brain, Jess is intrigued when her DNA results come back with a 98% match for the company’s founder, Dr. River Pena. But, once she meets River and realizes he is the stuck-up snob that she sees every morning, she is not so happy. The matching making company gives the two a proposal: genuinely get to know each other and she will be compensated for her time. It’s an offer she can’t refuse, and so she gives it a go.

I really enjoyed this book. It had everything you could really ask for in a feel good novel: romance, comedy, tension, and a great plot. Jess and River fall into the enemies to lover trope and Lauren does a great job of making their progression a realistic one. I really enjoyed how Jess had a messy life and was constantly just trying to make ends meet. It was just so realistic of so many single mothers out in the world and really made the reader understand why she would take the money from the matchmaking company even though she didn’t like River. Jess was also a very strong individual, who showed that she knew what she wanted and was not afraid to speak her truth. River was also a great male lead, it did take me a bit to warm up to him because he was a grade-A douche at first, but warm up I did. I liked that River was such a nerd and so into his company and his work, this also made sense as to why such a good looking guy is single. He has no time to date!

I especially enjoyed the funny and in-your-face supporting characters: Fizzy (the best friend), Juno (Jess’ baby), Nana and Pops. They really rounded out the story well and we got nice glimpses into different areas of Jess’ life through them. Fizzy was my personal favorite and I loved her sassiness, and how she would throw herself into the dating scene all in the name of “research” for her job as a romance author.

I could not put this book down as soon as I started it, and I highly recommend it for those who are fans of Christina Lauren, and of the enemies to lovers trope with romance books.

~ Harshita

Grumpy science heroes, mathematic number analyzing heroines, and a twist on dating apps… this book is a nerd’s dream!

I’ll be honest, Christina Lauren is one of those authors that’s sometimes hit or miss for me. Not that I want their books to be, but sometimes I am over the moon and others not. The Soulmate Equation is over-the-moon-worthy. Besides giving me a geek hero and number nerd heroine, there’s a great grumpster to lover tale paired with dose of single mom. Trope-gold.

Our single mom is Jess Davis, a freelance analyst who is non-stop working and trying to be the best mom possible. But being the best is hard and, as the blurb mentions, lonely. Her and her bestie, romance writer Fizzy, hangout at a local café where every morning they see a hot, aloof and grumpy man. This man just happens to be Dr. River Pena, a scientific genius on the cutting edge of DNA-based matchmaking. In a moment of insanity-inducing loneliness, Jess decides to take part in this science dating game. Only her statistic impossible 98% match with our Dr. Pena turns things upside down. Even more when money is involved. Things are about to get tricky.

This book is just all sorts of emotional feels. While we spend the entire story in Jess’s head there are tons of relatable tidbits from all the mom duties, to the struggles Jess has being responsible for her loved ones and often being the sole person sailing the ship. I could relate to Jess. Being someone who has fought hard to become successful after having children young, I totally got where Jess is coming from.

The romance itself is this sigh, heart happy thing that unfolds through a series of organized dates. Though, the good doctor and Jess quickly discover there is sexual attraction between them. If they choose to act on it… well, I won’t spoil the story. Dr. Pena does at times deliver on the too-good-to-be-true hero and I kept waiting for him to stumble.

Secondary characters, Fizzy, Jess’s daughter, Juno, and Jess’s grandparents make Jess’s world sparkle with plenty of snark, smiles, and shenanigans. I secretly wish that Fizzy would get her own story because the woman is a romance writer and if anyone deserves a happily ever after it’s a romance writer (right, Joan Wilder fans?).

For those seeking a big, dark black moment exit stage left. This story has some tumbles and turns, but deep-seated angst is not the emotion of the day. The Soulmate Equation is true romance escape with all the best results and plenty to make you smile. For readers who enjoy Penny Reid.

~ Landra

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