Title: The Soulmate Equation
Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: May 18th, 2021
Genre: Adult – Romance – Contemporary
My rating in stars:
My rating in words:
I loved it
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Single mom Jess 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’s never been 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% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. 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” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist–and the science behind a soulmate–than she thought.
Funny, warm, and full of heart, The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated.
MY THOUGHTS (spoiler-free):
“Destiny could also be a choice, she realized. To believe or not, to be vulnerable or not, to go all in or not.”
Christina Lauren books are pretty much my go-to whenever I’m in the mood for a fun romance book with great characters and The Soulmate Equation is yet another great addition to the list!
This time however, the premise sounded so fun and exciting and different that I had super high expectations. A single mom and statistician, Jess, has no interest in dating but in a moment of desperation she tries a new matchmaking app. This app, called GeneticAlly, uses DNA to match people. Jess is skeptical but still intrigued by the science. However, she’s still taken aback when she doesn’t only get a match, but with a score of 98% she gets a very rare diamond match. Only problem: it’s with the founder of the app, River, and a guy Jess can’t stand. However, they both still want to find out if the app could be correct or not and agree to “date” so they can not only figure that out, but also mutually benefit them both: promote the company for River and get helped out of a financial tight spot for Jess. So basically, this story features a nice mix of fake dating and enemies-to-lovers, and it’s all sticking together with a good dose of sciencey goodness.
As always with a Christina Lauren book, I loved the characters and their development in this book so much. Our main character Jess is such a great protagonist: I love how she’s a hardworking single mom, a freelance statistician (honestly, it’s so fun to see someone working from home without pants on. I mean, I love reading about perfectly tailored business people hustling to their fancy offices and all, but it gets a little old and with the recent working from home trend, it’s nice to read about people working from home or from their local coffee shop) and a good friend. She’s built her own little “island”, as she calls it and is content with her daughter, grandparents and best friend, but she also has her lonely moments like at parent teacher meetings.
River (or Keanu Banderas, as he is jokingly called) is a fun love interest. He comes off as a bit of a stand-offish jerk at first, but as Jess gets to know him better, it turns out that she may have judged him a bit too harshly too and he’s actually quite shy and awkward. I have to say that the transition from jerk to love could have gone a bit more smoothly, as it felt a bit too sudden for me, but that’s really the only downside I have to the entire story.
Also, though I’m not a mother myself, there is something about seeing a love interest getting along so great with someone’s kid that really gets to me. The scenes with River and Jess’s kid Juno were adorable and I could see why Jess would melt because of them. In general, I really enjoyed reading about their romance, it had just the right amounts of adorableness, chemistry, banter and steam.
Also, a special shoutout to Fizzy, Jess’s best friend, who was an AMAZING character and a friend we’d all love to have, I’m sure.
Overall, I think The Soulmate Equation just took the spot of The Unhoneymooners as my number two favorite Christina Lauren book. (Autoboyography is still N° 1!). I loved every minute of it and tore through it in about a day. I loved all the science in this one, and the little family our main character Jess had with her daughter, grandparents and best friend. They were adorable. Add to that a hot scientist LI and a dash of hate-to-love and I was sold! (Also, did anyone else catch their super cute thank you to BTS in the acknowledgements?)