Summary (from the publisher):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.
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
I’ve mentioned it before, but I am part of the “newer Christina Lauren releases” fan club, including their May 2021 release, The Soulmate Equation. The book features all the classic CLo hallmarks, but it is definitely a standout for its DNA matchmaking premise and for what I believe is their first standalone CLo book with a single mom as the main protagonist. Jess is roped in by her romance author of a best friend, Fizzy, to partake in a DNA-based matchmaking company in hopes of finding a great date. However, Jess is ultimately matched with one of the lead, broody scientists, River. Since Jess and River have the highest compatibility rate the company has ever seen, they pay Jess to give her and River’s attraction a trial run, which of course leads to something more….
The Soulmate Equation was another solid CLo installment! They have really become one of my most trusted authors, knowing that I’ll either really enjoy or love any of their books, no matter the premise. I really liked Jess as a main protagonist for her personality & career. It was cool to have female STEM representation, as Jess is a freelance mathematician/data analyst. I do admit that I fell a tiny bit more in love with the book’s ‘secondary’ characters, like Jess’ best friend, Fizzy, and her seven year old daughter, Juno. Fizzy is a romance book author whose writing may or may not take inspiration from Jess’ data (mis)adventures and she had so many great one liners- maybe we’ll get some sort of Fizzy inspired spin-off? I really liked the family aspect in The Soulmate Equation, as Jess is super close with her daughter and her grandparents.
While I loved how the book focused on Jess’ family life, romance is the main focus of The Soulmate Equation. I really liked Jess and River’s relationship, and seeing River transform from the broody love interest to something more. Everyone knows that I love a good enemies-to-lovers, but this book reminded me how much I really like hate-to-love as a trope too. Their growth felt right, and l liked their more philosophical conversations surrounding what it means to be ‘meant to be’ with someone & or to be someone’s soulmate. I will admit that I often got lost with some of the data/analytics/genetics talk, but I was able to understand most of the main points. I was definitely invested in this book more for Jess & her relationships vs. the science & data behind everything.
Overall, if you’ve enjoyed CLo’s books, The Soulmate Equation is another must-read. I’m excited for their next book scheduled for 2022, but here’s to hoping they pull off another release this year!
Have you read The Soulmate Equation? What did you think? What is your favorite book by Christina Lauren?