REVIEW: The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

In brief: Jess believes in numbers, not love. But when a new matchmaking company suggests compatibility can be in DNA, she gives it a go and finds she’s highly compatible with the company’s founder (who she can’t stand). Can genetics overcome first impressions?

The good: Sweet, saucy and sexy with a good heart.

The not-so-good: Fizzy needs her own story!

Why I chose it: Really, really love Christina Lauren’s novels for a pick me up.

Year: 2021

Pages: 360

Publisher: Piatkus (Hachette)

Setting: San Diego

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Sometimes you just need a happy book that will put a smile on your face. Christina Lauren is one of my go-to destinations for a happy read. Plus, this story involved science, so how could I go wrong? It’s a story with a sweet centre, combined with great dialogue and a bit of spice.

The author duo always have great careers for their characters, and Jess in The Soulmate Equation is no exception. She’s a statistician and lives for things like regression analysis and probability. Jess hasn’t had the easiest of times outside of numbers though. She was brought up by her grandparents and is a single mum to cutie Juno. Her mum isn’t on the scene and she hasn’t had a serious boyfriend for some time. But that’s all about to change when the grumpy, surly, hot guy she sees daily with author friend Fizzy turns out to have a matchmaking business. The point of difference for GeneticAlly is that is compares your DNA to others and ranks you on compatibility. For a laugh, Fizzy buys Jess a kit. Alone on of her thirtieth, Jess does it for a laugh. And then her life changes – she’s 98% compatible with hot guy River. Who she detests. But if the company is willing to invest in them having a potential relationship …why not give it a go?

This enemies to friends to lovers tale is excellent fun. I found it a little slow initially as the characters were being introduced and Jess’s backstory was being revealed, but it certainly picked up and took me away after that. It’s a fun, witty story combined with the dramas of family baggage and the warmth of good friendships. While Jess is cautious, she isn’t to the point of being boring. She also says some wild things at the wrong time, which made me laugh. River combines brooding good looks with a scientific background, plus a backstory of his life growing up which will have everyone saying ‘awww’ in unison. He too is cautious, but quietly so, which allows for a few feisty misunderstandings with Jess. I do think that Fizzy, Jess’s best friend and romance writer, deserves her own book. She’s wild and forthright with a vulnerable side, and also up for pretty much anything. She too deserves a happy ending, whether it’s a DNA match or not.

I loved the combination of romance, family and friendship amongst the setting of San Diego which sounded beautiful (with excellent food). I also loved that the authors clearly did their research when it came to River and Jess’s professions. I’m no expert on either statistics or genetics but it all made sense to me (complete with nerd jokes). It was just a delightful book to read, full of sunshine.

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