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.
Last summer, I was reintroduced to the world of Christina Lauren with The Unhoneymooners. Spoiler alert: I loved it. (Find out how much here). So the next time I went on a book haul–this summer, for a milestone birthday–I stocked up on Christina Lauren. I’ve already gushed about Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating here; but I liked The Soulmate Equation even more!
❗️Mild spoilers ahead!❗️
❤️THINGS I LOVED❤️
❤️ Jess. I really, really loved her. I’m sure they’re out there, but I haven’t personally read any romances where the heroine is a caregiver, and now I’m wondering exactly why?! There was something so understandable and relatable about a character who puts her family first, and likes doing that–but who also struggles to find a balance between caring and self-care. It was refreshing as fuck.
❤️ Oddly, that the book was so clearly a pandemic project? Here I’ve been looking for ways to escape, but reading that this had been created in spite of distancing and all the rest made so much sense–there was something really heartfelt about it, something really close-knit between the characters that just struck a real emotional chord. I can’t explain it; I just felt it.
❤️ And then, in complete contrast to the above: I loved how it threw realism to the wind with that against-all-odds reason to almost fake date–and with the Ultimate Romcom Best Friend, Fizzy. The point in a romcom, after all, is to be dreamier than real life, and as true Christina Lauren fashion, this was. No one does romcom like they do.
💖THE THING I LOVED BEST💖
💖 Like I said, I know no romcom is ever exactly realistic–but this one gets damn close to it. Jess’s problems are real-life problems; River’s Big Idiot Moment is utterly within character; even the big climax is less running-through-the-airport and more this-is-how-people-really-react. I did not think I’d want a realistic romcom in the middle of this pandemic, when all I’ve been craving is escapism, but it turns out it was exactly what I needed.
🌟Favourite character: Like I said: I adore Jess.
🌟Favourite quote: “Comprehension was a weather front that moved across his face.”
🌟Favourite moment: There’s a little moment when River pulls through for Jess, just when she thinks her ‘safety net’ has a ‘hole in it’ and she’s run out of people to rely on–and it’s so painfully relatable it makes me emotional thinking about it!
This book is:
Part of a duology🔶 Part of a trilogy🔶 Part of a series
Action-packed🔶Charming🔶 Clever🔶Comforting🔶 Creepy🔶 Dark🔶 Emotional🔶Funny🔶 Gripping🔶 Haunting🔶 Heartbreaking🔶 Intense🔶 Mysterious🔶 Powerful🔶 Quirky🔶Romantic🔶 Sad🔶 Scary🔶Sweet🔶 Tear-jerking🔶 Tense🔶 Touching🔶 Twisted🔶 Violent🔶 Witty
Middle Grade🔶 YA🔶Adult