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The Soulmate Equation

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2021)
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. 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 her daughter 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: GeneticAlly’s founder, 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” pairing 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.

The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated.

360 pages, Hardcover

First published May 18, 2021

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About the author

Christina Lauren

101 books64.3k followers
Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/best friends Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced eighteen New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 30+ languages. (Some of these books have kissing. Some of these books have A LOT of kissing.)

We don't respond to private messages here, so please contact us via twitter (@seeCwrite for Christina and @LolaShoes for Lauren) or our site. Thank you!!

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5 stars
50,991 (30%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 19,565 reviews
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
603 reviews87.3k followers
March 11, 2021
This was so different and fun and adorable! I'd say this is a favourite of their recent releases. There was something about the concept of the data based dating app and the 98% match that totalllly hooked me on the chemistry between the characters! It took awhile for the relationship to get going which is my only complaint, but once it did I couldn't stop reading. But besides the romance, I loved the support system Jess had. Her grandparents, her best friend Fizzy, they all were so supportive of her as a single mother raising her daughter. It was so nice to see such loving relationships all around. Fizzy especially was a great character. This book also had twists I didn't seem coming and wasn't expecting at all. I never guess plot twists but especially with romances I always feel like I know exactly what's coming, so it was interesting to be surprised! This was really readable and enjoyable and exactly what I was hoping for!
Profile Image for Yun.
509 reviews19k followers
January 2, 2022
The Soulmate Equation has it all: a cheer-worthy couple, tons of chemistry, an adorable and funny supporting cast, and the most interesting premise.

Jess is a single mother who hasn't had a lot of luck in the relationship department. When her best friend suggests trying a new dating app that uses DNA matching to pair up participants, she is both skeptical and hopeful. But when her numbers come back and she is matched to one of the founders of the company, she is dumbstruck. Because she already knows him in real life, and he is rude and stuck up. How can they possibly be genetic soulmates?

The premise of this story is what initially caught my eye. It's absolutely fascinating to contemplate the possibility that compatibility could be genetically encoded into our DNA, and we only need to suss out the relevant data and create an app to harness it. As someone who enjoys all things data-related, this is right up my alley. Not to mention, I'm quite a sappy romantic and love the idea of soulmates.

But all that aside, at its heart, this is a terrific love story of enemies to lovers, and that's one of my favorite tropes. Everyone's so gruff and uptight in the beginning, but then they slowly thaw. I was positively gleeful, following along as this couple warmed up to each other and realized there is more between them than just hate and distrust.

There are so many lovable side characters in here, including Jess's outspoken romance-writer best friend Fizzy, her adorable and smart kid Juno, and her grandparents who have been helping and supporting her for as long as she can remember. The whole cast added so much humor and heart to this story.

For a romcom, this book doesn't shy away from touching upon some of the more complex issues if such a technology were to exist. I particularly appreciated its exploration of destiny versus choice, and also what it could mean emotionally to find out you are genetically compatible with a complete stranger.

This book hit all the right notes for me. I had previously read a few other books by this author duo and never really connected with them. But I'm so glad I took a chance on this one. Its unique premise drew me in, but it was the story itself that kept me riveted throughout.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,131 reviews39.3k followers
July 30, 2021
Can you find your soulmate via DNA test? This book is not John Marrs’ One. The subject may be similar but this is truly entertaining, heartwarming and lately the best romcom my favorite duo has written. ( at some parts I loved it more than In A Holidaze because entire characters are adorable and I have to admit we don’t have Fizzy at In a Holidaze, actually all we need more Fizzys in our lives. What a sassy, naughty, funny, loyal, smart, vivid best friend she is! )

My pros about this fun escapade:
Both of the MCs are nerds!

They love mathematics, equations, genetics! At some parts of the book, they seem like talking Gibberish ( geneticish if it is a real language) Jess, single mom, quirky, smart, easy to connect, statistics prodigy, barely making ends meet as a single mother but she still does a great job, trying to gather pieces of life, always trying to finish her next task. On the other hand , Dr. Riva Pena is outstandingly charismatic, a charming human robot, workaholic, founder of GeneticAlly’s : visionary version of dating sites. You just spit into an envelope and ta ta, you learn who is genetically compatible for you!

Hot chemistry and enemies to lovers theme
When I see ETL blurb, I always go blind because this is my all time favorite theme. The sexy and smart banters, increasing sexual tension, smoky hot intimacy between two people who cannot stand each other but also want to rip each other’s clothes is my favorite romcom formula.

Super duper supporting characters:
Juno: 7 years old daughter of Jess is extremely sweet and I loved her quirky mind! She and best friend Fizzy were scene stealers! At some parts they truly stole the book!
Nana and Pops are also huggable, sweet so much lovable characters!
We only see at one chapter but I already liked River’s overprotective sisters, too.
But as you may imagine I think Fizzy needs her own book as a sassy romance writer!

Unputdownable, intriguing pace:
I was hooked as soon as I was introduced the whirlwind, extra busy life of Jess, how she puts others’ needs above herself, how she takes care of her loved ones. The book moved fast but it didn’t affect romance’s blooming ( thankfully this is not insta romance story) actually I found myself chant for River to kiss the girl! I finished this gem at one sit, canceling everything in my life, buried my face into ereader.

My cons
Hero was truly dislikable at the beginning:

At the beginning River earned so many punching and kicking his ass points with his extra arrogant douchebag attitudes! He told his colleague Jess was average! Of course Jess heard and reminded him of his rudeness at several times! It took nearly half of the book to see his true face and realize he is kind hearted nerd!

Scientific terminology:
The characters talked so gibberish when they mention about their professions. As Jess talks about statistics or River makes explanations about genetics I felt like my head may explode because of information bombardment! Those parts made me lose my interest about the story.

Overall: instead of genetical mumbo jumbo, I enjoyed this heartfelt, sweet, sexy, enjoyable story! It is a big winner! I love this duo and I loved their incredible book!

A quick request: I want sequel ASAP! Fizzy is too vivid, entertaining character to be wasted as supporting characters at one book!

Special thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books for sharing this incredible digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
389 reviews3,168 followers
January 24, 2023
Data analyst, Jess, submits her DNA sample to a dating service and finds her "perfect" match River, a guy she simply loathes. Will Jess allow science to dictate her life? Will Jess and River find love?

This book was super cute, and the dialogue was funny and real. It was predictable in many ways, but it was funky and cool. The Soulmate Equation also had imperfect characters (which I am always a sucker for). However, the first 75% of the book was really strong, and the last 25% was just eh. Some of the dialogue with Fizz appeared a little forced, and I would have skimmed these sections on a second read through.

Overall, a very solid romantic book!

2023 Reading Schedule
Jan Alice in Wonderland
Feb Notes from a Small Island
Mar Cloud Atlas
Apr On the Road
May The Color Purple
Jun Bleak House
Jul Bridget Jones’s Diary
Aug Anna Karenina
Sep The Secret History
Oct Brave New World
Nov A Confederacy of Dunces
Dec The Count of Monte Cristo

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Profile Image for Tina.
2,389 reviews1 follower
August 28, 2022
I re-read this book by listening to the audiobook of this book. I really enjoyed this book, and the second time was just as good as the first time I read it. I had forgotten the beginning of this book. I think the beginning was so cute. I loved the characters of this book. I love the character of Dr. River, and I think him and Jess is so cute together. I loved the narrator of this audiobook.

This is a Romance book. I loved this book so much. This book took me a little bit to get into, but once I got pulled into it I did not want to put it down. The characters where fun and very developed. I love the nerdy parts of this book. Their was a twist in this book, and I loved how it was handle. I loved being with these characters so much that I did not want the book to end. This is another great Christina Lauren book. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Gallery Books) or author (Christina Lauren) via NetGalley, so I can give honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,509 reviews31k followers
February 3, 2021
cute, fast, charming, funny, predictable - everything needed for an easy, enjoyable read and everything i have come to love about CLs stories.

even though this technically isnt a fake dating story, it has a very similar feel. it was really rewarding seeing two characters genuinely try to discover if they have a connection. scientific data may have pointed them in a certain direction, but it was the characters choices that made them a couple worth rooting for.

overall, this is exactly the kind of fluffy and feel good vibes CL is known for. this wont disappoint fans!

a big thanks to gallery books for the ARC!

4 stars
Profile Image for Christy.
3,758 reviews32k followers
May 17, 2021
3-3.5 stars


The more I think about The Soulmate Equation the more I struggle with what to rate it and how to review it. The problem is there were so many things I loved about this book. I loved a lot of the characters, the familial aspects, the premise of the story was compelling and I wanted to love this one. I honestly thought it could be a five star favorite at the start, but there were a few things that just didn't work for me personally.

You can tell a lot about what this story is about by the blurb and if you read it, I'm sure you'll agree the concept seems fascinating. I am thankful I have never had to date in the world of apps. Though I'm in my mid-thirties, I've been with my husband since I was a teenager, but I've heard the horror stories from friends and it seems completely unappealing. The thought of swabbing your DNA and finding someone who could potentially be a perfect match... it seems too good to be true.

Jess Davis is a single mom and has no interest in this, but her best friend talks her into it. When she gets the results of the test, no one is more surprised than her with her 'perfect match'. It's none other than Mr. Americano, the man she sees every morning, and also the founder of the program, Dr. River Pena. They are a 98% match which is completely unheard of in all the years they've been in trial. And they're going to see just how well these tests work...

I loved Jess, I loved River, I loved Jess's daughter, Juno and her grandparents... I just didn't love Jess and River together. Maybe it was just me, but I completely missed that spark between them. My biggest issue with the book was the romance just felt underwhelming to me. I also didn't love the conflict at the end and how it was handled. I think a lot of people will love this one, especially if the romance works for them, but it was just an okay read for me.
Profile Image for Farrah.
221 reviews567 followers
July 1, 2021
This was just what I wanted and expected from a Christina Lauren book.
Sweet, funny, utterly predictable, and charming.

'𝘐 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘪𝘵. ' 𝘏𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘨𝘨𝘭𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘴. '𝘈 𝘭𝘰𝘵.'
𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘴𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘷𝘰𝘪𝘤𝘦? 𝘞𝘦𝘪𝘳𝘥 𝘵𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘵.
𝘐𝘵 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘣𝘶𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘧 𝘞𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘵𝘰𝘯, 𝘐 𝘊𝘖𝘜𝘓𝘋 𝘚𝘛𝘈𝘕𝘋 𝘛𝘖 𝘛𝘈𝘒𝘌 𝘈 𝘉𝘐𝘛𝘌, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘵, 𝘎𝘌𝘛 𝘐𝘕 𝘔𝘠 𝘍𝘈𝘊𝘌.
𝘋𝘪𝘥 𝘙𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘗𝘦𝘯𝘢..... 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘏𝘌𝘙 𝘪𝘯 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘦?
Profile Image for Gabby.
1,209 reviews26k followers
February 18, 2021
This was a really cool concept; I love the idea of a DNA test dating app where your DNA can determine how compatible you are with someone, however these characters just fell so flat for me, I just didn’t care about them. Some parts were so cheesy, but the ending was actually pretty interesting which is why this still got two stars from me. Here’s a reading vlog where I read this book and explain more of my thoughts on it: https://youtu.be/p06Cutmiyco
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,034 reviews3,553 followers
March 28, 2021
Do you believe in love? Where you find yourself falling madly deeply into the abyss. A love so strong you know you’ve found your soulmate?💞

Now, what if there was a new dating app designed to help you find that soulmate? Matches are made through DNA analysis. Would you try it?🤔

Jess Davis had basically given up on love and the thought of dating left her cold. But when her bestie Fizzy talked her into sending a DNA sample she agreed in a moment of weakness.

When the results come back Jess is matched with Dr. River Pena, the founder of the App. And their match is at the highest level! A diamond level match…98% compatibility! Can Jess trust the science? More importantly… can she trust her heart?

This is the latest release from the duo of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings known to all of us as Christina Lauren. Once again they have hit it out of the ballpark. A contemporary romance that will have even those broken-hearted believing in love once again.

I adored all the characters! Jess, a single mom to her daughter Juno. Jess’s best friend and partner in crime, Fizzy. We all need a best friend like Fizzy to push us out of our comfort zone. (Thank you, Susanne💞). I even warmed up to River as his walls came down and he opened his heart.

If you are a fan of this incredible writing team don’t miss this latest release!

A buddy read with Susanne!

Posted to: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

Thank you to Edelweiss and Gallery Books for an ARC to read and review.
Profile Image for Corina.
778 reviews2,115 followers
May 5, 2021
You can be assured I dropped EVERYTHING to read the new Clo book 💕

ok this sounds right up my alley....

single mom ✔️
stuck-up scientist ✔️
forced dating ✔️

May can't come soon enough!!!



It was adorable, with fantastic characters, and an engaging story. You guys are going to LOVE it!!!
Also I'm still swooning because of all the nerdy vibes and her daughter and grandpa charmed the pants off me - they were PRECIOUS!!!!


I’m a big fan of Christina Lauren books. My most beloved is still Love and Other Words, but I also adore Josh and Hazel as a couple. But The Soulmate Equation was everything I was hoping for.

It had heart, wonderful characters, a smart and trendy story, and a romance that will be a fan favorite. Honestly, besides a slow beginning, there was nothing in this book that didn’t work for me. The story was heartfelt and charming. The idea of finding a love match via DNA was fascinating. I wonder if this is something we’ll be seeing in the future.

What I loved about the book:

♥︎ The heroine was easy to like and root for.
♥︎ Her daughter was adorable. Also I’m a big fan of the single parent trope and loved the daughter from the very first moment.
♥︎ The grandparents were dream grandparents, especially Pops, he made me crack up. And their relationship made my heart all gooey!!
♥︎ Her best friend was the hoot. Wouldn’t mind if she would get her own story.
♥︎ And the hero was swoon worthy in a wonderful nerdy way.

I had such a fantastic time with this smart, witty romance with heart. I loved all the small details the authors added to conversations, and throughout the story. In the end this book will become a fan favorite. The book delivers what it promised, a wonderfully heartfelt romance with charm and character.
Profile Image for Madita.
506 reviews17.6k followers
December 31, 2022
I honestly really liked this story. The single mom story line was Great but looking back at it I am Indeed confused about why they were “enemies” in the beginning since it felt like insta love. Idk that just didn’t make any sense to me nor did the plot twist break up reason.
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,048 reviews13k followers
May 18, 2021
3.5 stars.

This was just okay. The beginning was very slow and I had a really hard time finding the motivation to keep on reading; it takes a long time to care bout this romance. Jess is a single mom who sends her saliva in to be tested for a DNA dating site. The DNA is compared to other DNA sent in to the app and tested for compatibility. Jess and River ended up having a Diamond Match, which is the highest match ever recorded on the app. I liked Jess and River enough, but nothing was drawing me to their story. Jess especially felt particularly flat and like the shell of a character and not someone I was getting to know personally and rooting for. I enjoyed Jess's daughter and her grandparents who helped take care of her daughter. Their scenes were fun and I enjoyed how Jess's daughter ended up becoming friends with River. In the end, thought, I got really lost in the science talk and it really took me out of the story. I wasn't a fan of that final conflict and how all of that played out. I know everyone is loving this one, which is great, but it felt like an average romance to me.
Profile Image for preoccupiedbybooks.
447 reviews990 followers
July 27, 2021
3.5 Stars

A cute, fun romance about fate vs choice

If you could submit your saliva to find your soulmate via an app using your DNA, would you?!
Jess Davis; single mum and data whizz, and her best friend Fizzy; romance author submit theirs, and Jess is matched with the app founder, River Pena. Can Jess trust this science? Can she follow her heart?


Hmm so the premise of this felt very familiar, as it was similar to The One by John Marrs minus the murder and thrills 😂 It was charming and a quick read, but I kept expecting some kind of sci-fi twist lol! Instead, I got a sweet, but predictable romance, which took me quite a while to get into.

I did like the questions about fate, science and choice, that was interesting. As was the talk about the forced feeling of trying to make it work if you are matched, how much is down to attraction and suitability, and how much pressure is there from a high percentage match?

I liked Jess, she felt realistic, bringing Juno up, working and trying to pay the bills. She was smart, kind and family orientated. The stress of her morning routine, trying to get Juno ready and to school felt very familiar! It took me a while to warm up to River, he was quite an unlikeable, workaholic, aloof character to begin with. I did end up liking him more as the story progressed, but maybe a dual POV would've helped here?

Jess and River did have some chemistry and banter, but it didn't make me swoon.. There wasn't enough sparks. There were a couple of steamy scenes though, and Jess frequently had dirty thoughts about River 😂I liked their STEM backgrounds, and nerdiness, but the science and statistics talk could get a bit boring.

The real joy of this book came from Fizzy! I loved her, and she should definitely get her own book! She was such a fun and interesting character, and her friendship with Jess was BFF goals! Also, Juno was so cute, and I adored Jess's nana and pops, they were the sweetest!

This author duo of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings are often hit or miss for me. I have absolutely loved some of their books, and really not enjoyed others. The Soulmate Equation fell somewhere in between. I enjoyed parts of it, loved the family, friendships and humour, but I found other parts lacking.

Available August 5th

Many thanks to Netgalley and Little Brown Book Group UK for the ARC, in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Kay ☼.
1,927 reviews637 followers
September 13, 2021
Aww, this is one cute romance with a hint of nerdiness. I think it's refreshing, the science part added variety to a romcom. However, getting in too deep made my interest wane over time.

Love the characters. Love the premise. I love that single mom Jess and River had such wonderful chemistry and at times hot!! How can they not when their DNA proves their compatibility to be close to 100% match. Would you spit in a cup to find your one true love? 💖
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,807 reviews458 followers
July 31, 2021
When I think about romance, I’m happy that Christina Lauren can write them and write them well.

This time, this pair has succeeded again in crafting interesting characters in Jess, River, Juno, and Fizzy. Furthermore, this one had a futuristic undertone by using something like GeneticAlly.

The premise: With just a small sample of saliva, you can be successfully matched with your soulmate. Forget about the dating apps when DNAduo can tell you which relationship will have a favorable outcome.

Jess is a single mother who's doing the best she can for her daughter, Juno. Her grandparents are a big part of her life since her parents are not. Her father or better said, sperm donor was never in the picture and her mother was a junkie. Juno's father is also not in the picture. He bailed when she was pregnant without a backward glance. Juno's friend, Fizzy, wants Jess to start dating again but Jess is not sure she is ready. Then on a night when she is feeling down, she decides to submit her own sample. She is shocked when she learns they have found a match for her and the identity of this so-called match is even more astonishing.

For River Pena, the scientist behind the technology, learning that he has his own diamond match (98%) astounds him. If he was not the scientist who created it, he wouldn't believe it. A diamond match is almost unheard of and this could make his company become an instant success. Learning that Jess is his match flabbergasted him until he starts spending time with her and Juno.

I know I should mention how much I enjoyed The Soulmate Equation but I think I should say instead of how much I loved Fizzy and Juno in this one. Fizzy was everything someone should want in a friend to be and Juno simply put, was adorable. They made the story more believable and complemented Jess and River's storyline perfectly.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Gallery Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for Michael David (on hiatus).
618 reviews1,485 followers
January 25, 2021
Looking for charm, some laughs, some depth, some romance, and fantastic characters? Look no further!

The Soulmate Equation is about a single mom named Jess, who works as a freelance statistician and is obsessed with data and numbers. She lives with her 7-year old daughter, Juno, in an apartment right across from her grandmother and grandfather, who raised her.

Jess’s best friend, Fizzy, is convinced she needs to get back into the world of dating...or at least the occasional roll in the hay. When Jess finds out the seemingly rude and elusive customer she and Fizzy see every day at the coffee shop they work out of is the owner of GeneticAlly, her mind is blown. GeneticAlly is an up and coming matchmaking company that used DNA as the basis to find your true match. Jess can’t picture this guy being the the brain behind something to do with romance.

Still, she gives a sample of her DNA (in the form of spit) and waits to find out the results. In a move that nobody could have predicted, her test reveals a peak of 98% compatibility with another person: Dr. River Pena...the owner of GeneticAlly.

Jess and River can’t stand each other from the brief interactions they’ve had. There is NO WAY that they are compatible...or is there?

I loved almost everything about this cute book. The characters are phenomenal. I really cared for each of them, and appreciated the depth they conveyed. That’s not always apparent in romantic comedies, but it is evident in this one. Jess and her antics made me laugh and giggle more than once. I also had a cheesy smile on my face throughout many moments.

The only parts that I didn’t connect with were a couple scenes that deep-dived into the data and statistics of GeneticAlly. Some of that went right over my head. Luckily, those parts are very minimal.

I recently read In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren, which I enjoyed as a holiday read. I favored this one much more! It’s a truly sweet and sometimes saucy romance (with a little bit of heat 🔥) that left me wanting more.

4.5 stars.

Thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This book will be published on 5/18/2021.

Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Arini.
696 reviews1,548 followers
December 16, 2022
2.5 stars

eh cool concept, but execution was lame. no spark, no chemistry between the leads. the romance was ~dRy~ despite the hero being named River. well, at least now i know for sure CL and i are not a ✦Diamond Match✦, and thats fine by me. thank u for not completely being a waste of time tho. 🙃

(read as an audiobook)
Profile Image for Anna.
153 reviews127 followers
January 17, 2022
So, I pretty much worship every Christina Lauren book in existence, but I would argue that this one is, by far, the most beautiful.

And I know, I know, Love and Other Words makes me cry too, but this book touches my soul every time I read it.

Here’s the thing: when you start reading it, or when you read the premise, you think, “oh, I know exactly how this is going to go and what’s going to happen.” If you haven’t read it yet, the premise is this:

Jess is a freelance statistician with many responsibilities: she’s a single mom to a seven-year-old little girl and her grandparents live with her, meaning she doesn’t really have time to go out and have fun or even think about her (non-existent) love life.

Enter River, who frequents the same coffee shop where Jess works with her best friend Fizzy, a romance novelist (and the most delightful human). After two years of noticing each other over the two minutes River spends there every morning, Jess learns that he is launching a match-making company which uses your genetic material to find your soulmate (the way they explain this science is super interesting, btw).

On a particulary low moment, Jess bites the bullet and sends her genetic material to River’s company, just to see if something will pop up. What she didn’t expect was that she would get the highest compatibility score the company has ever seen (98%!) with the inventor of the damn thing himself, River.

Jess is immediately spooked and just wants to move on with her life, but, when the company offers her 10,000 dollars a month to get to know River and see how the massive score translates to their interactions, she can’t talk herself out of getting that kind of money for her family.

Now, do you see my point? You just think you’ve figured out the rest of the book. But you HAVEN’T!!!!

I swear, this book broke me in half and brought me back together in the most beautiful way. Chapter 25? I was on the floor.

I even told somebody about the entire story over a very emotional 30 minutes and they cried too just from listening to it. Mind you, we are very much not criers, and this happened in the middle of a crowded kitchen.

This statement will come back and haunt me, but this is the best CLo there ever was or will be!!!!
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,157 reviews36.5k followers
March 29, 2021
Review also posted on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

All the Feels! Simply Magical!

Is it possible to be matched with the love of your life through DNA? Such that you will be soulmates in every way and that every facet of your relationship will be better than you ever could have imagined?

In “The Soulmate Equation” by Christina Lauren, it is GeneticAlly possible. In this sweet, romantic novel, a new dating app is created that matches people by their DNA.

Jess Davis is a single mom and a statistician who barely makes ends meet. Luckily for her, she has an amazing support system behind her. Jess lives right next to her grandparents, who raised her and who help raise Jess’s seven-year-old daughter Juno. She also happens to have Fizzy, an amazing best friend who stands by her side and helps out wherever she’s needed. Together, Fizzy and Jess take GeneticAlly’s DNA test. Amazingly enough, Jess is matched with GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena, who, Jess kind of, sort of knows. He’s the gorgeous guy she’s been crushing on at the coffee shop, who also happens to be a complete jerk. Their compatibility is off the charts, as in, Gold Level, and has never been reached before, a whopping 98%! It seems impossible and yet the sparks between these two are Outrageous!

There is Love and then there is DNA Matching. All I can say after reading this book is, if such a thing actually existed, I’d sign up!

Jess and River’s relationship is Swoonworthy! Let’s just say that I was hooked! This book had it all, love, romance, friendship, and family! I adored all of the characters in this novel, including Jess, Juno, River & Fizzy and I think you will too.

This was a fantastic buddy read with my bestie Kaceey!

Thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for the advanced copy.

Published on Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram.
Profile Image for Holly.
1,414 reviews959 followers
June 9, 2021
If The One was turned into a romance novel, it would be this - and I really enjoyed it. This book has a lot going for it besides just the romance too. There's a funny friend, work problems, and various family relationships (including a kid for those who want to know about that beforehand). This is only my fourth book by this author-duo (I say only because a lot of people have read a lot more of their books) and so far this is my favorite for what it's worth.
Profile Image for PamG.
790 reviews460 followers
April 16, 2021
The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren is a heartwarming, humorous, and appealing contemporary romance. Christina Lauren is the pen name for writing duo Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings.

Jessica (Jess) Davis is a freelancer dealing with data and statistics for companies of various sizes. She is a single mom with a seven-year-old daughter, Juno. Jess was raised by her grandparents, Nana and Pops, and they help out with Juno as well. When Jess and her best friend Felicity Chen (Fizzy) hear about GeneticAlly, a new DNA-based matchmaking company that relies on numbers, they both end up giving a DNA sample. When Jess matches with the company’s founder at a 98% compatibility, she has trouble believing it. This is especially true since she’s met Dr. River Pena and she believes he is stuck-up and stubborn. There is no way that he could be her soulmate.

Jess, Juno, Fizzy, River, Nana, and Pops are great characters. They each have their virtues and flaws, and this adds to both the realism and the humor that is contained in this book. Resilience, courage, hope, family, and much more made them feel real.

There is a steamy scene or two and some geek speak on genetics and data, but that fit with the characters. It is not an instant love story and it also touches on some deeper subjects such as family support systems and dealing with addicts. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a refreshing change from what I typically read, but it won’t be the last one that I read by this writing duo.

Those that enjoy contemporary romances, chick lit, or romantic comedies will likely enjoy this novel. I don’t read a lot of romances except for romantic suspense and paranormal romance, but I connected with this one. The laugh-out-loud humor and the likeable characters along with an unusual take on dating made for an intriguing read.

Gallery Books and the authors provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for May 18, 2021.
August 20, 2021
This is a sweet (well, definitely HOT at times) romance novel. Honestly, I'm kind of getting tired of the dating app/DNA match romances that have flooded the market lately, so my reaction to this book is more of a fatigue reaction than anything. And also because I fairly recently read The One by John Marrs, it is definitely not the same book at all but it just seemed too similar of a concept.

Overall there's nothing really to dislike about this book, it's a solidly written story by two creative authors whose books I enjoy reading. I liked all of the characters--Jess, her precocious seven-year-old daughter Juno, her grandparents, and even River, who I didn't care for at first but he did grow on me as the story went on (except for towards the end, I was back to not liking him for his actions after the bad news). Yet still...the romance between Jess and River was everything I love about a good romance with chemistry, heat, humor, and a strong connection between all of the characters.

I loved Jess's best friend Felicity/Fizzy, she added such a strong BFF vibe and a dose of humor that was sometimes really needed. All in all, this is a great palate cleanser after some heavier reads, and I do recommend it for romance lovers and especially those who believe that their soulmate is out there if they just knew how to find them.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for EmBibliophile.
476 reviews1,082 followers
October 12, 2021
3 stars.

A cute fun predictable story. I loved Jess as a single struggling mother. I loved her as a granddaughter and as a friend. But her and River’s romance was just okay. No sparks. No explosive chemistry. It was just okay.

The side characters tho were all so good. I loved Fizzy!!! She was a ray of sunshine and such a freakin entertaining character. Everything that came out of her mouth makes me wanna have her as my friend. I loved Jess’ grandparents. They were so sweet and caring. They were just so adorable. Also, her daughter was such a nerd and I loved her.
August 24, 2022
3.75 ⭐️ okay so this was a fun read. i adored the side characters.. juno and fizzy were amazing and really made the book for me. grandma & grandpa were also icons. and i even really liked the plot. my biggest issue was w the mc’s 😭 jess was cute but i didn’t feel any sort of connection to her. and river? i quite literally already forgot him, he gave absolutely ✨nothing✨ personality.. nowhere to be found.

i did have fun tho <3
Profile Image for Lucía.
179 reviews179 followers
May 19, 2021
It had a refreshing plot of finding your soulmate through genetics’ compatibility but it fell flat, the MCs were plain and couldn’t feel any chemistry.

It’s time for me to not read more books about these authors, since The Unhoneymooners it went downhill for me.
Profile Image for Sahara.
51 reviews4 followers
June 1, 2021
Critical review incoming.

Seems like I might be the minority in this, but I found this book to be rather disappointing. Especially because I've really enjoyed past books from Christina Lauren.

This book felt really cheesy, and forced. The characters were flat with minimal depth or growth throughout the story. The "banter" between the MC and best friend was making me cringe because it was that awkwardly written.

Approximately the first third of the book is spent showing us what a mean guy the love interest is through his actions. ex he steals parking spot, closes the elevator door when someone is trying to get in, he's snobby and insulting etc. Then suddenly the MC starts telling us that he's the most emotionally deep, thoughtful, caring man.....um....nope. There were no changes in his behaviour or attitude. You cannot spend that much time SHOWING me something and then try and abruptly TELL me the opposite. It is confusing and pulled me right out of the story.

Jess as a single mum felt disingenuous and like a poor attempt at providing depth to this character. Actually, everything about the MC is SUPER mellow dramatic and hard to swallow. She makes terribly poor decisions, yet we are told she is some sort of statistical genius. Very frustrating to read about characters like this and makes it difficult to root or connect with them.

I was frustrated with the relationship between River and Jess. They explicitly stated that they will be genuine and only real with eachother......but then randomly Jess would be all "ooooh but wHat if it's FaKe because we are just pReTeNdinG to date".......what???

And what happened to her grand parents?! They were pretty consistently part of the story until suddenly they weren't. Just another mellow dramatic plot device/point that was dropped as soon as it wasn't needed any more?

Parting thoughts.
This book probably could have been decent with more revisions and some authenticity. But as it stands, I would not recommend.
There are many other better, more enjoyable, fluffy, contemporary romances out there to read, including some from Christina Lauren.
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