Everybody loves a sexy, grumpy nerd – right? I certainly do! That made it easy to fall for this slow-burning, science-filled romance. I’d like to make a joke that this book has as much chemistry as a science textbook, but that seems like a step too far, lol. Our couple does have a definite connection though, and the chemistry builds along the way. It took about a quarter of the book before I was truly loving it (I partially blame the narrator), but by that point I was all in. It’s different and interesting and gets progressively better. Our mysterious, moody hero is a secret cinnamon roll nerd who steals the show later on. The initial enemies to lovers vibes switch over to something much sweeter, and I loved the build in intimacy. The focus is on the emotional connection, but there are also some sexy moments to heat things up.
The story follows Jess, a single mom who has reached the point where dating doesn’t hold any appeal, and getting ready for the day involves throwing on whatever clothes are on top of the pile. She loves her daughter and gets the affection she needs from her, so why add someone else into the equation? When Jess discovers that the hot jerk who frequents her favorite coffee shop is one of the main scientists behind an up-and-coming genetics-based matchmaking service, she finds herself taking one of the tests. And soon gets paired up with the hot jerk himself. According to the data, Jess and River are a near-perfect match, and his company stands to benefit from the positive PR their pairing would garner. Though the two can barely tolerate each other, they agree to give a relationship a chance, and it’s not long before these strangers are having a change of heart.
I’m still pretty new to CL’s work, but this blurb was too enticing to ignore. It’s a little different than the typical romance, and I loved the focus on the emotional connection. The evolution of this relationship from start to finish is incredible, and the subtlety in the story is outstanding. There’s an awkwardness to their interactions that is just so completely compelling, and the shifting dynamics were fascinating. River makes a mysterious hero (we don’t get his perspective), and he feels like a completely different person by the end – though, looking back, it’d be easy to interpret scenes differently. I love it when I want to flip back to the meet cute to experience it with fresh eyes, and I did exactly that once I finished this book. It’s stellar the whole way through, and I had no trouble devouring it in one sitting.
🎧 Audio note: The audio is pretty average, honestly. Single narrator (female) with a sharp, nasal voice. It took awhile for me to settle into her style, and she’s definitely not one of my favorites. That being said, it’s well done. There were no obvious issues, and I had no trouble telling the characters apart. Once I got used to the narrator’s voice, it was easy to tune out. The length of the book is perfect for the workday – just a bit longer than a day at the office, and no need to continue on to a second day. It’s a slow burn romance with mild steam later in the story, nothing too scandalous. I do recommend the audio overall.
The New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners returns with a witty and effervescent novel about what happens when two people with everything on the line are thrown together by science—or is it fate? Perfect for fans of The Rosie Project and One Plus One.
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 nother 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.
“Laugh-out-loud, sweet, charming, and humorous” (Library Journal, starred review), The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated.
Bookshop Hardcover: https://bookshop.org/a/18118/9781982123963
About the Authors:
Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of longtime writing partners and best friends Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, the New York Times, USA TODAY, and #1 Internationally bestselling authors of the Beautiful and Wild Seasons series, Dating You / Hating You, Autoboyography, Love and Other Words, Roomies, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, My Favorite Half-Night Stand, and The Unhoneymooners. You can find them online at ChristinaLaurenBooks.com, @ChristinaLauren on Instagram, or @ChristinaLauren on Twitter.
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