What if you could find your soulmate through science, and what if the person you’re most compatible with just happens to be someone you despise? That’s the premise behind bestselling writing duo Christina Lauren’s latest novel, The Soulmate Equation (out May 18). In the story, Jess Davis is a statistician and single mom who enjoys her quiet life raising her daughter, Juno, alongside her grandparents and her best friend, Fizzy. The last thing she needs is to enter the chaotic dating world again, but if there’s one thing that can convince her, it’s the numbers and data behind GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company. It’s just too bad that the man Jess ends up scoring an unprecedented 98 percent match with is the company’s founder and head scientist, Dr. River Peña — a man whom she not only already knows, but who also isn’t exactly the epitome of friendly charm. It isn’t until GeneticAlly offers to pay Jess to spend time dating River that she begins to see past his arrogant facade and realize that maybe there’s a method to this love madness after all.
I’m a huge Christina Lauren fan, so The Soulmate Equation was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021, and it did not disappoint! It’s now in my top three favorite books by the writing duo, and I would argue it’s their most tender love story yet. Both Jess and River are cautious and guarded when it comes to relationships, but as scientists, they’re optimistic about what data can prove — this results in an interesting dynamic and irresistible pull between them as they navigate their attraction. The slow-burning romance feels believable, and you’ll be cheering them on with each sweet moment. Plus, props to the authors for developing such a unique premise — the whole DNA-based dating idea definitely makes it stand out in the crowded romance space. I struggled to think of another book I’ve read that’s similar, which I think is a good thing. There’s also one tiny detail at the end that the authors leave open for interpretation that I still think about!
“‘I’d suspect most people comment on your eyes,’ he said quietly, running a fingertip across her collarbone. ‘That startling, bright blue.’
Surely he could feel her heart scaling her windpipe. He didn’t seem to remember there was anyone else in the room.
‘I prefer your mouth,’ he said quietly.
‘You do?’ Jess managed.
‘I do,’ he said, and bent, kissing her forehead. ‘You don’t give those smiles away for free.'”
Expect tender and heartfelt moments and a slow-blooming romance set against an intriguing scientific backdrop. While there’s still some of Christina Lauren’s signature humor courtesy of some very funny and endearing side characters, I would definitely classify this book as more romantic than comedy. Jess and River are mature adults who know what they’re looking for in a partner and life, and their love story reflects that — their relationship may not be particularly carefree or all fun and games, but it’s hard-earned and well worth it.
Where You Should Read It
Take inspiration from Jess and Fizzy’s daily working sessions at their local cafe and bring this book along to enjoy alongside a caffeinated pick-me-up.
Read This If You Like . . .
A smart or science-y spin to your love stories or if you enjoyed The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Also, read this if you enjoyed the premise behind The One, either the Netflix show or the John Marrs book it’s based on.
POPSUGAR Reading Challenge Prompt(s)
This novel can check off more than one 2021 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge prompt; just pick the one that fits best for you.
- A book that’s published in 2021
- A book that has a heart, diamond, club, or spade on the cover
- A book featuring three generations (grandparent, parent, child)
- A book you think your best friend would like
How Long It Takes to Read
This book is 355 pages long, and even though I devoured it in three evenings, it stayed in my thoughts for much longer!
Give This Book to . . .
Your friends who are fans of Christina Lauren and who love romance tropes like slow burn, hate-to-love, and fake dating (although it’s more like forced dating in this story).
The Sweet Spot Summary
The Soulmate Equation ($17) is a sweet, slow-burning romance about a data scientist who just can’t resist the numbers behind a dating-app match — even if it means giving love a shot with the one person she never thought she’d end up with.
🥰 + 🧬 + 💎
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