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The Soulmate Equation


The Soulmate Equation

Jessica Davis doesn’t have time for love. She’s a single mom to an energetic and curious seven-year-old, Juno. She lives next door to her beloved grandparents, who raised her when her own mom and dad weren’t on the scene. She’s a successful freelance statistician with several prominent clients. And she has a delightful best friend, Fizzy, who also happens to be a romance novelist and is always hoping to mine material from the clientele at the coffee shop where the pair set up to work on their laptops most weekdays.

Even though Jessica doesn’t exactly have time to date, she still finds time to be lonely sometimes. She’s only pushing 30, for Pete’s sake, and is still a young woman despite all her responsibilities. So when she and Fizzy discover that the hot but aloof coffee shop regular they’ve dubbed “Americano” also happens to be Dr. River Peña, the chief scientist behind GeneticAlly, a new DNA-based dating service, she’s both skeptical and intrigued. After a particularly lonely parents’ night at Juno’s school, Jessica decides to take the test.

"THE SOULMATE EQUATION is a charming and thoughtful romantic comedy, populated not only by an appealing protagonist but also by several memorable supporting characters."

Much to her surprise, she gets a call from GeneticAlly soon after, requesting her to come in for a meeting. To her shock, she learns that she has received the highest compatibility score in the program’s history --- a whopping 98% match. And her mystery soulmate? None other than the prickly but handsome Dr. Peña. Jessica recognizes the statistical improbability of their being such a near-perfect match, and the timing is suspect, with GeneticAlly about to head into an IPO. But River seems as surprised as she is by the results, and Jessica is deeply ethical --- she recently lost a client due to her unwillingness to doctor the numbers to suit their investors’ desires --- so she has to believe that GeneticAlly is too, right?

Jessica needs money, so when River’s company offers to pay her a hefty stipend to head out on a few public appearances with River to see where things go, she reluctantly agrees. Almost immediately she finds herself drawn to this quiet but considerate (and oh-so-sexy) man, whose love of data rivals her own. But as they grow closer, she can’t help but wonder: Is she genuinely falling for River, or is she letting her belief in the science color her feelings?

Christina Lauren (the pen name of two best friends and writing partners) has written many books in a variety of genres, but this is the first one I’ve picked up. I’m glad I did, because THE SOULMATE EQUATION is a charming and thoughtful romantic comedy, populated not only by an appealing protagonist but also by several memorable supporting characters. Readers who have come to expect contemporary romances that incorporate both partners’ perspectives may find it more challenging to connect with the somewhat inscrutable Dr. Peña, especially at first. But his actions toward Jessica and her family speak volumes, and readers will be rooting for these two statistical soulmates to make it --- no matter how long the odds.

Reviewed by Norah Piehl on May 28, 2021

The Soulmate Equation
by Christina Lauren