Cover of Soulmate Equation: A yellow background with tiny pink dots all over, and larger ones making up a double helix ending in a heart.

About the Book

Title: The Soulmate Equation
Published: 2021
Swoonworthy Scale: 6

First Impressions: Double Helix Heart Eyes
What’s Your Type? 
Sick of online dating but still kind of believe in it, science is sexy, single parents with cute kids, rich hero with a chip on his shoulder, wish fulfillment, sorta fake dating
The Lean
Test Tube Magic
We Need to Talk: 
A Known Quantity
Was It Good For You? 
Satisfied

First Impressions: Double Helix Heart Eyes

It’s simple but super effective AND relates to the story. Perfect!

What’s Your Type?

  • Sick of online dating but still kind of believe in it
  • Science is sexy
  • Single parents with cute kids
  • Rich hero with a chip on his shoulder
  • Wish fulfillment
  • Sorta fake dating

Dating Profile

Jess is straight out of a ‘90s rom-com: she’s a struggling, smart, single mom of an adorable daughter, Juno, living right next to her adorable grandparents who love to help babysit. When she loses one of her reliable clients, her bank account for the next few months is suddenly in deep trouble.

Dr. River Pena is the founder of GeneticAlly, a matchmaking website that purports to find your soulmate based on your compatible DNA. While he believes in his work, he’s much too busy getting the company off the ground to look for his own love match.

Meet Cute

As a freelance accountant with a romance writer best friend, Jess spends a lot of time hanging out at the local coffeehouse working, and it’s there she and Fizzy surreptitiously scope out “Americano”, the hot but grumpy looking regular, River Pena. Through a series of coincidences, Fizzy and Jess end up giving samples to GeneticAlly, and to everyone’s shock, Jess and River are what the company calls a “Diamond” match, meaning they are practically guaranteed to be a successful, long-term match. The board is salivating over this PR golden goose, so they persuade Jess to essentially fake-date River for a hefty payoff (with the possibility that it could be something real, but no pressure).

The Lean: Test Tube Magic

From While You Were Sleeping, Bill Pullman explains attraction to Sandra Bullock

The sheer awkwardness turning into an undeniable attraction is the foundation of the “forced marriage” trope, and Jess and River have enough chemistry to make it believable. Christina Lauren’s books always have a sheen of rom-com magic where everything proceeds in a very glossy way, and, for me, River and Jess may have bonded a little too quickly, but we have a page count to keep to!

Dirty Talk

The authors’ chick flick books range from PG-13 to soft R, never getting TOO graphic, and this one is no exception:

River moved over her—slow, then building in tempo, pressing into her again and again, releasing a quiet grunt with every forward pitch and—and suddenly she felt the weight rolling down her spine like a steel boulder in a trap ready to spring.”

Ms. Perky’s Prize for Purplest Prose

Teacher types on laptop while talking to student
Typing a romance novel on a computer screen

Christina Lauren know how to keep it snappy and keep you turning the pages, and no one will accuse them of being too flowery. My favorite meta moments were when Fizzy likened something happening in real life to her romance novels, or found inspiration for a future book.

“Honestly, Jessica, I haven’t seen outfit panic like this since I wrote Nicoline in His Accidental Bride.” Fizzy stepped back to judge what had to be outfit change number 142. “And you’re not even pretending to be a virgin picking out what to wear on your Victorian-era wedding night. Take it down a notch.”

We Need To Talk: A Known Quantity

At this point, you know what you’re getting with a Christina Lauren book, and I thought this was right on par with their most recent reads. I thought the DNA dating was such a fun concept and it was interesting to see where the story would take it. Was it completely real in this reality? Was it a bunch of bunk? Is it even worth dating someone who will never be your highest match? There was some inevitable drama for both characters and sometimes they acted like boneheads, but it wasn’t drawn out enough to really frustrate. All in all, a solid read.  

Was It Good For You? Satisfied

Marilyn Monroe saying "take me in your arms".

Yes. The most accurate adjective that comes to mind whenever I think of these books is “cute!” It’s light; it’s fun; it won’t linger in your mind long after it’s over, but, man, it was sure fun while it lasted.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Gallery Books. I received neither money nor peanut butter cups in exchange for this review. The Soulmate Equation is available now.

Stephanie (she/her) is an avid reader who moonlights at a college and calls Orlando home. Stephanie loves watching television, reading DIY blogs, planning awesome parties, Halloween decorating, and playing live-action escape games.