The Soulmate Equation
Author: Christina Lauren
Published: May 18, 2021
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 29- June 2, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
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. Raised by her grandparents–who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno–Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno 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% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. 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 make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist–and the science behind a soulmate–than she thought.
I am not much of a romance reader; in fact, this is the first book I have read from writing duo Christina Lauren. (They are writing partners and best friends). What piqued my interest in The Soulmate Equation was the similar concept to John Marrs’ The One. Other than the same basic premise, these are two very different books, and surprisingly I really enjoyed The Soulmate Equation!
Basically dragged by her best friend into doing the GeneticAlly DNA test, Jess matches at an unheard of number with the founder, whom she has previously met and yes, they clash. GeneticAlly says that they will pay Jess to spend 3 months with Pena to see what happens as the business is about to go public and stands to make a. lot. of. money. And the business wants to capitalize on this match! Being Jess is struggling to make ends meet and take care of her daughter she agrees.
This is one of those typical romance tropes (I hate you then later on maybe not), so you know where it is going and it was fun to see the journey. I did like that the main character’s name is Jess and her daughter’s name is even more unique: Juno. There is even something unexpected that happens in the last quarter of the novel that I enjoyed.
Remember that Jess is a ‘number person’ and there is a lot of science explained behind GeneticAlly where the reader can understand. I liked Jess and adored her best friend Fizzy: Everyone needs a Fizzy! And as this is a romance book the chemistry gets hot and there are sex scenes which are not explicit, but enjoyable to read.
For not being much of a romance reader, giving it a 4-star review is saying something and the fact that I listened to it as often as I could and had it finished in just a handful of days says I liked it! I enjoyed this novel and might just have to read more by this writing duo. I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by Patti Murin and she did a great job of bringing Jess to life for us. She might be another narrator for me to be on the lookout for!
In Five Years
Author: Rebecca Serle
Published: March 10, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 25-28, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Where do you see yourself in five years?
When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.
But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.
After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.
That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.
Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.
Dannie Kohan has her life planned out and her 5-year plan is headed straight in the direction it should be going: She just got a very important job and her boyfriend proposed to her. She goes to bed very happy. But then she wakes up in a different apartment with a different ring on her finger, and a different man in the picture! And what’s shocking is that it is the same night but five years in the future! After an hour she awakes again back in 2020, but she can’t get this dream out of her head as it did not seem like a dream. She made a note of everything and then moves on with life… until four and a half years later Dannie still isn’t married and she meets the man from her long-ago dream/vision/ what was that she experienced!?!?!? After meeting said man, Dannie becomes determined to keep her vision from becoming reality. But life has its own plan for Dannie and those around her.
Wow, don’t let the book description fool you, the ‘time travel’ element is an important part of the novel, but this story is about love and friendship. And it becomes heart-breakingly apparent where this novel will go. And the reader better get ready for a roller coaster of emotions that they will feel and possibly cry or at least tear up for.
If you are afraid that In Five Years will be a cheating/ love triangle romance story, it is not. It explores fate, life, friendship and romantic partnerships that leave you thinking about long after you have finished the novel. This emotional journey will let the readers know who is important to them by the end of reading, and they might just want to reach out to someone after reading this one.
In Five Years is one every reader should read.[Top]
Today I am helping to end the blog tour for Flying Duo by Zoe May by sharing my review. This is the second in the series and I have really enjoyed both novels! My review for the first in the series Flying Solo is here.
Can true love go the distance?
London lawyer Rachel Watson has wound up in an Indian ashram with hippy heartthrob lover, Seb.
A high-achiever, Rachel has always lived life according to her Life List, ticking off goals along the way. But now that she’s in India, Rachel is going with the flow, or at least trying to…
Rachel’s visa is running out and it’s time to decide whether her relationship with Seb is a holiday romance or built to last.
The pair embark on a trip to Nepal for an Everest base camp trek, but will their relationship survive this gruelling expedition or is it time to part ways?
Flying Duo is the second romantic comedy in the ‘Flying’ series, following on from bestseller, Flying Solo, which was described by the Daily Express newspaper as ‘a must read that will appeal to fans of Sophie Kinsella, Beth O’Leary and Mhari McFarlane’.
Series: Flying Solo Book 2
Author: Zoe May
Published: March 1, 2021
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: February 13-23, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Flying Duo is the sequel to Flying Solo, but it could be treated as a stand-alone novel. I chose to re-read the last part of Flying Solo to ‘refresh’ my memory but that is not needed as what happened in Solo is addressed in Duo. ***I do 1000% recommend reading Solo first to fully enjoy Duo with the quirkiness of Rachel.***
I absolutely adored Flying Solo, so I could not sign up fast enough to join the blog tour for Flying Duo by Zoe May. I wanted to see what was going to happen next with Rachel and Seb and Duo picks up where Solo ended.
We start this adventure in India and end up at Mt. Everest base camp. Along with Rachel come some crazy undertakings: Can we say language barriers and misspoken words in a foreign language to start? HAHA! Oh and all the adventures of hiking that includes leeches and uncomfortable hostels but also bring new friends along the way. This is definitely an interesting trip for Rachel and Seb as Rachel begins to think about their possible future. The ending is fitting, but I still hope we get another novel that continues this pure escapist and fun story.
About the Author:
Zoe May is an author of romantic comedies. Zoe has dreamt of being a novelist since she was a teenager. She worked in journalism and copywriting in London before writing her debut novel, Perfect Match. Having experienced the London dating scene first hand, Zoe couldn’t resist writing a novel about dating since it seems to supply endless amounts of weird and wonderful material!
Perfect Match was one of Apple’s top-selling books of 2018. It was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon Award, with judges describing it as ‘a laugh out loud look at love and self-discovery – fresh and very funny’.
As well as writing, Zoe enjoys walking her dog, painting and, of course, reading! She adores animals and if she’s not taking a photo of a vegan meal, she’s probably tweeting about the dairy industry. She is half Greek and half Irish and can make a mean baklava. Zoe has a thing for horror films, India, swimming, hip hop and Radiohead. She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of handbags having spent several years working in fashion copywriting and could probably win Mastermind if this was her specialist subject![Top]