2021 Book #37 – The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

Title: The Soulmate Equation
Author: Christina Lauren
Date finished: 5/9/21
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: May 18, 2021
Pages in book: 365
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Single mom Jessica 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 was never 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 percent compatibility with another subject in the database: one of GeneticAlly’s founders, 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 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 Match” 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.

Funny, warm, and full of heart, The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated

My rating:  4.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I love these authors a ton and they always publish books that I enjoy so much. And this was another great book of theirs! I thought this book was a great strangers/dislike to falling in love and it was really well done. The way that the relationship developed between River and Jess was immensely heart warming and I really loved both their interactions with Juno. It was enchanting to see their love story unfolding. Even more, it was so interesting to see Jess’s journey to accepting help from her loved ones and also to accepting herself. River was so painfully shy and earnest, I loved his character. Honestly all the characters were quirky and hilarious – Fizzy especially and I loved that she was a romance author. I also loved that the story featured Jess cutting off a toxic relationship with a relative. I think too often books manage to turn things around and things magically work out somehow. But sometimes a toxic relationship is just that and needs to end. I thought it was a really brave thing to do. Overall I thought it was a great love story and I really enjoyed it!

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2016 Book #42 – The Blue Bath by Mary Waters-Sayer

51xE13On2YL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Blue Bath
Author: Mary Waters-Sayer
Date finished: 5/3/16
Genre: Fiction, literary fiction, women’s fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Pages in book: 320
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE:I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Kat Lind, an American expatriate living in London with her entrepreneur husband and their young son, attends an opening at a prestigious Mayfair art gallery and is astonished to find her own face on the walls. The portraits are evidence of a long-ago love affair with the artist, Daniel Blake. Unbeknownst to her, he has continued to paint her ever since. Kat is seduced by her reflection on canvas and when Daniel appears in London, she finds herself drawn back into the sins and solace of a past that suddenly no longer seems so far away.
When the portraits catch the attention of the public, threatening to reveal not only her identity, but all that lies beyond the edges of the canvases, Kat comes face to face with the true price of their beauty and with all that she now could lose.
Moving between the glamour of the London art world and the sensuous days of a love affair in a dusty Paris studio, life and art bleed together as Daniel and Kat’s lives spin out of control, leading to a conclusion that is anything but inevitable.

My rating:  4.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. Also just as a side note, I did an author interview with Mary Waters-Sayer (author of The Blue Bath) which you can check out here! This book was about Kat Lind, who is currently living in London with her husband Jonathan and her son Will. The book alternates between present day and Kat’s memories of what happened 20 years ago when she was studying abroad in Paris. There were a few different interwoven topics being dealt with in this book: unconditional love of mother and child, death and loss, and, of course, overall there was a great deal of love. Kat hasn’t seen Daniel Blake since she left him in Paris twenty years ago but when she sees him again at his gallery show, it is almost like no time has passed. Kat had an intense and almost violent passion for Daniel, one that encompassed her whole life. Since leaving him though, she has moved on and found a new love with Jonathan and her son Will. But can anything really replace that first young love? Kat discovers that even though they have aged since, her and Daniel still have a reckless passion that can not be ignored. But how much is she really willing to sacrifice to be with him again?
Overall I really enjoyed this book a lot. The writing was in itself almost like a painting, the author strung the words together in a way that painted a vivid picture for the reader and made me feel like I could almost reach out and touch the scene. The chemistry between Daniel and Kat is tangible and the description of Kat’s love for Will is everything I would expect, unconditional and as encompassing as her (different kind obviously) love for Daniel once was. I had a few questions pop up as I got towards the end with some of the goings-on, but it didn’t hinder the story for me, instead it almost added to the feeling of being in a haze that Kat must have felt at those times. I felt as if I was really able to put myself in Kat’s character. And there was a twist ending that was indeed satisfying. Great read and definitely one that should be on everyone’s TBR!

The bottom line: I found this story captivating, I couldn’t put it down. I was trying to read it during every second of free time I had. Vivid imagery brings the story alive for the reader, the words are strung together in an almost lyrical prose that surrounds the reader with beauty. A must read!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #82 – Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner


Title: Who Do You Love
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Date finished: 8/7/15
Genre: Fiction, Romance-ish, Women’s fiction
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: August 11, 2015
Pages in book: 400
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

An unforgettable story about true love, real life, and second chances…
Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are just eight years old when they meet one night in an ER waiting room. Born with a congenital heart defect, Rachel is a veteran of hospitals, and she’s intrigued by the boy who shows up alone with a broken arm. He tells her his name. She tells him a story. After Andy’s taken back to a doctor and Rachel’s sent back to her bed, they think they’ll never see each other again.
Rachel grows up in an affluent Florida suburb, the popular and protected daughter of two doting parents. Andy grows up poor in Philadelphia with a single mom and a rare talent for running.
Yet, over the next three decades, Andy and Rachel will meet again and again—linked by chance, history, and the memory of the first time they met, a night that changed the course of both of their lives.
A sweeping, warmhearted, and intimate tale, Who Do You Love is an extraordinary novel about the passage of time, the way people change and change each other, and how the measure of a life is who you love.

My rating: 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for ARC August reading challenge, it is #4 on list from my sign up post. I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book is about Rachel Blum, who meets a boy named Andy Landis when they’re coincidentally in the same hospital on the same night when they were young children. Rachel waited with Andy in the ER waiting room since his mom wasn’t with him and told him stories. Their lives seem to be intertwined since they end up encountering each other years later when they are both in high school.
What follows is an on and off relationship that spans across decades. A story of true love and second (or third or fourth) chances. Whenever Andy and Rachel meet up again it seems as if no time has passed and neither has ever stopped loving the other. Andy seems to make many mistakes along the way and I think that both he and Rachel have to grow quite a bit before their lives can permanently fit together. In the meantime, they both continue on their life path separately and have many important life experiences.
Overall I enjoyed this book. I thought the story line was sweet and touching. I thought the characters were wonderfully flawed and I really felt like I was given an opportunity to connect with them through the book. There were some plot developments that were interesting and obviously necessary to the story line but that I didn’t necessarily expect. I think the only thing I would be able to complain about is that I thought the ending was a little quick. I thought we were going to get to the reunion part where they fall back in love and what not and then bang it happened and two sentences later the story was over. I usually like a little wrap up (epilogue) even if its just like “oh it’s been a week and they’re still happy.” Other than that though I thought this was a good book.

The bottom line: I thought this was a touching, sweet story. I can’t say that it was a story that really grabbed me but it dig tug at my heart-strings. I would recommend it to readers who like women’s fiction.

Favorite Quotes:
“I realized, as he touched my cheek, then my hair, that I had never stopped hoping for this, not in all the years we’d been apart.”

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page