Happy Friday!  We’ve made it through another week and I don’t know about you but I’m so ready for the weekend.  We are short-staffed at work yet again and it’s kicking my butt. I also don’t know about you, but I have so many books to review that are coming out on May 25th.  I’ve been reading as fast as I can but still have 4 to get through between now and then so I can review them.  There are definitely worse problems to have so I won’t complain. I just hope I can get them all read in time!  Anyway, today I’m sharing my thoughts on two fun and fabulous rom-coms that come out on May 18th, The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren and Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall.



Author: Christina Lauren

Publication Date: May 18, 2021

Publisher:  Gallery Books

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.

Before I started reading Christina Lauren’s novels, I was not the biggest fan of romance books.  With their lovable characters, often hilarious banter, and addictive storylines, they won me over and now I can’t get enough of their books.  Their latest, The Soulmate Equation, is the tenth book I’ve read from them and I’m happy to say it’s one of my favorites yet.

The story follows Jess Davis, who is a freelance statistician.  Her passion is crunching numbers all day.  Abandoned by her mother at a young age and raised by her grandparents, Jess is now a single mom raising a 7-year-old daughter. Between her career and her daughter, Jess has no time or interest in dating.  I really liked Jess right away.  She’s a STEM girl, which I loved, and I also loved both her devotion to her adorable daughter, Juno, and her fierce sense of independence.   All of that said, I also loved that her curiosity about the data and the science behind a new DNA-based dating app called GeneticAlly leads her to actually submit a sample of her DNA to see if it actually works.  Even though she’s all about science and numbers, when she is found to be 98% compatible with another subject in the database, she is skeptical, especially because she has actually met the guy and can’t stand him!

The guy is Dr. River Pena, the sexy scientist who is the brains behind the GeneticAlly app.  Jess makes a snap judgment about River because she sees him at the local coffee shop every day and he doesn’t speak to anyone.  She thinks he’s arrogant, rude, and obnoxious, but as she starts to get to know him, she realizes she may have been a bit hasty and overly harsh in her initial assessment.  I loved watching Jess get to know River.  It becomes clear that what she deemed arrogant and rude was actually just him being shy and awkward.  The more they talk and interact, the more Jess starts to wonder if there’s any merit to that 98% compatibility score.  As much as I liked Jess, I have to say that I flat out adored everything about River, especially the way he interacts with Jess’ daughter, Juno, when he meets her. They are adorable together, which made it impossible not to root for a happy ending for River and Jess since it would mean a father figure for Juno as well.

The actual DNA science and how that worked was a little over my head at times, but I didn’t care.  I was so into Jess and River and their journey that I flew through the pages, smiling all the way.  With The Soulmate Equation, I think it’s safe to say Christina Lauren have another hit on their hands for romance fans.  4 STARS



Author: Alexis Hall

Publication Date: May 18, 2021

Publisher:  Forever (Grand Central Publishing)

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.

I just finished reading Alexis Hall’s last novel, Boyfriend Material, a couple of months ago and loved it, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of her latest, Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake, the first book in a new queer romcom series called Winner Bakes All.  The lure of a reality TV baking competition and its potential for hilarious antics was just impossible to resist!

The story follows Rosaline Palmer, a single mom who has found herself in a dead end job after choosing to drop out of college to raise her daughter, Amelie.  Rosaline does not in any way regret her decision to do this but she really wishes she could do something to give her daughter a better life than she currently has.  When she hears about a reality TV baking competition, she thinks this could be exactly what she needs to turn things around, and so she applies and is selected to be a contestant.  The competition is fierce, and the judges can be harsh in their criticism, but Rosaline is convinced she has what it takes to go all the way.

Rosaline is such a great protagonist.  I loved pretty much everything about her.  She’s bisexual and very open about her sexuality, even to the point that her young daughter has been raised to know what it means to be bisexual and that it’s absolutely normal.  Rosaline is like this in every aspect of life with Amelie and is raising a very precocious, open-minded young lady.  Watching Amelie in action throughout the book made me feel lots of proud mom vibes on Rosaline’s behalf.  She might be on her own but she is doing a splendid job raising her daughter.

As much as I adored the mother-daughter moments with Rosaline and Amelie, the fun and most of the action takes place at the competition and I thought every aspect of the competition was fabulous and very well executed.  The descriptions of the glorious food items being prepared practically had me drooling while I was reading, and I loved the cast of characters, from Rosaline’s fellow competitors, most of whom become like a little family by the end of the competition, to the quirky judges and the borderline insane producer.

There’s a bit of a love triangle between Rosaline and two of her fellow competitors that at first I wasn’t sure about until it became clear that it wasn’t really much of a triangle.  Rosaline meets Alain Pope while traveling to the competition and at first he seems quite charming. He’s well educated, smooth, and he certainly knows his way around a kitchen.  The more Rosaline gets to know him, however, the less appealing he seems. In fact, she finds herself way more attracted to another competitor, a less educated, super awkward and shy electrician named Harry.  You guys, I just have to say that Harry is the most adorable cinnamon roll of a leading man.  I adored everything about him, from his cute banter with Rosaline, to his delightful creations that he bakes for the competition, including a mermaid cake, and most especially the way he treats Rosaline’s daughter.  As soon as I watched Harry in action with Rosaline and her daughter, I was rooting hard for Rosaline to tell Alain to kiss off so she could be with Harry.

I don’t want to give away anything about the competition or how things turn out for Rosaline, but I will say I came away very satisfied and with a smile on my face and can’t wait to see what Alexis Hall has in store for us with the next book in this fun series. 4 STARS.

28 replies
  1. Literary Feline
    Literary Feline says:

    I am glad you enjoyed both of these, Suzanne. I haven’t heard too much about the second book, but it does sound like something I would enjoy. The Soulmate Equation is one I am hoping to read at some point. I hope you are able to get all your reading in like you want! We’re short staffed at my work too and add to that fact that it’s been extra busy this month. 🙁 Have a great weekend!

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I hope it’s a great read for you. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read from them but I think this is definitely one of their better ones lately.

  2. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books says:

    I’m so excited for Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake. Boyfriend Material was a huge hit for me last year and had me so ready for more from Alexis Hall. I’m so glad to see that this one worked so well for you!

  3. Sam@wlabb
    Sam@wlabb says:

    Those Juno + River scenes melted my heart. Soulmate had a great ensemble, and I would love to revisit that world. Fizzy could totally carry a book

  4. Sophie
    Sophie says:

    You convinced me with Rosaline!!! I loved Boyfriend material so much and I love the Great British Bake off! So this is just perfect and I just pre ordered the audiobook!

  5. trin carl
    trin carl says:

    Oh, those sound like great titles. I haven’t read contemporary in a while, preferring mystery but I’ll gladly add these to my list.

  6. Angela
    Angela says:

    I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the new Christina Lauren book! Their last couple have gotten such mixed reviews.

  7. verushka
    verushka says:

    Rosaline Palmer takes the Cake is just lovely — and even better, it’s openness about her bisexuality. And I keep thinking the competition she’s in is something like The Great British Bake-off!

  8. Amber Elise @ Du Livre
    Amber Elise @ Du Livre says:

    We’ve been short-staffed at my job since the pandemic starting and I think it’s finally wearing on my soul. Just so tired all the time. I hope we get some much needed breaks! I was hesitant about The Soul Mate Equation but the LI demeanor (offputting but really just socially awkward) is my absolute catnip.

    I’ve got the audio for Rosaline Palmer and it sounds so much fun!

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I really hope you enjoy Rosaline Palmer. I had so much fun with it, especially the actual baking competition. 🙂

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