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The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren, Patti Murin (Narrator)

Published May 18th 2021 by Simon & Schuster Audio, Gallery Books

9 hours, 39 minutes

4 Stars:⭐⭐⭐⭐

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, who is struggling financially to raise her daughter. She has no intention of getting involved with a man, especially as those in her past have let her down. Her mother is a partyer, who left her to be raised by her grandparents when she was six, after her father abandoned them. Her ex left when she found out she was pregnant, claiming he was not father material. If it wasn’t for her grandparents helping out with Juno, she doesn’t know what she would do. Yes, she is lonely, and if it wasn’t for her best friend, Felicity (Fizzy), she would be totally alone except for her family. When Fizzy finds out that the cold and aloof man they see everyday at the coffee shop is launching a new dating app that uses DNA to make matches, she convinces Jess to tour his company. Americano, as they call him, is really Dr. River Peña, the man behind GeneticAlly. When Jess finally decides to give a sample, things heat up when she is matched with Americano, aka River. Does genetic matching really work? Are they a “Diamond Match”?

I really enjoyed this romance. There was not as much humor in this one as previous books by Christina Lauren, but it was still a delightfully enjoyable story. I liked Jess immediately in this story, River was another matter. He was rather cold and aloof from the get go, so I wasn’t sure if he was genuine, or just playing a role for the sake of his company. As the story progressed, I finally had a change of heart and was pleased to see their relationship progress. He really was human but guarded. Jess’s friendship with Fizzy provided the comic relief. She was the one Jess could count on, loyal and always there to cheer her up. I really liked Juno. She was sweet, had a great imagination and loved her family. I really liked seeing her bond with River, it was an honest match with such genuine feelings. Jess was dealing with a lot of frustration in her life when she was made an offer, she couldn’t turn down. Her mother was a piece of work who added some drama and angst to Jess’ life. I did not like her at all. This was a fun story, with some drama, some real life experiences and of course, love. Patti Murin narrated the audiobook and I enjoyed the experience. She is a new narrator to me and I will not hesitate to listen to her again. Her voice for Jess was wonderful, she brought her to life for me and being the central character, made this a great listening experience. I definitely recommend this one to all who enjoy a great romance.

No-One Ever Has Sex on Holiday (No-One Ever Has Sex #5)

No-One Ever Has Sex on Holiday (No-One Ever Has Sex #5) by Tracy Bloom

Published July 29th 2019 by Bookouture

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I really laughed out loud with this book. I remember going on vacation with my children but they were a bit older before we did a vacation more than a camping trip with my mom to help. This story has three couples that have been married for various lengths of time. Katie and Ben have been married the longest and are the glue between the three couples. Katie is also the mother hen in the group. They have two children. Braindead and Abby, and Daniel and Gabriel each have one child. Abby is having a crisis of sorts. She wants to have fun in Spain, sex, sangria and parties, Braindead is totally consumed with his son and having a vacation to remember. Daniel and Gabriel are a hoot. Gabriel is Spanish and is looking forward to showing his friends Spain’s wonderful and welcoming hospitality, he is also a stay at home dad. Daniel, his husband, is the exact opposite. He is demanding, entitled and often rude. He is upset from the beginning of the trip, and Katie who works with him, spends time trying to talk him down and to put himself in other people’s shoes. On the flight, they meet Cassie and her friends who are on her hen party and somehow, Kate, Daniel and Abby all get invited to participate in their events. Throw in Ollie, who they meet by the pool the first day. Ollie is on his honeymoon, along, after being dumped by his fiancée, and you know this motley crew is going to have adventures.

There are so many funny incidents throughout the story that you will laugh from beginning to end. Yes, parenting is serious business and at no time were the kids in danger, but they definitely added to the fun. From Daniel’s whining, to Abby’s disconnected persona, Kate just wanting to relax, and Braindead’s pressure that Kate take care of Abby, this group of friends are doomed from the start. I had to laugh at the antics of the attendees at the hen party. Although Cassie is having a bit of a breakdown due to cold feet for her upcoming wedding and her discomfort with the activities planned for her hen party, there are so many fun moments. Then there is Abby. I wasn’t sure about her. She is the one who puts a bit of a damper on the events, but the climax of the story brought about by her actions was so funny. Overall, this was a fun book with a few more serious issues to keep it real. This is only the second book I have read in this series, but I will try and find the others.