Sunday 28 January 2024

Once Upon an Algorithm by Clara O'Connor

A brand new spicy STEM romance for fans of Ali Hazelwood and Sally Thorne!
Leonie’s personal dating algorithm:

1. Over 6 ft Tall
2. Funny and carefree
3. Well-travelled

But when a dating app leads Leonie to one night in Paris with brooding stranger Jack – the total opposite of what she’s looking for – she realises her list is missing out the most important thing: chemistry. And the chemistry between Leonie and Jack is off the charts!

Could the algorithm be on to something? When Leonie starts her new job at a tech start up the last person she expects to see is Jack. But there he is, sitting in the boss’s office, the man behind the code and the best night of sex of her life…

This is a difficult one to review as I didn't love it but I didn't entirely hate it either.
I did not enjoy the romance storyline and there was no comedy despite it being billed as a rom-com. 
Leonie and Jack meet for the first time in Paris via a dating app but it really lacked that meet-cute to set them up as aromantuc couple. There is no chemistry between them or funny banter to lighten the mood. Jack was a miserable sod for most of the novel. For an Irish man he was zero craic and the last person I'd volunteer to go for a drink with. He doesn't seem to like or trust Leonie at all and I didn't believe in any romantic feelings he may have had for her because he didn't show that he had any. 
There seemed to be a slight shift in their frenemies relationship when they travelled to Los Angeles. I did find their travelling scenes quite entertaining especially as Leonie had to look after him. This was the best part of the book for me. It provided a good opportunity for a real friendship to build as they spent time together but they didn't really grow emotionally closer in the way that I wanted. 
Maybe a dual POV would have helped with this book as there are so many red flags with Jack. It would have helped to understand his marriage arrangements and what he actually felt for Leonie beyond the obvious.
There is an awful lot of focus on the work behind the development of the app and the process the characters had to go through in order to get it ready for launch. It was more realistic than the romance but it didn't exactly make the book a page turner.

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