Counting on You by Laura Chapman
Title: Counting on You
Author: Laura Chapman
Series: Amarillo Sour #1
Price: Provided by the author for review
“She wasn’t the most boring person in the world, but she wasn’t exactly ready to start booking stand up routines at the comedy club either.”
Counting on You begins with our female lead, Hayleigh who is a successful maths teacher in her late twenties but has had some difficulty dating. Scratch that, she hasn’t dated since her high school boyfriend left her with a sour taste in her mouth. After an awkward first date at a dive bar, Amarillo Sour, she meets our male lead Ian; an app developer at Link digital who is Conveniently working on a dating app that is at the pinnacle of his career. This book follows Ian as he helps Hayleigh navigate the murky waters of the online dating world.
The book switches between the viewpoints of Hayleigh and Ian which is really useful as it helps us, the reader understand the story and the feelings experienced by each of the characters. Since each character is quite different from the other and each has unique experience which the reader can then empathise with. I found the different viewpoints especially useful during Hayleighs more trying moments.
Laura Chapman is an accomplished writer of multiple romantic comedies. This definitely shows through in her writing which flows and is quite practised. I found that Chapman gave us the exact amount of information in terms of the story, not too much and not too less which made the book very balanced and easy to read .
Here is an excerpt from the book to whet your appetite:
In an effort to mask her embarrassment, she raised the glass to her lips.
“Wait.” He held out his glass to hers. “Here’s to taking chances.”
She could drink to that. She toasted his glass and sipped, appreciating the way the wine both chilled her throat and warmed her chest on the way down.
He drank his beer and set it down. “So, you know I couldn’t help overhearing your date with Patrick.”
“Yeah, we covered that.”
“And I know we only officially met a few minutes ago, but I feel like—what with the eavesdropping and all—we’ve gotten to know each other a little.”
“Or you’ve learned my most embarrassing secret. I only know you develop software and—based on how well you know the lay of the land—you apparently spend a lot of your time hanging out at a bar.”
“Which is pretty much all there is to know about me. Except that I like watching both sports and nerdy TV shows, and that I wish I could have a dog, but my apartment won’t let me.”
“You’re right,” she said. “We’re practically married. Should we spend Christmas with your family or mine?”
He snorted. “Now that we’re friends, and I know that you need a date to your reunion and you’re on a deadline, I wanted to run something by you.”
Her heart fluttered. Was this guy she just met going to help her get a date? No, that was crazy. But maybe he had some advice. She’d been sarcastic when she’d asked for it earlier, but it really couldn’t hurt.
In fact, it might be better coming from a stranger than any of her work friends. It would certainly keep Nina from spreading the details through the rumor mill.
“I’m listening. Not that I know if you have the credentials to give lectures on—”
“It’s not a lecture. And I’m not a dating expert. Well, not exactly. I’m not an expert,” he repeated and cleared his throat. “But I have done a lot of research on dating. Or at least my company has, and I’ve used it for my job.”
“I thought you build apps.”
“We do. Our new app—one that’s coming out next month—is a dating app.”
“Kind of, but not really.” He launched into an explanation about how the app was part game, part matchmaker. That it helped connect people who’d really get along without making the process cumbersome. So far, it sounded good.
But how did she fit into this?
“We’re actually trying to find one more person to try it out.”
Oh. He needed a guinea pig. “Why?”
“We’re close to the launch date. While our feedback has been good, it hasn’t been personal. We haven’t been able to see it from the inside.”
“Why doesn’t one of your employees try it?”
He shook his head. “That’s not objective enough. We need someone who can give us an inside look, while not influencing the outcome. Someone local. Someone who can find a good match that we can brag about to our investors. Someone with a good story.”
Someone desperate enough to give it a try with an audience. Someone like her.
She could see the logic. That didn’t mean she liked where this was going. “So, you want me to try your app and report back.”
My favourite character in the story had to be our protagonist Hayleigh. I found her very relatable and her anxious struggles were well documented. Although it was slightly unbelievable that she had not ventured into the world of dating after her high school sweetheart, the author immediately makes her very likeable and it is difficult to understand how she has been single for so long. You could definitely say that Hayleigh has unlucky in love.
The best part of the book for me was the montage of dates that Hayleigh went on with Ian secretly supporting her through the. It definitely added to the comedic element of the book as Hayleigh met each eligible bachelor, each as interesting as the last. The supporting cast were really showcased during this part of the story and I can see each individual character having their own story to tell which I can see being the subject of future books in the series.
Overall the atmosphere of the book was quite happy and had a feel good quality to it. Throughout the book I was rooting for both our characters to meet someone they could have a real connection with. The pace of the book was consistent and I did not find any parts of the story are boring or uninteresting. It kept me hooked and I was eager to follow the progress of the two main characters. Although I don’t read many romantic comedies, I did kind of guess the way the story was going to end but the unexpected nuances within the story prevented it from becoming predictable.
I originally thought this book would be too cheesy for my liking but I am happy to say that there was just the right balance of romance to comedy to drama. Overall I really enjoyed the book and I am excited to read the next book in the series which I hope will focus on one of the supporting characters. This book would be most enjoyed by those looking for a quick read which is also quite cutesy.