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Reviewed by Alyssa Elmore for Readers' Favorite
A young woman takes a chance on love by beta-testing a cutting edge dating app in the sweet romance, Counting on You (Amarillo Sour Book 1) by Laura Chapman. Shy, quiet, high-school math teacher Haleigh Parde has a problem. An anxiety-inducing, nightmare-causing problem. In as little as one month, she will have to face her ex and his perfect wife at their ten-year high school reunion. Everyone on the reunion forum has taken bets that Haleigh won't even show. With rumors flying that she hasn't gotten over her old high school sweetheart, Greg, Haleigh decides to reclaim her life by forcing herself back into the dating world. With the help of a friend, she agrees to go out on a blind date, hoping to prepare for the reunion. When her first date in ten years goes horribly wrong, she is approached by a sympathetic onlooker, Ian. Or so she thinks. Ian Henning, an up and coming app developer for a romantic connections company, offers his dating app in exchange for an honest review. Desperate for a date for her reunion and confident that she won't be able to find one on her own, Haleigh agrees to try the app, with a few conditions. Will Ian agree to her terms? Can Haleigh find a date before the reunion?
Counting on You by Laura Chapman is the first in the Amarillo Sour Series. A sweet, heartwarming romantic story of two unlikely individuals not looking for love, this book is inspiring to the socially awkward and single. The characters are engaging and the plot conflicts charmingly, creating the perfect light read. Haleigh's insecurities play nicely against Ian's feigned confidence. I appreciated how both characters clearly had their flaws, but their kindness and compassion overshadowed those traits. Although the story slows a bit in the middle, it quickly picks up pace to a touching ending reminiscent of a high school rom-com. I recommend this book to readers of all ages who enjoy romantic themes such as second chances, love at first sight, and high school retribution. While initially they may not be searching for romance, Haleigh and Ian find something so much more valuable; companionship and trust.