Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Book Review: Waiting at Hayden's

By Sara Steven

From a fresh new voice in women's fiction comes a page-turning, relatable love story about the complicated nature of timing in modern-day relationships.

Childhood best friends Charli Anderson and Jack Logan fall madly in love during college and can't imagine a life apart. But when they land dream opportunities on opposite ends of the country following graduation, they are forced to make a heart-wrenching pact. In the hope of one day restarting their love story, they set a date to reunite in five years at their favorite restaurant.

Restaurant owner Gianna Hayden is thirty-seven, single, and one bad date away from giving up on finding the right guy when she meets Peter Clark on a dating website. Attractive, kind, and driven, he is exactly what she thought she was looking for. But as the day of Charli and Jack's reservation approaches, Gianna finds herself reflecting on the kind of passionate love her former customers once had and begins to question her bond with Peter.

These two riveting stories converge on the night of the fateful reunion. Gianna, Charli, and Jack are all forced to make difficult choices as they struggle to follow their hearts, and ultimately each must decide where their true feelings lie before time runs out.

Waiting at Hayden's is the first book to be published in the new reading experience format shopfiction™, which Costello coined and branded. The digital version of this book contains links to watch key scenes unfold and to shop the characters' clothes. The print versions contain web addresses to do the same. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

I really enjoyed the premise to Waiting at Hayden’s. In this day and age, we’re used to getting what we want, when we want it, almost instantaneously. In relationships, we rely on social media, cell phones and video chatting. For Charli and Jack, the question becomes, will this relationship survive the distance and time, if all of that has been taken out of the equation?

It was an interesting and unique perspective, and provided a lot of moments where I could really feel the yearning between the main characters. Told from both perspectives and given over a gradual time frame, we’re given the backstory to their relationship, and there are moments where I questioned the validity of their love, and ultimately, whether they’d eventually end up together. Thrown into the mix are other characters who sweeten the pot, only making the reader more unsure of whether the pact will hold its weight or not, whether Charli and Jack will meet up at Hayden’s as they’d promised one another, or if the distance and time has changed them and their chances, forever.

I also appreciated the paralleling story of Gianna. I could feel her struggles with deciding on how far in she wants to go in her relationship with Peter, a very realistic situation. It can be easy making relationship decisions when someone is so obviously wrong for you, but what if the person looks good on paper? What if they’re a genuinely great person, who could potentially be a great addition to your life but it still feels as though something may be lacking? You start to wonder if that lacking element is YOU. It was a nice correlation to Charli and Jack’s story, balancing everything out nicely.

I did click on a few of the links in this shopfiction™ experience, to get a better idea of the types of outfits the characters were wearing in various scenes. It was a unique way to better see who they are as people. As the story progressed, I stopped clicking, mainly due to my getting more into the story, vs. the outfits worn. But I didn’t feel that took away from the experience. I had a wonderful experience, and look forward to more from Riley Costello!

Thanks to Riley Costello for the book in exchange for an honest review.


Janine said...

This sounds good. I think it's interesting about the links too. It makes me more curious to read the book.

Unknown said...

This definitely on my list!!