Once upon a time, there were two young women named Katie and Roo. They loved each other very much. They were soulmates, but they lived at a time when society thought a love shared between two women was immoral, so they were ripped apart, separated, and Katie grieved the loss of Roo, her one true love.
When Lindsay Hall was in high school, she and her best friend Patty cut class to drink peach schnapps and listen to a past life regression CD they picked up at a tag sale. Patty had a nice nap, but Lindsay had an experience that would stay with her for the rest of her life. She got a glimpse of herself from a previous lifetime with a woman she loved. Patty has always accepted Lindsay’s belief in her past life experience. It might be part of what makes Lindsay such a talented and sought-after portrait artist. According to Lindsay’s ex-husband, Lindsay’s obsession with the woman from her “past life” is part of what lead to the demise of their marriage. Even her teenage daughter rolls her eyes at the mention of Lindsay’s previous life.
Ren Christopher is ready for the next chapter of her life, but before she jets off to Paris to begin her new job, she decides to spend two weeks in Salt Creek visiting with her closest friend from college. Having just extracted herself from a drama-filled relationship, Ren is looking forward to downtime with Deb and her family. Two weeks of no stress, no pressure, and no drama is just what the doctor ordered. Her vacation starts out with a brilliant find at the local art gallery. Ren is drawn to a portrait of a little boy and buys it without reservation.
This vacation starts out perfectly until Lindsay faints at the sight of Ren. When Lindsay regains consciousness, she can’t believe who she’s just seen. Is this just an odd feeling of déjà vu or has Lindsay just found the woman she’s been waiting a lifetime for?
I enjoyed getting to know Lindsay and Ren. They complimented each other quite perfectly. Even though Lindsay’s 100% small town, she doesn’t shy away from the more worldly Ren. Lindsay represents everything that’s responsible and stable, which is a nice contrast with her creative, artsy side. It makes complete sense that she’s tuned into one of her past lives and accepts it. I think the thing I like most about her is her willingness to go after Ren. There’s no second guessing from Lindsay. Once she’s recovered from the shock of coming face-to-face with Ren she knows Ren is her person.
Ren surprised me in several ways. She’s introduced as a high-powered New York businesswoman, but she’s just as grounded as the other women who inhabit Salt Creek. She’s confident in her sexuality, admits to being a bit of a player, yet she’s sometimes at a loss when she’s with Lindsay. I love that dynamic in a lead character. Something inside Ren recognizes how special Lindsay is and it has nothing to do with her looks. Just like Lindsay, Ren lets their attraction play out trusting that it’s meant to be.
The Writing Style
Waiting for You is full of witty banter, inside jokes, and straight forward insights. The book celebrates the friendships between longtime friends who often talk in rapid-fire shorthand. The women tell it like it is, good and bad, and I thought the story concentrated just as much on the friendships forged between the characters as the romance between Lindsay and Ren.
Spencer also nails the complicated relationships between mothers and their teenage daughters. Her teen characters’ dialogue is authentic, and I could honestly feel some of the eye-rolls.
A secondary story line involves Lindsay’s former teacher, Mrs. Stokely. She lived with her “cousin” Milly for as long as Lindsay and her best friend could remember. Spencer brings to light the lack of acceptance and inclusivity towards the LGBT community in the 1970’s. Although Millie passed away many years ago, Lindsay and Ren help Mrs. Stokely feel comfortable celebrating their relationship. I liked how Spencer weaved this bit of history into the plot so naturally.
A main character named Ren? Any homage to the classic film Footloose makes me want to kick of my Sunday shoes and bust out my 80’s dance moves.
I liked Lindsay and Ren so much. I would’ve liked to spend extra time with just them. Maybe they’ll turn up in another book???
I couldn’t wait to get my greedy little hands on Waiting for You. I’ve come to count on Spencer to take me away from whatever drama is going on in the world to a place where sharp, attractive, women will entertain me with their wit and warmth. I wasn’t disappointed. Lindsay, Ren, and all the women from Salt Creek made for great company. Lindsay’s past life experience set this story apart from most traditional romances and that’s something Spencer has a flair for. Of course, I knew I was going to get my happily ever after, but it came with a novel, unexpected twist. I enjoyed this love story, and I hope you do too.
Excerpt from Waiting for You by Elle Spencer
There was something about the way Lindsay looked at her, even from the very first moment before she’d fainted. Ren knew Lindsay would turn around. She was sure of it. And she was just as sure that when Lindsay did turn to find out what the holdup was, Ren would see that look again.
She waited for it, unable to move until Lindsay stopped and turned. She needed to see it again to know for sure. And there it was. Pain, sadness, uncertainty. Why would anyone look at a stranger with such emotion in their eyes?
It had happened a few times while they sat on Mrs. Stokely’s green sofa. Ren caught her staring. If anyone was making eyes at anyone, it was Lindsay. But it wasn’t the kind of look Ren would want from such an intriguing, beautiful, talented woman. It wasn’t a flirty look or a come-hither look. In fact, if Ren hadn’t known better, she would’ve thought she’d done something terrible and had a lot of making up to do. A lot of trust to rebuild. A lot of wounds to heal. But they barely knew each other.
“Are you okay?” Lindsay bent and picked up the little suitcase.
When their eyes met again, Ren asked, “Are you?”
Lindsay hadn’t just turned. She’d come back for Ren. Picked up her suitcase. And the question hung in the air for what felt like an eternity. Why couldn’t Lindsay say she was fine or not fine or somewhere in between?
Without an answer, Ren felt compelled to pull this beautiful stranger into her arms. Those hands were slow to return the hug. Hesitant. But once Lindsay’s arms wrapped around her, Ren found herself in a warm embrace she had no desire to escape.
It was Lindsay who let go first. The blush across her chest and neck were the first things Ren noticed. Then she realized Lindsay still had a firm grip on her forearms.
“I’m not sure why I did that,” Ren confessed. “I guess you looked like you needed a hug.”
Lindsay’s grip loosened. “You were right.”
“I hope it helped.” Their stance was far too intimate. Their gaze too full of emotion. Ren felt something she couldn’t define. Concern? No, it was bigger than that. She was quite capable of feeling concern for a stranger in distress. This was different.
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 978-1635556353
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Elle Spencer Online
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