Friday, April 24, 2020

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane

If faking love is this easy... how do you know when it’s real?

When her partner of over a decade suddenly ends things, Laurie is left reeling—not only because they work at the same law firm and she has to see him every day. Her once perfect life is in shambles and the thought of dating again in the age of Tinder is nothing short of horrifying. When news of her ex’s pregnant girlfriend hits the office grapevine, taking the humiliation lying down is not an option. Then a chance encounter in a broken-down elevator with the office playboy opens up a new possibility.

Jamie Carter doesn’t believe in love, but he needs a respectable, steady girlfriend to impress their bosses. Laurie wants a hot new man to give the rumor mill something else to talk about. It’s the perfect proposition: a fauxmance played out on social media, with strategically staged photographs and a specific end date in mind. With the plan hatched, Laurie and Jamie begin to flaunt their new couple status, to the astonishment—and jealousy—of their friends and colleagues. But there’s a fine line between pretending to be in love and actually falling for your charming, handsome fake boyfriend...

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I really, really enjoyed this book – in fact, I keep thinking, did I really finish it? I want to be back with Laurie and her friends! I would very happily read a sequel, giving us, ideally, Emily's story, and for a giggle, Nadia's too! It was fun entering the world of successful thirty-somethings in Manchester, with some fabulous caricatures of both male and female types.

It may be because this world was rather familiar to me that I fell straight into the story and was happy that it was so full of detail and incidents which made me laugh and sometimes cringe. It makes some very pointed comments about the attitudes of men, and also of how women deal with situations, until they don't. There are some pretty sad revelations made, but they are acknowledged and respected in a way which really resonates.

The plot revolves around Laurie, a woman who has had Dan as her partner for half her life, until she no longer does... and what’s worse is that that not only do they work together, but he has immediately replaced her and is trapped. She and the office Romeo contrive to be in a new fake relationship to further their individual causes. In part thanks to him, Laurie discovers herself and overcomes her fears of very low expectations for her future.

I think it is a well written, well thought out, and fabulously populated book with lots of people who I would love to meet – either to befriend, or to slap – and was very happy with how everything was resolved. I would say that this is not a steamy romance, but a truly thoughtful one, and all the richer for being believable, human, and ultimately uplifting. I will most definitely be recommending this to all my friends.

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
Laurie thinks that her life is on track. No, she's not married, but she loves her job and loves Dan. However, when Dan comes to her and says that despite them being together for a very long time, he's unhappy. Laurie is wondering if it's because she's asked that they have a child. But Dan is quite clear that he doesn't want kids at all and that he just thinks they would be better off apart. Because they work together, Laurie knows that everyone is talking behind her back, but she just can't seem to get it together enough to care a lot.

When things at work become even worse with Dan's new squeeze, Laurie isn't sure how she is going to cope. But when she gets stuck in the elevator with another co-worker, they hatch a great plan. Jamie is wanting to show the partners that he can be a family man and Laurie is wanting to show Dan what he's missing.

These two don't have the greatest chemistry, and what started out as a plan quickly develops into a friendship that neither of them knew they needed. To make things even more confusing, meeting each other's family members and liking them... now they have to reconcile their friendship, feelings, and whether or not this is still a plan or the beginning of something.

Laurie and Jamie will have to decide what they truly want from their lives. Work? Love? Both? These two have to navigate a lot of issues and find themselves along the way. While it was funny at times, I did find that the story was kind of drawn out and at times, boring. Despite that, it was enjoyable and a quick read.

Sunday Times bestselling author Mhairi McFarlane was born in Scotland and her unnecessarily confusing name is pronounced Vah-Ree. After some efforts at journalism, she started writing novels and her first book, You Had Me at Hello, was an instant success. She’s now written six books and she lives in Nottingham with a man and a cat.

Connect with Mhairi

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane to read and review.

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