Tuesday 28 January 2020

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane

If I Never Met YouWhen 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 rumour 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...

Published March 2020

This is my first Mhairi McFarlane novel and I can see why she’s a favourite of the rom-com genre! Basically, Laurie gets dumped by her long-term boyfriend, who thinks he’s stuck in a rut, and sends her spiralling into an existential crisis about where she should be at this point in her life. Enter Jamie, who needs a way to improve his reputation at the law firm they all work at and has a crazy idea for them to fake-date. It kills two birds with one stone, you see, it will improve his image and make Dan jealous – win-win!

What I especially loved about this story was that it was realistic. Jamie was always a gentleman and proved to not be the man-whore everyone made him out to be, and Laurie wasn’t all career-oriented or baby-crazy, she was a nice mix of both, plus super smart and incredibly witty. Their relationship was a proper slow-burner as well, not falling into any of clich├ęs of shoving two characters together but rather letting them get to know each other outside of work, away from the distractions and gossip and the surprisingly toxic environment of their office.

All in all, it was a lovely page-turner, both romantic and dramatic, with dashes of feminism, important friendships and the perfectly imperfect love interest.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.