Cover Image: If I Never Met You

If I Never Met You

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Member Reviews

I really don't know what to say. I felt like there was lots of dragging on, I wasn't interested in this story at all. I kept reading hoping it got better but unfortunately it didn't.
Also, a white author writing a book about a POC? That's just not it. Some micro aggressions happened that the MC let slide, which I don't think the author has the right to write about.

The only thing I liked about it was Laurie standing up to her dad.
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This was the first novel I've read from this author and I absolutely loved it! 
Fake dating is 1000% one of my all time favourite tropes and this book did an incredible job with it. 
This book was beautifully written and I can't wait to pick up more from this author. 

The perfect read if you're looking for something that will tug at all of your emotions!
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classic romance tale where a long term relationship is ended in favour of something new and refreshing, what starts as a plan to create jealousy turns into a full blown love story between Laurie and Jamie. a beautiful story about finding love after heartache.
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3.5 stars

A fake romance? Sign me up!

This was a fun little book! While I did have problems with a few lines, overall this is a cute romance I can get behind. The characters are really well crafted and the story features all of those love/hate romance tropes that make you fall deeper into their interactions. I've never read a book by Mhairi McFarlane before but I will definitely be checking out some of her other books.
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I loved the whole premise of this book and devoured this in a day! This was my first book by this author and I had heard such amazing feedback so I couldn’t wait to read this and i’m so glad I did!
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A witty rom com with the fake dates. This whole fake dating trope has always been entertaining for me, we know how it will end, we know there will be laughs, we know we will get what we need out of the book. 

This sarcastic, funny and super entertaining book is a great read. I liken it to the humour of Marian Keys and Sophie Kinsella. 

A great light hearted and fun read. 

I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley for my honest opioion.
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I’m not sure how I’m going to get through writing this review without spoiling it for you. Because OMG!

I can’t believe how involved I got with this story. I mean. The girl that’s so much like me it’s not funny, and the guy who sounds like he’s trying to be something he’s not. I love the trope of the opposites attracting yet I’m not sure how that’s going to play out in this situation.

The first thing I want to say is that Laurie is a half-white, half-black. Which to me means nothing because I honestly don’t care what your skin colour is. I only care what you’re like as a person. Yet the comments she makes throughout the book (including explaining why she asked if Jamie’s parents knew she was black) tell me so much about the indecency of others.

I always thought the media was playing up how racist people were about Meghan Markle since marrying Prince Harry. Yet reading this book gave me the feeling that it might be worse than what the media has made out. I mean. How crazy is that?! Who cares if someone is a woman, man, gay, straight, white, black or any other “variation”?!

The grace Laurie displayed throughout the book in the face of blatant sexism, chauvinistic ass holes and racism is amazing. Personally, I would’ve punched someone in the face, gotten my revenge etc well and truly before Laurie (who by the way is 36). The fact that the workplace allows that kind of behaviour is astounding and makes me wonder why any woman would want to work there.

Yet the office man whore seems to be the only man in the office who doesn’t feel that way about Laurie (other than her gay mate). The transition they go through is amazing. The confidence and growth they gain is amazing. I loved it the whole way through.

Right up until the end. That ending just killed it for me. How is that going to work?! How is that a happy ending?! I can’t see it as anything other than a disaster we haven’t read yet. Just tweak it a little bit and it’d be perfect! But nope. I don’t like that last little bit. If, or when, you’ve read it, I’m sure you know what I mean.
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All the stars for this delightful & heartwarming romantic comedy that hit me with the feels! If I Never Met You has all the elements I’ve come to enjoy in a great Mhairi McFarlane book - it’s witty, entertaining, heartfelt, has amazing characters, great banter & pop culture references while at the same time tackling important themes giving the story great depth. This was another binge-worthy read for me that I read in two sittings - would have read this cover-to-cover but my kiddos needed me to be a functioning parent! 🤭

I absolutely loved both main characters! The chemistry between Laurie and Jamie was fantastic and I was totally invested in their developing relationship that started off as a fauxmance. I found the characters relatable, dealing with relatable issues and the character development was fantastic too.

If I Never Met You was one of my highly anticipated releases and it definitely did not disappoint. I’d be happy to re-read this again and I’ll be buying myself a physical copy. I can’t wait to see what Mhairi McFarlane comes up with next!

Huge thanks to HarperCollins Australia & Netgalley for providing me with a copy for review.
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Rating 4.5 ⭐️

Loved this book but I think that I'm a bit biased! The thing is... I've been with my boyfriend for 6 years now and although we are living together, have a dog and about to start saving for a house, he hasn't proposed!!!! And sometimes I do wonder, what would happen if my relationship ends? What would I do? Will I stay in Australia? or will I go to start over somewhere else? So, this book is the written version of my thoughts!

If I Never Met You is the story of a Laurie and Dan, who have been together for more than a decade but are yet to get married and start a family. But one day, out of the blue, Dan confesses to Laurie that he needs time to find himself, to decide what he wants to do with his life..or so he says. Laurie is left devastated and dealing with uncomfortable situations as both of them work for the same law firm, one of them, dating another co-worker, Jamie, who already has a casanova-kind-of reputation.

Some elements of the story are a bit cliché, but the overall story is entertaining and worth reading.

Thanks, HarperCollins Publishers Australia for providing me with an advance copy via Netgalley.
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I absolutely loved this book! Beautifully written! I can’t wait to see more from this fantastic author.
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I enjoyed this a lot - it has real, relatable characters, it's clever and funny, with lots of insights into human behaviour. I laughed out loud quite a few times.
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This was the perfect holiday read..
Rom Com/Chic Lit at it’s best.
Laurie and Jamie, a perfectly improbable couple...but as we read, we can see that this fake relationship really might work. Throw in real feelings and all of a sudden the game has changed...but can it be real.
There’s great friendships, and less than perfect parental figures...there’s also a very real look at racism, from a character who deals with some kind of throw away remarks on a regular basis.
It is somewhat predictable,  but that’s a good thing...reading a book like this is like spending time with an old friend, 
I read this one in a single sitting...highly recommend for a light entertaining read.
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So I love Mhairi McFarlane, I’ve said that before so many times. A new book from her is like a gift and a new book at Christmas time is even better. I grabbed a copy of this one from NetGalley a little while ago but I kept it for my holiday because it would be like a reward. Get through 2 days of driving and then you can read a new book by a favourite author. And this one has one of my very favourite romance tropes – the fauxmance.

Laurie is 36 and has been with her boyfriend Dan since university, when they were 18. She’s been planning to try for a baby soon and she thinks Dan is on board. But after a night out where she realises just how terrifying the dating pool is now, Dan blindsides her by telling her he’s not happy and that he not only wants her not to come off the Pill, but he actually doesn’t even want to be with her anymore and that they should split up. Although he denies that anyone else involved, he eventually has to tell Laurie that he has a new girlfriend just 10 weeks later – and that his new girlfriend is pregnant in a slip up.

Laurie is completely devastated. She faces starting again in her mid-thirties, knowing that her chances of being able to have a child have now been drastically reduced. Dan, whom she loved and whom she thought loved her, has completely eroded her self confidence and belief in herself. She wants to know what she did wrong, so that she doesn’t do it again. And when Dan helplessly tells her that it’s not anything she’s done…’s less than helpful. Because if it isn’t, then how can she fix whatever it is about herself that made him leave?

A chance encounter in a lift with a handsome work colleague leads to a crazy idea – Laurie and Jamie will fake a relationship for mutual benefit. Jamie is a bit of a commitment phobe, but one who wants to be partner. The bosses aren’t keen on a man without a stable home life and Laurie is a favoured employee. Dating Laurie will definitely boost Jamie’s stock big time. And Jamie is smart, excellently dressed and beautiful. Laurie wants Dan to hurt like she did.

I enjoyed this a lot. Laurie is a really wonderful, well rounded character. She’s excellent at her job, she’s hard working, and passionate about what she does. She was comfortable and secure in her relationship with Dan, pushing him to be the best he could be professionally. She is completely shocked when he ends it and utterly heartbroken. But slowly, without Dan, she realises that with him, she hadn’t been living her best life. She was more about supporting him and getting him to where he needed to be. When Jamie suggests the fake romance, for Laurie it’s a way to kind of get one back on Dan for the hurt he has caused her. But soon, the fake romance brings Jamie and Laurie close together.

One thing I liked about this was the way in which they got to know each other. This is no insta-romance with insta-chemistry. Laurie is recovering from a real shock and Jamie doesn’t have any interest in the beginning, in being in a relationship or even in a one night stand with Laurie. He wants to advance professionally and he knows how smart and well liked she is at work and how having her on his side, will really help people see him in a new light. At first it’s carefully constructed Instagram photos and fake dates but soon it morphs into them telling each other their deepest feelings, supporting each other through truly deep and distressing personal scenarios. There’s a building of trust and like as well, even though they obviously see each other as attractive people, it’s not about that for the longest time. I felt like they had really built something that would carry them through – both of them had seen the other during some really difficult and emotional times. Laurie had not only the break up with Dan but also other things in her personal life as well and Jamie was very supportive and defensive of her. I also liked that he pulled Laurie up on her misconceptions of him – Jamie had a bit of a reputation that had followed him from his previous job but apart from his first appearance in the book, he rarely acted like what had been said about him. It takes Laurie a little while to judge him as she finds him, not on what she’s heard of him.

I thought this was a cute, fun read, perfect for summer and being on holidays and relaxing. It’s not my favourite Mhairi McFarlane – I honestly think that will forever be It’s Not Me, It’s You – but it was highly enjoyable and something I’d probably read again in the future.
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Laurie has been with Dan for 18 years. They share everything, even working at the same law firm. They’ve had their ups and downs, but unexpectedly, things come to head in the worst possible way, and Laurie finds herself unceremoniously alone. ⁣
What’s a gal to do? ⁣
If you guessed in a very bold ‘Thank You, Next’ move, to start up a fake relationship with the gorgeous office playboy Jamie, then you’d be right. Laurie really wants to give the office - and her ex - something to talk about. ⁣
Meanwhile Jamie Carter needs to prove that he can fit in with their conservative bosses in order to progress at the firm. Who better than the gorgeous, talented and smart Laurie? ⁣
They get together, making sure evidence of their dates are plastered all over their socials. It’s a win-win, however, as the faux romance takes off, Laurie begins to see that appearances can be deceiving and office gossip is often just that! ⁣
I enjoyed this book. It was a subtle, clever romance, with level headed decisions (which isn’t always the case in this genre!) and some great social commentary around gender and racial stereotypes. ⁣
I loved Laurie’s voice and the way she handled herself throughout. Watching her go from being unsure of herself after being out of the game for so long, to realising she’s still got it was so fun. ⁣
It’s a great ‘don’t sell yourself short’ read. My only qualm with it was that it felt a tad long! Still, it was my first by this author and it won’t be my last. I found the writing whip smart and witty, the dialogue and banter easy and believable, and very British! ⁣
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Laurie thought she was on track, great job, house, amazing long term boyfriend, Dan. Imagine her shock when her boyfriend of 18 years decides he isn’t as committed to the relationship as she is. Yet they still have to work together. 

Jamie is the office cad, and he will never get a promotion unless he changes his ways. 

So starts the deception. Laurie wants to make Dan jealous and Jamie wants to make partner. They hatch a mutually beneficial plan to start a fake relationship. But what happens when things start getting real? 

I adore Mhairi McFarlane’s work and I think this one has become my favourite.
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Being upfront - I don’t think that I’m necessarily the target audience for this novel. It follows Laurie, a 36 year old woman who has just found out that her boyfriend of 18 YEARS (!) has been cheating on her and the clincher? He’s gotten this girl pregnant. Oh, and he works at the same law firms as Laurie. Enter: Jamie. Also a fellow lawyer, Jamie and Laurie enter a partnership of sorts. Jamie needs a girlfriend to prove to those at work that he’s responsible, and Laurie needs to well…show that she’s okay. While it’s certainly an interesting plot, I found it incredibly difficult to fully connect with Laurie, not because of poor writing or anything like that, but simply because I don’t think I (frankly), have enough life experience. Mhairi McFarlane’s writing is delightfully British and Laurie makes for a great lead…just not for me. 
Note: I was very kindly sent an ARC of this novel by the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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This was my first time reading Mhairi McFarlane. I found her writing to be entertaining, heartwarming and quick witted and I am looking forward to reading her other novels. 

Laurie is an incredible heroine. She’s strong and fiercely independent however she has just been through an emotional breakup leaving her quite vulnerable. I found her character relatable and easy to connect with. 

Jamie is confident, smart and handsome. He does have quite the reputation as a stereotypical player however as the story progresses you soon realise there is a lot more to him than meets the eye and by the end I adored him. 

Strong support characters and in particular I really appreciated Bharat’s character which added so much humour to the story. 

Another aspect of this story that stood out for me was the friendship between Emily and Laurie. Laurie soon realised how much she relied on her best friend when she needed her most.

Mhairi McFarlane has an ability to write a story that is realistic as well as having depth to it. 

Overall I really enjoyed this slow burn, fake relationship story.

I would like to thank Netgalley and HarperCollins Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review.
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A delightful romantic comedy, If I Never Met You is Mhairi McFarlane’s sixth novel.

Laurie is devastated when her boyfriend of eighteen years suddenly announces he is leaving her, claiming the need to ‘find’ himself, and then completely shattered when she learns just weeks later that Dan not only has a new girlfriend, but that the girlfriend is pregnant.
Desperate to retain a shred of dignity, especially given she and Dan still have to work together in the same law firm, Laurie strikes a deal with a colleague. Jamie needs help to rehabilitate his reputation as a lothario to have a shot at making partner, and being seen to enjoy a new relationship with a handsome and successful man might make Dan rethink his decision to breakup with Laurie. A fake relationship will benefit them long as no one ever finds out.

The bare bones of the plot of If I Never Met You is not by any means unique, but the execution by McFarlane has real appeal. Yes this is a romantic comedy that exploits the enemies to lovers trope, but there is also a surprising depth to the story.

In particular, McFarlane’s characters move beyond the expected stereotypes, subverting them in ways that are thoughtful and realistic. I felt as if I could relate to Laurie, even though I don’t share her experience, and empathised with her feelings and behaviour. On first impression, Jamie appears to be a typical ‘Alpha’ hero, but it quickly becomes clear that appearances can be deceiving.

I love McFarlane’s sense of humour, which can be very dry, but also makes judicious use of the cheap laugh. I also really admire the way in which the author utilises a full range of emotion without becoming too farcical, nor too angsty, it’s a difficult balancing act that she gets just right.

If I Met Never You is witty, heartfelt and utterly engaging.
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Why I read it:  I’ve been meaning to try this author for ages now and I love a fake relationship.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  When Laurie’s partner of eighteen years, Dan, dumps her to ‘find himself’ (and leave her on the shelf at 36), she is blindsided. But not as blindsided as when he announces that his new girlfriend is now pregnant.

Working in the same office with Dan is soon unbearable – until the day she gets stuck in the lift with her handsome colleague Jamie. Jamie is looking for a way to improve his reputation in the company and what better way for Jamie to advance and Laurie to give the rumour mill something else to talk about than a fake relationship?

As Laurie and Jamie progress from Instagram snaps to dates, dancing and more, Laurie feels herself falling further for her unlikely hero. But you can’t break your heart in a fake relationship. Can you?

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  Even though this is a romance and there is most definitely a HEA at the end, the romantic relationship between Jamie and Laurie takes a very long time to get going. When the book begins, Laurie is still with Dan and then it all hits the fan. Then she’s heartbroken and it takes a while before Jamie and she get stuck in a lift (which sparks, eventually, the idea to have a fake relationship).  If I didn’t dislike the term I’d say this was more “women’s fiction”. The book is as much about Laurie’s own journey to rediscover herself than her relationship with Jamie. In many respects, the former is far more detailed.

Laurie is the only POV character. This works to help obfuscate Jamie’s motivations from time to time. The reader knows instinctively that some of Laurie’s conclusions are incorrect but we don’t know for sure what’s going on until Jamie makes his big confessions well (well) into the book. However, it also serves to make Jamie very opaque as a character. We don’t know what’s going on in his head a lot of the time. The Jamie he starts the book as and the one he ends up as are markedly different and there wasn’t quite enough of a dotted line between the two for me to fully buy the change. For instance, he very openly says he’s not interested in marriage or children at the start buy by the end he’s feeling very differently. I’m not sure I was completely convinced to be honest.

My reading experience was somewhat hampered by some formatting issues with my ARC, which meant that there were times (sadly often when it was kind of critical to my understanding) when the dialogue was all mashed together and I was hard to tell which of Laurie and Jamie was saying what in a conversation. There were some parts right near the end which baffled me because I couldn’t tell what was back and forth between them line for line (and who said what) or if some bits were said by the same person. I expect those issues won’t be replicated in the final published version but as it affected my enjoyment of the story I had to mention it here.

The writing is very British, with a lot of UK-based slang. It wasn’t difficult for me to work out what was meant though – Urban Dictionary and Google were my friends every now and then. I wonder if, when it is released in the US (not until March 2020) there will be changes to the text? While it is not a romcom the humour of the book is peculiarly British too – something that works very well for me. The dry understatement is something I’m very familiar with and enjoy.

I liked Laurie very much. She’s talented, smart, generous and kind and, I gather, pretty gorgeous. When the book starts, Laurie feels old and tired and very not-hot but she comes into her own over the course of the book and gets her mojo back.

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This book was the perfect push and pull of love and hate! It had amazing characters and the pacing was just the perfect build-up of tension!
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