Cover Image: If I Never Met You

If I Never Met You

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Member Reviews

I love romantic comedies and this one was a great fake relationship that turned into something more. I really enjoy stories like this and this one was really funny.
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Laurie is devastated when her boyfriend of over a decade, Dan,  leaves her - . not just because they work together but because his new girlfriend is now pregnant almost immediately after telling Laurie he didn't want to have kids with her. Laurie is doing her best to try and not let it bother her, but her days are rough.  One day she gets stuck in an elevator with the office playboy Jamie that she realizes that they have something in common. She needs a way to get over Dan and avoid pity and Jamie needs a steady girlfriend so he can look the part for a big promotion at the firm.  Let the shenanigans begin....
I enjoyed the story, it was cute!  Laurie was a big spastic and hard to follow at first, but I grew to like her and she ended up being very endearing.  Quick read that was definitely worth the time!
Thanks to Mhairi McFarlane, Harper Collins and NetGalley for the ARC.
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I really did not enjoy this book. At all. I finished it, but it was a struggle. I wanted to like it - it hits all my catnip romance tropes. But I struggled with McFarlane's writing style.
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Lovely, heartwarming story with mostly likeable characters. The conversations between all the characters have a genuine, authentic feel. Definitely will be reading the author's other works as comfort reads.
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Read this book in less than a day. My library purchased a copy of this book. I did not nominate for LibraryReads. I wouldn't recommend this as a Book Club read because it was extremely difficult to follow. Too many unnecessary passages. Characters and ending were not in the least-bit believable.
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Thank you for the opportunity to read and review If I never met you. This book moved at a slower pace than I expected and focused on the breakup for a long portion of the beginning of the book. I wish it would have jumped into the fake dating sooner, a trope I really love.
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Slow burn fake dating and VERY British. 3.5 stars overall. The first third of this book was beyond rough. It kicks off with a breakup and the next 35% of the book is the protagonist’s POV of every thought and emotion about that breakup. It was way too much. Other than a passing conversation in a bar, we don’t meet the male lead until way too late. It picks up after they start interacting but it felt like it too forever to get there. There wasn’t consistent interaction until after halfway through. It put me off and I set the book aside for a long while because of it. 

Good commentary on sexism in the corporate world but some misguided attempts at touching on some microaggressions as the main character is interracial.
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When Laurie's long term boyfriend leaves her she is in utter shock. She thinks it might just be a temporary break up and he will come back after some time. But when she finds out that not only has her ex moved on, but has also gotten his new gf pregnant she is not willing to take the humiliation without doing anything about it. A chance encounter in a broken elevator with the office playboy gives her an opportunity to get back at her ex. Jamie, the playboy, wants a promotion. But the bosses want him to have a steady gf to prove he can make a commitment. The two make a deal and create a fake romance to achieve both of their goals.  

I gave this book two attempts. The first time I was slightly bored that the story was taking so long to get going. When I gave it a second change I absolutely loved it. The story itself although slightly predictable was well written and interesting. Fake romance turned real is a trope I've seen multiple times, but this story made it feel fresh and interesting. The only thing I didn't like was how fast the love interest realized he was in love. For a playboy who didn't believe in love, it was odd that after a few weeks he fell in love. I
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I was interested in this novel because of the description of a devoted woman who is burned and a handsome young lawyer who each need a "fake" relationship. Smart, young, Brits in a romantic setting -- what's not to like. Well, the first 3 chapters were a bit off putting and the characters so rude and unlikeable that I almost put it down. I pressed on and the last 2/3 of the novel improved and I ended up enjoying the book. Very contemporary and modern and it should really appeal to young readers.
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Can I have more? This is such a nice flow book. This is the type a book you read on the weekend and enjoy from beginning to end. I just need more of this Author I will be looking for reading in the future.
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It's a fauxmance!  Laurie and Jamie both need a means to an end, and boy, does this deliver! Really fun read.
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Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Okay, let’s do this . . . . .

*UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERT*

I’m pretty sure most everyone else will like this just fine – or even better than fine – but it was just meh to me. Part of the problem is that I really loved Don’t You Forget About Me by this author (which of course I haven’t written anything about because 2020 is the year of suck and that also apparently includes my read-to-reviewed ratio) so my hopes were quite possibly set too high even before beginning.

To begin with a positive (the only positive for me????), I really dug Laurie’s pals. They reminded me Bridget Jones’ ride or dies and that is never a bad thing. Unfortunately, there were bad things. Normally I’m 100% in on the fake dating trope – buuuuuuuuuuut when it happens in the office???? Notsamuch. Especially when it’s a law firm or some giant corporation. I don’t know how things work across the pond, but I’m telling you where I live you sign papers upon being hired that clearly state there will be no fraternization. And also, while I get that it would be extremely humiliating for your significant other to trade you in for a younger model after 18 years (and knock her up to boot), how in the hell is a new pretend boyfriend determined to be the solution to all your problems? Way to not break that glass ceiling. And once again, CAN. EVERY. FUCKING. BOOK. NOWADAYS. NOT. HAVE. A. SEXUAL. ASSAULT. THROWN. IN. ?!?!?!?!?!

Bottom line, I didn’t like Laurie, I didn’t feel any chemistry between she and Jamie and tired trope is sometimes tired. YMMV.
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When Laurie’s boyfriend of almost two decades ends their relationship, she’s left adrift. Being dumped after 18 years is bad enough, but as they also work in the same law firm they also have to see each other everyday. So, when her ex gets his new girlfriend of only three months pregnant she is left reeling. But, a plan if formed when she gets stuck in a lift with the office playboy; a fake relationship between them, to include splashing of photos on social media and fake dates. She will stop being pitied in the office gossip and show her ex exactly what he’s missing and he gets a veneer of respectability to help him in an upcoming promotion. But, soon it becomes hard to distinguish where the “fake” in the relationship ends and the real feelings begin.

I read my first Mhairi McFarlane book last year and it become one of my best of 2019, so I was really excited to dive on to her 2020 release. I was not disappointed. McFarlane has such an engaging writing style, it completely envelops you into Laurie’s world and has you happily devouring the pages. Needless to say, I think this one is going to be be a best of 2020.

I recently read Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams which was a romance that also tried to tackle a heavy subject matter; sexual harassment. For me, it didn’t do this very successfully, I felt like I was being preached at and told what was the acceptable opinion. Not that I disagreed, I just hated being spoke down to, which is how I felt. However, in If I Never Met You, I felt like McFarlane addressed heavy subjects like misogyny and racism with a much lighter, but no less impactful, touch.

But, this book may not be for everyone, although it is a contemporary romance, it has a HEA, it also has the feel of a women’s fiction novel. This book was very much about Laurie’s journey which just so happens to have a romance along the way. After being in a relationship with someone since her first week in University, Laurie is trying to find her new identity as an individual rather than as the second half of a couple. This is at times funny, Laurie is smart and witty and I loved seeing her gain confidence, and sad as Laurie has to face the rejection of the man she has loved for almost 20 years.

But, lets talk romance. Jamie, the office player and second half of the fake relationship Laurie embarks on, turns out to be so much more than I expected. At first, I thought he would just be a sexy, but fairly two dimensional prop in Laurie’s journey, however, he really developed into much more. As their friendship develops we get to see that “playboy Jamie” isn’t perhaps the man we thought he was, and that everyone else’s expectations fueled by malicious office gossip has painted him in an unfair light. The relationship between them developed really naturally and seeing them both discover what was under the surface was a delight.

This wasn’t the only important relationship in this book though. I recently listened to an episode of the Fated Mates podcast regarding female friendship in romance books. If you haven’t listened to Fated Mates it is a podcast hosted by author Sarah McLean and blogger Jen from Jen Reads Romance all about romance books. This book reminded me of that episode, in a nutshell, women aren’t islands and seeing friendships between women is important. This book compounds that idea and the relationship between Laurie and her best friend Emily was just as important and acknowledged as such, as the romantic relationship.

This book utilises a lot of tropes; fake relationship, friends to lovers, office romance, however, it manages to blend them together in an organic way to create a delightful experience. If I Never Met You was funny and insightful and I can’t wait to read more from this author.
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Everything was going great for Laurie. She’s 36, she’s a lawyer with a great job, and she has a long term boyfriend, that’s she’s been with 18 years, and plans to have a baby with him. Then he decides he doesn’t want kids, or to be with her, and leaves. To make it even worse, they work together still and he announces shortly after that he has a new girlfriend who is pregnant! Laurie decides to start a fake relationship with Jamie, a playboy at the law firm, so that she can make Dan see what he was missing.

I thought this was a really cute book. I really enjoyed the characters in the book. I thought there were times they were really amusing. I thought the book had a lot more depth to it, then it just being a romance book. There was heartbreak, friendship and self discovery in this book. I also listened to it on audio and loved the British accents! There are a few British terms/slang throughout the book. Overall, I would recommend this book!

Thank you Netgalley for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This book is great! Would definitely recommend. Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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When Laurie, serial monogamist, crosses paths with Jamie, resident playboy,  humor is inevitable, right? Combine that with a POC protagonist and England, what else could a girl ask for. 

I felt very connected to Laurie very early in the story. Her romantic history spoke to aspects of my past that I hadn’t thought about in a long time. This is a slow burn novel for sure and the focus is really the relationship rather than the physical aspects. There were times I wanted to shake Laurie and tell her how blind she was, while also being right there with her. There is so much humor in this book, that I actually laughed out loud a few times. In contrast to that, there are some heavy topics that are addressed and I cried once too. This book was everything I hoped it would be and more.
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This was a cute, straight-forward contemporary rom-com that I read through rather quickly. It hit all the right notes. I recommend if you like this type of story.
**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
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I enjoyed If I Never Met You, though the romance was a bit of a reach for me, and it was definitely not one of the most memorable books I read this year.
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I'm a sucker for a fake boyfriend AU.  I thought the romance progressed pretty naturally but I was especially here for the story of Laurie's failed long term relationship.  It really resonated with me.
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Laurie seems to have everything together. Great career, stable relationship, perfectly cozy house. When her fiancé dumps her abruptly and she still has to see him at work every day, she surprises herself by accepting an unusual proposal from a coworker.

Jamie is determined to make partner, and the main thing standing in his way is his reputation as a ladies’ man. He decides the best remedy in a hurry is to fake a very public relationship. And since Laurie is reeling from her humiliating breakup and looking for a little vindication, she agrees that they should pretend to date. But as always happens in these cases (don’t characters in rom-coms ever watch or read rom-coms?), the line between fake and real starts to get very blurry.

This was funny and also heartbreaking. The first third of the book is mostly Laurie being sad after her relationship ends, and at times I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep reading. But I’m glad I pushed through, because I grew to really like Jamie and the whole cast of supporting characters. The conclusion is that much more satisfying for having suffered through heartache with Laurie to begin with.

Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for the ARC to review.
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