Title: If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 432 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss
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…
If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane is a charming romance that is giggle inducing and emotionally compelling.
Lawyer Laurie Watkinson is completely blindsided when her boyfriend of eighteen years (!) Dan Price ends their relationship. She is also heartbroken and angry when she learns he was involved with his new (and pregnant) girlfriend before they split up. Laurie and Dan work together and gossip spreads like wildfire once their office mates discover the titillating news about the former couple. So when co-worker and ladies’ man Jamie Carter proposes the two of them enter into a fauxmance which will benefit both of them, Laurie is quick to agree. But as they spend time together, a surprising friendship springs up between them. When Laurie begins to realize her feelings for Jamie are turning romantic, is there any chance their fauxmance will lead to a lasting relationship?
Laurie is a smart, sassy and sarcastic woman with a flourishing career. She is comfortable in her relationship with Dan and she is happy to support him as he rises within the company. An only child, her relationships with both her mum and father are fraught. Laurie’s best friend Emily Clarke is bluntly honest yet supportive. With her heart shattered and her confidence shaken, Laurie is contemplative as she looks back on her relationship and arrives at some very startling conclusions.
Jamie is a newcomer to the firm and he is not very well-liked. His reputation with women is well-known and he makes no effort to hide his confidence or ambition. His bosses are pleased with his work but they are concerned about his serial dating. After an unexpectedly fun evening together, Jamie comes up with his brilliant fauxmance idea which he hopes will alter his superiors’ opinion of him along with providing the opportunity for Laurie to exact revenge on her cheating ex.
Thier first few fake dates are a little uncomfortable, so Laurie and Jamie are a little surprised by how much they enjoy each other’s company. Jamie is surprisingly down to earth and easy to talk to and Laurie soon realizes she misjudged him. Their relationship takes an unexpected turn but with their goal soon in sight, will Jamie and Laurie do anything about their growing feelings for one another?
With plenty of humor, If I Never Met You is an absolutely delightful romance with a fantastic cast of characters and a realistic storyline. Laurie’s self-examination leads to a change in her perspective about both herself and her failed relationship. Despite a bit of a negative first impression, Jamie is a kind-hearted, compassionate man. A light-hearted read that has plenty of substance and depth that I thoroughly enjoy and highly recommend to old and new fans of Mhairi McFarlane.