TITLE: If I Never Met You
BY: Mhairi McFarlane
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
PUBLICATION: March 24th 2020 by William Morrow Paperbacks
If I Never Met You is an absolute delight.
If faking love is this easy… how do you know when it’s real?
Laurie, the heroine, spent almost a quarter of her life with her partner, only for him to end it all one night with a stupid (at least for me, it’s stupid) excuse. Worse, they both work in the same law firm and if that isn’t enough, the news of his new girlfriend’s pregnancy is the talk of everyone not long after their break up. The hero, Jamie, is known in the firm as a playboy and it affects his goal of impressing their bosses. Laurie being the bosses’ favorite and Jamie being the employee who gets warnings from the bosses aren’t really friends. Until a chance encounter in a broken-down elevator changes that and they realized they need each other to get what each of them wants – Laurie sort of getting back at her ex and Jamie impressing their bosses. A fake romance seems a perfect idea, until it’s not when the line between fake and real becomes blurred.
Delightful well-developed romance…
Fake romance is one of my ultimate favorite tropes and I’ve read a lot from this trope that I thought I knew what I was getting into when I picked up If I Never Met You. Lauri and Jamie started as complete not-friends, just acquaintances who only ever talked once before their encounter in the elevator. Even after that and after they started their fake romance, they were just acquaintances and so seeing them slowly turn into allies and soon become real friends who care for each other, defending each other when one is being wronged is so heartwarming. And when they showed hints of them falling for each other, my heart’s so happy.
Surprisingly deep plot and characters…
Laurie and Jamie’s romance is the best. It’s heartwarming, sweet, and even swoony and they are two people who couldn’t be any more different but perfect for each other. That’s the thing, individually, Laurie and Jamie are both great characters that made me care for each of them not just as a couple. Jamie is such a strong character. the story started with her bad experience with her ex and I could feel her pain, her heartbreak and her anger. It was so easy to cheer for her even when her motive for the fake romance is just to make her ex jealous. Heck, I was proud of her that she got out of that heartbreak. Laurie also has a family issue and horrible experience when she was a kid that made me angry at all horrible people on earth. I swear I can’t stress enough how strong Laurie as a character is and made this book a feminist.
Jamie, I can say is more surprising. I was expecting he would just be another playboy, swoony guy who will be reformed thanks to the heroine. Jamie is so adorable actually. His views in life even as a playboy is so refreshing. It’s not long in the story before I realized how kind-hearted he is. God, I love him. And to find out he’d been carrying a heavy burden since he was a kid is just too heartbreaking. Thankfully, he has Laurie now.
Nice side characters despite some of them being annoying…
I think all the side characters’ parts in the story were all well-played even though at least two of them are annoying. For instance, Dan, Laurie’s ex. Of course, I was annoyed, angry even at what he did but I couldn’t completely hate him as a character. My favorite side character would be Emily, Laurie’s bestfriend. She’s the best. And I love how Laurie realized that the night she met Dan years ago was really fate but it’s because of Dan but because of Emily.
RATING: 4 blissful pages with lilies
The beginning of the story affected my enjoyment. The story of Laurie and Dan’s break up was featured longer than I preferred. And Dan had an emotional affair with another woman even before he breaks up with Laurie. Emotional cheating is still cheating and cheating even if it’s not between the main couple still affects my enjoyment of the story. Obviously, this is a me-thing so just ignore this part of my review if you’re OK with this part of the story.
Have you read this book? Or planning to? What do you think of it? Let’s chat.