Title: If I Never Met You
Author: Mhairi McFarlane
Page Length: 432
Publication Date: March 24, 2020
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Synopsis: 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…
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Laurie is thirty-six-years-old and has been with her partner for eighteen years when he tells her their relationship is over. Unfortunately, she still has to see him at work, and she finds out that he has a pregnant girlfriend. What else can Laurie do but pretend to date the office playboy?
Jamie needs to appear more serious and professional at work and is determined to be rid of his playboy reputation. Pretending that Laurie is his girlfriend is a great way for Jamie to achieve his goals. Of course, neither Laurie nor Jamie intended for their fake feelings to become real. Can a fake romance become the real deal?
I enjoyed this contemporary romance and think that the main characters are so well-developed. Laurie is smart and funny, and I love her self-discovery throughout the story. She is gutted by the break-up and really has to start over and figure out who she is without her ex. It’s sad and moving and inspiring to see Laurie find herself. Jamie is also well-layered and interesting. He’s generous, ambitious, and pretty sensitive once you get to know him. I like that there is more to both than meets the eye.
The slow-building romance between Laurie and Jamie is fantastic! I love the fake-dating trope, and Laurie and Jamie are fake-dating goals! Jamie treats Laurie so much better than her ex, and their chemistry is off the charts. I love how, as they pretended to date, they grew fond of each other. Their friendship grows into something more, and it was fun to watch.
Another thing that I enjoyed is that, though the story is light and fun and filled with sarcasm and witty banter, there are also some really poignant messages about love, relationships, confidence, and ambition. I’m so thankful to have won If I Never Met You in the Love in Lockdown Giveaway hosted by Avon and Harper Collins Publishers and can’t wait to read more by Mhairi McFarlane!
- The romance! Laurie and Jamie have great chemistry, and I love the fake-dating trope!
- The well-layered characters. Jamie and Laurie are well-developed and interesting characters.
- The humor. It is a fun and funny read at times!
This is a great story for readers who like contemporary romance with humor, poignancy, and a wonderful romance!