It’s been a while since I’ve read and enjoyed a romance novel, so picking “If I Never Met You” was my chance to get back to that genre. It surely did not disappoint me!
Laurie is a lawyer in a Manchester firm. Her life companion for the past eighteen years, Dan, is a lawyer in the same firm too. The two of them have a relationship that everyone envy. They have been together since college and they are what most people call the “perfect couple”. She is Dan’s girl and everyone knows they should not be messing with Dan’s girl. Hence, when Dan drops the bomb that they should be separated and he needs time for himself, Laurie feels like she is in outer space. She tries to understand what has happened that could cause the break up. What was it that she did or did not do to make Dan feel under pressure. While Laurie feels miserable and is devastated Dan is living the bachelor’s life.
Jamie Carter is also a lawyer in the same firm with Laurie and Jamie. He has a reputation of a man whore. One that will not leave a pretty woman go by without hitting onto her. His looks help a lot as he is gorgeous as hell and the dream fantasy of most women. He knows that and he takes advantage of it. However, this reputation does not help his career so he needs Laurie’s help to show what a serious person he is to be become a partner. Dating the boss’es favorite is the best way. It works also for Laurie to get back to Dan for the way he treated her. The two of them agree on a fake relationship and everyone in the firm is awed!
The classic fake relationship of an Alpha male to a smart business woman seen under a different scope. Yes, Laurie is a smart business woman, but her work is not the only thing she cares about. She is a true human person, that loves her job, but she also loves her friends and her long life partner, so she is really hurt from his actions. This is not superficial or revengeful for making her look bad. Emotions are involved and they are in full display. She agrees on this proposal, from a man she would never expect to cast a second glance on her knowing that this could not be dangerous for her. She ends up finding a good friend, a person that she can talk to, that understands her just like her best friend Emily does. So she enjoys his company.
On the other hand, Jamie is supporting a specific manly man image for a purpose. It’s his way of defense against this world. But when he is with Laurie, he feels free to be himself. He is protective to Laurie as he understands parts of what she has been through and he confides to her as well. He is his true self with her and he likes that a lot. He is a smart hardworking man with many admirers of the opposite sex, which is a great part of why most men in the firm hate him, but he never behaves in a too Alpha and patronizing way with Laurie, unlike her ex.
As time goes by in this fake relationship, they both fall for each other but are afraid of their feelings and the other person’s reaction. They don’t know how to handle the situation, either because they haven’t been in a relationship for a very long time, or exactly because of that. They are afraid of getting hurt. They both make mistakes. They are human after all and they are afraid. However, one of them makes the big gesture eventually and they finally find each other!
I haven’t read any of Mhairi McFarlane’s books before, but she has now made it into my list! I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it to rom-com readers and to anyone that enjoys a sweet romance! “If I Never Met You” will hit the shelves on March 2020!