I’ve been wanting to read Mhairi McFarlane ever since her last release, Don’t You Forget About Me, came out last year. I heard such high praise for it so when I had the chance to read this new women’s fiction book of hers, I grabbed it! If I Never Met You turned out to be a charming, entertaining, and very British romance (but still on the WF side) between two co-workers to pretend to date for their own selfish reasons and end up falling for each other instead. I’m a sucker for the fake relationship trope and I was so happy with the way Laurie and Jamie’s turned out!
Laurie has been dumped by her long-time boyfriend, who she imagined creating a family and future with, and now she has to deal with the office gossip about her ex moving very quickly with another woman… and getting her pregnant. She wants to stick it in her ex’s face, so when she gets stuck in an elevator with Jamie and he offers to pretend to be her new loving boyfriend to the rest of the office, how can she refuse?
Jamie wants to have Laurie, the golden girl of the office, as his pretend girlfriend to better his image to the higher-ups for a promotion. They go on romantic dates, post cute photos on Instagram, and genuinely become friends. I loved this new friendship of theirs, how they grow to care for each other and just have fantastic banter anytime they have a conversation. The writing is witty and fun, and even though I did get a little bored during the first hundred pages (in which Laurie is constantly thinking about her ex), the rest of the book is engaging.
I’d say if you love Talia Hibbert’s romances, you should give this book a try. The characters in this book are fun and quirky, and of course there are a ton of British-isms sprinkled throughout. Laurie and Jamie make a wonderful fake and real couple, and I really loved that they built their romance over the foundation of friendship. The humor, snark, and charm all worked together and I already can’t wait to read more from this author.