by Mhairi McFarlane
If I Never Met You is an unashamedly romantic book. It will not change the way you view the world or provide enlightenment in these dark and strange times. What it will do is entertain and leave you with the warm glow that comes from being emersed in a world where even the most unlikely people can find love in the most unexpected place.
In this case, the unexpected place is a broken-down lift.
Laurie Watkinson is a successful lawyer working for a leading Manchester law firm, in her mid-thirties and has just been dumped by her boyfriend of 17 years. She used to be independent and a fighter. Now she is lost and needs to find a new way forward. But all she can think about is Dan, his new girlfriend and revenge.
Enter renowned womanizer Jamie Carter, a potential partner in the firm and source of much gossip amongst his colleagues.
After being trapped together in the lift, Laurie and Jamie hatch a plan that will meet both of their needs. Together they will fake a romance. Selfies on social media, appearances at all the right places, just enough to get the tongues wagging and give everyone the impression they are a loving couple. For Jamie, the prize is a partnership – all he needs is a stable relationship to give the bosses the right impression. Laurie’s motives are less clear. Does she really want revenge?
As you will imagine, things don’t go quite as the pair plan. It isn’t long before they start breaking their own rules and the fake romance soon becomes something else. it soon becomes clear that the bond between them has become something more than friendship.
But can a relationship founded on deceit really be anything other than a lie?
If I Never Met You is a funny and heartbreaking story that looks beneath the surface of friendships. The characters each have their own journey and despite the final destination being a foregone conclusion (this is a romance after all!), the road that leads there is winding and full of interesting little twists and turns.
A thoroughly enjoyed Laurie and Jamie’s adventure. It is heartwarming, heartbreaking and a joy to read.