Tag: Mhairi McFarlane

Joint Review: Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

Posted October 9, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Joint Review: Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlaneReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Don't You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: January 10, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Women's Fiction
Pages: 433
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to rise again…

The hilarious new heartbreaker from Mhairi McFarlane!

If there’s one thing worse than being fired from the grottiest restaurant in town, it’s coming home early to find your boyfriend in bed with someone else.

Reeling from the indignity of a double dumping on the same day, Georgina snatches at the next job that she’s offered – barmaid in a newly opened pub, which just so happens to run by the boy she fell in love with at school: Lucas McCarthy. And whereas Georgina (voted Most Likely to Succeed in her school yearbook) has done nothing but dead-end jobs in the last twelve years, Lucas has not only grown into a broodingly handsome man, but also has turned into an actual grown-up with a business and a dog along the way.

Meeting Lucas again not only throws Georgina’s rackety present into sharp relief, but also brings a dark secret from her past bubbling to the surface. Only she knows the truth about what happened on the last day of school, and why she’s allowed it to chase her all these years…

Georgina Horspool is having a pretty awful day. She gets fired from one of the crappies restaurants in town, then goes home and finds her boyfriend in bed with someone else. But it turns out those might have been blessings in disguise, since that leads her into a job at a new pub. Except it turns out her ONE TRUE LOVE from high school, is one of the owners. Only, it turns out he doesn’t remember her. George can’t decide if she’s thrilled or heartbroken about that. As she learns from past mistakes and tries to go forward is a positive way, she finds herself falling in love with this boy all over again…

Holly: I got the audiobook so I could listen while I was at work and on my commute. I enjoyed the narrator, but she had a pretty heavy British accent that was hard to understand at times. I listened to about half, then read the rest.

What did you think?

Rowena: I read my eARC of this book so I had no problem with the accents in my head. LOL. I really enjoyed this one. Right from the jump, I was invested in what happened between Georgina and Lucas. There were parts of the book that moved slowly but for most the part, I wanted to know what happened at every turn. Sure, I wanted knee Lucas in the balls a time or two but in the end, I really liked him and Georgina together.

Holly: I wouldn’t classify this as romance. It definitely read more like women’s fiction. The book was more about Georgina’s personal journey and her relationship with Lucas was a side-note. I thought it was really slow in parts, too. The middle especially seemed to drag. But, like you, I was invested in Georgina’s journey, and wanted to see how things would turn out for her and Lucas. I really liked the way the end played out, though I didn’t fully buy into their HEA. I don’t think we saw enough on-page development of their current-time romance.

Rowena: I agree I wouldn’t call this a romance either since the focus of the book was more on Georgina’s growth as a person, finally moving on from her past.

I really loved seeing Georgina’s growth. I loved seeing her really grow into an actual relationship with her sister and her mother and then eventually, with Lucas. She had a great support system and my heart hurt for her when the people in her support group found out the truth about her past. I hurt for them all. I loved her personality and seeing her really rock it up there on stage at the open mic nights. Her Mom and sister annoyed me right up until they started supporting Georgina. I couldn’t stand the Step-Dad but loved seeing Georgina’s sister really step up when Georgina needed her to.

Holly: I couldn’t stand Georgina’s step-dad either, and I felt sorry for her mom, but I’m glad she came to a good place with her family. Especially her sister, Esther. I was pissed at her a good portion of the book, but she really came through in the end.

Man, I definitely cried at the end. Her last open mic night had all the feels.

Rowena: I agree. That last open mic night made me cry and love Georgina all the more. I’m glad that everything worked out for her in the end. She definitely deserved it and I thought Lucas handled entering her life again well.

I really connected with Georgina, right from the jump and enjoyed seeing her really come into her own. I also like Mhairi McFarlane’s writing style and enjoyed the way that she brought Georgina’s world to life. I definitely want to read more books by her.

Holly: I liked McFarlane’s writing, too, and I’ll definitely be looking for more books from her in the future.

Rowena: This one was one of my favorite reads of the month and I enjoyed it so much, I’m giving it a 4.5 out of 5. What about you?

Holly: I enjoyed it, but not as much as you did. I’m going to give it 3.75 out of 5. I really liked Georgina’s personal growth, but the romance was lacking and it was really slow in the middle.

Final Grade

Holly: 3.75 out of 5
Rowena: 4.5 out of 5


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Review: Who’s That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane

Posted September 14, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Who’s That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlaneReviewer: Rowena
Who’s That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: September 6th 2016
Pages: 544
Add It: Goodreads
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A laugh-out-loud romance from the author of the bestselling YOU HAD ME AT HELLO

When Edie is caught in a compromising position at her colleagues’ wedding, all the blame falls on her – turns out that personal popularity in the office is not that different from your schooldays. Shamed online and ostracised by everyone she knows, Edie’s forced to take an extended sabbatical – ghostwriting an autobiography for hot new acting talent, Elliot Owen. Easy, right?

Wrong. Banished back to her home town of Nottingham, Edie is not only dealing with a man who probably hasn’t heard the word ‘no’ in a decade, but also suffering an excruciating regression to her teenage years as she moves back in with her widowed father and judgy, layabout sister.
When the world is asking who you are, it’s hard not to question yourself. Who’s that girl? Edie is ready to find out.

I have read and enjoyed a number of McFarlane’s previous books so I was really looking forward to jumping into this one. Especially after reading the blurb. I mean, Edie’s at her co-worker’s wedding, a co-worker that she has a huge crush on and he kisses her then before Edie can process anything, his bride has caught them and Edie becomes instant slut. Talk about drama for your Mama. I was prepared.

I want to say that I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoyed Here’s Looking at You or You Had Me at Hello but while I did like the book, I didn’t love it.

It took a while for me to warm up to Edie because when the shit hit the fan at the wedding, she waffled back and forth between blaming herself for the entire shit storm and playing the victim/blaming Jack for everything. She was so wrapped up in what everyone was saying about her and losing Facebook friends that I wanted to shake some sense into her. She starts off as this big coward but over the course of the story, you see her wise up but holy hell did she take her time getting there.

After the shit storm that was the wedding, it was really hard to go back to the office since she branded the office slut for coming between Jack and Charlotte at their own wedding. I really hated that it was Edie that took the fall for that whole clown fest. I hated that Jack came off scotch free pretty much. So Edie is shipped to her hometown of Nottingham, to write the autobiography of a huge celebrity star named Elliot Owen.

Things aren’t smooth sailing when she gets home since she doesn’t get along with her sister and she carries around a lot of guilt for not visiting as often as she could have with her father. It’s a stroke of luck that her best friends from when she was a kid are both in the same city as her (for once) so having them around calms the rest of the chaos of her life.

Things just kept going wrong for Edie. It was like a domino effect. One thing led to another and then another until Edie was drowning in a sea of mistakes and misunderstandings and if you ask me, a lot of it wasn’t necessary. There was so much going on that it was really hard to keep up and I felt bogged down with too many things. There was Edie’s wedding drama, her family drama, her friends and their different set of dramas then there was Elliot’s drama that became Edie’s drama and then there was the stuff with her Mum and when all was said and done, I felt like some stuff could have been cut out and the story wouldn’t have suffered at all. I mean, there were 77 fucking chapters in this book! I felt like I was reading Outlander all over again.

So yes, I did enjoy the book but I could have done with a whole lot of the drama that was included. Edie did eventually come around and I liked seeing the growth in her character and I liked seeing her relationship blossom but could have done without the bit that came after they finally get together. I liked the relationship that she had with her friends, I loved the blow up with her co-workers and Ian Connor (insert eye roll emoji) but in the end, I felt too much of the story served as fluff.

Grade: 3 out of 5


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Review: It’s Not Me, It’s You by Mhairi McFarLane

Posted November 26, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

its not me its you
Rowena’s review of It’s Not Me, It’s You by Mhairi McFarLane.

Delia Moss isn’t quite sure where she went wrong.

When she proposed and discovered her boyfriend was sleeping with someone else – she thought it was her fault.

When she realised life would never be the same again – she thought it was her fault.

And when he wanted her back life nothing had changed – Delia started to wonder if perhaps she was not to blame…

From Newcastle to London and back again, with dodgy jobs, eccentric bosses and annoyingly handsome journalists thrown in, Delia must find out where her old self went – and if she can ever get her back.

This is my third book by McFarlane and I think it’s safe to say that I’m a fan. I have enjoyed each of her books and I just really like her writing style.

This book follows Delia Moss as she makes some changes in her life after she finds out that her boyfriend has been cheating on her for months. The life that she thought was hers, doesn’t feel like it is anymore and the man that she’s loved for 10 years becomes a stranger to her faster than you can snap your fingers. She quits her life in Newcastle and makes her way to London to stay with her best friend Emma to get away for a little bit and get her head back on straight. While she’s there, she starts a new job, meets a frustrating but super hot journalist and starts to make a life for herself. Slowly but surely, she starts to move on from her life in Newcastle even though she misses it but every day she spends in London, she regains a little more of herself again. The parts of her that made her uniquely, her. The parts that have been missing the last 10 years.

During this time, Paul (the cheating ex) is trying to make her remember that they love each other. Yeah, he messed up but he’s willing to do whatever it takes to fix their relationship because he wants a future with Delia and over the course of the book, you see Delia figure out exactly what she wants.

I was completely Team Adam from the minute he stepped onto the page and that’s saying something because he was a complete dickhead when we first meet him. Sure, his good looks helped his cause but right from the beginning, I knew he was special and I’m glad to see that I wasn’t wrong.

I really enjoyed getting to know Delia. I thought she was such a normal character. I related to her character and through the ups and the downs, I liked her. I even liked her when she was driving me up the wall with everything with Paul. I loved her friend Emma and even forgave her for giving Delia such crap advice when Delia was torn. Nobody’s perfect. *shoulder shrug*

McFarlane delivers another great contemporary romance with loads of laughs, some heartbreaking moments and an ending that I could totally get behind. McFarlane has found her way onto my auto-buy list and that’s saying something since I’m cheap and try not to buy too many books. I definitely recommend this book.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from Harper. You can purchase it here or here in e-format.

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Review: Here’s Looking at You by Mhairi McFarlane

Posted June 16, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Publisher: Avon, Harper Collins

Rowena’s review of Here’s Looking at You by Mhairi McFarlane.

What if the last person you wanted to see was the person you needed?

Here’s Looking At You is, in essence, an ugly duckling tale. Our heroine Anna returns to school after fifteen years for a reunion. School doesn’t hold happy memories for her, as being a roly poly Italian (known as the Italian Galleon), and always armed with a Tupperware full of pungent Mediterranean food, she was bullied incessantly throughout her years there.

Now in her 30s, Anna wants to put the past behind her once and for all and face up to the bullies who made her life hell. But she is much-changed from the girl she once was – all curves and because I’m worth it hair – and no one recognizes her when she arrives. Losing her cool, she backs out on her plan for revenge and slinks off, hoping never to be reminded of her years at school again.

But fate gets in the way, and after the reunion her path keeps crossing with James – major hunk and Anna’s major crush back at school. But alas, as a crony to the bullies, Anna to this day believes that his beautiful exterior hides an ugly interior. As they continue to cross paths a love/hate relationship ensues until eventually something shifts, and they both start to discover what the person underneath is really like…

Full of laugh out loud humor, Here’s Looking At You is a novel about facing your demons and being happy with who you really are.

There was something charming about this book that totally sucked me right in and while it wasn’t the most perfect of reads, I still enjoyed it quite a bit.

Anna didn’t have a good time of it back in high school.  She was overweight and one of the worst things that can happen to a girl, happened to her and all these years later, she still hasn’t gotten over it.  She was bullied and the most popular boy in school, the guy she had a huge crush on (of course) embarrassed her in front of everyone.  So when her class reunion creeps up on her, she doesn’t make plans to attend but at the insistence of her friends, she decides to go.  She looks completely different from her high school days and who doesn’t want to show up at your high school reunion and flip the bird to everyone who made you feel like shit all those years ago?

When she sees James Fraser again, she’s only a little bit annoyed that he didn’t grow up to be a fat, balding old man.  He’s even hotter than he was back then, more manly, more filled out and all over sexy.  But when he doesn’t recognize her and his best friend tries to put a move on her, she’s out of there.  She’s ready to finally move on from her life but that doesn’t happen to her because James Fraser keeps showing up when she least expects him to.

They begin working together on a project for work.  She’s a history lecturer who is helping with the development of an app that will bring history to the world.  James is the one that is going to be building the app.  This is where they start to mix company.  They’re forced to work together and at first, Anna hates him. She has every right to hate him as well because she knows exactly who he is and what he did to her back in high school.  For James, at first he wasn’t a fan of hers because she was so mean to him.  But as they continue to work on the app, they both start to enjoy each other’s company and Anna starts to realize that he’s not the same guy that he was back in high school. Watching these two grow closer and closer made an interesting story.

The story line follows the same pattern as other romances and while that should have made this book seem like more of the same, I thought McFarlane did a great job of making this story refreshing and completely charming.  James and Anna have a long way to go in getting to their happy ending and McFarlane does a great job of putting them through the wringer in order to get to that happy ending.  And she did it in a way that came off as real.  Both James and Anna handled their issues in a realistic way which made it easy to connect with them.  When James finds out just who Anna really is, the way he handled it made me see red and I almost stopped reading it right there but I’m glad that I forced myself to finish because for me, he makes up for that blunder and while he still had a long way to making up for his part in Anna’s humiliation at school, by the end of the book, I had every faith that James would do anything in his power for the rest of his life, trying to make it up to Anna.

This isn’t an easy book to read and I can see why a lot of people wouldn’t want to finish this book or would get frustrated with the story but I’m glad that I stuck with it and I really came to love all of the characters in this book.  I will say that this book may not be for everyone but for me? It worked.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

This book is available from Avon.  You can purchase it here or here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: You Had Me at Hello by Mhairi McFarlane

Posted May 7, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Publisher: Avon, Harper Collins

Rowena’s review of You Had Me at Hello by Mhairi McFarlane.

What happens when the one that got away comes back?

Rachel and Ben. Ben and Rachel. It was them against the world. Until it all fell apart.

It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but when Rachel bumps into Ben one rainy day, the years melt away.

From the moment they met they’d been a gang of two; partners in crime and the best of friends. But life has moved on. Ben is married. Rachel is definitely not. In fact, the men in her life make her want to take holy orders…

Yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend.

If you love David Nicholls and Lisa Jewell then this is the book for you. Hilarious, heartbreaking and everything in between, you’ll be hooked from their first ‘hello’.

This was a cute story.  A story about two people who were close and then lost contact with each other and then meet up again years later.  They’re at different places in their lives now and in a lot of ways, they’re different people from who they were when they knew each other but the connection that was clear then is coming up again and Rachel, she never really got over Ben.  Or the way that their relationship ended.

Rachel just broke up with her fiance’ and she’s hanging out with her best friends when Caroline brings up Rachel’s blast from the past, her university best guy friend, Ben.  Curious, Rachel heads over to the library where Caroline said she saw Ben and is hoping that she’ll bump into Ben.

And she does.

Ben is a lawyer.  A married lawyer.

Their friendship starts up again and it is more than apparent that whatever feelings these two had for each other isn’t still in the past because their connection was a real one and that kind of connection lasts.  I really enjoyed getting to know both Rachel and Ben through their story.  I also really liked getting to know Rachel’s friends.  I adored Caroline (even when she was being an annoying know-it-all), Mindy and Ivor.  I adored the support system they were for Rachel and I really enjoyed their additions to the story.  All likable characters.

Ben was a great hero, not a perfect hero but a likable one that I adored anyway.  I loved the bits from the past and even the present that we got of Ben and Rachel.  Their relationship was adorable then as it was now and I really enjoyed being a part of it.  This is my first Mhairi McFarLane and it won’t be my last.  McFarlane wrote a great story about two friends that fall in love and she did it in a way that was enjoyable.  I definitely recommend.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from Avon. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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