This is a love story. Rachel met Ben at university. Ten years later Ben reappears in the same city... with a wife in tow. Times have changed, they have all moved on, but somehow the past is always guaranteed to rear its head as Rachel and Ben find out.
It's a simple plot but the real strength of the book is the voice. Mhairi McFarlane is just... funny. It is usually annoying when the heroine is that blind to the man holding up banners to announce his love for her but I forgave McFarlane who made it clear that Rachel was lacking in confidence and assumed someone as good-looking, and supposedly sorted as Ben, was simply not interested in her in that way. Mostly because I just liked reading her writing.
Uni life was realistic and had me harking back to lecture halls, lazy days and great friends. Anyone who loves Manchester will also adore the fact the book is set in this city. Ben was the perfect hero and for me he made the book. He is everything a woman wants in this kind of read: charming, amusing, caring, thoughtful and, importantly, not a sap. He's the man we have all been told is out there, dutifully waiting for us!
I loved the minor characters - the posh, over-confident Simon, Olivia the gorgeous, if cold, significant other and the wonderful gaggle of Rachel's friends - Ivor, Mindy and Caroline. The style of the book is our new made-up genre - 'edgy chick lit' - it's cool girl meets cool boy in cool setting - the dialogue flowed, the writing never jarred and it maintained a good pace throughout. There were some real laugh-out-loud moments, some wonderful lines including an amazing typo on a dating website involving jazz. Hil. Are.
This book was readable and amusing. I adored the extra shorts in the back of the Kindle version of this book - Mhairi McFarlane is definitely a woman who can make me chuckle and I am really looking forward to her next read.