If You Were Me by Shelia O'Flanagan
From Sheila O'Flanagan, the Number One bestselling author of Someone Special and Things We Never Say, comes an unputdownable, heart-searching new novel for every woman who still remembers her first love...On a sultry summer evening in Seville, anything can happen...Carlotta O'Keefe is happily engaged, and the wedding plans are coming together. She's clear about her future path, both personally and in her busy career. Maybe Chris doesn't make her heart race every time she sees him, but you can't have that feeling for ever. Can you? Then, on a trip to Seville, Carlotta runs into Luke Evans. Luke broke her heart so long ago she'd almost convinced herself she'd forgotten him. Now, he's not that boy any more, but an attractive and intriguing man. And he can explain everything that happened way back when. Suddenly Carlotta's not so sure of anything any more. Except that what she decides now will shape the rest of her life...
I was pleased to be asked to review this book as I enjoyed Things We Never Say by the same author.
Carlotta or Lottie as she's called is a business woman, her job is to turn companies around that aren't doing well. This usually involves making job cuts but ultimately saving the company from ruin. For some reason her future mother in law (Dorothea) resents her for this and is horrible to her.
Lottie has to go away to South America and then Seville for work and misses her travel connection to get back home to Ireland for Dorothea's birthday where she has to present her with flowers and make a speech. Chris her fiance is furious with her and goes on about how upset his mother will be and how he will have to ask his sister to give her the flowers instead. This was when I hated Chris. I thought he was controlling and domineering and I could foresee what kind of life Lottie would have if she married him.
Enter the childhood sweetheart Luke who Lottie never did get to kiss. He had disappeared with his family from the house across the road from where she lived as a child. The rumours were his dad was a criminal and they left for the Costa del Crime.
Lottie tells Luke that she is engaged to be married and he is happy for her but when she leaves he kisses her and that changes everything.
I'm sure everyone must think of their childhood sweetheart now and again and wonder what would happen or how you they would feel if they ever bumped into them.
I liked Lottie as a character but I couldn't understand why she was even with Chris although she said she loved him and he was loving and caring and the loveliest guy she could hope to marry I just didn't see that in him. Chris, his mother and sister were unlikeable characters and all through the book I wanted Lottie to ditch them all.
Lottie really didn't think she would ever meet Luke again as they didn't exchange phone numbers and she didn't know where he was living.
Fate played a big part in this story in the twists and turns which Lottie went through to get to her happy ever after.
I did think the story would be predictable and it was but there was a will they or won't they throughout the book which made me think I could be wrong about the ending, but I wasn't.
Shelia O'Flanagan's descriptions of the sights and sounds of Sevielle were wonderful and made me want to experience it for myself.
A nice story for some late summer holiday reading.
Thank you to the publisher for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.