The No-Show is a beautifully written, heartfelt, relatable, and utterly emotive and surprising romance.
The No-Show by Beth O’Leary
Publication Date : April 12th 2022
Publisher : Berkley
Genre : Romance / Women’s fiction
Tea for this book : Emotional book needs Peppermint Tea
Disclaimer – I received free e-copy of this book via NetGalley from the publisher. It doesn’t affect my review or rating.
Three women who seemingly have nothing in common find that they’re involved with the same man in this smart new rom-com by Beth O’Leary, bestselling author of The Flatshare.
Siobhan is a quick-tempered life coach with way too much on her plate. Miranda is a tree surgeon used to being treated as just one of the guys on the job. Jane is a soft-spoken volunteer for the local charity shop with zero sense of self-worth.
These three women are strangers who have only one thing in common: They’ve all been stood up on the same day, the very worst day to be stood up–Valentine’s Day. And, unbeknownst to them, they’ve all been stood up by the same man.
Once they’ve each forgiven him for standing them up, they let him back into their lives and are in serious danger of falling in love with a man who seems to have not just one or two but three women on the go….
Is there more to him than meets the eye? And will they each untangle the truth before they all get their hearts broken?
The No-Show by Beth O’Leary is a realistic, relatable, and utterly emotive and surprising romance (or should I say women’s fiction? I still can’t make up my mind on genre) that revolves around three women who were stood up on Valentine’s Day by the same man they have feelings for. The story is about friendship, love, mental health, grief, and kindness.
The writing is beautiful, emotive, intriguing, and captivating with slow pace. The story is told in third person narrative from three perspectives- Jane, Siobhan, and Miranda. We get Joseph’s perspective in the end which made the story really interesting.
This is mainly character-driven story. All three protagonists – Miranda, Jane, and Siobhan- are so much different from each other and have their distinct voices that never made the multiple perspectives confusing. They are most realistic, relatable, and developed. I liked Siobhan and Jane most but none deserved to be stood up by Joseph. I was surprised to see they all gave him second chance that changed their life.
It was interesting to see who at last will be with Joseph or if they all will discover he has been dating three of them and kick him out of their life. Trust me when I say it’s not that simple and you’re in for a mind-blowing surprise.
Siobhan is workaholic and travels a lot because of her life coaching business. She is direct, no-nonsense person, passionate for her work, and amazing friend. She is planner and organizer who like to have control over her life but her ex shook her up badly and now she is afraid of a serious relationship. When she meets Joseph she convinces herself, it’s just for good sex but soon she has feelings that develop to love.
I liked how author explored pregnancy fear, mental health, trauma, harassment, and work stress through Siobhan’s story. I felt for Siobhan for going through so much. I admired her for giving herself and her health priority when she needed to and only return back to the world of work when she is ready. It was lovely to see how their relationship develops and how slowly she opened to Joseph and let him in her life.
Jane is timid, kind and lovely person who doesn’t like to be seen and doesn’t do well in crowd. She had a secret and mystery about her job and life in London that impacted her confidence, somehow making her think no one likes to be friends with her, and she isn’t a likable person. Because of that she keeps rules about what to wear on what day, what she can eat, how many books she can read per week. It was sad to see her like that, making me want to cross the boundary of reality and fiction to reach her, hug her and tell her she deserves everything good in life. It was clear the person must be an ex but who and what happened wasn’t revealed until the climax (okay you might get the idea at some point but not whole picture).
I liked how workplace exploitation is represented through Jane’s story. It was amazing to see how she slowly comes out of her shell after meeting Joseph and Aggie, try to take more control of life, not by her set of rules but by confronting people, her feelings, her rules, and what she want to do about her past.
Miranda is a tree surgeon, the only female tree surgeon in the team, and is passionate about her work. She is the only one who doesn’t have a terrible past but she struggles with self-awareness. It’s not like she is not most self-aware person, in fact, she is most developed, but it’s more because of Joseph and how much she wanted the relationship between them work and how that changes her and she struggles with that change or rather recognizing that change. What she did in the end just won my heart. I loved her for understanding everything she discovered.
Joseph Carter is charming, developed, successful, handsome, nerd who never had problem capturing attention. He is easily likable, very observant, and empathetic person. But yes, I as a reader, had a hard time warming to him because just look at these women. They are amazing and the way their story is told it easy to feel he is playing with them. His one wrong move might destroy them, especially Siobhan and Jane. I was often felt annoyed and angry at him and yet he never had that playboy persona, that smug, ego, self-pride for dating three women. And he has that mysterious air. We know him through these women’s perspectives but don’t have his story which makes the story most intriguing. It made me want to know his hidden self, to know why he is doing this, and which part of him is really true which is revealed in climax.
What I loved most apart from these female protagonists and Joseph’s mystery is their support system. They all had people who supported them, stood by their side in all situations, and help them to face all problems in life. They also makes up for what I actually want in the book- the fun, light moments that give a breather to a serious tone of story.
Adele and Frannie– Miranda’s 18 yr old twin sisters are super fun and hilarious. I also loved Miranda’s team and how lovely they were to Miranda, never making her feel she’s only female in the team. Aggie is breath of fresh air in Jane’s life who makes her want shake her routine and make her realise she needs to get over whatever that made her feel less of herself and take chance. I couldn’t have guessed their age difference if it wasn’t mentioned. Small gestures from Charity shop owners and old colleague was lovely. Fiona, Siobhan’s roommate and Marlena their mutual friend are amazing. They were like a family to her.
Climax is most amazing part of the book. I was most excited for it with my theories but it turned out most surprising and most emotive. It’s not often romance can surprise me and what a mindblowing, out-of-the-box surprise it is. Damn, it also made me cry. I loved the way Joseph told his story and everything happened till the end. End is perfect, uplifting. lovely, and filled with hope.
If you have asked me what I’ll rate the book in the middle of the story, I would have said 3.5 as it’s slow, slower for my taste and makes me impatient, or 4 if story picks up speed in next half. But that surprise in climax made me add extra half star to my decision. It’s still slow read but I love that surprise.
Overall, The No-Show is beautifully written, heartfelt, utterly emotive and surprising romance.
I highly recommend this if you like,
Romance that surprises you
Theme of Grief
Layer of mental health and kindness
Developed interesting main characters
Fun secondary characters
A perfect book club read
Thank you for reading! Let’s chat..,
What do you think about book and review?
Have read any book by the same author? Did you enjoy it?
Which romance book managed to surprise you most?
What will be your reaction if you were stood up on Valentine’s Day? Will you give that person a second chance?
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