A Story of Connections, Friendships & Love
“Love yourself first. Don’t wait for him to do it for you.”
Beth O’Leary is a brilliant storyteller. If you haven’t picked up one of her books because you’re not the biggest romance reader, then trust me when I tell you that The No Show is more of a story about the connections we make with people and the emotions that affect us with romantic elements than it is a true conventional romance.
The No Show introduces us to three different women with one thing in common. They’ve all been stood up on Valentine’s Day by the exact same man, Joseph Carter. Siobhan is an Dublin-based life coach who frequently makes trips to London and her chemistry with Joseph is “light the sheets on fire” type of hot. Her story caused me the most anguish because of her backstory, but also due to the situations she knowingly puts herself in, and then the mental aerobics she does in order to make a decision. Yet she also remained so woefully oblivious to her feelings that I began to wonder about the validity of her being a life coach in general.
“And Carter’s story doesn’t feel done. There’s something more to it. Until she knows what it is, she’s starting to worry that she just won’t be able to put the whole thing to bed.”
Miranda is a strong-willed and independent tree surgeon in an occupation that isn’t known for the female persuasion, so she desperately tries to prove herself on the job to her male coworkers. Her relationship with Joseph felt more like she was trying check a box: this is the guy I should date, and this is the life I should have. I didn’t necessarily love the two of them together mostly because Miranda was so aware of everything that was unspoken between them. But I loved her character arc, and ultimately her happy ending gave me such wonderful ooey-gooey lovey feelings.
Jane was the character that I most wanted to hug, and the one that I most wanted to figure out. I was also the most nervous for her and her friendship with Joseph. Jane hints at—and ultimately reveals—that she’s been living a quiet life in order to stay hidden from someone in her past. While Joseph is tempted to take her friendship to a deeper level, he also reluctantly reveals that he cannot but refuses to explain why. One of the best characters in Jane’s story is her burgeoning friendship with Aggie. I adored this character with a fierceness that made me question my own introvertedness because Aggie is absolutely an extrovert and a bit of a hot mess.
“What I mean to say is, we sometimes tell lies to the people we love, I understand that.”
I’m trying to contain any spoilers, but I will tell you this: until I got to the turning point in the story, I desperately wanted to order a hit on Joseph Carter. I do respect the way Beth O’Leary intertwined the lives of Siobhan, Miranda, and Jane through Joseph Carter as it was pivotal to get to know each of the women in an emotional way in order to fully appreciate the conclusion of each of the women’s stories. I will also say that there are descriptions of assault as well as situations that are a result of a power imbalance. But I felt all these situations didn’t detract from the overall story, nor did I get taken out of the storytelling. Although I did shed a tear due to the descriptiveness of the emotions and not because of the situations themselves.
While I am reluctant to want men who act extremely stupidly to get a redemption, even I know that the best stories and characters go through an emotional journey and ultimately turn out for the better in the end. This is exactly why The No Show is such a brilliant showcase of the spectrum of human emotions and the capacity to love whether someone is ready to love or not.
“Its one of those things, happiness. One of the ones you don’t really notice is gone until it comes back.”
But don’t worry romance readers, Beth O’Leary delivers us a wonderfully sweet HEA that left me really satisfied as a romance story lover. The No Show challenged me in the best of ways. Even if I was ready to write off the hero, I adored the heroines and I put my trust in Beth O’Leary. Truly, I loved the journey she took me on. The No Show is absolutely worth your time.
Jes is a self-proclaimed bookworm, who recently moved from the PNW back to the Midwest. When her nose isn’t in a book, she’s spending time with her husband, two kids, and her three fur babies, or exploring the globe. She also firmly believes that you should start the day with coffee, and end the day in bed with a good book.