All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: The No-Show by Beth O’Leary

on August 17, 2022

The No-Show
Beth O’Leary
2022, 329p
Read via my local library

Blurb {from the publisher/}: 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?

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.

I have this frustrating relationship with Beth O’Leary books that kind of mirrors my relationship with Sally Thorne books. For both authors, their debut novels were 5-star reads for me and ones that I just really adored, that stuck in my mind. Their second books were not books that I felt for me, lived up to the love I had for the first ones and although I did also enjoy O’Leary’s third book I continue to read both authors hoping that they will hit the heights for me that they did with their first books. That might never happen – I know that. But I keep trying because both have produced books that were almost flawless for me.

I had heard mixed reviews about this and maybe that helped because I actually ended up enjoying this quite a lot. It actually didn’t take me too long to figure out that what I was reading wasn’t as straightforward as it seems and that probably, this was a neat trick to make the reader think a specific thing. This is a romance novel, so it didn’t make sense that it would be as exactly as described but I will say that I think the ruse is continued for a little too long – it definitely coloured my reaction to one of the characters, even as I suspected that it wasn’t quite what it seemed. But it takes so long to have this confirmed definitely that it becomes a bit tedious, trying to see through it.

On Valentine’s Day, three different women are stood at by the same man – one for breakfast, one for a lunch date, one for an event. All three of the women seem sort of…insecure in their relationship with Joseph Carter: for Siobhan, it’s supposed to be casual but he’s making her fear getting hurt again. For Miranda, she feels like he’s hiding something and it makes her insecure. And Jane and Joseph are just friends but she feels like there could be more…..but he doesn’t remember her from her previous life and that complicates things lot.

All three of the women have their own stories separate to (but also an offshoot of) their relationship with Joseph Carter, whatever that may be. Siobhan never seems to have dealt with the ending of a previous relationship that crushed her and she’s also dealing with an issue in her work. For Miranda, she’s a woman in a mostly male-dominated world and her colleague AJ makes things more complex than she’d like. The muscly, tattooed badboy seems to happily accept his label of player from their work mates but Miranda gets glimpses of a different AJ and that makes her wonder about things she definitely shouldn’t wonder about, especially when Joseph stands her up or seems to be keeping things from her. And Jane has fled London for reasons unknown, won’t talk about her past and seems to keep everyone at length, until Joseph sneaks in under her defences and he’s the one person she maybe shouldn’t let in. But she can’t help it.

This was a really quick read, I read it in about 2 hours and I felt like it did most things pretty well, perhaps with the exception of keeping up the ruse a little longer than I felt was necessary because it made the ending feel a bit rushed and there were definitely things that occurred in the final pages that I felt could’ve been dealt with in a way that showed more exploration and care. Especially with Jane, I think. Jane had a lot going on and she made some decisions and acted on them really swiftly without the reader really getting a chance to explore that in depth, what it must’ve taken to go down that path. There’s also a rather big reveal towards the end of the book that came at a time when I felt like it should’ve had a bit more impact but I was so almost…fed up? with waiting for something to happen to confirm or deny my suspicions that it felt almost like an anti-climax, but that is probably just my individual frustration.

Overall I enjoyed this but it wasn’t the sort of book I’d return to. My favourite characters were Miranda and AJ and I would’ve liked more from them (I also think Jane deserves better, to be honest). So while I enjoyed it I wouldn’t say I found the entire book satisfying. There were definitely things that I felt didn’t work for me in the narrative and things that I felt were not explored in the way that they could’ve been. I did love the scene where drunk Joseph realises it’s AJ with him – “oh it’s the big tattooed one”. That is an excellent scene and gave me the feels.


Book #143 of 2022

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