The No-Show by Beth O'Leary
The No-Show by Beth O'Leary
The No-Show
Beth O’Leary
  • Category:Romance Fiction
  • Date Read:2 June 2023
  • Year Published:2022
  • Pages:392
  • 4 stars

It’s Valentines Day and what could be more romantic than a ‘date’ with a man? Three women have a ‘date’, all longingly looking forward to meeting up with the man they admire.

First, there’s Siobhan, or Shiv. A life coach by profession, she helps others with their problems and likes to think she is the one completely in charge of her own life. Whenever she’s in London on business, often late at night, she meets up with her ‘friends with benefits’ mate, Joseph, in a hotel room. And while she at first tries to convince herself that it’s not a serious relationship and it’s okay for them both to see others, the intensity of her feelings for him begin to become more severe. Unusually, he’s organised to meet her for breakfast today, so she’s keen to see what a Valentines early morning breakfast could mean.

Second, there’s Miranda. Miranda works in garden and tree management. She’s worked in this field for a while and she’s good at it. She’s just started with a new company and she’s been warned about some of her ogling new work colleagues: after all she is one female amongst a group of guys. She’s been going out with her boyfriend, Carter, for about 5 months, and happily tells people that she thinks it is quite serious. She is meeting him for lunch on this special lovers’ day of the year.

And last of all, Jane has moved to Winchester. The reason for her move is somewhat mysterious. She is working as a volunteer in a charity shop. She leads a lonely life, often wearing the same routine clothing picked for each day of the week and has few friends, only the acquaintances she works with, but whom she still keeps at arm’s length. Although she contacts her father back home, she lies to him about her life, making it sound more exciting and fulfilling than it really is. She has met a man, Joseph Carter, at book group. Later, he is meant to be accompanying her to a party as her fake boyfriend. She enjoys her time with him and is looking forward to this Valentines book night out.

So, three women with three dates, all lined up for this special day, but strangely, all three dates are missing, few with any contact made.

Enter Joseph Carter, busy lawyer, generally meticulously dressed and handsome to boot. He is always rushing around consumed with his work, but what does he do when not at work? He takes care of his mother who is suffering from dementia and meets up with a number of different women.

When Miranda hasn’t heard from Carter, she heads off to work, still wondering what has happened. While up a tree, and having missed a number of calls from him, Carter turns up at her job, with a bunch of flowers in hand, wanting to apologise. She is so shocked to see him here, right below her, that it almost causes her to fall, except that one of her workmates saves her. While she is still upset with him, it is more the fact that he can’t tell her why he missed their date that has her concerned.

Siobhan had been hooked. But, this handsome and charismatic man has stood her up, and on Valentines Day, no less. He turns up the following night, also without a reason, wanting to hook up. At first she says no, but then she relents. She knows she should resist but she just can’t.

Jane has waited for Joseph Carter, but he’s quite late and she’s concerned he’s not going to arrive and that she’ll have to proceed alone. But when he’s there, they get on well so she tries to put it out her mind.

Each of the ladies have their own special feelings for their partner, but all of them have something gnawing in the background as to why Joseph Carter didn’t make it at all, or so very very late. For Siobhan, a personal crisis pushes her away from him: she refuses to take his calls. For Miranda it’s a nagging feeling that he has been with someone else; and for Jane, it’s the thought that perhaps he doesn’t have the same feelings she has for him.

How will the ladies resolve their futures with the love of their lives?

Will they forgive and forget? Or will pushing and prodding ultimately end their relationships?

What secrets have Joseph Carter got and will they be revealed in the long run?

I found this to generally be a light hearted look at the romance of three women, all from totally different walks of life and situations. It was an uplifting and surprising ending. It was well written and funny in spots. I enjoyed the book immensely.

Beth O'Leary
Beth O'Leary
The No-Show is Beth O'Leary's fourth book since she published The Flatshare in 2019, which she wrote while commuting each day. She has since written The Switch (2020), and The Road Trip (2021). You can visit Beth O'Leary's website by clicking here.
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