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on 3 January 2014
I really looked forward to 'Here's Looking at You' and reading and enjoying 'You had me at Hello' and this book did not disappoint.

Like the first book, the characters where likeable and believable and the dialogue witty and current. We all know people like the ones in the book from the vain characters posting selfies on facebook to the so trendy it hurts but totally ridiculous hipsters (James' office reminded me a lot of the series Nathan Barley particularly Harris in his silly hats!) to people using text speak in ordinary conversation- Lol - cringe!.

The story was funny, compelling and the writing clever which is why it annoys me that Mhairi McFarlane gives her books such dreadful cheesy titles. See a book with the title 'You had me at Hello' or 'Here's looking at You' one would expect some mindless chick-lit dross and these books are so much better than that!

Ignore the title and the pink cover - read the book - its great!
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on 6 January 2014
There are not enough words to describe how refreshing I found this book. More Please?
The main characters are in their early 30's yet, I could relate to them easily. I didnt find Anna inducing too much sympathy from myself, more empathy and understanding of her situation and admiration for her courage. ( who doesnt remember the faceless numpties, who thought they were IT, from their school days ?)
Althought the main plot line concerns Anna's past, her dealings with James and nerdy Laurence the humour and superb 'one liners' in this book make for a humorous, witty, yet, sensitive read. I found myself laughing out loud in places, especially the trials of dealing with wedding dress shop,owners and all the falsehoods and frippery which so often go with such occasions.
Not often I give a book such a good review, but this book is so different from others, so engaging, yet, not too soppy.
Would definitely buy more books from this author. Highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 28 December 2013
Mhairi McFarlane has produced another beautifully written story that is a heart warming and emotional. The characters have flaws and I think that this makes the story very believable. James, is a good looking but arrogant man. Anna is a woman with no self-confidence. Mhairi takes these two characters and lets the reader see all the issues that they face. It's great not to read a chick lit book where the two main characters are perfect in every way.

The story begins with James and Anna being at school together. Anna is tormented by her peers, and this is crucial to see where she has developed her lack of self confidence. James is one of her protagonists at school. She has a crush on him but he helps to humiliate her in front of the entire school.

The story moves on fifteen years when there is a school reunion and they meet again. This is not one of those stories where the the guy has been mean to the girl that he secretly loves...cue a few years and they fall in love. It's realistic, Anna is still suffering from being bullied and James has a beautiful wife. There are real issues that are dealt with in a sensitive way.

It's a lovely story and I would highly recommend it.
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on 13 January 2014
I read "you had me at hello" and loved it, I wasn't sure if "Here's looking at you" could compete, but it most certainly has done. Loved, loved, loved the story and all the characters. So when is the next book released?
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on 8 January 2014
I downloaded Mhairi McFarlane's first book on a whim as it's not normally the type of thing I go for - and found I got so into it I could barely put it down. I was really pleased to see this new one and, like the first, it didn't disappoint. Yes it's predictable but if you want a good girlie read this one's for you. The characters are hugely likeable, the story zips along and it's a great easy read. Am looking forward to the next book now - though I think I may need to wait a while. If you like Marian Keyes or JoJo Moyes then I think you will like Mhairi McFarlane too.
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on 25 August 2014
Review: oh I loved this book. I enjoyed this authors first offering but for me, this one is twice as good. I raced through this book-wanting to find out what happened next. I loved the premise behind it and I could imagine myself in her shoes facing up to my school bullies and them not know who I was because I was hugely successful and gorgeous looking now! I out myself in Anna's shoes and I loved the ride that I had.

I think Anna makes for an interesting leading lady. She is clearly very insecure and so some of the choices she makes aren't ones she should be making or are rushed, but this makes for some very interesting moments in the book. Her sister provides the comedy in this novel, her ways with her finances and her fiancé are really entertaining and yet she comes through in the end, helping Anna and helping herself. Bully James seems totally cute, I can't believe he used to behave that way in high school, but like Anna, I found him difficult to trust initially...

There's something for everyone in this novel, interesting historical exhibitions, two weddings planned, a fabulous fabulous best friend and a will they won't they love story that will have you on the edge of your seat reading this one! The way this writer explains things an describes something is also a truly beautiful element of the book. She uses the most fantastical figurative language and I think I'm going to use some of her examples whe teaching similes at school from now one because some are deep and meaningful and some downright hilarious! I so enjoyed this book, it was a quick read, an enjoyable read and has stayed with me since the moment I put it down!
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on 18 January 2014
This book tells the story of Anna who was horribly bullied at school and how she has turned her life around since then, determined not to let the past shape her future. She then meets one of the bullies, but he doesn't recognise her and what happens next. It's a lovely, well thought out and sensitively written, but funny book with entirely believable and likeable characters. I loved the friends, Anna has - who were such characters I felt like I met them too.
What was clever was that while we wish not to,be defined by our pasts, they clearly influence our behaviour and character and in this book it shows. I really enjoyed the book, and wanted only good things for all the characters. Fabulous.
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on 22 May 2015
I have just finished the book for the second time. I read the one star reviews and see some very negative comments. I am puzzled. Here in the US we have some horrible problems with bullying so I have recommended this book on her American Amazon page. Her description of what bullying does to a child is spot on. Also, this book is in the Romance genre so a decent male character is almost required. There was a fairy tale quality to the story. One example is the wedding in the Italian countryside. The other is the girl getting the handsome man. I want happy endings. All I need is to watch a few minutes of news to know we are all going to hell in a hand basket so why do I want to read a book that will depress me? I think this book does a fantastic job of showing a loving family, a woman coming into her own and a man who finally sees what a shallow life he has lead. I realize Brits and Americans have entirely different senses of humor but this book, to me, was not trying to get a laugh as much as to make us aware of the damage done to children who are different.
By the way, the term Chic Lit is demeaning to women. To call this book that term is an insult.
Getting all the inside terms took time but it was worth it.
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on 5 January 2014
I loved this book, the characters are so likable and real. Many of us cab relate to wanting to move on from school and forget things that happened there, although not many will have had as extreme an experience as Anna. it was an interesting plot to make her meet her crush/nemesis and see how they related in the present. I thought the characters all added to the story and was surprised to find myself warming to Aggy who at first I thought was to shallow to be likable. Read it in a few days and struggled to put it down, a lovely escape from this dreary weather
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on 10 July 2014
A very modern love story. Slick, witty, sparky. There is no artificial sweetener in this as there was not in 'You had Me In Hello'. Not my usual genre, but having enjoyed Mahairi's first book, I had no hesitation in purchasing this. I thought it got better and better as the book progressed. Found myself sloping off whenever I could to read another chapter. I might add that it is not JUST a modern love story, it encompasses much more. It is amusing, never dull. The characters are rather larger than life, but I could picture them well and liked.
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