About The Book
Six-foot-two Irish man who answers to the name Samuel McLaughlin.
Has weak shins and enjoys show tunes.
If found, please return to Sophie Williams.
Before Sophie met Samuel she saw the world in grey.
Before Samuel met Sophie, he never believed in love at first sight.
When they first meet, something tells them they are meant to be.
But fate has other ideas.
Now they have lost each other and can’t see a way back.
But they’ve already changed each other’s lives in more ways
than they could have predicted…
The First Time I Saw You by Emma Cooper is an emotional read with moments of real pathos and humour. It’s a love story about Samuel and Sophie who meet in Washington DC. He sees her on a rainy day outside a coffee shop and is instantly drawn to her. She is a workaholic who is in Washington to oversea the acquisition of a business and she has no time for distractions. But then she meets Samuel and is bowled over by his Irish charm. He lives in Washington, she lives in London – what’s the harm of a little fling? It’ll be fun. Right?
The course of true love never runs smoothly and for Sophie and Samuel this is very, very true. Something happens (and I’m not going to tell you what), but it means that their fling comes to an abrupt end and they’re both left with a whole load of feelings they don’t really know what to do with.
I can’t actually tell you much more about the plot as I really don’t want to ruin it for you, but suffice it to say that it packs a real emotional punch. Samuel and Sophie’s connection is powerful and they are such wonderfully written characters that I just couldn’t help but fall in love with them. I adored watching them fall in love, I was heartbroken when they were no longer together and I was willing them to find a way back to each other.
Emma Cooper writes the most brilliant characters. Not only are Samuel and Sophie two of the most compelling protagonists but they’re surrounded by some of the most wonderful people. Reading about Samuel’s Irish family is a whole heap of fun. His relationship with his sister and parents made me laugh on more than one occasion, with his dad in particular providing more than one chuckle. The love in this family just pours from the pages.
For Sophie, her support network is her sister and whilst Samuel’s family is huge and sprawling Sophie’s is far smaller. Her past was difficult and she is carrying a lot of baggage and uses her work as a way to completely ignore the memories of her childhood. She finds herself at somewhat of a crossroads and is forced to deal with her demons to move forward.
Emma Cooper uses multi-person narrative to great effect, taking us week by week as Sophie and Samuel navigate their futures. I was on tenterhooks at times and stayed up way past my bedtime to read it as I just had to know what happened next. I was totally invested in their lives and their relationship and I was willing them to find their way back to one another.
If you’re reading this and thinking that this is a ‘boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy tries to get girl back’ you’d be wrong. It is a book about missed opportunities, trusting your own emotions, letting your past go and learning how to face adversity. It is emotional (please make sure you have some tissues handy – the epilogue just about finished me off) but overall it is uplifting. One of the themes in the book really resonated with me and although it was difficult to read, I thought it was handled so brilliantly that I felt empowered by it.
If you like Marian Keyes and Mhairi McFarlane then you’ll really enjoy The First Time I Saw You. Endearing and relatable characters, romance and a plot which twists and turns its way through a love story, what more can you want?
About The Author
Emma Cooper is a former teaching assistant, who lives in Shropshire with her partner and four children. She spends her spare time writing novels, drinking wine and watching box-sets with her partner of twenty-four years, who still makes her smile every day. Emma has always wanted to be a writer – ever since childhood, she’s been inventing characters (her favourite being her imaginary friend ‘Boot’) and is thrilled that she now gets to use this imagination to bring to life all of her creations. Find her on
Twitter at @ItsEmmacooper and on Instagram at @itsemmacooper
Where You Can Buy It
My thanks to Headline for sending me a copy of the book and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for an invitation to join the Blog Tour.