I think I like each new book by MA Binfield more than the last one. I’m always looking forward to reading her new release.
Casey fled London for Portland after a very ugly breakup. She flies back a year later to help her mother with big boyfriend problems. To make some money while she’s away from her new job, Casey agrees to work as a driver to the stars of an American TV show shooting in London for a few weeks. Olivia is one of the actresses Casey finds herself driving around, and even though sparks of lust fly between the two women from the beginning, they rub each other the wrong way. Can an American TV star and her British driver find common ground and drive away together into the sunset?
Despite their obvious chemistry, Casey and Olivia are convinced they’re incompatible. On paper, they are. One is a TV star accustomed to fame and luxury, the other has been hurt by a wannabe YouTube influencer. They’re actually both rather shy and have both been betrayed by exes who used them.
I don’t mind instalust but instalove is a little harder to write convincingly. Binfield makes it work, however, by building the tension up slowly and steadily despite the story being told over a rather short period of time. There’s a completely opposite romance happening in the wings, between two best friends, and the two storylines contrast nicely.
It’s always entertaining to watch characters trying to resist mutual attraction, in particular when there’s an enemies-to-lovers arc. In this novel, “enemies” is too strong a word but the relationship gets off on the wrong foot and afterwards, the MCs take turns shying away from the attraction.
I also like the way the author takes tropes and turns them over. I’m tired of the miscommunication trope for example, but the way it’s used here, with the characters getting called out on it by their friends, makes it feel new.
There are a few editing issues, such as the same turn of phrase in close proximity. Nothing huge but enough for me to notice.
All in all, Never Be The Same is a not-too-angsty but not drama-free romance.