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The First Time I Saw You

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  250 ratings  ·  80 reviews

From the author of The Songs of Us. Fans of Jojo Moyes and Lucy Dillon will love The First Time I Saw You by Emma Cooper.

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

Paperback, 448 pages
Published January 9th 2020 by Headline Review (first published July 1st 2019)
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Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  250 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Nicky Maunder
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-2019
Oh my word. I am bereft. I am heart broken. I am in love with all the characters in this book. Such a beautiful, funny, heartbreaking and heartwarming story of first love (the kind of love that you only read about), lost love, mishaps and misunderstandings and some of the most funniest, envy invoking supporting characters you’ll ever read (I wish they were my sister and parents!) Emma Cooper has such a way with words; I love how she anthropomorphises inanimate objects (particularly Michael) and ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Utterly fabulous!!

I fell in love with all of these characters from the beginning, Emma Cooper has such a lovely writing style that you just go so invested in the story.

I was rooting for Sophie and Samuel throughout the whole book, through giggles and ugly crying.

Also please, Samuels parents? Absolutely had me in stitches especially his dad. Great guy!

Definitely 5 stars from me, easily!
Jo Shaw
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s not often that a book grabs me by the heart, and gives it a good squeeze within pages of the beginning, but only six pages into the book and I knew this book had me hooked completely. Emma Cooper writes with an elegance and turn of phrase that was breathtaking in its’ purity, and made me want to keep turning the page.

I loved the characters of Sophie and Samuel so much, and their journey was a roller-coaster ride of high and lows, and near-misses that had me laughing and crying throughout
Liv Bianco
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book, truly heartwarming!
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
I suspect we’ve all known those times when you pick up a book and know, within the first few pages, that you’re holding something rather special in your hands. This book had me smitten from the very beginning, with the chance meeting, on the streets of Washington, of the two endearing main characters, Samuel and Sophie. Their meeting is one of those lovely cinematic moments that the author does so well – but she’s also has that perfect touch with the more intimate moments as the couple grow ...more
Joanna Park
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’m a huge fan of this author so was incredibly excited to read this book. I thought it was a beautifully written, funny book that manages to be both heartwarming and heart breaking at the same time

This is a love story, but not necessarily the one you’d expect as it’s not just about the love between a couple but rather about all the different love that is in our lives. The main characters Sophie and Samuel have some amazing people around them and I loved the truly heartwarming, lovely scenes
Julie Morris
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am probably not alone when I say that I always approach follow up books to ones I have loved with some trepidation. When you have loved a book as much as I loved Emma’s debut, The Songs of Us, you want the next one to be just as good, but there is always the fear that it will not live up to the heights the last one achieved. I fell so in love with the story of Melody and her family and the book had such a huge impact on me, I really could not see how The First Time I Saw You was going to match ...more
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The First Time I Saw You
by Emma Cooper
Totally beautiful! (says it all)
I devoured this book as quickly as I could and am now ‘hung over’. I ran through a plethora of emotions along with Sam & Sophie and their delightful families. What characters! I felt I was there with them all watching the twists and turns of the story unfold! I could see the scenes and feel the desperation, the desolation, frustrations, fears and joy! Thank you Emma Cooper - how long until the next book?
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"The First Time I Saw You" introduces us to Sophie, at the first sight a career - driven young woman who knows what she wants. And to Samuel, an Irish living in America, working in IT. They both meet when Sophie is on business in Washington, in the middle of a thunderstorm, and they're completely smitten with each other. They spent a wonderful week together and then the things get complicated.
Even though there is this wonderful sparkle between them, even though they can't live without each
Linda Hill
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sophie and Samuel find that mixing business with pleasure can be tricky!

I have absolutely no idea where to start in a review of Emma Cooper’s The First Time I Saw You. It’s a book that took hold of my heart, shredded it into tiny pieces and left me wrung out emotionally. In other words, I absolutely adored it!

Emma Cooper writes so emotively. Her descriptions are poetic so that they become vivid three dimensional images in the mind’s eye, giving place and setting an authenticity that transports
Tea Leaves and Reads
I’m binge-reading Emma Cooper’s books. I started off the year with the first book I’d ever read by her (you can read my review here) and I can’t stop! Emma’s latest book has just been published and I devoured it. Not being too well at the moment books are about the only thing that are giving me some relief and when I can concentrate I am getting stuck right in there! The Songs of Us – which I finished early in January – was incredible. You’ll see from my review how incredible I thought it was. I ...more
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the author previous book The Song of Us, I literally couldn't wait to read her new book The First Time I Saw You. Suffice to say that I was not disappointed, it was a truly beautiful, heartfelt and emotional story from start to finish. Right from the first chapter I was pulled in tight and the book didn't let go of me until the very last page.

The story was superbly written, so detailed and perfectly told in every way possible, the characters were an absolute
Angela Smith
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
It took me a little while to get into the story but once I had I found it hard to put down. The chapters are called Sophie and Samuel and subtitled with the weeks since they met later on in the story.

Sophie is living with the fallout of a tragic childhood and it's affected her ability to connect in relationships. She lives for her high powered job until a business trip to New York and a charming Irishman gets under her armour. Samuel is equally smitten.

Misunderstandings are the theme of this
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a really enjoyable read, and another book that is perfect for reading wrapped up in a blanket with a cat, ignoring the horrible weather we’re having lately. It was another slow-paced read, but it was lovely and sweet and a great read.

This novel was divided between two perspectives - Samuel and Sophie - and the journey that they embark on when fate decides they cannot be together. After a whirlwind romance, they are forced apart. Both are desperate to find each other again, but at the
thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)
I really wanted to love this, but I found it hard to connect with , it felt so slow, I couldn’t relate to the characters , just didn’t live up to my expectations

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, she's done it again. Made me ugly cry in the public and cost me couple of nights sleep. Pretty standard now for this author. When you connect to characters from the first page and fall in love with them, when their families become yours even if only for the duration of the book, you know you picked a book written by a talented writer. I realise this book has only just been published but I literally need another one.
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love the author's ability to mix humour and tragedy in the same book and leave you feeling that all is right with the world! This is a story of misunderstandings and missed opportunities and terrible mistakes that all conspire to keep Sophie and Samuel apart. They are aided and abetted by a wonderful cast of characters, particularly Samuel's family, who are hilarious and so vividly drawn - I absolutely loved them and they added a definite fizz to the story. It's another winner for me - can't ...more
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read and reviewed Emma Cooper's debut novel, The Songs of Us in September 2018. That book has stayed with me ever since.

This is what I said about how that story affected me:

" I read The Songs of Us during my holiday in Rhodes at the end of September. I rarely cry. I never cry in public. I cried as I was reading The Songs of Us, I cried in public, sitting by the pool. There were big fat tears, some snot and a few strange looks from fellow holiday makers. This is a beautifully written,
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness, what a beautiful, moving and poignant read this is! I went into The First Time I Saw You by Emma Cooper expecting a light, fluffy read, but what I got was so much more than that. This is a book that moves and inspires, tackling difficult subjects with sensitivity and a lightness of touch, making you fall in love with both Sophie and Samuel from the very first page.

This is a difficult book to review as I don’t want to spoil what happens in this beautifully written and emotional
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A sudden glimpse of a person across a street can be all it takes to begin a relationship, and for Samuel and Sophie that is all it took. In the middle of the American capital, Samuel spots a woman with a bright green umbrella. The beginning of their week together is special, as they discover both the romantic spots and his quiet apartment. He picks up images of her which will last, small intimate details which show a delicate writing style in direct contrast to some of the broader humour of his ...more
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020

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
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So first of all I'm just going to say that if you like romantic fiction, go and buy this book immediately as it's just wonderful. And really, that could be my whole review! But I suppose I should really say a bit more...

The First Time I Saw You is about Samuel and Sophie who meet in Washington DC in the middle of a thunderstorm in the most romantic opening scene and spend a wonderful week together. However, Sophie discovers something about Samuel which causes her to leave him abruptly. Even
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My Thoughts
Let me just start by saying that this book is definitely one book you need to read. Go out and buy it today, it’s utterly fantastic. It had me bawling my eyes out and also had me in fits of giggles.

The basis of this storyline is quite simple:

Two people meet and fall in love.
An event happens to separate said two people.
The following is the classic “will-they-won’t-they” get back together.
With Samuels Irish charm, I instantly fell in love with him. It’s no wonder Sophie did. The same
Karen Huxtable
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Anne Cater for my invitation to the tour and to Headline Press for my copy of the book in return for a fair and honest review.

This book is an emotional roller coaster from the outset, as soon as Sophie and Samuel meet they know they have something special.

Sophie has had a traumatic upbringing and has worked really hard in her life and career to overcome this and is not going to let anything come between her and her promotion.

Samuel arrives in her life after a chance meeting in the
Jenn Webley
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Outstanding… what an utterly emotional gem of a book.

I loved Emma’s previous book ‘The Songs of Us’ so I knew to expect a rollercoaster of an emotional journey. Lets say – I wasn’t disappointed there. Goodness me, my heart was fit to bursting with every emotion going.

The First Time I Saw You is a beautifully special tale of love; a deep, soul entwined type of love, misunderstandings, losing love, losing yourself, fresh starts and new opportunities.

Jo Barton
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sophie Williams is a business woman par excellence, she is undoubtedly good at what she does and certainly does in everything in both her work and home life to the best of her ability. Her time spent on business in New York is never wasted but Sophie rarely spends any free time there, that is until a handsome stranger catches her eye and changes her world forever.

Samuel McLaughlin takes life as it comes, he’s happy and gregarious, full of Irish charm and banter and completely blown away by his
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it
This is quite a hard review to write... there was a lot I liked about the book but there was a lot I didn't. We start with Sophie and learn she has had a really difficult childhood and consequently struggles with closeness as an adult. A chance meeting with Samuel starts a whirlwind romance which ends when Sophie realises that due to work, a relationship would be impossible. When they meet again months later, it's clear that despite misunderstandings the feelings between them are strong and ...more
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This multi-leveled love story is set in various locations starting with Washington DC, then on to Ireland and Wales. The short chapters alternate between the narration of both Sophie and Samuel so I felt that I got to know both characters equally. The cast of supporting characters really tore at my heartstrings especially Sophie's neighbour Charlie and the wonderful McLaughlin's who are Samuel's parents. Their Irish charm and witty one-liners bought incredible warmth, compassion, and humour to ...more
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Do you remember what you felt the first time you fall in love? The raw emotions and deep feelings that made you smile all day?
This is a book that will make you cry and smile within just a few pages, that will make you look at your lover’s eyes and remember how everything started and make you want to go back and start again. Because The First Time I Saw You is a book of love yes, but not in a perfect way, real love, with faults, twists and all the problems any couple can find at the beginning of
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you loved one day or ps I love, you'll love this one. A story that will take you on a rollercoaster ride; Sophie & Sam meet, fall in love but are separated by the first of sooo many second guessing & misconceptions throughout the book. Sometimes frustrating, often sad, soo many missed opportunities; superstitious people would believe that they surely aren't meant to be if fate keeps finding away to keep them apart? But keep reading even when you want to throw the book at the wall ...more
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Emma Cooper is a former teaching assistant, who lives in Shropshire, with her partner and four children. Her spare time consists of 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 her childhood, she’s been inventing characters (her favourite being her imaginary friend ‘