Similarities between Mhairi McFarlane's IF I NEVER MET YOU and my novel, THE SECRET RULES OF ROMANCE

by Leah Heart  10/30/20

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The Secret Rules of Romance ebook cover

If you happened to read both Mhairi McFarlane's IF I NEVER MET YOU and my novel, THE SECRET RULES OF ROMANCE, you may have noticed a few similarities.

 

When I first found out about Mhairi's book, I was shocked and confused. I had no idea who she was and had never read her books. Meanwhile, THE SECRET RULES OF ROMANCE had been published two years prior in 2018 under a different title and pen name.

 

For over two months, I plunged into a deep, dark depression, like a k-hole I thought I would never crawl out of. Some days, I still feel like I'm living in a nightmare. But after much soul-searching, I've decided to not let this unfortunate situation consume my thoughts any further. I could either let it slowly eat me alive, destroying my life and everything I love, or I could try to move on. For my own sanity, I choose option B.

While I did change a few character names in the updated version, I felt it would be unfair to force myself to alter the similar scenes/passages/dialogue when I have ample proof that I'd written and published those words first.

I would also like to note that I did reach out to her team, and they threatened me with a lawsuit. Sadly, I realized it doesn't matter who does something first--it only matters who's more popular. However, I also feel that readers are smart, and they can piece together the truth without me turning into a rampaging psycho.

So for now, I've decided to take the high road, no matter how hard it is. I need to move on and do what I love, which is writing more novels.

 

If you're curious, you can read my old blog post (under my previous pen name), which explains the situation in detail.

 

Until further notice, I probably won't be addressing the issue again.

 

Thank you for understanding, and if you haven't done so, you can download THE SECRET RULES OF ROMANCE while it's available for free.

 

Happy reading!

xoxo,
Leah