In a city, in the U.S. or maybe Canada, but probably not England, because that’d take more research; a generically attractive white woman sits at a chain coffee shop. She sips her pumpkin spice latte, nibbles a scone, and taps out words on a laptop. She’s dressed for a fall day – leather boots, a long knit scarf, a pea coat.
In a few moments, a man will enter. He’s dressed in a suit, because he’s a businessman. He’s not the boss yet, still a bit young for that. He’s a half-dozen years after finishing his degree and a couple of promotions away from the job he’ll stay in for the next few decades.
Generic white attractive dude enters the coffee shop. He orders a black Americano and notices that all the tables are full. Instead of turning around and walking out, generic white attractive dude – oh, let’s call him John (even though he’s more likely a Parker or Dermott) – he sits next to Mary. Mary is generic white woman, even though she’s more likely to be Emily or Chloe. Mary looks up and John says there are no more seats. Instead of being apologetic, he’s weirdly aggressive and arrogant about it. She instantly hates him and he thinks she’s beautiful, but he’s annoyed with people who use coffee shops as offices.
This is where the story ends, these two never see each other again. But, no! These two are destined for each other, but you already knew that, didn’t you?
They’ll meet again, and again, and again. She’ll hate him, he’ll hate her until suddenly they realize that all they want to do is lick each other’s mouths, which they do.
Is this the beginning of couplehood and bliss? Are you kidding me? Of course not.
Because just after that intense first kiss, spunky redhead shows up. She’s John’s girlfriend from back in Small Town. Her name’s Tiffany or Candi or something that brings up mean girl vibes, but also a lack of brain cells. All seems lost. Mary is furious. A couple of weeks pass and Mary eats ice cream, drinks wine from a comically large glass, and wears yoga pants while sitting on her couch.
Then (probably gay) male friend of John turns up to tell her the truth: Tiffany is manipulative! He broke up with her years ago!
But John is mad and it’s going to take a big gesture to bring these two back together. Mary knows just what to do. She convinces the owners of the coffee shop to let her use it after they close, because fictional coffee shops are super accommodating. When John arrives, he finds that every table has a cardboard cut-out of Mary on her laptop. How did she make them? Who cares! It’s adorable!
Soon, John has no choice but to smile. He finds Mary in the sea of cardboard and they kiss. All is well. She makes an adorable reference to a quirk she revealed early on in their relationship and he says something about wanting it to be around forever.
Movie rights are optioned within the year.
But wait! There’s a sequel. They get engaged and married in it and it’s mad anti-climactic. And in the third book, they have a baby and John has an affair. Nobody likes the third book.