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About The Book

She’s the reality TV villain everyone will love to hate. He’s the producer tasked with making it happen. What could go wrong? A hilarious, heartfelt rom-com for fans of The Unhoneymooners.

Reality TV producer Murray O’Connell is the showrunner for reality dating show Marry Me, Juliet, and that means he’s the boss: he controls the cast, the crew and the story. Until Lily Fireball turns up.

Lily is everything viewers love to watch: she’s feisty, dramatic, and never backs down from a fight. Her villain narrative should be easy to pull off, but Murray keeps getting in her way. Because before she was Lily Fireball, she was Lily Ong – Murray's best friend, and he's determined to stop her blowing up her life on television.

As the season unfolds, Lily and Murray go head to head. Lily just wants to have some fun with her role, and Murray just wants to film the show he planned. Why won't she listen to him? And why can't Murray focus on the job, instead of the woman he thought was just a friend?

‘The best friends to lovers book I've read in a long while, maybe ever … A perfect finale to the bingeworthy Marry Me, Juliet series.’ Karina May, author of Duck à l'Orange for Breakfast and Never Ever Forever

About The Author

Photograph © Manda Ford

Jodi McAlister PhD is an author and academic from Kiama, NSW. Her academic work focuses on the history of love, sex, women and girls, popular culture and fiction. It means that reading romance novels and watching The Bachelor is technically work for her. She is the author of romance novels Here for the Right Reasons, Can I Steal You For a Second? and Not Here to Make Friends, and young adult novels Valentine, Ironheart, Misrule and Libby Lawrence Is Good At Pretending. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Writing, Literature and Culture at Deakin University in Melbourne. For more, visit

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia (January 3, 2024)
  • Length: 400 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781761109348

Raves and Reviews

‘I'd been waiting impatiently for the third installment in this series, and it was even more amazing than I'd hoped. Ruthless schemers! Romantic pairings who are equal parts soulmates and partners in crime! Lily and Murray's story was utterly perfect for me, specifically, and I suspect plenty of readers will agree. Smart, scorching and emotionally resonant, this was hands-down my favourite romance of the year.’

Freya Marske, author of A Marvellous Light

'If you've devoured the first two books of the bingeworthy Marry Me, Juliet series then you will love this last installment focusing on Lily and Murray - two perfectly imperfect characters and the tension that sizzles when they are together. This is a great friends to lovers read for all rom-com (and reality TV) lovers!'

Saman Shad, author of The Matchmaker

'Not Here To Make Friends is a prose ceremony – at which I was glad to accept every page. A superb third episode in a journey with drama more vivid and romance more compelling than anything you’ll see on TV.'

Xavier Rubetzki Noonan, Bachelor of Hearts Podcast

Not Here To Make Friends is a second chance romance between two formidably matched evil masterminds, a clash of fierce intellects that results in fierce tension and fierce love. The chemistry is sizzling, the banter is blazing and even if you think you know where this story's going, the climax is combustible. But lest you think this romance is all head and no heart, it's undershot with themes of loyalty, friendship and grief.’

Clare Fletcher, author of Five Bush Weddings

Not Here to Make Friends is wonderfully funny, deeply moving, and whip-smart. Lily and Murray’s sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hilarious love story is so irresistible it will have you turning the page faster than a reality TV romance breaks up in real life. Rich with diversity and characters you genuinely care about, Not Here to Make Friends is a satisfying, pitch-perfect cherry on top of a perfect series.’

Amy Hutton, author of Sit, Stay, Love

‘The best friends to lovers book I've read in a long while, maybe ever. Lily Fireball and Murray's complex dynamic is so addictive. The book doesn't shy away from serious issues either and effortlessly explores racial inequality via a fun plot. A perfect finale to the bingeworthy Marry Me, Juliet series. This one is my favourite of all three books. Swoon-worthy, clever and a must-read. I can't wait to see what McAlister writes next!’

Karina May, author of Duck à l'Orange for Breakfast

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More books from this author: Jodi McAlister

More books in this series: Marry Me, Juliet