Mad About You


Two strangers. One big coincidence. Driving each other crazy is just the beginning …

Harriet Hatley is running away from everything.

Getting married. Her boyfriend’s family. Her past.

A dream house-share seems like the perfect place to hide, but her unlikely housemate Cal is no stranger to running away himself. And he’s also hiding secrets of his own …

Can these two take a crazy risk, face the past and finally find a reason to stay?

Read An Excerpt From Mad About You

Jon threw her a baffled glance. He was one of those people who thought he had a great sense of humour. His GSOH was more like a burglar alarm: might work if he turned it on, but he often forgot.

‘John F Kennedy had to have sex several times a day or else he got headaches, you know,’ Harriet said.

‘Inconvenient, given his workload. Would Ibuprofen not do the job?’ Jon said.

‘Nope, had to be Marilyn Monroe.’ ‘Ah.’

Harriet could tell she was irritating him slightly. She couldn’t say this sort of thing in front of his upright parents, and they were close to entering their planetary atmosphere. Jon, already on his guard, wanted Harriet to behave accordingly. Like an actor getting into character on set, before they shouted action.

‘Presume they’re whipping up chicken nugs and chips for Joffrey Baratheon?’ Harriet said.

Jon gave her a sideways look, and tutted. ‘Oh he’s not that bad. He’s twelve soon, entering adulthood! We’re all allowed a grotty phase as a kid.’

Harriet said nothing more because Jon’s mother Jackie, his father Martin Senior, elder brother Martin Junior, his wife Melissa, and their eleven-year-old son Barty (Bartholomew for tellings off, which Harriet thought were all too scarce) were all in one big rolling grotty phase.

Jon dwelt in an odd mental space, as regards his family – he never denied they behaved like an absolute shower, because it was pretty hard to pretend otherwise. But he could never go so far as to attribute malice to them, either, which Harriet thought left him a day late and a dollar short in terms of having their measure.

They always meant well.

This wishful claim of Jon’s always had [citation needed] after it. It was as if their true personalities had Locked In Syndrome, in Jon’s analysis, given their tragic inability to make their inherent kindness known.

‘Nearly there,’ Jon looked at the clock on the dash, ‘An hour to shower and change, I reckon, and then a gin and tonic in the bar.’ ‘Sounds good to me,’ said Harriet, in tacit peace-making, and Jon beamed.

Jon had booked dinner and an overnight stay for all of them at a country house hotel in the Dales for his parents 40th wedding anniversary, in typically generous fashion.

Harriet agreed to it with the usual sense of dread, but, you know, you couldn’t pick your boyfriend’s family. You also couldn’t stop Jon spending his considerable salary in such expansive ways.

‘No roof racks on hearses, Hats,’ he’d say, riffling her hair.

He was MD of a division of a supermarket chain, developing upmarket ready meals. Harriet’s best friends Lorna and Roxy called him Captain Gravy, a nickname he didn’t find funny.

It’s not just gravy I’ve got responsibility for – it’s all sauces and luxury pouched condiments! he’d lightly fume, bewildered to be increasing their mirth.

Harriet had never experienced money the way Jonathan had money. It landed in huge snowdrifts in his account every month and could build up to unwieldy, drain-clogging fatberg size if not dealt with efficiently by lashing on Parker Knoll furniture, spendy meals and five-star weekends away.

Nice words about Mad About You

  • Mhairi consistently writes flawless romantic comedies and Mad About You is no exception