I didn’t know Mhairi McFarlane’s work until I read “If I Never Met You”. I liked her writing style because, it is not exactly the typical rom com, where everything is focused on the romance. It brings other aspects in the story as well and I like that. That was also the case with “Last Night” so she’s now on my list of authors I enjoy reading! Therefore, when I got to see there was a new book coming up, I wanted in!
In “Mad About You” we have Harriet Hatley, a 34 year old woman who is a wedding photographer. She’s really good at her job too, she’s one of the two top Leeds wedding photographers. However, she’s not that into marriage. She avoids romance and prefers to be in charge of herself. She is however in a long time relationship, which she sees coming to an end. Her boyfriend though does not share this feeling and he proposes in front of his whole family. Harriet feels trapped and agrees, only to cancel the engagement as soon as the two of them are alone. She needs to find a place of her own immediately! She can no longer stay at his house.
Thankfully, Cal Clarke has a spare room to let and she does exactly that through an agency where Roxy, Harriet’s friend works. Harriet get’s to be the first one enquiring for the room and becomes Cal’s next logger. Cal is a hopeless romantic who just had his own wedding disaster, so we welcomes the company, though, not from the start! Eventually, the two of them become friends and as the time goes by, it becomes pretty clear that more than friendship is on the line. But when Harriet’s big secret comes to light, her world collapses to pieces. The domino effect seems to affect her career, her friendships, even her reputation, so Harriet needs to face her past to move to the future.
I loved it that once again, Mhairi McFarlane gave us so much more than a romance novel! We get to see how a woman, that has suffered a loss at an early age, has come to live her life under certain beliefs. How it is to not have someone to turn to, when needed, and also to have friends, like Lorna, that are more than family. This story is about so many things. About being in relationships without full heartedly commit to them, without feeling so in love, but being there because it makes us feel comfortable. Until it doesn’t, or at least we can no longer stand how uncomfortable it is. It is about abusive relationships, and how easily one can become a victim. And it’s also about helping each other and protecting future victims.
I did like how we got to see real life characters again, and friendships we could relate to, fortunately or not. I also liked how the characters evolved throughout the story and along with them, the romance as well! We definitely shouldn’t jump into conclusions without knowing the whole picture!
All in all, another great book by Mhairi McFarlane! She’s still one of the authors I’ll always read and recommend!
Thank you to NetGalley & HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction for an advance copy of this book. The views expressed are my personal and honest opinion.