Promising Man (and about Time, Too)

Promising Man (and about Time, Too)

4.7 11
by Elizabeth Young, Liz Young

From the fire-hot author of Asking for Trouble comes a second irresistibly funny and romantic novel, in which we meet the delightfully wicked Harriet and John, who are matched as perfectly as scones and clotted cream — if only Harriet would let herself indulge.

Up to her eyeballs in her friends' dramas, Harriet Grey has no time for her own, let alone


From the fire-hot author of Asking for Trouble comes a second irresistibly funny and romantic novel, in which we meet the delightfully wicked Harriet and John, who are matched as perfectly as scones and clotted cream — if only Harriet would let herself indulge.

Up to her eyeballs in her friends' dramas, Harriet Grey has no time for her own, let alone getting entangled with John Mackenzie. And though it's been ages since she's met one of the most gorgeous men London has to offer, it seems John's entangled with someone else. Or is he?

Though they say all's fair in love, Harriet isn't about to complicate her life — or risk her heart. But the persistent John seems to pop up everywhere she turns, and soon she's agreeing to meet him for a cocktail to repay a favor. After all, what harm can come out of one innocent little drink? Maybe a few breathtaking kisses, some suspiciously lingering embraces, and a wonderful weak-kneed dizziness that most definitely is not the flu. And that's before she finds herself all alone with John at Christmas. .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This rollicking British romance by the author of Asking for Trouble finds 29-year-old smart-mouthed Harriet in an awkward position. She hasn't set out to get involved with John Mackenzie, the boyfriend of her old schoolmate Nina, a stunningly successful beauty whom she's envied for years. But Harriet and John strike up a conversation, crack a few jokes, bond over a spilled drink, and the rest is history. And what kind of saint could resist such an opportunity to make Nina squirm? But little lies and big misunderstandings pile up as Harriet continues to see the almost too-good-to-be-true "gorgeous bloke." Though there are no revelations here, Young does plumb the joys and absurdities of contemporary romance with flair. Harriet's engaging group of friends-housemate Sally, whose one-night stand on holiday left her with a child; Jacko, Harriet's former school chum, surrogate brother and occasional house guest, who is constantly bickering with Sally; and next door neighbor Helen, whose husband left her and her children for a younger woman-provoke laughs and sympathy as they muddle through singledom. Harriet also manages a great balancing act between the vagaries of her own life and that of her divorced parents, each of whom has found new partners. Scenes and conversations can sometimes drag on longer than necessary, and Young's humor is of the gentle-rather than piercing-variety. But for the most part, she holds her own against the likes of Anna Maxted and Helen Fielding. (Dec.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Young Londoners fall in and out of love. Harriet Grey couldn't help noticing the prodigious penis on the statue of the fertility god in the shop window-but she had no idea someone was noticing her: John Mackenzie, who is practically perfect in every way. He even pays for a taxi home when Harriet finally realizes that her wallet has been stolen whilst she dawdled and daydreamed. How mortifying . . . but he did ask her to call him. Harriet rushes home to her housemates and friends to hear what they think of this unlucky encounter, gathering them from every corner of the drafty, rambling old house she inherited from her eccentric aunt. There's Jacko, the cheerfully oversexed ex-jock; Frida, a non-blond Swede who loves the nightlife; Helen, a beleaguered divorc�e and mother of disagreeable twin teenaged boys; Sally, single mother of baby Tom (the unexpected but much-loved product of an encounter on a Spanish beach); and Rosie, her chatterbox school chum. About the only person Harriet doesn't ask is Nina, another school chum, because she's got a feeling that Nina and John are or were or will be lovers. After all, Nina is just so bloody perfect herself-slim, sexy, chic-and she's been dropping hints about a fabulous bloke she's been seeing. But Harriet decides to date John anyway, without summoning up the courage to ask the Big Question: Are you seeing Nina? Minor crises follow. Will Sally tell Steve that he's the father of her son? Will Jacko get anywhere with freewheeling Frida when he asks his Big Question: "Fancy a shag?" Will Helen dump her obnoxious sons on the doorstep of her equally obnoxious ex and his flighty wife? Will Widdles, the two-ton cat, ever waddle home? Then John revealswhat's really been going on between him and Nina . . . . Funny slice-of-life, much less contrived than Young's debut (Asking for Trouble, 2001).

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.93(d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Young started writing after holding a variety of jobs that included modeling for TV commercials in Cyprus and working for the Sultan's Armed Forces in Oman. She has two daughters and lives in Surrey with her husband who never once told her to forget writing and get a "proper" job.

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A Promising Man (and About Time, Too) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Thought this was great. It had a nice flow to it and kept me interested. Recently got into reading books set in England and Ireland (Marian Keyes' books). This one was good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved 'Asking for Trouble' by this author and enjoyed 'A Promising Man' equally as much. Fun, page-turning entertainment. I hope she writes more soon!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so cute and it kept you awake. The characters are adorable and the ending is great. You will love this book if your into books that Jane Green writes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was excellent! Definetly would read more books by the same author. It was so cute, and I loved the British lingo! Email if you know of other good books set in the United Kingdom like this one, please.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an enjoyable book! I generally look for a novel that doesn't make me work too hard or dig too deep, and this one was very entertaining. If you like Bridget Jones' Diary or Meg Ryan movies, you should like this one, too. It's yet another tale of a single girl in London, looking for a Mr. Right, and drinking and hanging out with her friends. The difference between this book and some others with a similar basis is that swear words and explicit, steamy scenes are at a minimum. And the story didn't need them--it is an amusing, satisfying tale without them. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a tough read at first, it took a bit to get into it...but once you've started you can't stop! I find myself thinking like Harriet at times, felt like she was a friend of mine!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recommend A Promising Man to any reader who enjoys British Chick-Lit. If you are looking for heavy romance, you may be a little disappointed, and likewise if you are looking for a light, fast, and easy read. This book won¿t take any major brain power, but you will need to invest a little more of your attention span than usual for it. (What with all the many names and situations that arise! Harriet seems to have more friends than the average person, I¿ll tell you.) A Promising Man begins with the present tense. Our main character, Harriet, runs into another girl in the deli and they begin chatting about an old childhood archenemy of theirs, named Nina, who suspects her man (John) of cheating on her. Well, we find out that Nina¿s supposed boyfriend is in fact cheating on her, with none other than our dear Harriet. So after that brief interlude (which is the prologue to the story), we go back to the first day that Harriet meets John. We see how they meet, how Harriet finds out that he is already dating her old archenemy from high school, and how in spite of herself, Harriet is attracted to him anyway. So, as the story progresses, Harriet tries to stay away from John, but her efforts are pretty half-hearted since she really likes him. Well, Harriet lives in a house with three quite colorful roommates and is constantly having to deal with their problems before her own. There is her friend Sally, who has a baby son, who is constantly nit-picking at everything. There is also Jacko, a guy who is pretty well off, fun to be around and basically a good friend, but whose wayward younger sister has run away from home. There is also Frida, who is usually not around. Not only does Harriet have to deal with her housemate¿s problems, she also has several friends who are constantly going through tough problems. Since this book relies heavily on suspense of just not knowing what is next, I don¿t want to ruin it by revealing much more of the plot. The entire time I was reading this book, I thought I knew what would happen next, but kept being pleasantly surprised. (I say pleasantly because all too often in Chick Lit, where the story is going is obvious.) I kept wondering throughout the story if the two of them would end up together. And let me tell you, the author will keep you hanging until the VERY end of the book. So, what did I like about A Promising Man? Well, as mentioned above, the fact that I was constantly kept wondering what was going to happen. I also loved how the main character was indeed a pretty witty (hey, that rhymes!) person. Some of the things she says are hilarious in a dry sense-of-humor way. At the same time, Harriet came off as being intelligent and down to earth, and she wasn¿t afraid to admit when she had feelings. (Admit to the reader, that is). In some other Chick-Lit stories, the main character seems to be kind of like a robot in a way, or just plain stupid. However, we get to really see Harriet¿s good and bad sides in A Promising Man. Also, the conversations that takes place between many of the characters will make you smile, if not laugh out loud. Overall? I definitely recommend this book to everyone.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In London twenty-nine years old Harriet Grey avoids any entanglement with John Mackenzie, though he probably hangs better than the fertility god statue of Wooden Wally in the store window and easily makes her heart beat faster. Harriet believes that John is the lover of her old schoolmate Nina, a perfect female specimen whom she has envied forever. John manages to talk with Harriet, not an easy task, which leads to their initial attraction for one another growing. Desiring to trump Nina, but afraid she is ASKING FOR TROUBLE, Harriet cannot simply accept that this wonderful male specimen would choose her over her beautiful rival. She asks for advice from her motley crew of housemates and just about anyone else who will listen. As John and Harriet begin to fall in love while the rest of her world confronts minor crises, she fears confronting her beloved on the key question whether he and Nina share a bed? A PROMISING MAN (AND ABOUT TIME, TOO) is a delightfully humorous romantic romp that once again proves London swings at least for the Chic crowd. The story line is at its best when the enchanting Harriet (what can you expect with a name like that?) is on the center stage as her doubts on competing with Nina come through loud and clear. When the vast secondary players go into a soliloquy they slow down the plot though they provide some insight into the star, but more into their own personalities. Though not satirical, Elizabeth Young writes a warm, amusing contemporary romance that is fun to read. Harriet Klausner