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Pip McCabe, 30, likes to say she doesn’t need a man and she doesn’t need money. However, her friends and her sisters Cat and Fen (the heroines of North’s previous two bestsellers) think she would probably benefit from a little more of each. This might prove difficult. Stripy tights, starched pigtails, a bright red nose and an ability to juggle whilst doing the splits only just about pay the bills and seldom lead to romance or romps. Pip, though, takes her clowning very seriously, whether at spoilt kids’ partiesor on the wards of children’s hospitals. She simply doesn’t have time for a man, she claims. And her bank balance hovers just above the red, so that’s OK.

At 34, Zac Holmes has a successful, high-powered career, a fabulous flat and an adored 6-year-old son from a previous relationship. Popular, charming and affluent, Zac feels that no-strings flings suit his lifestyle as much as the pleasing bonuses he earns at work.

When Zac and Pip first meet, it is far from love or lust at first sight. What can a clown and an accountant possibly have in common? Against a lively backdrop of parties and parks, hospitals and hotels, they attempt to find out…


A Personal Note from Freya

Ah, Pip the clown. I had to persuade a lot of people that she wouldn’t be a scary clown – I couldn’t believe how many people actually have an aversion to traditional clowns! The Clown Doctors were fascinating to research and shadow – very humbling too, not least because I was pregnant (with my second child) whilst writing this book. The Clown’s Gallery in Dalston, east London, was a fascinating place – not least for their extensive collection of painted eggs, on which clowns can ‘copyright’ their make up. This was to be the last book in the McCabe series – not written as a trilogy, but interlinked nonetheless. By the time I finished this novel, I knew, though, that I’d revisit the sisters. But I needed some space from them first. And a posse of brand new characters needed my attention in the meantime. So Love Rules was next.

What happened next to Pip

Pip continues to clown around though Zac’s ever-increasing bonuses at work have enabled her to give up working weekends. She is still totally committed to her clown-doctoring and now trains other clowns for the Renee Foundation, as well as doing her twice weekly ward-rounds as Dr Pippity. Pip and Zac were married a couple of years ago. Her sisters were bridesmaids and Zac’s son Tom was his best man. The wedding was in the garden at Farleymoor. Django, in a claret coloured velvet suit and Cuban heeled boots he said were once Jim Morrison’s, gave his eldest niece away. He wanted to do the catering too, but Pip persuaded him to use outside caterers. He made the cake. A mountain of profiteroles with a live-action avalanche and landside during the course of the party. No one was quite sure if this was intentional or not. Least of all Django. It tasted sublime.