Flirting with Forty by Jane Porter

About the book:

He got the second home and the Porsche. She got the kids and a broken heart. Now Jackie, post-divorce and heading toward the big four-oh, is on vacation in sunny Hawaii and staring down her upcoming birthday-alone. But not for long. She's soon falling for Kai, her gorgeous, much younger surf instructor, and the wild passionate fling they have becomes the biggest surprise of Jackie's life.

Back home in Seattle, Jackie has to struggle with single parenthood...and memories of Kai. He hasn't forgotten her. Yet thousands of miles of ocean-not to mention an age difference that feels even wider-separate them. And, of course, her friends disapprove. When a choice must be made, can she, will she risk everything for her chance at happiness?

Interested in the reading guide? You can find it here.

Let me start out by saying that once again I owe a big thank you to Miriam Parker of The Hatchette Book Group for sending me this book (along with two others by Ms. Porter). Thanks really isn't enough - you're an angel!

This book was one of the best books I have read in the last year! Books like this used to sit on my shelf waiting to be read - I used to limit myself to mostly suspense and horror books and would try and fit in a book of this kind every once in awhile to prove that I wasn't a book snob.

The blogging community has truly been an eye opener and I am truly blessed to have found fantastic people like Miriam who are willing to let me review books of all kinds. This book revolves around the life of Jackie Lauren. She has had an extremely trying year and is struggling to overcome the emotional scars that are left by her divorce and coping with being a single parent. As her fortieth birthday nears, she sees constant reminders about the difference between being a single parent and married families. She isn't sure how she is going to make it through.

She decides to accept the invitation of a friend to a go all out to celebrate turning the big 4-0. Her friend backs out at the last minute, but Jackie decides to go anyway, and try to bring some sunshine into her dreary days, and if any place can do that it would have to be Hawaii.

And boy does the sun shine when Jackie meets Kai, a gorgeous surfing instructor. Sure, he's ten years younger, but he makes her feel the way every woman wants and brings back some of the spark and sass that had been missing for so long. The affair is short, but her feelings for Kai follow her home and she is forced to decide whether she is reading more into them, or if this is a relationship worth pursuing, and if she can do this without the approval of her family and friends.

I really enjoyed this book! Although I haven't reached this age my relationship with my husband was questioned due to the age difference between us. Thankfully my family and friends accepted it, but it did take awhile. I love Jane's writing style and will be sure to read her other books. I really recommend this book and think it is an easy read with some depth and situations that most women can relate to.

About the author:

A UCLA grad with an MA in Writing, I am one of those original book geeks, the girl with the coke bottle glasses that sat with a novel next to the classroom door rather than play during recess. I wrote my first story in first grade, my first picture book in second grade and my first novel in 4th, and I've just continued to write from there—bad poetry, passionate essays, romance rich novels and poignant, bittersweet contemporary fiction.

But writing doesn't always come easy to me. I have to work at it. To go below the surface and find the real story in each story, the heart of the novel, the one the reader will hopefully remember long after the story is through. Writing makes me a bit mad which is why I work very hard to have good hair.

When not writing, what do I do for fun? Travel. I don’t know if it's from growing up in a small Central California town, or living abroad with my family when I was 13, but I crave change, travel, adventure. Put me in a car, a ship, a plane and send me off. I subscribe to countless travel magazines, have a library of travel books, and am always interested in where people have been.

Then of course, there are my kids. Being the mom of two boys I watch a lot of sports, and do goofy boy things with them like create slug habitats and nurture baby geckos. It's not the life I expected—I was such a Barbie doll girl—but its full of Tom Sawyer moments that surprise, delight and absolutely exasperate me but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The boys and I live in Bellevue, Washington, six miles from downtown Seattle, and with the plethora of pro sport teams, rugged mountains, coffee houses and bookstores, it's the perfect place for a writer to call home.

You can find out more by visiting her website at

Here's a little info about the origin of the book:

Yes, I'm dating a surfer, and yes, I got the idea for Flirting with Forty while staying at the luxurious Halekulani Hotel on Waikiki Beach in Hawaii, but two years ago when I had my brainstorm--and tracked down the sexy surfer for an interview--I never imagined we'd have one date, much less still be dating two years later. The fact that we're still seeing each other leads people to believe that Flirting with Forty is about me, us, but I sold the story to 5 Spot before there was an “us”.

I sold the story to 5 Spot when it was just a premise, a huge what if that teased me with lives unlived and paths untaken. The character Jackie is not me, but there is me in Jackie, just as there are memories and conversations that have become embedded, imprinted that demand in their own way to be shared. Spoken.

So which comes first? The writer or the story? The writer, yes, but the writer is made up of a lifetime of stories and everything that goes onto the page starts with an event, a word, a lost opportunity. Stories--books--are shaped by dreams, broken hearts, curiosity, wishes, accidental meetings. I went to Hawaii to finish a book for another publisher and left with a new novel idea. And even with the book finished, the idea lives on.

What if we could reinvent ourselves?

What if we changed our direction mid-stream?

What if wanted more than we had?

And thus (my) books are born.

I live and I write. I write and I live. And as I've tried to explain to my children and non-writer friends, I could not do one without the other. The two are so intertwined that I have been transformed by the writing. I am changed, just as my characters are changed. I write a new heroine now, one that asks questions and isn’t satisfied with a half portion of anything. Rather my heroines today demand happiness. They deserve fulfillment, satisfaction. And in the end, my readers are empowered, too, as the writer, the reader, and the character share one goal—to live more richly, to live with more love.

Copyright © 2006

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Luanne said...

Hi Tracee - stopping by on the tour to say hi. I'm glad you enjoyed the book - I did as well!

Miriam Parker said...

Tracee! I'm glad to have found people like you who write amazing reviews!! THANKS!!!

Toni said...

Hi there. Loved visiting her on the blog tour. I will have to check back more often.

.Books by TJ Baff said...

Sounds like you really enjoyed the book.
I did too!
great blogtour stop!

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Excellent book. Step out of the box and believe in yourself is the message.

Hollywood Today, Gabriella Pantera has an excellent review of the movie and book.

I'll be cheering Saturday for the movie debut!

Anonymous said...

Gonna be a great movie


The Giveaway Diva said...

great review! this book looks really interesting and the movie was great!!