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3.6 10
by Kathleen Tessaro

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Tantalizing words written on an ivory card. It is the first clue that will lead an intrigued and intriguing London lady on an odyssey of sensual experience designed to awaken her romantic nature.

Out-of-work actor Hughie Venables-Smythe has found a profitable new outlet for his talents. He is hired, often by distraught husbands, to flirt with wives who are


Tantalizing words written on an ivory card. It is the first clue that will lead an intrigued and intriguing London lady on an odyssey of sensual experience designed to awaken her romantic nature.

Out-of-work actor Hughie Venables-Smythe has found a profitable new outlet for his talents. He is hired, often by distraught husbands, to flirt with wives who are feeling neglected in their relationships. His current seductive campaign is focused on Olivia, the spouse of a narcissistic billionaire, and the lady is responding quite nicely to the cream-colored missives he secretly leaves for her. So nicely, in fact, that Hughie decides to employ a similar technique—and shockingly similar messages—in his pursuit of his own heart’s desire: the aloof and charming lingerie designer, Leticia. But the canny, professional flirt’s brazen anonymous intrusions into the lives of two women are about to set in motion a series of remarkable events that no one could have anticipated—setting the stage for shocking revelations about love, friendship, and domestic bliss.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

When charming, penniless would-be actor Hughie Armstrong Venables-Smythe answers a mysterious London ad for "an attractive, well-mannered, mentally flexible young man," he learns that he's to become a professional flirt, hired not to make conquests but to bring a touch of romance into the lives of unappreciated women. The catch: being a hopeless romantic, Hughie takes his job a bit too seriously. Deftly combining a sweetly improbable premise with witty, sometimes luminous writing, Tessaro (Elegance) tells the stories of Hughie's numerous clients, whose lives intersect in unexpected ways. They include Leticia, an emotionally repressed but sexually adventurous lingerie designer; Rose, a clueless waitress who accidentally becomes the darling of the London art scene; and Olivia, an emotionally abused socialite overdue for a transformation. Along with humor and a high London hipness quotient, Tessaro scores with keen insights into romance's perceptual and emotional hall of mirrors. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Kathleen Tessaro is the author of Elegance, Innocence, The Flirt, and The Debutante. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband and son.

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Flirt 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
xoxo_leigh More than 1 year ago
I have previously read Kathleen Tessaro's other books; Elegance and Innocence. I thoroughly enjoyed both those books (and highly rated them) but The Flirt is my favorite! She has a way of describing characters that you believe you are a character in the book. I enjoyed the storyline and was able to easily follow the multiple characters and how their storylines connected and intermingle with each other. I was initially worried by the amount of characters (12-15) but she describes them so well there is little confusion because each has such a different personality. Good fun flirty read with a good combination of romance, humor, comedy and sex appeal. Very good read, pick up all her books, you won't be disappointed! xoxox_leigh
Guest More than 1 year ago
Newly released in June from Harper Collins is Kathleen Tessaro's third novel - The Flirt. From the cover art I originally thought the novel was to be about a woman flirt. I was mistaken.... The Flirt is set in London, England. We meet Hughie Armstrong Venables-Smythe in the first few chapters. A would be actor, he is perusing the classifieds and spies an intriguing advertisement: 'Unique situation available for an attractive, well-mannered, morally flexible young man. Hours irregular. Pay generous. Discretion a must. Please send photo and brief romantic history' Hughie comes from aristocratic stock, but the family fortunes have paled and his name, posh accent, good looks and charm are what he's surviving on now. We are quickly introduced to many more characters Leticia - Hughie's latest sexual dalliance - no strings attached Rose - a young single mother waitress who is attracted to Hughie Sam - a busy plumber currently working at Leticia's business Olivia - the unhappy wife of a very wealthy man, Arnaud Ricki - friend of Rose and Sam, gardener to Olivia Johnathan - works for Arnaud - and hates it Amy - Johnathan's perpetually pregnant wife ....and other supporting characters. I've introduced the list of characters as in a playbill because that's the feel the book had for me. A delicious British romantic comedy. Somewhat along the lines of Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest. No farce, but lots of sly comedic lines and situations. Everyone is living their lives, but recognize that they aren't really happy. Hughie is hired by Valentine and Flick. I won't go much further in divulging the plot. Suffice it to say that Hughie's new profession touches everyone's lives. Each chapter is written from a different character's viewpoint. This did make the book hard to put down as I wanted to read yet another chapter before shutting the light off. Tessaro skillfully weaves all the stories together in a most satisfying ending - though not all as are you may have imagined. There is some minimal sexual language used that may offend some readers. This is a good summer chick lit book. If you like British authors such as Marion Keyes and Jane Green, you will enjoy Kathleen Tessaro. I read Elegance years ago and very much enjoyed it.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The Flirt by Kathleen Tessaro: Would it be every man¿s dream to be paid to flirt with women? Hughie thinks he has found this dream job that starts with a cream colored card secretively given to a woman to capture her attention, curiosity, and imagination. Kathleen Tessaro takes the reader to London where the main character is the charming and attractive Hughie Venables-Smythe. Hughie is a would-be actor looking for work and without realizing it, looking for a loving relationship. Hughie doesn¿t think he wants to tie himself down and in fact finds himself in a ¿no strings attached¿ relationship with an older woman. Leticia, who owns a rather non-traditional lingerie boutique, wants to be with Hughie only for sex and no further commitment. Hughie answers a very unusual ad and finds himself being trained to be a ¿professional flirt¿. He feels this is a good job that enables him to work on his acting skills while making some much needed money. The job involves being assigned to flirt with a married woman to help them feel more romantic and wanted. This theoretically makes the woman feel better about herself and it carries over into her marriage and makes for a better relationship with her husband. The husbands themselves hire ¿the flirt¿ through this business set up to meet the needs of some very wealthy but discontented clients. Cream colored cards are secretively given to the wives by Hughie, and he follows up with his charms and attention. The conflict occurs when Hughie decides to implement what seems to be working in his ¿profession¿ into his own life with Leticia. What follows is a series of events that suddenly finds lives intersecting in ways that were not expected or meant to be. Kathleen Tessaro, who gave us Elegance, brings us another comedic addition to ¿Chick Lit¿ that moves along quickly with humor and heart. The many characters introduced in each chapter add their part to the mix of this romantic romp. Some may find it hard to keep track of everyone and the part they play in this sometimes improbable idealistic escapade. However, when read as it is meant to be, a delightfully light romantic comedy and fun beach read, the reader will be glad that they encountered The Flirt!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Unemployed wannabe actor Hughie Armstrong Venables-Smythe needs to make some quick money so he can continue to seek his big break. He responds to an odd ad and is hired as a flirt he assumes his acting skills will make hum successful at his new hopefully temporary vocation though he plans to give Oscar winning performances when on the job.----------- However, Hughie is attracted lingerie boutique owner Leticia Vane, who is much older than him. She shocks him with her belief that trysts should be short, quick and especially with no attachment strings. When the notes and cards containing clues begin to arrive, she is fascinated by her secret admirer. As Hughie continues his campaign, he and Leticia begin to fall in love, but her interest remains with an unknown paramour-------------- This terrific most likely implausible contemporary tale reminds this reader of Deuce Bigelow with its combining humor and the serious issues especially loneliness confronting the female clients. Already confused about his life, Hughie takes the role seriously and gives his best performance, which enables readers to better understand what disturbs the women he flirts with. Readers will appreciate Kathleen Tessaro¿s fine London Swings but underneath the swingers face difficult decisions re what they want out of their respective lives.------------- Harriet Klausner