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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.