Flirting with Forty
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Flirting with Forty

4.2 56
by Jane Porter

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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


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?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Porter's second dip into the chick lit pool (after The Frog Prince), Seattle single mom Jackie Laurens begins wondering how important happiness is: divorced with two kids and a thriving decorating business, she assumes she's happy, but can't help feeling like something's missing. When her married friend, Anne, arranges for the two of them to indulge in a Hawaiian getaway in honor of Jackie's 40th birthday, Jackie agrees. Anne backs out at the last second, but Jackie decides to suffer through the vacation solo. Hawaii is gorgeous, but the hotel pool deck groans under the weight of middle-aged men whose coarse chutzpah is only overshadowed by their flabby bellies. Just before she resigns herself to the depressing prospects, she meets Kai, a sexy, tan and much younger surfing instructor. Life doesn't get better, only more complicated as Jackie tries to balance the sultry, sweaty joys of Hawaii and Kai with the obligations of motherhood. Porter's romance roots show in the gratuitous sex scenes and in how easily tears flow from Jackie's eyes, but this book fits the bill as a calorie-free accompaniment for a poolside daiquiri. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Jackie never imagined turning 40 would be like this-a divorced, single mother working what seems like 'round-the-clock hours, desperate for a break. She also never dreamed of meeting a guy like Kai while on vacation in Hawaii. This young, handsome surf instructor touches her heart, causing unexpected ripples in Jackie's life in Seattle. Jackie's torn between two worlds, until a crushing accident forces her to choose. Porter's (The Frog Prince) introspective look at postdivorce life is balanced by bittersweet humor. Despite a somewhat predictable plot, Porter's thoughtful prose and strong characters make for an entertaining and thought-provoking summer read. Strongly recommended. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Seattle divorcee hopes surf lessons will be a solution to her midlife crisis. When they divorced, Jackie Laurens's husband got the vacation house in Palm Springs and a hot young girlfriend. Jackie got the kids and a mega-dose of bitterness. She works as an interior designer, a job that requires her to coddle affluent clients during their outrageous shopping sprees. In her free time, Jackie and her friends gripe about their empty lives and the endless familial obligations that take up so much time. It's a stretch to feel pity for this privileged crew of heavily caffeinated and flawlessly highlighted ladies. As she nears her 40th birthday, Jackie surmises that her existence is shallow and that she is owned by her possessions. The solution to her malaise is decidedly uninspired-on a quest to simplify her life and find true happiness she books a luxurious getaway to Hawaii. Her search leads her to Kai, a surf instructor. This surfer boy leads a life free from guilt and expectations. Kai provides Jackie with a little spiritual guidance and a lot of steamy sex. Jackie is drawn to his live-for-today philosophy. It doesn't hurt that this feel-good guru happens to be smoking-hot and ten years younger. The two lovers carry on a long-distance romance that shocks Jackie's friends and her ex-husband. Despite their disapproval, Jackie continues to see Kai-he makes her feel sexy, young and full of potential, but the impracticalities of the relationship eventually wear Jackie down. She talks a big game about embracing life, but she's pitiful when it comes to putting her words into action. In the hands of Porter (The Frog Prince, not reviewed), the plight of the middle-aged woman is bleak. The book readslike a rough draft of a memoir, lacking polish and nuance. The ruminations of the heroine are monotonous and the ending is as subtle as a Lifetime made-for-TV movie. The premise is that women should know more joy in their lives, but this hollow novel is a joyless chore.

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Jane Porter is the author of Flirting with Forty, Odd Mom Out, and The Frog Prince. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her two sons, where she is currently working on her next book. Visit her website at

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Flirting with Forty 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
wbarker More than 1 year ago
In a nutshell: I LOVE this book! Jane Porter has written a wonderful book about Jackie, a newly divorced mother of two who is finally becoming an "adult," discovering herself, taking chances and finding love. Written in a wonderfully fresh style by a Seattleite who has obviously visited Hawaii herself - what could be better (I live near Seattle!). There are some wonderful "ah-hah" moments within the book. I am not one to dog-ear a book, but this one has about nine - NINE - because there were comments or thoughts I wanted to ponder and return to. This book was recently made into a Lifetime Movie starring Heather Locklear which will air on December 6th. It was a lot of fun to read the book with the image of Heather as Jackie!

Extended Review:
I found out that Flirting With Forty by Jane Porter had been made into a Lifetime Movie starring Heather Locklear that will air on December 6th. Because of that I had to read the book FIRST! I absolutely fell in love with the style of writing and the characters. I was also amazed at how easily I could relate to Jackie! (And no - I'm not 40 yet - I've got just over 8 years to go still)

First of all, the book starts of with a bit of comedy surrounding the Christmas tree - from searching in the rain for the perfect tree, to settling and simply trying to get it home and into the house. If you don't end up chuckling at some point within the first few pages, there is something wrong and you must HATE the holidays!

Jane has included some great "ah-hah" moments for me. For example, she has some great insights into women, such as how we see ourselves, how we feel about our kids, and how we simply think TOO much sometimes! (My husband tells me that all the time, and through this book, I was able to see what he is talking about - talk about a wake-up call)! Jackie seems like she is much happier when she isn't thinking quite so hard - you will know what I mean when you read the book!

Characters: All the characters in the book are wonderfully written, each with his or her own personality. They seem so real - with real happiness and real sorrow - real people like you and me, only they have something to share with the reader. The chemistry between Jackie and Kai seems very real, as are her relationships with her kids and her friends.

Story-Line: Life after a divorce in a world where your friends are all married with kids isn't easy, especially since you are no longer "popular" because you are no longer a "couple" with kids doing things with your "couple" friends and their kids. Add in a special vacation and a long-distance boyfriend who changes the way the main character sees herself, and this is a fun and insightful read! Don't get me wrong - the story has humor, adventure, love, friendships, heartbreak and loss - but you won't be disappointed! Sometimes you need the sorrow in order to appreciate the things in front of you.

Readability: I found the book easy to read . . . and fun. The book started off with a humerus bang and just kept me enthralled! The dialog is fun and entertaining, and the descriptions are great.

Overall: I simply adore this book, which is even more fun with the knowledge that Heather Locklear will be playing the role of Jackie in the upcoming Lifetime Movie! With some great insights, fun adventures, and supportive friends, this book is a must-read. It has a bonus in that Jane has stated on her blog that she lo
Guest More than 1 year ago
FLIRTING WITH FORTY ¿ Jane Porter A Perfect 10 5 Spot (Trade Paperback) ISBN: 0-446-69726-5 July 2006 Contemporary Fiction Seattle, Washington & Hawaii ¿ Present Day Jackie Laurens is facing the one-year anniversary of her divorce and her fortieth birthday. Everything is harder than she thought it would be. She tries to maintain the traditions her family has created during the holidays -- to make it a happy time for her two young kids -- but she feels desperate, anxious, and unhappy. When her best friend Anne suggests they get away for a long weekend, just the two of them to celebrate Jackie¿s birthday, Jackie is at first reluctant, and then cautiously excited. Anne cancels at the last minute because her husband is ill and doesn¿t want to take care of the kids while she goes to Hawaii, but Anne insists Jackie go and enjoy herself. Despite the fear that gnaws at her at the thought of being alone in paradise, Jackie goes to Hawaii. Initially, her anxiety and unhappiness seem like a cloud she can¿t escape, until she meets Kai Carson, a sexy surf instructor ten years her junior. Suddenly Jackie feels young and reckless, and happy for the first time in years. But her mini-vacation soon ends, and Jackie finds herself back in Seattle, running her interior design business, car-pooling the kids, and desperately trying to hold on to the happiness and feelings of hope her brief affair with Kai brought to life. Her friends don¿t understand her ex-husband, Daniel, ridicules her for her infatuation with a beach bum, but Jackie misses Kai, and the possibilities he represents. Jackie has some hard choices to make, and some eye opening internal examinations. What does Jackie want? Who is she now that she is no longer Daniel¿s wife? She is still William and Jessica¿s mom, but is that all she is? Where is the girl Jackie used to be? FLIRTING WITH FORTY sounds like a fun book about a woman of a certain age finding herself. Even the back cover gives that impression. But let me say right now, FLIRTING WITH FORTY is anything but a light, romantic romp, or even a simple May-December romance. This novel has depth, and offers glimpses into the heart of a woman that will resonate profoundly with women who are starting families, raising families, in a monogamous happy marriage, or trying to move on after a divorce. Jackie Laurens is a sympathetic character to whom many women will strongly relate. She has spent the last eleven years ensuring the happiness of those around her while neglecting her own needs and happiness. She is not a saint she is simply a wife and mother who is doing the best she can for her family. She learns that making others happy or comfortable is not enough to ensure that you will be happy. Jackie, like many women, has given away pieces of herself throughout her life until the woman she was all but disappears. Kai, while sexy and carefree, is not the cure for Jackie¿s blues, but he is the catalyst that opens her eyes and her heart to possibilities. Her struggle to find the pieces of herself and redefine her life is heartbreaking and, at the same time, uplifting and hopeful. Told in the first person from Jackie¿s perspective, the reader shares her fears, her hopes, her anguish and her triumphs and, most importantly, her deepest dreams. Secondary characters are all integral to Jackie¿s life, but this is Jackie¿s story. If there is any message to be had from FLIRTING WITH FORTY, it is a message of hope, of believing in yourself and knowing that you deserve that piece of cake with the roses on it. Jackie¿s journey is one that touched me and made me remember that there is more to life than routine and the daily struggle of life -- there is laughter, and love, and hope for more. If you are a voracious reader or only read one book a year, I highly recommend FLIRTING WITH FORTY it is an outstanding novel and an RRT Perfect 10. Terrie Figueroa
kimberlyindy More than 1 year ago
I saw the movie first and I enjoyed it so much that I bought the book. Everyone always says the book is better than the movie and this was no exception. The book gave you a much better feel for the characters and what they were feeling emotionally. The main character Jackie struggles to figure out who she is when she is turning 40 and her life is not where she thought it would be at that age. Even though I don’t have kids or the ex-husband, I could relate to what Jackie was feeling about turning 40, and discovering what you want for yourself and not what everyone else expects of you. I thought Porter did a great job at portraying her friends’ reactions to her dating a much younger man. I genuinely liked this book and have recommended to several friends.
CatmomJD More than 1 year ago
My all time favorite of Jane Porter's book. Jackie travels to Hawaii and finds love with Kai, the local surf instructor. Her friends don't approve of the long distance relationship and also disapprove of him being younger. But, Jackie is in love. I have read this book many times and seen the movie. I always enjoy it.
chante-marie More than 1 year ago
Flirty with forty was comical, sassy, and fun! The characters were real, and you find yourself routing for Jackie from the first page until the very last! This book is definitely one to buy, read, then read all over again. Yes, it's just that good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a 40+ year-old woman - this was a fun read. Great for the beach and vacation. Men probably wouldn't like it - definitely a "chick" book. If you are romantic and like romance, this is great as well. I can relate to divorce in this book - so any single divorced women should like it - single moms as well. I have never read a Ms. Porter book, but love her style so I'll probably check into others.
momof3boysj More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful story of a woman finding herself after divorce, finding fun, negotiating life, kids, a job, and dipping her toes in the dating scene. Meeting a younger, surf instructor in Hawaii, she has doubts it could work, at first. But she has to figure out if the the relationship is a fling or possibly for keeps.
SoutherenGirl More than 1 year ago
Its really how we fell about forty omg so funny and what is it about young guys we want. Love this book so spot on about marriage life kids friends feeling stuck
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mengel2 More than 1 year ago
This was a great book that makes me look forward to turning 40! Every woman knows how it feels to have her heart broken. I found myself rooting Jackie on as she set out alone on her vacation to Hawaii. When she unexpectedly met Kai and started her whirlwind romance I felt like I was a character in the book. This is a great novel that makes you believe that you can find love when you least expect it. Flirting with Forty is a feel good book that makes you wish there was a second book. I highly recommend this book!
Pretend_Spoon More than 1 year ago
Honestly, this book was just all right to me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved this novel. It's funny, commiserative, and a witty, fast-paced read. Highly recommended, as are others of Jane Porter's books!
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Vick88 More than 1 year ago
Definitely wish this wouldve went differently but overall a good book.
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kzirbel More than 1 year ago
This book was great! It was funny and touching. It made me smile and sigh at many points. Just a great relaxing read for women of every age! I would highly recommend this!
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