The Flirt: A Novel

The Flirt: A Novel

by Kathleen Tessaro


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The Flirt: A Novel by Kathleen Tessaro

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Perfume Collector comes this charming, witty novel about a “professional” flirt.

“Unique situation for an attractive, well-mannered, morally flexible young man. Hours irregular. Pay generous. Discretion a must…”

When struggling, out-of-work actor, Hughie Venables-Smythe sees the mysterious job description in the classifieds, he’s convinced he’s found his destiny. For, though he’s become accustomed to running out of credit on his cell phone, sleeping on his sister’s sofa, and begging the waitress at the local café to let him slide yet again on his bill, he longs to treat his lover—the sexy, sophisticated, and amorously ruthless lingerie designer, Leticia Vane, to the finer things in life. But how is he to win her heart if he can’t even pay for dinner? When he learns that his lucrative new position means flirting with married women who have been neglected by their spouses, he can’t believe his luck.

Soon initiated into the extraordinary secret fraternity of the Professional Flirt, Hughie promises to have an exceptional career ahead of him. However, the life of a Flirt is a curiously lonely calling and there’s one absolute rule his new employer has: he must remain single. Only—how can he live without the delicious Leticia Vane?

Surely, there’s nothing wrong with using a few of his newly polished romantic skills on the side to quietly seduce the woman he loves . . . is there?

As clueless as he is handsome, Hughie gamely decides to throw his already complicated life into utter chaos . . . and discovers exactly why a Flirt’s professional and personal life should never mix.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061125768
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/07/2017
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 377,501
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

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

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Flirt 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 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.
LisaDunckley More than 1 year ago
The Flirt is surprisingly NOT about an artful woman—but instead about a young, handsome, charming man, Hughie Venables-Smythe. The plot is a bit similar to Jilly Cooper's The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous, where a stunning young man pretends to have feelings for a woman. However in Jilly Cooper's book the wives knew the truth and used him to get their husbands back, and in The Flirt, the men are the ones who hire Hughie for their wives. The idea is that having Hughie flirt with them uplifts them, makes them feel good about themselves, happier, sexier, and therefore improves their marriages. While Hughie is required to remain single in order to get and retain this job, he is in a relationship with Leticia Vane. She will sleep with him but won't get involved personally because she doesn't believe that love exists. She breaks up with him, which only serves to make him obsessed with her, and to try to use his newfound flirting techniques to get her back. In the meanwhile, he is flirting as required with Olivia Bourgalt du Coudray. Olivia suspects--correctly--that her husband is having an affair. He has hired Hughie to make his wife happy so that she will go back to her normal self and keep the house and be available to her husband as he requires. However, Olivia is finding herself and while the flirting is a diversion, is that going to be enough to save the marriage? This book was fun! The characters were great—especially all the guys who work with Hughie, all trained in the art of The Flirt. Gradually the lives of the characters all intertwine, until everything is wrapped up in the satisfying conclusion.
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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