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Playful and smart, a coming-of-middle age story of a woman not ready to give up on love and life.

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, staring down her upcoming birthday in sunny Hawaii—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.

Returning home, Jackie has to struggle with single parenthood…and memories of Kai.   He hasn’t forgotten her either. With her friends disapproving and thousands of ocean –not to mention an age difference–separating them, Jackie starts to wonder what she got herself into. When a choice must be made, can she, will she risk everything for her chance at happiness?

read an excerpt →

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Modern Lit

Flirting With Forty

Playful and smart, a coming-of-middle age story of a woman not ready to give up on love and life.

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, staring down her upcoming birthday in sunny Hawaii—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.

Returning home, Jackie has to struggle with single parenthood…and memories of Kai.   He hasn’t forgotten her either. With her friends disapproving and thousands of ocean –not to mention an age difference–separating them, Jackie starts to wonder what she got herself into. When a choice must be made, can she, will she risk everything for her chance at happiness?

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Flirting With Forty

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I turn away, push wet bangs off my forehead as the hood on my coat doesn’t quite cover my face. I’m cold, tired, wet and grouchy and would give almost anything right now for a tall, non-fat, sugar-free vanilla latte. Or just a plain old cup of coffee would do.

“William. Jessica,” I call, trying to inject some enthusiasm into my voice. “Come and help me find a six foot tree.”

Jessica comes skipping out of the drippy pine tree forest, her lavender sweatshirt soaked, her long blonde hair matted.

“Where’s your coat, Jessica?”

She stops, gazes back, around, blue eyes wide. “I don’t know.”

“Honey, go get it.”

“I’m hot.”

“Jess, it’s raining.”

“I’m hot.”

I will say this for children born in the Pacific Northwest, they’re not wimps. Fog and rain don’t slow them down any. “It’s forty degrees, Jess. Get your coat on or we go.” I warm to the threat. I like this threat. I’d love to go home right now. “If you can’t cooperate then we’re heading home.”

William, my nine year old, has heard this last part and he comes stumbling out of the trees in protest. “But you said, Mom, you said–“

“I know what I said, but I’m not going to fight with you or your sister, not today. Getting the Christmas tree is supposed to be special. I want this to be fun, not a hassle.” Right.

And there are times (like now) when I wonder where I got all this parent-speak from. Is it something inherited? Something transmitted in the XY chromosome? Because sometimes (like now) my mouth moves and words come out and I hear my voice, and the tone, and I am a nag. A mother.

William turns to his sister who is conveniently three and a half years younger and continues to live up to her status as the baby in the family. “Knock it off, Jess,” he hisses. “Get your coat and do what Mom says or we’ll go home and we won’t have a Christmas tree and there won’t be any presents and Santa won’t come and it’ll be all your fault.”

Jessica gets her coat.

I look at William, my handsome first born who is thicker around the middle then he used to be, putting on size where I didn’t know size would go, and silently congratulate him on getting the job done. These days I’ll take all the help I can get.

Reaching up I wipe my face dry again and think of the two umbrellas in my car that have been there for two years and never used. Odd to live in a place that rains so much and yet never use an umbrella. It’s just that most of us who live here don’t pull out umbrellas for something as insignificant as showers. We’re well…tough…tougher.

Or maybe just stupid. Stupider.

I feel stupider right now, walking through wet mushy soil to stare at staked trees. We’re the only ones at the lot. Yes, it is a Monday at four in the afternoon, but surely there must be other parents who promised their kids they’d buy a tree today if they were good.

If they were good, and glancing at my two, I see Jessica take a swing at William. Jessica with her blonde hair and blue eyes and great dimples at her mouth may look like an angel but is the devil incarnate. She’s hell on wheels and I wish I could blame it all on Daniel, but word has it I was difficult at five, too.

And six. Seven. Eight. But whose counting?

Certainly not me because I just want to go home.

“How about this one?” I say, pointing to a relatively attractive fir that’s in the five to six foot tall range.

Both Jessica and William shake their heads. “It’s short,” Jessica says.

“It’s ugly,” William adds, moving his hand in one of the tree’s huge holey-pockets. “There’s nothing here. How will you hang ornaments if there’s nothing to hang them on?”

He has a good point but I’ve seen the price tag. The tree is sixty-five dollars, twenty less than the better groomed brothers in the seven foot row. “We can put something special there,” I say.

“Like what? A piñata?”

He’s getting funny in his old age. I can only imagine the excitement of adolescence. “It’s not perfect, but it’s a nice tree.”

He hrmphs me, much like his father used to do, and then finds the tree we end up buying. While Jessica splashes in puddles in her best shoes (why didn’t I see she was wearing her best shoes earlier?) and then cries the whole way home that she’s cold.

The good news is we have a tree tied to our roof and we’re in our car heading home.

The bad news is that it’s only step one. Swiftly I review the other steps–

Step one: buy tree & tie on car

Step two: drive home without losing tree

Step three: get tree off car

Step four: get tree in house in stand

We’re home soon–I like step two, I feel really good about step two and congratulate myself for a job well done and now it’s time for three.

end of excerpt

Flirting With Forty is available in the following formats:

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5 Spot

ISBN: 978-0446509435

May 7, 2008

Flirting With Forty Extras

Reviews for Flirting With Forty

  • “I loved every word. I laughed. I cried. I couldn’t put it down. “

    — Susan Stephens, Harlequin Presents author

  • “I picked up FORTY and I was up until 3:14 a.m. reading it. I could not put it down.”

    — Dee Buckingham, Harlequin Presents author

  • “Porter’s thoughtful prose and strong characters make for an entertaining and thought-provoking summer read. Strongly recommended.”

    — Library Journal, STARRED review

  • “…this book fits the bill as a calorie-free accompaniment for a poolside daiquiri.”

    — Publishers Weekly

  • “Expertly crafted and emotionally engaging, Jane Porter’s newest chick lit release, Flirting with Forty is a story that deals with some of life’s serious issues in a hopeful way without over-simplifying or resulting in miracle solutions. The reader may find herself laughing with the character one minute and wiping away tears in the next. You can’t read this novel without experiencing every single emotion.”

    “If you’re looking for a story with sultry sunsets, sexy characters and smart dialogue, don’t miss Jane Porter’s Flirting with Forty.  It’s a ‘must-have’ for your beach bag this summer ~ simply delightful.  Don’t miss it!”

    — Leena Hyat, Senior Editor, The Best Reviews

  • Flirting with Forty is a must read for all women whether single or in a relationship as one learns though the main character’s journey to “be all that you can be”. It’s a story so profound it will have you laughing and crying at the same time. It’s a story of dreams, hope and learning to be comfortable with one’s self.”

    — Marilyn Shoemaker, Reader to Reader Reviews

  • Forty’ will knock your socks off.”

    “Each and every page of this remarkable novel shows tremendous insight into the female psyche and also reveals one huge writing talent. Flirting With Forty may well become the anthem of the Baby Boomer generation. It’s fun, it’s serious, it speaks to the part of us that never wants to grow old.”

    — Helen Holzer, Book Beat

  • “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, Romance Reviews Today, a PERFECT 10

  • “This is an interesting coming-of-age story… true-to-life dialogue and… true-to-life feelings.”

    — Romantic Times BOOKreviews

  • “Flirting With Forty is the perfect example that chicklit does not have to be restricted to a certain age public. Women of all ages will find this book appealing and will laugh and understand what Jackie is going through. Being forty does not mean there is no room for romance or comedy anymore! …Refreshing, playful and witty.”

    — Eveline Soors, Euro-Reviews

  • “Jane Porter has written a powerhouse of a novel with this her second foray into chick lit. Jackie is a character that will resonate with readers long after the end of this great tale. Many women will see themselves in her and her struggle to become all that she wants to be in life, and mothers, single and otherwise, will see their daily lives reflected in hers. By turns funny, thrilling and poignant, this tale is always compelling and ultimately empowering. …readers will rejoice with Jackie as she finds triumph and fulfillment. This reviewer certainly did! Highly recommended!”

    — Leah, Senior Reviewer for Love Romances & More

  • “Ms. Porter has a wonderful flair for showing how turning forty can hit hard, especially if recently divorced and feeling inadequate about oneself. The gift of true friendship, the love a mother has for her children, and the passion of a love affair are tastefully and wonderfully depicted. This is a must read offering joy, heartache, passion, angst and a delightful and surprising ending.”

    — Nancy Lepri, Reader to Reader Reviews

  • “Flirting with Forty is a book about a woman who finally realizes who she want to become and goes after it. As you read you’ll learn about yourself and think about your goals and whether you’ve chosen the right path to make you happy.”

    — Gabrielle Pantera, Hollywood Today, 4-star review

  • “This book was one of the best books I have read in the last year! … 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.”

    — The Book Czar