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The Flirt

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  1,073 Ratings  ·  134 Reviews
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
Published January 21st 2008 by HarperTorch (first published January 21st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,167)
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Ms Formidably Arranged Hair Tessaro has got a nice formula down pat. Arty but insecure single female recovering from intense love affair usually involving some kind of bereavement has put her heart in the deep freeze and become a gutsy career-minded expert in her field. It will either be something menial but arts-related, eg box office assistant, or something a bit more glamorous but kooky, in this case bespoke seductive knicker seamstress. She will be distracted by some kind of wide-eyed toyboy ...more
Patty Abarno
Aug 11, 2016 Patty Abarno rated it liked it
This was a light and goofy read that I really enjoyed. I always love the characters in her novels. Great beach read for sure!
Jun 25, 2014 M1ssb3rry rated it really liked it
I like how silly the concept of the story was and how the author herself was not taking herself seriously at all
The characters were crazy, the stories behind them even more so but i found that i was hooked, I had to keep reading to find out more. I am looking forward to reading more from her now
Karen McCluskey
We all know not to judge a book from its cover but sometimes it's hard to avoid. Based on its bright, visually appealing cover, I expected to love this book. Instead, at page 80, I am abandoning it. I tried to like this book, really. At about page 40, I went looking for Goodreads reviews to see if it got better. What I found were very mixed reactions. I persevered but by page 80, I still don't know who the protagonist, The Flirt, actually is - well, that's not exactly true, I figured it out from ...more
Oct 25, 2008 Anika rated it liked it
Shelves: guilty-pleasures
Okay, I admit, 'Book of the Dead' sent me into a 'not exactly classic literature' binge. And the next I picked up was this, by an author I had read before. Although it is not the greatest literature in the world, Tessaro writes with undeniable charm - there is something cheerfully old-fashioned about her worlds, even when they are distinctly modern. This book, about a good-looking, good-hearted guy hired to be a professional flirt, and the people around him this somehow effects, is exactly that ...more
Carolyn Munroe
Jan 19, 2016 Carolyn Munroe rated it it was ok
I had read the "Perfume Collector" (NYT best seller) last year and liked how the author (Katherine Tessaro) had wound romance and mystery together. I figured that would be in this but while there was some build up, it didn't quite have the finesse of that later book. In knitting we weave in the ends of the yarn and most ends here did get woven in. There were also a couple of scenes a little too spicey---I don't need to read that. I'll check out other reviews of her books before trying another. I ...more
John Marsh
Feb 14, 2015 John Marsh rated it it was amazing
Advert - 'Unique situation available for attractive, well mannered, reasonably educated young man. Hours irregular. Pay generous. Discretion a must.' Location London - Hughie Venables-Smythe discovers the world of the professional flirt. A timeless art, it can save a marriage or lift a heart faster than any therapy. Letitia Vane runs a bespoke lingerie shop in Belgravia and understands just how to make women feel beautiful. But she cannot let her guard down and fall in love, least of all with Hu ...more
Nov 12, 2014 Katherine rated it liked it
A book I borrowed and grabbed quickly as an after-thought on my way out the door to a week long vacation. I know the cliche saying, but speaking honestly, this is just not a book that I would pick up and read the back of, let alone purchase based on the cover alone. Opening, I thought it was pretty silly and almost put it down. But this is not normally my genre. I thought I'd bear with it. Although there were too many characters for my taste, I did end up enjoying the book (having that feeling w ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"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 m
Aug 20, 2008 Kim rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, romance
This is the direct opposiite of "The Fidelity Files" by Jessica Brody. Running a business that has been around since World War Two, Valentine Charles seeks out actors to work for his flirting business. Husbands, boyfriends,etc., hire his serivices to boost their wives, girlfriends, etc. egos in tiny ways. There is no touching of course, but many spirits are lifted. Love is frowned upon, but love finds it's way all over in this fun book.
Barbara Elsborg
Aug 22, 2013 Barbara Elsborg rated it liked it
Fun story with a different plot - which made a change, though a touch too many characters for me to really identify with one in particular. I loved some of the flirting touches, the messages written in pennies for example and what woman wouldn't love to be flirted with by a handsome guy? My problem would be I'd fall for the charm. But I read this on a sunny afternoon lying in the sun and it was perfect for that.
Mar 31, 2013 Lennis rated it really liked it
Can't decide between 3 and four stars so I'll be generous. I enjoyed the ensemble cast. This read like a British rom com movie like Love, Actually where several people's stories are told and end up tying together somehow by the end. Quick and fun read. Tessaro does not disappoint.
Apr 01, 2015 Victoria rated it really liked it
This is an equivalent of a good romantic comedy for me, a la "Notting Hill" or "Four Wedding and a Funeral". Very well written, with a group of interesting, interconnected characters. I liked the musings on flirting, seduction, and birth and death of love. Favourite quote with which I wholly agree,"... it is always too much sweetness that kills a good perfume. There should be space between the different notes; gaps that only the imagination can fill. And just like in life, young man, it's the sh ...more
Mar 29, 2015 Tama rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
This is the second book I read by Kathleen Tessaro. I really like her writing style. Stories have many seemingly unrelated characters. However, in the end they are intricate woven. This particular story revolves around "professional flirts." They are hired and trained by an agency to innocently (or so it seems) flirt with the women in their client's wives. A man would hire a flirt often after some indiscretion or when his wife was not "at her loveliest." It was said that even a tired mother beca ...more
Jul 11, 2015 Shannon rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, love
This would probably get 3 and 1/2 stars if I were able to rate it such.

Honestly, this was a solid four star book up until the end, where a couple of the story lines wrapped up in ways that I found to be a little bothersome. For example (view spoiler) It als
Feb 02, 2014 Ashwise rated it really liked it
This is my third time reading kathleen tessaroe. The book starts out with an out of work actor who is in a physical relationship with an older woman with a plethora of secrets. Needing a job, he answers an ad for a professional flirt. There he meets his coworkers, Henry, an older man, Marcus, an Italian who's really handsome and looking for a woman to challenge him, and lez, a man who likes to knit. As the plot thickens, we are gradually introduced to more characters who r somewhat tied to the c ...more
Jun 28, 2013 Amy rated it liked it
I only read this book because I had just finished Tessaro's The Perfume Collector. From the 2 books, you can definitely see the author's writing style coming out. It reminds me a little of Maeve Binchy's writing-- only racier.

I have to admit that I did not enjoy this book as much TPC. I just felt there were too many characters. At times I read the story and and had to think hard to remember just whom was whom (don't even know if that is the correct grammar...). There were a number of characters
Aug 31, 2008 Karen rated it liked it
My review of 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. Hugh
Apr 24, 2012 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, fiction, humour
I don't normally read books with a noticeable amount of sex and this starts off with the prelude to lots of it but this book has so many different aspects that it was impossible to put down. The lead character, desperate for money, takes a job as a professional flirt, someone hired to 'run-into' a specific woman and increase her feeling of self worth by flirting with her. There is no touching, no follow up, just an apparently accidental meeting, a specific brief, pleasant conversation and then g ...more
Dec 21, 2010 Traci rated it really liked it
Tessaro is the author of two previous books, "Elegance" and "Innocence", both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. This one sounded good, too, so I finally got around to reserving it a few weeks ago. And it is good, but it's not exactly what the back of the book leads you to believe...

Hugie is an out-of-work actor, but when we first meet him, he's looking for a job. He's also flirting with a coffee-shop waitress, trying to get her to put his coffee on account, seeing as how he's left his AMEX card at
Mar 09, 2009 Brittany rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Candace Bushnell
Recommended to Brittany by: Harper Collins
How I Came To Read This Book: Harper Collins. Freebie. Advanced Reader's Edition. In The Library With The Lead Pipe.

The Plot: The story is of the 'Love Actually' variety where you explore the interlocking love lives of a wide cast of characters - all somewhat centered on a secret agency of professional 'flirts' that are hired for various purposes. You read about a thirty-something sex vixen who designs lingerie, a forty-something socialite trying to make a name and a life for herself apart from
Johnna Cornett
Aug 18, 2008 Johnna Cornett rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: someone who's looking for light, definitely risquee reading.
I adored _Elegance_ with its message of redemption through style makeover and taking time for oneself. I love redemption novels, even when the redemption isn't apparently through the atonement of Jesus Christ. So, I was thrilled to find Flirt.

Flirt goes closer to the heart of redemption--the idea that attention, the idea that one is special and loved, in this case through being flirted with, can trigger redemption.

She juggles a lot of characters--I was getting irritated four or five chapters in
Mar 04, 2013 Jaclyn rated it liked it
I kept debating between giving 3 and 4 stars, so let's settle with 3 1/2. I enjoyed this book and thought it was fun. However, it wasn't exactly how the description on the back of the book described, so that confused me at first. I felt like this book was like a Garry Marshall ensemble movie (like Valentine's Day or New Year's Eve) the way it kept introducing more and more characters, and then their storylines and lives would intersect and finally how everything eventually wrapped up pretty nice ...more
The Flirt by Kathleen Tessaro would make the most delightfully funny BBC comedy sitcom. This is the first thing that popped into my head as I started reading this novel.

Hughie is a handsome man with an ease about women that only comes from someone born with the talent. He is also unemployed, broke, fed up with his mother's and sister's nagging and in a very steamy affair with a slightly older woman. Along comes a job offer that will make Hughie into a verbal Casanova of the highest quality.

The s
Dec 27, 2008 Andrea rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-chick-lit
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this book (especially as it was an impulse pick up in the library.) I was expecting light chicklit - mediocre fluff at its best. However, I got much more than that.

The plot line revolves around several women and men living in London who struggle with the day to day realities of love. A husband and wife who can't reconnect after 5 kids. A young single mother trying to find her way in the world. A successful designer scared to go out on a limb and fin
Jun 22, 2012 Christia rated it it was ok
So disappointing! I was really looking forward to this since I have thoroughly enjoyed Tessaro's other books, particularly Elegance and Innocence, but no such luck here. The plot had a lot of potential and I enjoyed the first half of the book (particularly Rose's accidentally becoming an artist), but everything just derailed. I know a lot of cynics would roll their eyes at the idea of a professional flirt, but the romantic in me liked the idea. There were a couple of scenes I could have easily d ...more
Apr 23, 2013 Leah rated it it was ok
I should have liked this book. Everything pointed to it being a really good chic lit book, but honestly, I just couldn't get into it. To me it was like the author was trying to copy the movie "Love Actually" in the way that there are all these plots and characters that intersect throughout the story, with "The Flirt" and the company that he works for being central to them all.

I couldn't get into the characters, I couldn't picture them. The story seemed to jump around, and some of the characters
Shannon George
Sep 21, 2016 Shannon George rated it liked it
A fun fast read. I found the premise interesting - men secretly paying to have other men flirt (and only flirt) with their wives to increase self-confidence and self-awareness. I wondered if this type of profession actually existed - I meant to Google it. In any event, the beginning was perhaps more intriguing then the end, yet it was still enjoyable.
Meghan Cooper
Mar 04, 2010 Meghan Cooper rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who want something easy to read.
Recommended to Meghan by: Friend
This book was excellent. I like books that are very individual and have a clever concept to their plot. Well this was one of them. You will have to read the book to realise what I'm talking about, but it was very different to other books that are pink and it was not what i was expecting. It took a while for me to really get into this book because it had lots of different characters in it which had to all be introduced but I stuck in there and it really paid off in the end. Me and my friend both ...more
Jun 12, 2016 Allison rated it liked it
Couldn't decide between 2 and 3 stars but decided to be generous as I did enjoy the book. Lots of characters, read some it described as a "Love Actually" kind of book and I get that (and I like that movie!) It's a lot more than the description on goodreads in a good way but it's still a pretty quick predictable read.
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Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kathleen attended the University of Pittsburgh before entering the drama program of Carnegie Mellon University. In the middle of her sophomore year, she went to study in London for three months and stayed for the next twenty-three years. She began writing at the suggestion of a friend and was an early member of the Wimpole Street Writer’s Workshop. Her debut novel ...more
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“I'm going to tell you something that no magazine or novel or television show will ever let on. Love wears you down. We think of it as hearts and flowers and happily ever after but in real life, the things you have to do in the name of love kill you... You end up doing a thousand things in a day in the name of love that you wouldn't ask a dog to do.

Sex is the most powerful weapon in your arsenal

innocence is attractive in children, but it makes brittle, disappointed adults.

Someone liking you is just the beginning; it always starts nicely but before you know it it's like Persephone being dragged into the Underworld.

Romantic love is an illusion Hughie,. It can be manupulated, twisted, piled up like a bunch of fun-house mirrors. The very nature of it is deceptive. It promises closeness but the only thing is ever really reveals is the dreams and fears of the person with the obsessions. That's why it's so easy to control”
“We live in a disposable world. There's no point in investing yourself too heavily.

Love doesn't fix destroys more than it fixes. and when the dust has settled, it's just an afterthought. Lives still get ruined, people still leave, and life goes on and on and on.

the first forty-eight hours are the worst. the ego's taken a bit of a kicking. what you need is a constant supply of alcohol.

today was a day for taking tranquilizers washed down by vodka.”
More quotes…