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Flirting with Forty

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Now a Lifetime movie, Jane Porter's beloved novel follows a divorced single mom who finds an unexpected, forbidden romance with a much younger man while on vacation in Hawaii.

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 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?

357 pages, Paperback

First published July 13, 2006

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About the author

Jane Porter

549 books1,695 followers
Born in Visalia, California, I'm a small town girl at heart. I love central California's golden foothills, oak trees, and the miles of farmland. In my mind, there's nothing sweeter in the world than the heady fragrance of orange blossoms on a sultry summer night.

As a little girl I spent hours on my bed, staring out the window, dreaming of far off places, fearless knights, and happy-ever-after endings. In my imagination I was never the geeky bookworm with the thick coke-bottle glasses, but a princess, a magical fairy, a Joan-of-Arc crusader.

My parents fed my imagination by taking our family to Europe for a year when I was thirteen. The year away changed me (I wasn't a geek for once!) and overseas I discovered a huge and wonderful world with different cultures and customs. I loved everything about Europe, but felt especially passionate about Italy and those gorgeous Italian men (no wonder my first very Presents hero was Italian).

I confess, after that incredible year in Europe, the travel bug bit, and bit hard. I spent much of my high school and college years abroad, studying in South Africa, Japan and Ireland. South Africa remains a country of my heart, the people, the land and politics complex and heart-wrenching.

After my years of traveling and studying I had to settle down and earn a living. With my Bachelors degree from UCLA in American Studies, a program that combines American literature and American history, I've worked in sales and marketing, as well as a director of a non-profit foundation. Later I earned my Masters in Writing from the University of San Francisco and taught jr. high and high school English.

I now live in Seattle and Hawaii with my three sons. I never mind a rainy day, either, because that's when I sit at my desk and write stories about far-away places, fascinating people, and most importantly of all, love. I like a story with a happy ending. We all do.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 340 reviews
Profile Image for Alex is The Romance Fox.
1,461 reviews1,081 followers
March 29, 2015
I enjoyed reading this book. The characters were likeable and I liked the fact that the heroine was in her 40's.

Sexy, sweet and very easy reading.

I must be honest and say that I much prefer her Mills & Boon books!!! In fact she's one of my favourite M&B authors and I wish she would write more of those.

Oh, I did watch the TV movie which wasn['t too bad!!!!
Profile Image for Allison.
31 reviews
December 9, 2008
Jane Porter has written an amazing book about a woman caught in the middle of her life, 40, not knowing what direction her life is taking her. Jackie is a mother, ex-wife and alone, until her girlfriend gives her a trip to Hawaii for them to take for her 40th birthday. After her girlfriend has something come up and she can't make it, Jackie is once again alone with her thoughts about what is missing in her life. Not knowing what to do with herself, she finds Kai. He is handsome, tanned, younger, and a surfboard instructor. A passionate fling begins. Both think it will last only until the end of Jackie's trip, but it becomes much more than that. The distance in their separation is the pacific ocean, but this only intensifies their love. Will the differences of age and lives pull them apart? With all her friends against her, Jackie must make a decision...that may change her life forever!

I absolutely love this book. If I can start a book, not want to put it down and then think about the characters even when not reading...I know it is a GREAT book. Jane Porter has created great characters in her book that come to life from beginning to end. This story is much more than age difference, social status or older woman with a younger man. It expressed to me that two people who enjoy being with each other should work hard to make things work, no matter what conflicts they might face. The wit and wisdom Jackie showed in not giving in to 'just being' in a life that gave her no fulfillment, clicked on a lightbulb in my head (yes, I can relate being 44). Jackie's ability to step out of her comfort zone by taking surfboard lessons, opened new doors for her life to follow. We all need a little fun and relaxation in our lives, so make sure to have a marguerita by the pool sometime. You never know who might be walking by.....
Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,709 reviews928 followers
November 5, 2015
So first and foremost the only reason I really did run out and get this book was because I had read some of Jane Porter's books in the past, and this was a Lifetime movie on t.v. a few years ago. I remember it coming on around Christmas and I got a kick out of the t.v. movie.

Told in the first person, the main character is 39 year old Jackie. Jackie has two kids and is still reeling from a divorce. Dealing with a hard hearted ex-husband and feeling at sea with her life at the moment. She is talked into going to Hawaii to celebrate her 40th birthday with one of her best friends. Unfortunately, do a family emergency, Jackie is left going to Hawaii solo. Once there she meets a surfboard instructor years younger than her and starts off having a vacation fling that turns into something more.

So here's the big thing, I read How Stella Got Her Groove Back when I was around 20 and this book felt like a big re-tread of that whole story-line. Older woman falls for younger hot man, they have amazing sex, family and ex disapproves, etc.

That said, unlike with Frog Prince I was able to finish this book. It was touch and go there for a few moments though. I think just like with Frog Prince, the biggest issue I had was that for almost the entire book there is nothing happening and there was a lot of standing in place storywise while reading. It just gets boring reading someone's diary entries after a while. And no I don't mean that is how it was written. It was just written like, well today I thought about Kai and how handsome he is, and once again I wondered where this is going. Well you know what? Just ask him! Romance novels that do things like this just make me shake my head.

The character of Jackie was super indecisive at times, and I thought just secretive where it didn't need to be. She pushed back at her friends and definitely saw into their lives a heck of a lot better than they were seeing into her life, and I wish that her thoughts on them had actually come up. There was a lot of dysfunction with some of the other characters in this book that was either kind of glossed over until the very end.

The character of Kai is very flimsy as a character. I honestly don't get him at all. Besides being into surfing and having an awesome body, that was about it. He didn't seem to have any real thoughts on things, and these two never seemed to have real conversations. There is a serious incident that comes up that I thought would have been the perfect time for Jackie to include Kai in her day to day life, and it once again gets ignored.

The setting of Hawaii and Seattle really do shine through here and there. And it definitely makes me want to go on a surf holiday to Hawaii one day.

The ending happened and I wondered at how in the world readers were expected to overlook a several month absent which springboarded into a HEA.
Profile Image for Carla.
89 reviews7 followers
September 20, 2007
well can i say booooooooo....
i'm less than two weeks from being 40 and hate to think of a woman being this insecure and needy. she can't define herself outside of a relationship, her weight, hair, clothes. not a book i would recommend, only finished it because i was bored on the eliptical machine and needed a light read. don't waste your time.
Profile Image for Ellenjsmellen.
450 reviews97 followers
July 27, 2008
Just finished Odd Mom Out and loved it. Enjoyed this too.
Profile Image for Marianchu.
162 reviews5 followers
November 13, 2014
He disfrutado mucho de esta novela. No sé por qué desde el principio conecté con la protagonista.
Con un argumento sencillo nos cuenta una historia difícil en la que la complejidad viene dada por los caóticos pensamientos que asolan la mente y el corazón de la protagonista, Jackie, una mujer trabajadora a punto de cumplir los cuarenta, madre de dos hijos pequeños y que lleva un año divorciada.
Después de 15 años con la misma pareja no es capaz de asumir ni entender qué pasó y en qué momento para que la relación terminara así. Ya nada en su vida es como era antes. Se siente sola y vacía. No se siente deseable ni mujer. Hasta que en su vida aparece Kai, un joven 10 años menor y con una forma de ver y vivir la vida totalmente diferente.
Al estar la historia contada en primera persona desde el punto de vista de ella el personaje de Kai me ha resultado poco profundo. Hay momentos en los que me hubiera gustado saber más sobre sus pensamientos y sentimientos pues para mí quedó deslucido, ya que además, la autora pasa de puntillas por las escenas íntimas y ello hizo que no lograra conectar del todo con él.
Otra de las cosas que más me han gustado es la forma de reflejar la sociedad, los prejuicios hacia las mujeres, la diferencia de edad cuando ella es mayor que él, sobre los distintos tipos de trabajos, y en este punto tanto el ex como las amigas son el gran lastre en la vida de Jackie.
Es curioso pero lo mismo que consiguió que me enganchara desde el primer momento a la lectura es lo que hizo que en algunos momentos, sobre todo hacia el último tercio, me resultara repetitivo, sus constantes inseguridades y desvaríos.

Quiero destacar la traducción que me pareció impecable ya que en todo momento logra encontrar la palabra justa que transmite a la perfección los sentimientos de la protagonista y sin duda contribuyó en gran medida a que lograra disfrutarla tanto.

En resumen, es un libro difícil narrado en primera persona con mucha prosa y poco diálogo lo cual te obliga a estar muy pendiente de la lectura, en el que cualquiera de las situaciones que acontecen te pueden pasar fácilmente a ti o a mí.

Mi puntuación un 7,5.
Profile Image for Barrie Gardner.
599 reviews3 followers
October 12, 2013
I read this book in one day. That's saying a lot for me. When I picked it up, I thought it was a blatant rip off of "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" and there are striking similarities. Forty something divorced mother trying to "find herself" on a tropical vacation alone? Check. Jogs while on vacation? Check. Falls for an incredibly hot, muscular, younger man who works at the resort? Check. Has the most amazing sex of her life? Check. Returns home and pines for him obsessively? Check. Makes several last minute trips there that she can't really afford? Check. Has disapproving friends/family? Check. Worries constantly about their age difference? Check. The man improbably ends up on the mainland? Check. I even imagined the Kai's voice with a Jamaican accent. This book deals more with the main character's divorce and her coming to terms with it. (I skimmed some of this.)

I didn't ever really think Kai was as into Jackie as she was into him. She always seemed to be chasing him. He never slept over after their incredible love making. She never went to his place. He alluded to being with other lonely woman at the resort. And exactly how does their relationship work since he never wants to live on Washington, she has to stay there because of her kids, and neither has the money to visit more than every few months? Also, the bulldog tattoo between his navel and crotch? Give me a break.

I wish the sex scenes were more explicit. Come on! The author goes on about how hot the surfer guy is and how amazing the sex is. And there is no description. Nada. Two words: Let. Down.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Dawn Murray.
419 reviews15 followers
April 27, 2016
Initially I didn't like this book at all, but as I continued to read there were things I did really like - especially that feeling a woman/mother/wife has of disappearing, or losing herself. Of needing adventure. Of feeling so very insignificant. I didn't love any of the characters really but overall I liked it in the end. Actually, I liked the feeling of the book, but not really the book itself if that makes sense? A very quick beach read.
Profile Image for Jessie.
856 reviews11 followers
January 13, 2018
I have read this book several times in my life but now that I’m actually 40, this book took on a whole new depth. ❤️
Profile Image for LoLo Paige.
Author 15 books279 followers
August 24, 2020
Back in the 70s and 80s women were informed they could have it all: A fabulous career, motherhood, being a wonderful wife...but as many have learned, in trying to be all things to all people, something's got to give. I liked this book for this reason. An old chapter closes and another one opens. The main character, Jackie opens her mind up to possibility. And when that possibility includes a hunky surfer guy in Hawaii, she figures there's no harm in a quick fling. The book has a rom-com feel to it and a movie was filmed, based on the book, which I haven't seen, but plan to. If you enjoy Chapter Two journeys and new experiences, this book is entertaining.
February 26, 2022
I thought that this was a good book. I really liked how Jackie is able to handle dealing with her divorce from Daniel and take care of her two children and also realize that she needed to find herself. I loved her love story with Kai. I would definitely say that others should read this book.
10 reviews
August 9, 2022
This is a perfect book for summer by the pool or at the beach!
Profile Image for Aurian Booklover.
588 reviews34 followers
July 13, 2014
I am not a big fan of woman’s fiction, but I met Jane Porter at LLC Berlin 2014, and so I wanted to read one of her books. I found this one second hand, and as I am around this age myself, I just had to read it.
I have to admit I did struggle with it some times, as Jackie is going through some severe depression and gets lots of critique from her friends. She is divorced, because her husband cheated on her, and they had grown apart. Jackie has two young children to take care of, the housework of course, and has her own career in decorating other people’s houses. She lives in Seattle. One of her best friends convinces her to go on a vacation, just the two of them, to celebrate Jackie’s 40th birthday. But when Jackie is waiting in the airport (the kids are with their father and his girlfriend), her friend calls that she can’t make it, as her husband is suddenly very ill. (The same husband who never wants her to do anything that does not involve him). And so Jackie goes to Hawaii alone.
At first she is at a loss what to do, making a schedule and sitting at the hotel’s swimming pool pretending to read a book. But a persistent man who thinks she will be a good fit to be his fourth wife drives her away. And the very attractive young surf instructor captures her attention ... When she keeps running into him, and he offers to teach her how to surf, to her own astonishment, she agrees. Jackie is very self conscious though, how can he admire her with her sagging body when all those young tight girls in itty bitty bikinis are throwing themselves at him? But there is just something between them, and they end up spending a lot of time together.

Back home in Seattle, Jackie can’t stop thinking of Kai, and when he calls her, she is determined to go back soon. Her friends disapprove, he was just a vacation fling, they live thousands of miles apart, and nothing can come of it. But Jackie is learning to do what she wants and needs, and not to be subjected to other people’s wishes and expectations of her. Her ex-husband of course finds out as well, and he ridicules her. But Jackie doesn’t care about that, there is a reason they are divorced.

And so Jackie lives her life in Seattle, and travels to Hawaii a few times. Until her daughter is in a car accident with the sitter she hired (against her ex-husband’s wishes) and she can’t get back soon enough. After that, she is so guild ridden, that she decides to give up on Kai. He will get over her soon enough ...

Jackie is a woman who lives mainly for her children. She has some good friends, who are all still married, and also live for their husband and children. She has a nice house, a nice car, and her own small business, her husband derogated all the time. Her little hobby. But Jackie wants more out of life, she wants to be happy. Her friends don’t understand that, they are content with their lives as they are.
The book is a lot about the feelings Jackie is having, she does love her kids to pieces, but she wants more. Eventually they will be grown up and living their own lives, and where will that leave her? She is reasonably pretty and has kept in good shape. When she hires a part-time nanny, that will give her more time for the job she enjoys, and land some new clients. But still.

Finding Kai in Hawaii changes her life, she starts questioning things she has always taken for granted. That you have to have things, a nice job, a nice house, a nice car, nice friends, and of course nice kids. Kai takes life easier; he came from a background like hers, so he knows what he has left behind. He loves the easy and relaxed life in Hawaii. He is a professional surfer in winter, and a surf instructor in summer. I like how he makes Jackie feel more confident about her self, and how he takes her all over the island. She is more to him than just a short fling, but Jackie doesn’t dare to believe in that, even though she has never had better sex in her life. She is very much hung up on the age difference, but I liked it.

Even though it sometimes felt like it took soooo long, and I got a bit tired of Jackie continuously questioning herself and her feelings and her thoughts, she grew a lot in this book, and I am proud that she choose herself, and happiness instead of settling for what she had. And I am sooo glad that the book has a happy ending, a truly good ending and one that I did not really see coming or expected. So I was happy when I closed the book, and it will make me read the other Jane Porter book I have, The Frog Prince.

7 stars.

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

Profile Image for Deena.
203 reviews1 follower
January 29, 2019
This was a fast, easy read (good for the beach, which is what I'd had in mind), filled with cliches, just as I figured it would be based on ready the back cover. But, I did take away some useful nuggets relating to my own outlook on life as I myself approach 40.
Profile Image for Cyndy Aleo.
Author 10 books69 followers
May 21, 2011
I honestly don't know what possessed me to pick up Flirting with Forty by Jane Porter the other day. It was on a clearance table when I was shopping for books for my kids, and since I'm pretty much headed in the general direction of 40 myself, I think I saw the title and just grabbed it without so much as a cursory glance at the promotional blurbs. I probably could have spared myself a few hours of sheer, unadulterated torture if I had.

::: The Plot. Such As It Is. :::

Jacqueline (or Jack, or Jackie, depending on what mood the author is in on which page) is recently divorced, a single mom with two children under 10. She's bitter about the divorce, bitter about being single, and feels like she no longer fits in with her three still-married friends.

One friend talks Jacqueline into a girls-only trip to Hawaii for Jack's 40th birthday, but begs off at the last minute, leaving Jack to go alone, mope about her life, and end up having an island affair with a surf instructor named Kai. The rest of the book is Jack obsessing about Kai, arguing with her ex, carrying on some bipolar relationship with her friends where they either criticize her or tell her how much they admire her, and repeating the same thoughts over and over again. Sorry if that spoiled the plot for you, but I thought I'd save you some time.

::: Wait. Haven't I Read This Before? :::

I can't believe this novel was even published. I had to double-check to make sure it wasn't some vanity press because the whole thing was so familiar I wanted to scream. Four girlfriends: one gorgeous and angsty, one prim and proper, one earth-mother-y? All you are missing is Kim Catrall vamping it up and you have Sex and the City 3: Seattle Burb Bliss.

And then you have the Hawaii affair with the much-younger beach bum and how it forces Jack to re-examine her life at what may be a critical juncture. I seem to have read this before, in How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and gee, I thought it was inane there too. Why on EARTH go back over that same ground? Why can't a woman turning 40 figure out her life without banging the proverbial cabana boy? It's not even the May-December "look, we can do it just like the men do" bit, but how it's handled. And if you aren't sure that the author is giving the wink-wink-nudge-nudge girl power cradle-robber bit, watch for the Ashton Kutcher reference if you have decided that the Yellow Pages are too exciting for your blood and this book sounds like your cup of tea.

So we've covered the lack of originality, but what about the author's general indecisiveness? I realize that I stopped caring about Jack by, say, page 10 or so, but even the minimal amount of attention I was paying to the story should have made it clear why her marriage broke up, right? I mean, husband has affair. Wife finds out. She can't trust him. They divorce, right? Then why does everyone blame her, from her friends to her ex to her boring soliloquys about where she went wrong, why it went wrong, Kai, Kai, too scared to do anything exciting, blah, blah, middle-aged-crisis-cakes. She also can't stick with a name, a financial situation, friend opinions, or pretty much anything. I started feeling like I was reading different versions of the same book, with a different take on the characters with each chapter.

I finished this book simply to finish it, but I can't remember the last time I was glad that a book was finally over. If this is what 40 looks like? I'll gladly skip ahead to 50.

This review originally published on Epinions: http://www.epinions.com/review/Book_F...
May 22, 2019
The past year has been difficult for Jackie. She discovered her picture-perfect marriage wasn't so perfect when she caught her husband cheating. The divorce and being a single mother to her nine and six-year-old children haven't been easy. Although she tries to keep up appearances of normality with her interior decorating career, her children, and her friends, nothing is as easy or the same as it used to be. Now Jackie is about to turn forty and is feeling rather depressed about the prospect. When her friend Anne offers to take her to Hawaii to celebrate, Jackie is unsure, but agrees to take a risk.

As Jackie is about to board the plane, Anne calls to cancel. Jackie decides to go anyway, and at first is lonely in paradise. She decides to throw caution to the wind and takes a surf lesson from a gorgeous, but much younger man named Kai. Their lesson turns into a hot island romance, but soon it is time for Jackie to go back to her life in Seattle. She longs to return to Hawaii and Kai, but every other person she knows disapproves of their relationship, as well as her new attitude to life. Can Jackie reconcile her old self with her newfound happiness?

This introspective novel explores the true meaning of happiness. Jackie has experienced her share of sadness, regret, and doing things the way others wanted her to. Her relationship with Kai is more than just a self-esteem boost. It helps her to think about the choices she is making and learn to not settle for less than the best for herself. Jackie's relationship with her ex-husband is incredibly true-to-life. His double standards of pursuing happiness for himself, but scoffing at Jackie's attempts to find joy in life are credible. Anyone who has gone through a divorce will identify with Jackie.

The pace is brisk, yet the reader can feel the difference when Jackie goes to Hawaii and is on island time. Everything seems slower, and the reader can vicariously visit the fabulous island state of mind. Flirting with Forty is an intriguing combination of chick lit and mom lit sure to please those who enjoy either or both genres. The plot is fresh, not just another recycled story. Jane Porter is an author to keep on your must buy list.
Profile Image for Julie Barrett.
8,052 reviews141 followers
December 1, 2011
flirting with forty by jane porter
she's 40 and it's Christmas. So getting the tree up on top of her car, dragging it to the house after dropping it from the roof of the car,
onto her cream color living room carpet and there is sap over everything, rug, clothes, furtniture. she doens't even have a saw to trim the trees
for it to be able to put the tree in the stand. What else can go wrong and why does she have nothing but he got the vacation home, the Porsche and the
20 year old girlfriend.
She goes first class to Hawaii, after giving her ex the kids for 5 days, to spend time with her girlfriend but she cancelled at the last minute, she has her own driver and she's in a luxury hotel.
Nothing to do but lie in the sun at the pool drinking til the men start to come over and engage her into conversation.
She decides to go with a local surf instructor and go for a cocktail cruise around the island via catamaran. He's 20 years younger than her and she just can't relax.
She does spend more time with him and finds herself and loves how he makes her feel-so loved.
Back to reality and life again til she can go again to HI. Another vacation and she's on the island again with him and his friends.
There is an accident and she has to overnight herself back home to deal with the injuries. Later she goes to take a home pregnancy test
and finds out her world is about to change.
How can she just call him and help her deal with this?
Her friends come to her aid and help her get through the problems and they introduce her to a man at a BBQ in hopes they will get together and spend some time together.
she makes a bucket list and first time the kids are with the ex she is on her way to argentina for the holidays. What she never expected to happen is when her doorbell rings.
Love the scenery, very long sunsets, Seattle area and learning about new places I need to visit. This is such a down to earth book but with impulsive behavior that is adventurous.

Profile Image for Celia Kennedy.
Author 11 books112 followers
August 14, 2014
I never preface my reviews by saying what I think a five star novel is, but when asked I say Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, F Scott Fitzgerald or JK Rowling. I read all genre and across the timeline - that is to say I've read all these authors, and their works are dynamically different.

For me to give this book four stars is significant.

What I enjoy about Ms. Porters work the most is that she get's to the gristle on the bone very quickly. It is both this skill, her visual descriptions, as well as the intense emotional scenes that we feel like we are a player in, that I love.

A review I read said that they didn't care for the main character, Jack/Jackie/Jacqueline because she is whiney. I'd have to agree that she is whiney and at times unlikeable. Except then I remember that Jack/Jackie/Jacqueline is one year post divorce from Daniel, who seems to have undermined all self-confidence this woman once possessed. A woman who once thought she had the world by its tail.

Jackie's friends, those who are helping her rebuild herself and her world, are all forty-something's. Women who worry about stretch marks, saggy breasts, parenting, connecting to husbands who were once lovers. I found this thread to be very poignant. When these women end up judging Jackie's decisions, Jackie finds herself realizing that she might have to rebuild more of her life than she thought. How daunting does that feel?

Kai, the surfing instructor who quickly becomes lover, is a compelling personality. He represents many ideals, except that the relationship must defy the age old taboo of Jackie being older. It's okay to be a cougar if you're Demi Moore or Susan Sarandon, but can you deal with the whispering if your an average mom living in the suburbs?

As always, I think Jane Porter does a superlative job helping her characters mature and become someone we root for, cry for, sigh for.
Profile Image for Michelle.
298 reviews11 followers
June 9, 2014
Jackie is a Seattle interior Designer, mom of 2, and divorced.
She's on the brink of her 40th birthday. Her girlfriends get together and decide to send her on a trip to HI as a girls getaway.
Her ex husband Daniel is a nightmare. She faces the self doubt that all women face day in day out..am I good enough, pretty enough, successful enough, a good enough mom??
This book really resonated with me. Her inner conflicts felt so REAL.
I find that women do constantly measure ourselves against other women in our lives..we constantly compare, tear about, analyze every single detail about our bodies and lives. Lets not even get started on possessions too.
Jackie's struggles with life and love just read really genuine. She wants to follow her heart when she meets a dreamy guy in Hawaii, but her practical side (and well intentioned friends), try to talk her out of it.
I loved this book..I found some of it repetitive, which kept it at 4 stars and the younger guy a little, well corny.
However..it was such a fun, lump in my throat, cheering for a happy ending for her sort of read.
Great beach read for sure!!
Profile Image for Angela Blount.
Author 3 books670 followers
July 22, 2011
I'd give this a 2.5, but I always round up.

Not a bad book. I actually read it as a persona study in handling long-distance relationships in a literary sense. I rather enjoyed the author's writing style. It took a while to get going, but once it did the pace was steady. It is written in first person, and that seemed to amplify what portions were coming from the author's personal experience. Her inner monologues were interesting, and the character growth regarding perceptions and priorities was strong. The mother/child relationships were believable, and the feminine analysis of age, motherhood, and expectations were poignant at times.

I couldn't form any attachment to the male love interest, which diminished how I felt about the heroine. She never learns much about him, and so, neither did I. I tend to agree with those who thought that the ending felt rushed. It seemed tacked on for the sake a resolution, with not a lot of natural progression to the point it ultimately left you at.
63 reviews1 follower
January 11, 2010
Overall, this book was somewhat entertaining but I didn't care for the following:

-Jackie was very whiney through out the whole book. I am going through a divorce right now and please don't tell me that I whine like that.
-Considering that Jackie is a business owner and mother, I was surprised that she was struggling so much with herself.
-Overall, the book seemed disjointed - Jackie's friends were really hard on her about her relationship with Kai. Once she decided to stand up for herself, I was surprised that she didn't do that with her friends. Obviously, they came through for her when she needed them most but I felt that things were unfinished there.

-Concerning her relationship with Kai - we didn't find out anything about him really. Why was his life kept secret?

Overall, I guess that I really wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. It was a fast read but kind of boring.
Profile Image for Shannan.
611 reviews3 followers
January 9, 2011
This book is about a forty year old divorcee's midlife crisis - complete with a trip to Hawaii and 30 year old boyfriend. This book isn't as good as some of Jane Porter's other endeavors and altough I finished the book in a few days, it was kind of an "eehhhh, blah" reaction when I finished. The protaganist's (I just forgot her name - okay wait I just remembered)Jackie's ex-husband was a totally asshole (excuse my French) and I have to say that I would have been on the same side as her friends - what's up with the 30 year old boyfriend surf instructor? And all the blah, blah, blah talk about "needing to be happy" "you should be happy" "happy" "happy" "I deserve to be happy" kind of got on my nerves as I would have enjoyed other ways to describe happiness.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
33 reviews
September 29, 2008
AHH! Jackie's flying back and forth to Hawaii was very symbolic of her flip floppy attitude. I understand that we actually do that to ourselves, believe and then don't, have courage, then pull back, have faith and then fall. We second guess ourselves constantly. BUT, most of this book was second guessing, poor self image, negative self talk, whining, whining.... blah. The end was pretty good, if not mashed together. Pretty much, I was sick of Jackie by the time it was finally over. It would be like reading my own journal, it all sounds the same after the third page. Too bad, her other books are much better.
Profile Image for Elle.
641 reviews8 followers
January 18, 2011
I didn't expect to absolutely love this book but I do. I really do. It is about Jackie Laurens and how an expected trip to Hawaii makes her question her happiness and her way of life. It awakens her to what she wants and what her needs are as well as her role as someone who is approaching mid life. I myself am in this predicament and certain questions have arisen and I feel that I'm not alone in asking myself these questions. I so appreciate the stance Porter comes with. You can sense the confusion and the frustration that the protagonist goes through. It is not only just an entertaining plot that I find very relatable, it is well written which is always greatly appreciated.
Profile Image for Diana Townsend.
Author 9 books31 followers
July 5, 2015
I've read this countless times, but I wanted to read it again and I still love it. Our main character is divorced and struggling to find her spot in her community. Her friends are married and they want to live through her, but not really.

I love the idea of an island romance that turns serious. I also understand why her friends are so worried about her but dammit, people need to understand that everyone's idea of happy is different. Money, success, power, and status can only take you so far sometimes... Sometimes, love is enough. Most times, love has to be enough.

Great character development, easy transitions, and honestly, just a really good story...
Profile Image for Season.
1,018 reviews2 followers
March 22, 2013
I really liked this story and maybe because Hawaii is my favorite place in the whole world. Jackie was a very likable character. I really felt for all that she has been through. I thought all her friends really weren't there for her in the her time of need the way I hope my friends are there for me. In the end they all admitted that they were wrong, but I would hope that at least one friend would be on my side for the duration.

Overall great characters, but very normal everyday like characters.

This book gave me hope that no matter what, you never know how life will turn out so live life to it's fullest.
Profile Image for Liz Talley.
Author 70 books855 followers
July 30, 2015
Definte 4 1/2 stars.

Engaging story and the main character, Jackie, is so identifiable. I'm not flirting with forty - I'm past it. But I could definitely relate. I think my favorite part was when she tried surfing and she was worried about her butt and cellulite while paddling out. It's funny about the things we're self-conscious about and Jane Porter really nails the authentic emotions when one is trying to find a new path for herself. I sent this book on to my mother who is also enjoying it. It's an easy, fun read with plenty of heart. And that Kia? Jeez. I need to get myself to Hawaii for the scenery ;)
Profile Image for Angel Suarez.
231 reviews2 followers
August 20, 2014
AHH!! OK so I totally loved this book! uh just such a fun good romance novel, exactly when I needed it most in life. I was laughing at some parts, feeling risque at others, and also cried. But the ending was the best, I literally giggled and jumped up and down for joy. It it so good to read novels like this again, which provide readers with hope and a zest for life. Oh Jane Porter, you pulled at my heart strings. P.S. Such a quick read as well :)
Profile Image for Aura.
751 reviews65 followers
December 18, 2016
This was such a fun read. Jackie is turning forty and she is not coping with divorce and being a single mom well. She is given a Hawaiian vacation by friends and there she meets 20 something hunky surf instructor Kai. This book was a lot of fun to read and a perfect escapist type of story. I think I have read other similar romances but Jane Porter always gives top notch modern romances that are easy and fun.
5 reviews
August 19, 2008
This book gets ZERO stars from me although most everyone in my book club enjoyed it. i took this book on a getaway to Mexico thinking it would be a relaxing beach read. it wasnt! most depressing and i did not, nor do i ever want to relate to this book in anyway. i disliked it so much i left it at the resort.
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