Flirting with Fifty is lovely, heartwarming, slow burn, clean work place romance in the golden years of life with second chance trope.
Flirting with Fifty (Modern Love #1) by Jane Porter
Publication date : May 24th 2022
Publisher : Berkley Books
Genre : Contemporary / Romance
Pages : 336
Tea for this book : Minty Ice +Indian Masala
Disclaimer – Many thanks to Berkley for eARC via NetGalley.
This post contains affiliate links
A sexy and sparkling later-in-life contemporary romance about a woman who leaps out of her comfort zone and takes a chance on love by New York Times bestselling author Jane Porter.
Paige Newsom is finally at a place in her life where she’s comfortable. She loves her job as a college professor in Southern California, lives close enough to her mother to visit her regularly, and has three daughters who are flourishing in their own careers. Paige has no plans to upend her life again after her divorce eight years ago, but she’s about to embark on a new adventure: co-teaching a course that includes a three-week international field study.
Paige can think of a dozen reasons why she shouldn’t go, one being a dazzling Australian biologist who will be teaching alongside her. Professor Jack King is charismatic, a world traveler, and more like Indiana Jones than Indiana Jones, all of which unsettles Paige, who prides herself on being immune to any man’s charms. As the two co-professors lead the rigorous program together, first on campus, then in beautiful Tanzania, Paige’s biggest challenge will be working closely with Jack while resisting the undeniable chemistry she feels when she’s with him.
Flirting with Fifty is heartwarming and clean contemporary romance that revolves around Paige Newsome who finds second chance at love at age 50. The story is about second chance, learning to get out of comfort zone, put yourself first, trust, friendship, and love.
I liked the beginning. Just two weeks before the semester is starting Paige is assigned to co-teach with a legendary Professor Jack King, most respected teaching scientist. She isn’t happy about the last minute assignment and to make it worse she knew Jack King 30 yrs ago when she participated in international forum in Paris. She had huge crush on him that ended up in bed, and she running back to home right next day. She feels very awkward co-teaching with him and it doesn’t help her situation when she finds her old crush and feelings haven’t died after all these years. It was interesting to read how Jack will change her life, if she would give love a second chance, give in to her feelings or she will run away like she did 30 yrs ago.
This is character driven story, written in third person alternative from Paige and Jack’s perspective that highlighted their personal life and feelings. The story mostly take place in Orange County, California with academic setting but we also see Yellowstone Park and Tanzania that add interesting elements to story.
Paige is a brilliant mathematician, loyal friend, devoted to students and faculty, and has impeccable reputation, amazing mother to three lovely independent daughters who has flown out of nest. But she had bad marriage that took away huge chunk of her confidence and she struggled with self-esteem. She compromised a lot before divorce and for her girls but now she is done with compromising and doesn’t want to be in relationship after that experience. She is also worrier, loves her comfort zone and schedules.
While I couldn’t relate or connect to Paige, not because of her age but because her self-doubts that I found was too much for me. At the same time I l could understand her passion and love for teaching and relate to her need to be valued, needed to have a purpose in life, and wanting to be available for girls.
I liked how Jack turns her world upside down, make her feel things she never thought she would. It was interesting to see how she will learn to trust in relationships, put herself first, try new things and learn to love once again.
Jack is Paige’s polar opposite. Paige is homebody while Jack loves to travel for work. His whole year is always scheduled for seminars, symposiums, semester teaching, and as guest speaker around the world. He is comfortable with his own company. He is confident, amazing with his job and students and people in his field. I admired his love for traveling and passion for his work but it also kept him from committing long term relationships. It was lovely to see how meeting Paige again made him want to change things, wanting relationship and partner in life. I loved how patient and persistent he was with Paige, being optimistic about relationship for both of them, ready to put aside what he loved for her, and not letting her run away like she did all those years ago.
Secondary characters are interesting with enough details but never overshadowing main charatcers. I loved Paige and Elizabeth’s friendship. Elizabeth is lively, fun, confident, adventurous literature professor. I also liked Andy. As the second book is Andy’s story, I have a feeling it’s going to be more interesting than this one.
Romance is slow burn with second chance trope. I liked instant chemistry and connection between them, how they both recognized their feelings and pull toward each other even after 30 years. It made me want to believe in ‘love never dies’ thing. I liked their dilemma, doubts, reasons why they didn’t want relationship in life and yet it was great to see both trying to give it a chance and work things out.
There isn’t much conflict or drama and no hot scenes so if you prefer romance, clean and dramafree you’re going to love this. What makes this different is main characters’ age. I haven’t come across a book with romance in the golden years of life.
Climax is fine, even predictable but it wasn’t as dramatic as I expected. I expected Paige’s overreaction though and I understand why Jack made mistake. I loved Jack’s gesture in the end. End is heartwarming and lovely happily ever after.
Why 3.5 starts-
This started really good but the middle part is terribly slow. I don’t have problem with slow burn romance or slow pace but here it felt too slow with nothing happening for long long time. It had lull of regular normal life which is sure realistic and relatable but like I said Paige’s dilemma and self-doubt was too much for me. She was constantly in her head to the extent of making her monologue repetitive and i didn’t like that.
Overall, Flirting with fifty is lovely, heartwarming, realistic and enjoyable clean work place romance with second chance trope.
I recommend this if you like,
Character driven story
Romance in fifties
Woman in STEM
Slow burn romance
Second chance romance
Work place romance
Thank you for reading! Let’s chat..,
What do you think about book and review?
Have you read this or added to TBR?
Have you read any contemporary or romance in golden years of life? If so which is your favorite?
Just in case you missed–
Sign up to receive email whenever I publish new post-