Monday, July 24, 2023

Tour Review & Giveaway - - Flirting with Fire

Flirting with Fire
by Jane Porter
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: July 25, 2023
Reviewed by PJ

Forty-nine-year-old Margot Hughes has lived and breathed theater for the past twenty-five years. After a devastating breakup with her playwright fiancĂ©, she wants nothing to do with the industry. She has sworn off New York, theater, actors—all of it. She returns to her hometown on California’s central coast and takes a job in real estate, where she manages significant investment properties. But Margot’s suddenly thrown back into the theater world when Sally, her friend and boss, who had been restoring and funding Cambria’s historic theater, has a heart attack. Before she knows it, Margot is tapped to take over the troubled summer production of 
Barefoot in the Park.

But the play is no walk in the park—the leads and director have all quit, and Margot struggles to find new actors…until Max Russo arrives. Forty-five-year-old Max is a former soap opera star turned rugged cowboy on TV’s most popular western series.  Max has a huge following and is the perfect hero to step up and save the play, provided Margot stars opposite him.   Although adamant she would never return to theater, Margot enjoys the long hours of rehearsal with a professional like Max, who is charming, witty, and passionate. But when the curtains close, can Margot allow herself to fall for Max when he represents everything she left behind?

PJ's Thoughts:

I have really enjoyed the three books in this new trilogy by Jane Porter. Mature couples bring with them a multitude of life experience - and baggage - adding texture and interest to both their individual characters as well as new relationships.

Of the three couples, all of whom I liked, Margot and Max are my favorite. There's so much to cheer for with these two. I liked them as people, related to their life experiences, especially Margot's. Approaching her 50th birthday, she's faced with a number of realizations: unfulfilled dreams, paths not taken, but also new opportunities on the horizon. If she's courageous enough to take the first step. Her journey with Max is a reminder that sometimes second acts can be the best acts. That's a theme that flows through all three books in this series and one Porter navigates well. 

As a theater geek, I loved all the intricate details of the community theater and the fact that Max's character is a working - and successful - actor. Just like Margot, I couldn't help but fall for Max. I wanted to hug the little boy in him for all he had endured, climb the rugged, sexy man he had become, and reassure him that he wasn't broken but, in fact, has overflowing amounts of love and commitment for the right person. I was cheering him on the entire way.

The secondary cast is well drawn, bringing the right amount of support, conflict, and texture to the story without detracting from the main couple. Porter blends them all together seamlessly into an intriguing, empowering, emotionally satisfying story of growth, forgiveness, understanding, new beginnings, and love. 

I don't know if Porter plans to continue these stories featuring couples in their 40's and 50's but if she does I will definitely be here for them. They are an important reminder that love can find us at any age and new beginnings are always just around the corner. 

Have you read any Jane Porter books?

Do you enjoy older couples in the romances you read?

Have you experienced a second act, either in your professional life or in romance?

One person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, Tuesday, July 26 will receive a print copy of Flirting with Fire

*U.S. only
*Must be 18


  1. I have read and enjoyed a few of Jane's books and do like older couples romance. Thanks for the chance.

  2. Jane's books are captivating and give me great enjoyment. Since I am old, yes, older couples romance resonates with me. Second acts are always interesting and I have definitely experienced something special.

  3. I have been reading Jane Porter's novels for years and they are always a great experience. Romance with mature couples is my favorite since they have a unique perspective which is similar to mine. I am in my second act now and it has been successful and enjoyable.

  4. Ms Porter is a new to me author. I am older than dirt, so it seems to me that seeing romance involving an older couple would be lovely. I found a second chapter in the work world. When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita happened, I went to work for FEMA. I thought I would just be an office person in my hometown. But, I was blessed. I became a FEMA employee who traveled to disaster areas and had the privilege of helping people who had been affected by disasters. I met wonderful people all over the country. It was a big reminder that even during disasters, we are blessed to have strong and caring people in ever corner of the country.

  5. I LOVED Flirting with Fifty, so I'm sure I'll enjoy this one as well, since all her books are great. And yes, just about everything in my life has been a second act! I had a gap between kids, have dabbled in many careers, and I write books whose titles all begin with the word "second"!

  6. I've read a lot of Jane's Marietta Montana books and loved them but have yet to start this series. I really do enjoy main characters who are more mature. We need more books like this! I have had second acts in my career: before kids, I was a technical writer; when they got older I did a lot of small writing jobs before I went to work in a family owned pet store for almost 10 years.

  7. Yes, I have read and enjoyed several of Jane’s category romances and a few of her Montana based stories.
    I do like older couples as heroes and heroines. I like second chance at love stories. One of my good friends from HS was widowed at 38. She married again at age 60. She is so happy! Love that!
    I did have a late in life job. I needed the work credits so I could receive Social Security. My husband and I still own rental properties.

    Thanks for the chance to win her story.

  8. Patricia Bennett BarberJuly 24, 2023 at 6:30 PM

    Yes I love Jane's books. And since I'm older, love read about things I've gone through.

  9. I have enjoyed Jane Porter's books. I am glad to see books with older couples becoming more available. Many of us reading romance are well past the 20 and 30 year olds frequently featured. It is about time authors recognize those of us who many of are their readers are well past that age group and appreciate the recognition that romance and love continue throughout our lives. As you mentioned, older characters bring more to the relationship than younger people do. There is much more in their life experiences that influences their lives and relationships.
    I have been lucky enough to have had several different careers. As for a second act in the romance department, no. I have been in a wonderful marriage for 51 years and have no desire or need for anyone else.

  10. I haven't read Jane's books for a while - this would make a wonderful movie!

  11. Love Jane's books. No need to count me.

  12. I have read several of Jane's books. This one sounds like a plot for a fun Hallmark movie. I do like romances for older couples.