Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Review: The Flirt

Summary: 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 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 messages—in his pursuit of his own heart’s desire: the aloof and charming lingerie designer, Leticia. But the canny, professional flirt’s brazen anonymous intrusions into the lives of two women are about to set in motion a series of remarkable events that no one could have anticipated—setting the stage for shocking revelations about love, friendship, and domestic bliss. -- Avon A

THE FLIRT by Kathleen Tessaro is another book that I received from the Harper Collins First Look Program. That would be four books for the month of June -- normally I'm lucky to get one! While this book wasn't my favorite of the four, I still thought it was an entertaining read (although I admit that it did take me awhile to really get into the story.)

I did think the premise of this book was very interesting -- a handsome man is hired to "flirt" with unsuspecting wives who are feeling neglected in their marriages. I figured that there would be this would be a light, chick lit type read. I was kind of right, but the book wasn't an easy read for me. It actually was more complex than what I was expecting; and it was chock full of satire!

The main story in THE FLIRT provided great opportunity for confusion (and laughs) when Hughie -- the flirt -- decides to woo his current love the same way that he is wooing a client. The two women keep running into each other as they follow the same clues that take them all over London. When they finally meet each other towards the end of the book, there is a surprising turn of events that I found rather humorous. On a more serious note, both women end up learning things about themselves that go against all of their current beliefs.

The book was filled with a lot of humor, much of which was satirical in nature. The author created ample opportunities to poke fun at almost anything -- not much was off limits! I can't explain why, but it did take me at least 100 pages until I felt like I was "getting" the story. One of the main reasons for my confusion was the amount of characters and side stories. While I did enjoy some of the characters and their behaviors, I had issues keeping a few of them straight. (It could have been that I was on vacation and trying to squeeze in some pages when I had the time.) I also think that it just took me some time to understand Ms. Tessaro's style of writing -- maybe the humor was more British-style wit than I am used to.

What I did actually appreciate after finishing the book was how Ms. Tessaro was able to bring all of the different stories and characters together -- I thought it was quite a feat! I thoroughly enjoyed the 100 pages of the book and was even caught off-guard with how the author wrapped up some of the stories. I also found myself laughing a great deal more at the characters and their behavior -- I guess I finally "got" it.

While most of the book was rather dark and satirical in nature, I did find myself enjoying the ending. It warmed my heart to see many of the unhappy characters discover things about themselves and learn what they need to be happy.

Also reviewed at:
A Book Blogger's Diary

4 comments:

Cheryl said...

Sorry to hear it was slow at first but good that there were laughs.

Michele said...

Do I just have to go to Harper Collins on a regular basis to get a chance to get these books? Where do I go because I can't seem to figure it out. Call me clueless! :-)

skrishna said...

Great review! I may have to add this to my TBR pile!

Amy said...

Michele,

It's called First Look, go to the website it's on there. :)

Having said that I've had the worst luck!