cover image Flirting with Fifty

Flirting with Fifty

Jane Porter. Berkley, $8.99 mass market (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-43838-1

Two college professors get a second chance at love when they’re recruited to co-teach in this satisfying contemporary romance from Porter (It’s You). Prim, insecure 49-year-old statistician Paige Newsome is shocked—and excited—to learn that her new colleague is her one-night stand from 30 years prior. Easygoing 55-year-old Australian biologist Jack King fell in love at first sight three decades ago, but Paige abandoned him without a word the morning after their tryst. Jack has since spent his career traveling the world, while Paige preferred to set down roots. Both have vowed never to remarry (Jack’s wife died of cancer; Paige went through a difficult divorce), so they decide to have a temporary fling—only to find themselves falling in love against their better judgments. Jack teaches Paige to loosen up and enjoy life, but their differing attitudes—and Jack’s sordid past—jeopardize their happiness. Jack makes a swoonworthy hero, but Paige’s constant negativity and diffidence make it difficult to root for her. Readers will appreciate Porter’s refreshing focus on middle-aged protagonists but may be exasperated by some of the romantic back-and-forth. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (May)