4 out of 4 stars
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A Small Flirtation by Buff Brazy Given is a romantic novel set in California. Jenny is a widow who has two children and falls in love at first sight with a stranger at the airport. As if it were fate, the two start talking, and upon arrival at the destination, the stranger named Paul offers to take her to her destination by car. From then on, the two start seeing each other more often, and what seemed to become a serious relationship takes a severe blow: Paul is married and says it's impossible to leave his wife at the moment.
The two then continue to meet, but the relationship becomes increasingly tricky as Jenny enters Paul's circle and meets several of his friends. Even though she has other options that would be more "conservative" for possible relationships, Jenny loves Paul. After a long period without any intimate connection with men since the death of her ex-husband Tom, she is not willing to let go of this joy and feeling that life makes sense. Life, however, is not going to be a fairy tale paradise, and reality will be hard on the couple many times over.
My favorite part of the book was the clever approach to how some social conventions end up undermining people's happiness. In some situations, individuals cannot make the obvious decision and simply embrace joy. The interaction between the protagonists quickly jumps from a physical attraction to an almost pathological need for each other's company. In many parts of the book, Jenny decides to ignore wise advice from friends to live an adventure, almost entirely overlooking the possible consequences, as the author puts it, as if they were invisible.
One of the things I liked least as a woman was how Jenny submissively accepted the role of the second woman in Paul's life. This situation makes the reader wonder if Paul is not just a womanizer fooling the protagonist. In the end, the reader discovers that the problem is far more complex. However, this cannot be considered a flaw as the author describes a fictitious woman's behavior. What matters here is that Buff has created a realistic set of psychological conflicts in which reason and emotion fight a relentless battle to gain supremacy over Jenny's decisions.
On the whole, A Small Flirtation deserves four out of four stars. It is an addictive, easy-to-read, and touching book. Even though I found some minor grammatical errors, I can safely say that the book is professionally edited. Since there is nothing negative to mention, the score is self-explanatory. I recommend this work to those who enjoy romances with middle-aged characters. The plot is not a cliché, but it will interest even those who like an ultra-sweet romance.
A Small Flirtation
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