Flirting With Forty by Jane Porter

By SMW Staff

Flirting with Forty by Jane Porter“I’m Jackie Laurens and eighteen months ago if you looked at my life on paper, you’d think it was fabulous: gorgeous husband, Daniel, eleven years married, two kids, big house. The not-so-good part? I discovered Daniel’s affair at the worst possible time.”

Flirting With Forty

Playful and smart, a coming-of-middle age story of a woman not ready to give up on love and life.

He got the second home and the Porsche. She got the kids and a broken heart. Now Jackie, post-divorce and heading toward the big four-oh, is on vacation, staring down her upcoming birthday in sunny Hawaii—alone. But not for long. She’s soon falling for Kai, her gorgeous, much younger surf instructor, and the wild passionate fling they have becomes the biggest surprise of Jackie’s life.

Returning home, Jackie has to struggle with single parenthood…and memories of Kai.   He hasn’t forgotten her either. With her friends disapproving and thousands of ocean –not to mention an age difference–separating them, Jackie starts to wonder what she got herself into. When a choice must be made, can she, will she risk everything for her chance at happiness?


I turn away, push wet bangs off my forehead as the hood on my coat doesn’t quite cover my face. I’m cold, tired, wet and grouchy and would give almost anything right now for a tall, non-fat, sugar-free vanilla latte. Or just a plain old cup of coffee would do.

“William. Jessica,” I call, trying to inject some enthusiasm into my voice. “Come and help me find a six foot tree.”

Jessica comes skipping out of the drippy pine tree forest, her lavender sweatshirt soaked, her long blonde hair matted.

“Where’s your coat, Jessica?”

She stops, gazes back, around, blue eyes wide. “I don’t know.”

“Honey, go get it.”

“I’m hot.”

“Jess, it’s raining.”

“I’m hot.”

I will say this for children born in the Pacific Northwest, they’re not wimps. Fog and rain don’t slow them down any. “It’s forty degrees, Jess. Get your coat on or we go.” I warm to the threat. I like this threat. I’d love to go home right now. “If you can’t cooperate then we’re heading home.”

William, my nine year old, has heard this last part and he comes stumbling out of the trees in protest. “But you said, Mom, you said–”

“I know what I said, but I’m not going to fight with you or your sister, not today. Getting the Christmas tree is supposed to be special. I want this to be fun, not a hassle.” Right.

And there are times (like now) when I wonder where I got all this parent-speak from. Is it something inherited? Something transmitted in the XY chromosome? Because sometimes (like now) my mouth moves and words come out and I hear my voice, and the tone, and I am a nag. A mother.

William turns to his sister who is conveniently three and a half years younger and continues to live up to her status as the baby in the family. “Knock it off, Jess,” he hisses. “Get your coat and do what Mom says or we’ll go home and we won’t have a Christmas tree and there won’t be any presents and Santa won’t come and it’ll be all your fault.”

Jessica gets her coat.

I look at William, my handsome first born who is thicker around the middle then he used to be, putting on size where I didn’t know size would go, and silently congratulate him on getting the job done. These days I’ll take all the help I can get.