Prior to ‘The Trouble With Flirting’ I read ‘The Time of their Lives’ by Maeve Haran about a group of sixty-something friends working out the new chapters in their lives, and Jane Green’s ‘Life Swap’ involving two women in their late thirties looking for answers to the everlasting question ‘is this it?’ ‘The Trouble With Flirting’ however, couldn’t be more different, returning to the very beginning of young adulthood; finishing at school, gap years, university, dreams and romance – this book has it all! Therefore, perhaps this novel might have been in my ‘to read’ list twenty five years ago, but as a forty four year old mother-of-two, when it landed in my Kindle I opened it rather guiltily! Was I still entitled to read it? And would I even enjoy it?
I needn’t have worried. From the very beginning I loved it!
We join Alivia in her first year at university hoping to shed the nerd image left over from high school and fit in to her new environment – something most readers would be able to relate to at this age. She shares a house with her best friend Adam and his cousin Luke, and blind to what is immediately in front of her, she goes looking for friendship and romance with the in-crowd, changing her outward appearance to fit in, but losing her identity along the way. Tears and heartache naturally follow as she discovers the hard way that appearances can be deceptive and the ‘in crowd’ don’t really ‘fit in’ with her own values, and aided by the difficulties her parents are experiencing, she discovers that a relationship is about much more than outward appearances and requires a lot of hard work to keep it alive.
The book has around 332 pages which felt about right, and I couldn’t put it down. Rachel Morgan’s writing style flows effortlessly, her characters are absolutely likeable, her plot contains a substantial dose of unashamed romance tempered with just enough reality to keep her readers grounded – and the scene in which Livi and Adam finally get it together is just to die for!
My first book by Rachel Morgan, and certainly not my last!
I rate this book five out of five stars.