Title: Flirting with Fire

Series: Modern Love

By:  Jane Porter

ISBN: 9780593438428 (ISBN10: 0593438426)


Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra                   


Forty-nine-year-old Margot Hughes has lived and breathed theater for the past twenty-five years. After a devastating breakup with her playwright fiancé, she wants nothing to do with the industry. She has sworn off New York, theater, actors—all of it. She returns to her hometown on California’s central coast and takes a job in real estate, where she manages significant investment properties. But Margot’s suddenly thrown back into the theater world when Sally, her friend and boss, who had been restoring and funding Cambria’s historic theater, has a heart attack. Before she knows it, Margot is tapped to take over the troubled summer production of Barefoot in the Park.

But the play is no walk in the park—the leads and director have all quit, and Margot struggles to find new actors…until Max Russo arrives. Forty-five-year-old Max is a former soap opera star turned rugged cowboy on TV’s most popular western series. Max has a huge following and is the perfect hero to step up and save the play, provided Margot stars opposite him. Although adamant she would never return to theater, Margot enjoys the long hours of rehearsal with a professional like Max, who is charming, witty, and passionate. But when the curtains close, can Margot allow herself to fall for Max when he represents everything she left behind? (Goodreads)


Each book I read in the Modern Love series by Jane Porter gets better and better, and thus my enjoyment of Flirting with Fire was beyond my expectations. From the beginning to the very end (which ended MUCH too quickly for me) I was engaged in the lives of Margot and Max. Being fully immersed in the story I am reading takes me to my happy place…☺

Margot Hughes is closing in on 50 years of age and living back in Paso Robles, California after a successful 25-year career on Broadway. It was nice to be living the ordinary life among good, kind, ordinary people. All she wanted was to be a wife and mother…unfortunately at the age of 41 her fiancé, Sam abruptly broke up with her, which led to the move from New York back home. Margot worked at Cambria Coast Development – owned and operated by a powerhouse – Sally Collins. Sally had a pet project in theatre…she had purchased Cambria’s playhouse plaza – where a wonderfully old 1938 stucco theatre had been renovated and recently reopened. The play billed for the summer months is Barefoot in the Park.

Max Russo is a successful actor with many, many movies under his belt as well as a TV series and commercials. He is a “hot commodity” in the entertainment industry. As well, he is a close friend (more like a son actually) to Sally Collins. Their relationship goes way back (something for you the reader to discover while enjoying this book).

When Sally is hospitalized due to a heart attack, Max comes rushing back to Cambria and there it becomes evident that Sally will not be able to work on the summer play. So she begs and pleads with both Margo and Max to put the show on in her stead. And the rest is history (i.e. a VERY enjoyable read).

I found that Max was a very well developed character. His life story was very in-depth and as this reader found out details as the story progressed – I liked him more and more. He was not just a shallow Hollywood star!  Good looking and substance….

Margo has had a hard go of life in that she had but a few goals which included having a family… and it has eluded her. Probably a tale of many a woman in this day and age. Hard when we as women are expected to be able to have a career, family – basically – have it all. 

Given that both Margo and Max have such deep love and respect for Sally – it was natural for them to agree to run the play. It turns out that both actually end up playing the leads. So naturally, being a story with the title Flirting with Fire, there are lots of fireworks. I enjoyed the progression of their romance with all the expected hiccups that go along with a romance novel.  The supporting characters were great and don’t get me started about what a great character Sally is. 

The cadence of the story as it progressed flowed very well. I really can’t say enough about this story. Well, other than make sure you leave sufficient time to read it all in one sitting (or three sittings as I did) as you will not want to put it down!

If you love romance, then I highly recommend Flirting with Fire by Jane Porter. You will not be disappointed.