Flirtation on the Hudson

The Journey of Cornelia Rose Series

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
276 Pages
Reviewed on 07/19/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite

J. F. Collen pens a romantic historical drama in Flirtation on the Hudson. Love is in the air on the shores of the Hudson River near New York City. Young Cornelia Rose is coming of age. Nellie is the daughter of a successful Irish father and a devout German Catholic mother. In her pursuit of a suitable husband, the attractive, yet unconventional Nellie plays her suitors against each other. She plays at love, creating a love triangle between the southern charm and northern gallantry of her gentlemen callers. Yet, there is more to young flirtatious and capricious Cornelia; she has a lust for life often challenging tradition to the chagrin of her parents. No one will decide the course of Cornelia’s life; the choice of a husband will be hers alone.

Flirtation on the Hudson by J. F. Collen is a love triangle of passion, aspiration, and tradition. During the 1850s, the practice of flirting was expected as a part of the courting ritual. Yet, these seemingly innocent amorous antics produced moral dilemmas as real as today. The heart is equally smitten and broken when you play at love. The heroine of the story is nestled in between a serious older sister and a fun-loving younger one. The influences of her family play a vital role in the growth of her character. Cornelia Rose is reckless and naïve, feisty and flirtatious, a rebel and a romantic. One moment she desires to be a midwife, the next in the theater! Yet, she is bold and intelligent in her pursuit of knowledge and local history, making her a brilliant conversationalist. These conflicting attributes make her an interesting, (humorously frustrating at times), dynamic character.

The narrative is well researched, the history of New York, the Knickerbockers, and West Point are delicately and accurately weaved in the plot. The dialogues convey the proper language of the era, and the varying dialects add an element of realism. One of the aspects of Collen’s writing I found enjoyable was the clever use of contemporary phrases in the chapter titles. J. F. Collen leaves the reader anticipating a sequel. Flirtation on the Hudson portrays the life of a young heroine and concludes with her on the threshold of a promising future. What happens next for Cornelia Rose? We will just have to wait and see.

Kayti Nika Raet

Flirtation on The Hudson is the first in a historical romance trilogy by J. F. Collen. Cornelia Rose is a plucky young heroine who refuses to be held back by the limitations of 1850's society. With a well-rounded cast that includes her equally forward-thinking sisters, Flirtation on the Hudson gives off a slight Little Women vibe that fans are sure to enjoy. Though determined to make her own way in the world, Cornelia still nonetheless attracts a host of suitors desperate to win her hand, and even though she's flirtatious she worries that falling in love might hurt her future dreams of becoming a midwife.

The mid-19th century is obviously a passion of Collen's and it shows from the rich details of the setting to the historical facts peppered throughout, as well as the dialogue that instantly takes the reader back in time. On its own, Flirtation on The Hudson would make for a fine standalone novel, but luckily two more books are in the works to satiate readers' hunger. Flirtation on The Hudson is an enjoyable read and is perfect for those wanting to move away from dark, angst-ridden novels and who are looking for something lighter but no less thrilling. While it is set in the mid-19th century J. F. Collen's plucky young heroine in Flirtation on The Hudson will nonetheless resonate with readers of today who may be going on their own journeys in life as they follow Cornelia's spirit of adventure and genuine charm. A good read for fans of light romance.

Christian Sia

Flirtation on the Hudson is the first book in The Journey of Cornelia Rose Series by JF Collen, a boisterous and beautifully written novel with a historical background. It is set in the 1850s in New York and follows the life of Cornelia Rose, a free-spirited and ambitious woman who doesn’t feel trapped by the conventions and mores of her time. She believes her place in the world is beyond being a housewife and stuck in a marriage, so she pursues her education to become a midwife. She is a flirtatious woman who attracts all kinds of suitors and who enjoys romantic escapades. But all of these things are about to change when she is welcomed as a guest of a cadet at West Point Military Academy. Does she have the cool-headedness she needs to make the one important choice of her life?

This is a beautiful story and the author brings to life a period of history with its traits and way of life. The language itself reflects the gallantry of the period and manners when it comes to flirting and courtship. The encounter between Nellie and the cadet, and the words between them after she drops her parasol and he stoops to retrieve it is dramatic and introduces the reader to the intense drama that will punctuate the entire narrative. The dialogues are flirtatious and at times filled with witticism. Flirtation on the Hudson is real; a narrative that features elaborately developed characters and adventures that will keep readers entertained. JF Collen combines humor and wit in a work that is hugely entertaining. I enjoyed every bit of this story.