Flirting With Pete

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Published by: Pocket
Release Date: June 10, 2003
Pages: 560
ISBN13: 978-0743469845



Good or bad, the effect our parents have on us is profound. Winning their approval is often key in our lives.

Casey Ellis, the protagonist of Flirting With Pete, knows this all too well. Born after a one-night stand and raised by her mother, she has always wanted to catch the eye of her father. To that end, she went into his field, settled in his city, and appeared at every possible event where she knew he would be. But he didn’t acknowledge her once.

As Flirting With Pete opens, he has just died and left her his beautiful townhouse on Boston’s posh Beacon Hill. Furious that he has squandered their relationship, she is determined to sell the townhouse. Then she visits and is intrigued by the spectacular hidden garden out back, the dark and mysterious gardener, and a journal in the desk detailing the harrowing tale of a young woman named Jenny Clyde.

Casey’s story is woven through Jenny’s as Flirting With Pete plays out.


“Sophisticated and fast-moving.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Another ‘I didn’t want to put it down’ novel from Delinsky….”
—Library Journal



Little Falls

The call came at three in the morning. Dan O'Keefe rushed into his uniform and drove out to the Clyde house, not because Darden Clyde demanded it or because it was Dan's job, though both were true, but because he was worried about Jenny.

He should have been used to worrying about Jenny. He had been doing it since signing on as his father's deputy eight years before, when she had been a bruised sixteen-year-old who always kept a distance from her peers and could never quite look you in the eye. He had worried when she was eighteen, when her mother died and her father went to prison, and he had worried in the six years since then, watching her become more and more of a pariah in town. He hadn't done much to help her. So he felt guilt.

That guilt was compounded now. He didn't want Darden out of prison any more than Jenny did, but he hadn't fought against it. So he felt guilty and he worried.

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I wrote the original Flirting With Pete as a novella centering on Jenny Clyde. But my readers expect novels, not novellas. So I created Casey Ellis as the vehicle through which Jenny’s story is told. Casey is a go-getter and sensitive, but impulsive. She often acts before she thinks, which sometimes gets her into trouble.

But she does want to please her father, and I know how that is. My mother died when I was eight, so I had her for a very short time. Yet I have spent a lifetime trying to do what I imagine would have made her proud.

The characters in this book speak to me — not only Casey and Jenny, but the gardener, and even the little creature that Casey’s father left behind in the townhouse. I also love the garden. Now, I am not a gardener; to the contrary, I am really bad at it. But I did my research and created that garden, and I would go there, figuratively speaking, during the writing of Flirting With Pete and just relax.

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