AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS (Love Unexpectedly #5) by Lauren Layne-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway
AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS
Love Unexpectedly #5
by Lauren Layne
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Genre: adult,contemporary, romance
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date November 7, 2017
When a psychic tells spunky, superstitious Kelly Byrne that she’s already met her true love, she becomes obsessed with the idea of tracking him down before Christmas. Kelly immediately writes up an “Ex List” and starts contacting old boyfriends to figure out which one is the one. When her college sweetheart rolls into town, Kelly convinces herself that they’re meant to be. The trouble is, sparks are flying with someone she’s never given a chance: her best friend, Mark.
Mark Blakely has watched the guys on Kelly’s list break her heart, and he’s not looking forward to watching them do it all over again. Mark’s always been there for her, but the timing’s never worked out for their relationship to be something more. Now, just as Mark is ready to move on, the sexual tension between them is suddenly off the charts. With Christmas morning around the corner, he just hopes Kelly will wake up and realize that everything she wants has been right in front of her all along.
REVIEW: AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS is the fifth instalment in Lauren Layne’s contemporary, adult LOVE UNEXPECTEDLY romance series. This is primary school teacher Kelly Byrne, and bar owner / chef Mark Blakely’s story line. AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty.
Told from first person point of view (Kelly Byrne) with a final chapter by Mark, AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS is a friends to lovers, unrequited love story that follows a determined Kelly Byrne as she hopes to find ‘the one’ before Christmas. When a psychic tells Kelly that she has already met her ‘true love’ our heroine sets about to rekindle with a number of her exes, one disastrous date at a time. Enter best friend, neighbor and restaurant owner Mark Blakely, the man who has secretly waited ten years for Kelly to recognize that he is ‘the one.’ What ensues are Kelly’s attempts to find love in the days leading to the Christmas holidays, and the potential fall out as Mark battles his attraction to a woman who is oblivious to her best friend’s unrequited love.
Kelly Byrne is superstitious and gullible; a woman who believes in the ideology of the zodiac, a Magic 8 Ball, and all of the psychobabble that goes along with the mythical powers of seers, crystal balls and psychics-r-us. Our heroine refuses to take a chance until she asks a question of her ‘magical’ plastic orb. Mark Blakely is a man determined to prove to our heroine that he is her happily ever after but Kelly continues to be oblivious to Mark’s barely veiled attempts at seduction, as she maintains that one of her exes must still be the one.
The relationship between Kelly and Mark is one of a life-long friendship: more than just neighbors, Kelly and Mark also share custody of Rigby the dog. Throughout his life Mark has never wandered far from the woman that calls to his heart-a woman that continues to be oblivious to her best friends love. The $ex scenes are intimate, seductive and intense without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.
Throughout the story Kelly Bryne leads a co-dependent life with not one, not two but three Magic 8 Balls. Her need and obsession to allow the plastic, mechanical device to rule all of her decisions and choices begins to get old very fast-not only for the people in her life but for the man who must endure watching the woman he loves attempt to rekindle with every man from her past. In this, I struggled to like the heroine or accept her fascination and overwhelming dependence upon the mystical powers of the 8 Ball and the stars-I would have to question the emotional stability of someone so reliant upon, and absorbed with, the questionable ‘predictive’ nature of a cheap, plastic toy. The potential humor was lost on this reader, as I couldn’t get past the absurdity of the entire situation-my exasperation and agitation grew with each shake of the 8 ball, mention of the zodiac signs, and the heroine’s obliviousness about the man who refuses let go.
AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS is an interesting story line of friendship and love; superstition and psychics; and of the potential for one woman to lose not only her best friend but a love that has endured one disastrous relationship at a time. The premise is imaginative; the characters are colorful and energetic; the romance struggles with the idealistic beliefs of one woman desperately trying to find her happily ever after, in the past. In the end Kelly’s true love had been with her all along.
Copy supplied by Netgalley
Reviewed by Sandy
Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.
A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.
She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL’s ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.
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