Named Best Book of the Month by Amazon
AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS
Releasing Nov 7, 2017
She’s making a list—and checking it twice. But is there a nice guy among all her naughty exes? The New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines returns with a charming friends-to-lovers rom-com.
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.
Kelly is oblivious. Mark is in love with her. But, he is also her friend and he supports her. Even when her crazy scheme has her making a list and revisiting her ex-boyfriends because a psychic tells her that her true love is someone she has already met.
Yes, the story isn't necessarily original. But, and this matters, the romance genre is tough. There have to be 2 strong characters, they have to have and develop chemistry, and there is a happily ever after heading your way...so, within this formula it is the challenge of the author to find a way to make the story feel fresh and new. The beauty of this story is the characters, and the writing, as you are charmed and engaged by both, leaving you wanting to keep reading, to know what happens next, and to see how long it takes Kelly to figure out what is right in front of her.
The scenes with them, once she finally figures out what is right in front of her, are wonderful and the side of Mark, the one where he finally gets a chance at the girl, are wonderful and are some of the best I have read. There is something so compelling with reading about someone who is finally getting to have the experience (and the girl) that he has wanted forever. Yes, there are bumps and a few hurdles for them to get past, but they are so worth it to get to the end.
This is a holiday romance. I don't read them as a rule. I picked it up because it is a Lauren Layne, and I will read anything by her. I recommend it, and would read it again, because I absolutely loved it.
I can read holiday romance any time of year-and I think I'm in the minority in saying that. Which is funny because I don't like to listen to holiday music until after Thanksgiving...but a book? I just love falling into that holiday setting.
Quite frankly, I adored Kelly. I loved her smart, superstitious, sassy self. She was quirky and not afraid of that. It was fun watching her plot and work her way through her list, almost missing what readers were dying for her to realize.
Mark was so patient...and determined. His determination to show Kelly that they were right for each other? Total swoon factor! Plus, who doesn't love a man that can cook? Mark was hot, sexy and had me sighing.
There's a connection between these two that is so much more than just sexy times. They have a shared history, shared loves and dislikes. They know each other inside and out-so they think. I loved watching them unravel for each other, truly showing the other WHY they were just right for one another.
The writing here was sharp and fun. Lauren Layne is a one click author for me because she always engages me as a reader; she has a knack for pulling me into the story and making me feel like I'm there with her characters. This holiday romance definitely put me in the Christmas spirit-and I loved every moment of it. I absolutely recommend this book!
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 signed with her agent in 2012, and her first book was published in summer of 2013. Since then, she's written over two dozen books, hitting the USA TODAY, New York Times, iBooks, and Amazon bestseller lists.