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An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne

An Ex for Christmas

by Lauren Layne

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236711,530 (3.75)2



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For Lauren Layne emotion is a central character. Her tales are stories of courage, instances of heartache and in the case of An Ex for Christmas, comedy in all it's shining glory. Second chances don't come along often but for Mark and Kelly, could the first time end of being the last? Psychics, exes and a best friend are the start of something new. The road to happily ever after is paved with angst, pain and of course an abundance of rain, but in the case of these BFF's can the holiday spirit and a sprig of mistletoe, spice up those cold winter nights? Laughter and romance go hand and hand. Light and airy delight! ( )
  Lashea677 | Feb 16, 2019 |
After getting a cryptic message from a stranger on the train, whom told her that she had already met her one true love, Kelly Byrne sets about going through her exes, but doesn’t realize her one true love is right under her nose! It's her very best friend Mark Blakely *swoon*, now I'm going to leave the rehash of the story there, as I will undoubtable give the whole book away, cause I just love it so much!

I absolutely loved this book! Lauren Layne's stories have the ability to sweep me away, and make me laugh, cry, and just generally fall in love! And every part of this story did that for me. I honestly cannot recommend this book enough, it is the perfect book for Christmas! Well, actually, the perfect book for every day of the year!

I give An Ex for Christmas 5 stars!
( )
  Cara_Ross | Dec 2, 2018 |
This review was written some months after I had read the book...Please note I'm not as clear with details anymore :D

Wow. This book. I can't believe I even stuck with it as long as I did because practically from the start I hated it. I don't usually give books bad ratings, but this one I simply could not. I went into this promised a really cute, funny read, but that is certainly not what I found. Sadly, this book took one of my favorite tropes and ruined it for me so much that it ruined the rest of the book. I was not fond of any of the characters in this book, and the blurb of the book did not match what I thought the actual book would be about.

Not for me...
( )
  jlydia | Jun 25, 2018 |
Full review appeared on Reader's Edyn on 11/09/17

Kelly Byrne is crazy superstitious. Unwilling to make decisions for herself, the single school teacher makes her decisions by shaking the Magic 8 Ball. It hasn’t failed her, so why stop using it now? She checks horoscopes and is absolutely in love with the Christmas season. But this year she sends her parents on an Alaskan cruise so she’s going to be spending the season alone. Sure, she’ll have her best friend, Mark – but he is usually the unwilling participant; not to mention super busy with his restaurant. When a stranger tells Kelly that she has already met her forever guy, a plan quickly hatches to track down her ex-boyfriends. Mark is in no way approving of her plan, but keeps getting sucked in to her hair-brained schemes. And unexpectedly, she begins to think of Mark as more than a best-friend. Terrified of screwing up her friendship, she is hesitant to entertain the thoughts. When one thing leads to another, she knows it is only fleeting. Mark is never in a relationship long, so this has to be temporary. But what does a girl do when her forever guy starts to look like her best friend instead of a former boyfriend?

Mark Blakely is the freaking perfect guy. He’s been Kelly’s best friend since school and he’s watched the wrong guys come and go over and over, like a broken record – but he’s biding his time. He doesn’t want to ruin their friendship either, but he knows they’ll have their chance eventually. He just has to time things right. Kelly is single and so is he … again … so it’s time to fight for her and force her to see who has been there all along. She thinks he isn’t interested and that he is only wanting a fling, but she’s wrong. Her confounded scheme is wrong; that crazy lady who gave her the idea to track down her ex’s is wrong; her inability to see him as the one is wrong. He’s got to prove to her that he’s right … that he’s the only one there has even been. But first, he’s got to figure out how to make her superstitions work in his favor and he’s got a plan- but so does she. And Christmas is the perfect time to pull this miracle off.

I have to admit, when I read this blurb, I was expecting something different than the spectacular characters I encountered. My mind had come up with an expectation of the plot, but Ms. Layne crafted something completely different and gloriously beautiful. Best friends to lovers can go both ways, but this worked terrifically. Mark’s seriousness and Kelly’s quirky superstition blended wonderfully. Both of them complete opposites in many ways only made them that much better for one another – complimenting each other instead of highlighting their deficiencies. Kelly is a bit of a Christmas nut, and paired with her belief in the trusty Magic 8 Ball and horoscopes, she’s a bit much to take. But something about her whimsical behaviors makes her more adorable than crazy and Mark knows exactly how to handle her. Not to mention he’s a great cook with a successful restaurant – I mean if I had a list, that would be a major qualifying point for a perfect guy.

I can’t even think of a complaint with this book other than the lack of depth with the supporting characters. The secondary characters were mostly surface, but they helped bring in a bit of depth that kept the story from containing solely the main characters. As support, the secondary characters served their purpose. While a couple of the Ex’s weren’t too terrible, others were gross and chauvinistic – to the point where I wondered why Kelly even bothered. If one of them had been Mr. Right --- I shudder to think it. I mean Kelly and Mark are stubborn and it takes a bit for them to have a “real” conversation. But also, I think they were afraid to explore this new side to their relationship because the fear of loss if something went wrong was stronger than wanting to take the risk initially. For Mark and Kelly, being best friends before lovers was a terrific thing for them. While they still experienced second thoughts and doubts about taking their relationship up a notch, deep down they had a connection that many relationships lack. Their characters were endearing and their story alluring. You couldn’t help but root for them. Ultimately, I am glad I went with my initial instinct and reviewed this book. Despite the holiday theme, I feel like you could read this book at ay time of year and still find it enjoyable. And for those of you who adore Love Actually and watch it several times over the season without fail (myself included), you will appreciate the references within this story. I might even go so far as to calling this a favorite read for the season that I will bring out each year in the spirit of getting the holiday feel-good rolling. You can bet I will be reading more from Ms. Layne in the future.

Kindle version provided by Random House/NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  GzNKz4evr | Dec 9, 2017 |
This was a fun little Christmas romance! Lauren Layne is one of my go to authors when I am in the mood for a contemporary romance. When I pick up a Lauren Layne romance, I expect to enjoy myself for a few hours with characters that just seem to fit with each other. This was a perfect example of her writing and I had a really nice time reading the story.

Kelly and Mark were great. They have been best friends for the past ten years. They live right next to each other sharing a backyard and even a dog. Seriously, they share a dog...I am not sure that it even gets more perfect than sharing a dog. There is one little problem in that Kelly is convinced that her romantic future is with one of her ex-boyfriends after a conversation with a psychic at the train station.

So this book was a little bit predictable. I knew that Kelly wasn't going to find her happily ever after with one of her loser ex-boyfriends as soon as Mark entered the story. They were just so perfect together and I thought that they had a really fun way of relating to each other. There was some definite chemistry between them as well.

This book was filled with Christmas fun. Kelly goes all out for Christmas and this is the first year that her parents are out of town for the holiday. You will get the full holiday experience with this story with tree decorating, holiday movies, a Christmas parade, and even a bit of snow. I loved the small town holiday setting and thought it added a bit of romance to the story.

I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. I thought that this was a well done friends to lovers story with a whole lot of holiday spirit. I can't wait to read more from Lauren Layne very soon.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley. ( )
  Carolesrandomlife | Dec 7, 2017 |
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