Lauren Layne makes everything jollier and hotter
Lauren Layne is one of my favorite authors. Going into her books, I know she is going to introduce me to a couple with whom I want to be friends - people I wish I knew in real life.
And now she combines that with a frisky Christmas friends-to-lovers romance that will have you looking for mistletoe everywhere you go.
A resolute believer in signs, Kelly conducts her life based in no small part on what her myriad of Magic 8 balls tells her to do. When a woman at a subway station tells her that she will find her true love before Christmas and that he's someone from her past, Kelly immediately assumes the dude is an ex. As she heads home, she writes up a list of those exes, determined to track down her true love.
The first guy she runs into is her lifetime best friend Mark. It's clear that there is more to the two of them than just friends, even if Kelly can't see that. Layren Layne shows you from the start that Kelly need no look further than her back yard, but that's not the kind of girl Kelly is. She is someone who needs to learn from her mistakes, even if she breaks your heart while doing so.
Since this is a Lauren Layne romance, you can expect some deliciously hot sexy times. And since it's also a holiday romance, you can expect Christmas charm wherever you go. I loved watching Kelly slowly realize what she has overlooked, and I absolutely loved how Mark tried to show her the truth. My only wish is that he'd been a little bit more developed. There just wasn't enough Mark, which isn't a complain so much as a compliment. He's a great guy.
An Ex for Christmas is a fast-paced, fun, holiday romance that will warm you up - in more ways than one.
I have been reading this author's books since her first release, out of them all...and there's some pretty awesome ones...An Ex for Christmas has become my favorite. It's difficult to say why succinctly, only that through her writing, Mark and Kelly came alive on the pages. Their joys, their sorrows, the laughter, and the heartbreak all became tangible, creating a bond with this reader that'll not easily be broken, even long after the book has been completed.
Mark and Kelly's story is filled with lively, clever and witty banter...one of the author's trademarks...while at the same time, the dialog is fast paced, smart and emotion evoking. The couple didn't just suddenly find their HEA, it had been growing over tens years, recognized exactly when it needed to be, when Kelly was receptive to its gift. I have found Ms Layne to be masterful in creating emotions in her readers...this was done in spades in An Ex for Christmas.
This ARC book was complimentary, provided by the Publisher and NetGalley. I am voluntarily providing my honest review.
After being told by a psychic that she's already met "The One" and she'll reunite with him by Christmas, Kelly is a woman on a mission to connect with her exes to figure out who the lucky man is. Mark and Kelly have been best friends since high school but he's not really into the psychics, magic 8 balls, and general reliance on fate that Kelly is. He tells her, at every chance, that this plan is ridiculous but Kelly just can't let it go. The lengths that Kelly goes to to track down her exes and ignore her growing feelings for her BFF are hilarious.
This is my first Christmas book for the year and it definitely put me in a holiday mood. I couldn't really get why Kelly was so obsessed with magic 8 balls and psychics but Mark's response to all it was fantastic. He was constantly the voice of reason, the reminder of why these men were exes, and was quietly there waiting for Kelly to get a clue. I loved their friendship and laughed so much. This holiday story was sweet with some heat and the perfect start to the Christmas season.
*This is my voluntary review of an advanced reader copy*
Kooky heroine but good
My love for all things written by Lauren Layne gave this book a 4 star rating, as the writing is funny and sassy. A Christmas story with a friends-to-lovers trope is a thing of beauty...but Kelly, our heroine, is a kook! Now, I know people believe in tea leaves, magic eight balls and such, and that's fine. But Kelly's belief has taken over her life, to the point where she can't make a decision without shaking the numerous magics 8's she has in her possession. Now her bff, Mark, humors her about it, for the most part. But I think if I were him and in love with her for years, I would have thrown one at her by this point in time. Kelly is so busy looking at the stars for guidance that she almost loses what's right in front of her. And to me, she was just super annoying.
Now, Kelly together with Mark...the sexy best friend...Layne played the banter between the two of them perfectly.That man has the patience of a saint! And he is what kept me going, despite my initial distaste for Kelly. I did grow to appreciate her, if not love her.
Great read, not overly long but just enough to whet my appetite for more holiday reads!
Charming & Exhilarating!
Exhilarating & Charming! Every single second of this story was just so incredibly fun, witty and sexy, it was exhilarating to read. Hands done the best holiday story I have ever read, and one I will be going back, to read again and again. Lauren Layne is definitely the Queen of Romantic Comedy.
Kelly Byrne is happy being a third grade teacher, at Emory Academy, a private prep school that is filled with rich and famous families. She is a upbeat, quirky, funny, twenty seven year old single woman, with a superstitious, nature. She believes in fate expressing itself through the magic eight ball, and uses it often, as well as using tea leaves, tarot cards, horoscopes, and she is also very familiar with, and believes in people having the gift of sight. So when a stranger at the train station, tells her that she has already met, the love of her life, and he will come back to her before Xmas, she is anxious to get the ball rolling. And who better to help her but her best friend.
Mark Blakey has been best friends with Kelly, since they met their senior year of high school, ten years ago. They are as close as a guy and girl can be without hooking up and they are opposites in many ways. But although these two are opposites, they share a lot, like a dog, a back yard and most week ends together. But Mark definitely doesn’t believe in fate, fortune or luck, so when Kelly tries to enlist his help, for her to reconnect with each one of her Ex’s to find out which one is the one, he doesn’t want to have anything to do with it.
But as Kelly sends out mistletoe sprigs to every business in town, to help her entice kisses from her Ex’s as she sets up date after date. Will the kiss of the love of her life, or the magic eight ball help her realize what is right in front of her? Will she realize that just maybe she has been in love with this person for awhile? You don’t want to miss this story! Because cutting down Xmas trees, snowball fights and shoveling snow has never been so Charming, Sexy and exhilarating! Goosebumps, Shivers and Swooning Galore! Loved this!!
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
Loved it!! It's no secret that I'm a huge Lauren Layne fan and this book is full of all the reason why. A super fun romance with lots of snark, high energy characters and a sharp fresh storyline. Kelly with all her superstitions and quirky ways was just hilarious. Then there's Mark. Patient, kind, swoon worthy Mark just biding his time as Kelly goes through her list of exes looking for her one true love since the psychic told her she had already met him. It seems likes he's been waiting forever for Kelly to see what is right in front of her. Will she finally get it or will he lose her forever?
Definitely a book you want on your reading list. I highly recommend it.