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review 2017-11-07 07:10
Blog Tour w/Review - An Ex For Christmas
 
 
 Named Best Book of the Month by Amazon
 
 
AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS
Love Unexpectedly
Lauren Layne
Releasing Nov 7, 2017
Loveswept
 

 

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.
 
NOW AVAILABLE!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

As I walk, I check the weather app on my phone, delighted to see that while it’s nothing but rain today, there’s a chance of a snow shower tomorrow. Nothing says Christmas break like snow.

 

I just miss my train, but there’s a decent-ish voice singing “White Christmas” nearby, and the platform’s not too crowded, so waiting’s not as bad as it could be.

 

My eye catches on a middle-aged woman who’s set up camp under one of the stairwells. It’s not unusual to see all manner of people under the streets of New York, although this one’s better dressed than most. She’s wearing a blousy red shirt, jeans, and ankle boots, and is sitting cross-legged on a plaid blanket. She’s got twigs of what seem to be fake roses in her hair.

 

None of that’s the weird part.

 

What’s weird is that she’s watching me. Intently.

 

We make awkward eye contact, and I give a quick smile before turning my attention back to my phone.

 

But I still feel her eyes on me.

 

Not in an unfriendly way, not in the way that makes me mentally catalog whether or not I saw any cops on my way down here who would hear me if I scream. She doesn’t seem eager to push me onto the train tracks either, and since that’s every New Yorker’s secret fear, that’s a plus.

 

Still, the focus is unsettling. I glance up again, and her eyes lock on mine. Her dark gaze is clear and focused, and I can’t decide if that’s more or less disturbing than if she seemed sort of hazy.

 

Then she smiles right at me. “Kelly.”

 

I get immediate goosebumps for reasons that have nothing to do with the winter weather. She knows my name.

 

“Come.” She beckons. “Come. I see.

 

Now you’re thinking, Hell, no. Run!

 

I should be thinking the same, and on some level, I am, but . . .

 

There are a couple dozen people around. None are paying attention to me, but it’s not like I’m all alone in a dark alley.

 

And look, we’ve already established that I believe in fate expressing itself through a Magic 8 ball and horoscopes, and though I haven’t mentioned it yet, I totally avoid black cats, the number thirteen, and walking under ladders.

 

I also believe that there’s such a thing as sight. I know, because my grandma had it.

 

Grandma Shirley was one of those delightfully batty old ladies that most people dismissed as quirky, but nobody can deny that she seemed to know stuff. She knew when I’d win my soccer game, and by how many points. She knew when her cat’s litter of kittens would be born, down to the minute. Once she’d even predicted an earthquake, even though they’re really rare in New York.

 

She’d passed away when I was in eleventh grade (she’d predicted the when and how of that too), and though I didn’t inherit her talents, I’ve never stopped believing that some people see and know things that they shouldn’t. I call it the Sight.

 

I step closer, and the woman grins and beckons me even nearer.

 

I stop a healthy few feet away. I’m superstitious, not crazy.

 

The woman leans forward. “You seek love.”

 

Huh. Color me unimpressed. I mean, don’t most humans seek love? Sure, I’m recently single, and I don’t particularly want to be. And maybe I sometimes try a little too hard to find my forever guy.

 

But I’m not hearing anything other than generic lucky guesses from this lady.

 

“Sure,” I say, already starting to back away.

 

She holds up a hand. “The one you seek? Your forever guy, the love of your life . . .”

 

I freeze, because her phrasing echoes my thoughts almost exactly. A coincidence? Maybe. I don’t move away just yet, willing to hear her out.

 

She smiles again. “You’ve already met him.”

 

I blink. “What? I think you may want to recheck that crystal ball. I’m single.”

 

Her smile merely grows. “I didn’t say you weren’t single. I said you’d already met him. You just let him go. He’ll come back to you before Christmas.”

 

Whoa whoa whoa. This is . . .

 

Huh.

 

“You’re telling me that the love of my life is one of my exes?”

 

She extends both of her palms as though to say, There you have it!

 

I stifle a little surge of disappointment. Clearly she hasn’t met my exes. There are some decent ones in the mix, but mostly they’re duds, and none of them make my heart beat faster. Well, maybe—

 

Nope. No. Do not go there.

 

Thankfully, I feel the rumble of an oncoming train, and a glance over my shoulder tells me my ride outta here is approaching.

 

“Thanks very much,” I say with a strained smile. “Merry Christmas.”

 

“Happy holidays,” she says with a nod, standing and gathering up her blanket.  Apparently she’s taken a cue from Madison Meyers and is sticking close to the PC route. Fair enough.

 

I lift a hand in a wave and move toward the train, but her next words give me a fresh wave of new goosebumps.

 

“Tell your parents happy anniversary. Thirty’s going to be a magical year for them.”

 

I whip my head around. “How did you—”

 

The woman is gone.

 

Like vanished gone.

 

Leaving me to wonder . . .

 

If a woman I’d never met was right about my parents’ anniversary, was she also right about other stuff?

 

Have I already met my one true love?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

An Ex for ChristmasAn Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book #5 in the Love Unexpectedly series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend reading this series in order.

Kelly & Mark have been best friends for so long. They can finish each other's sentences. They can tell when a relationship is not working. What Kelly cannot seem to notice is their attraction to one another.

Mark has been waiting for the right moment to sweep her off her feet. Kelly is always in another city, with another man, or just plain oblivious. Will Mark ever get his chance to be the man Kelly really needs?

This was such a great story. I laughed, cried and even laughed while I cried. This author never disappoints. Such a truly sweet read about best friends and why they are truly the. best for you. I loved every page and honestly hope we see these characters again.


***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publishers in exchange for an honest review only.

View all my reviews

 
 
 
 

 
  
Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband.
 
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 TODAYNew York Times, iBooks, and Amazon bestseller lists.
 
 
 
 

 
 

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review 2017-11-07 02:20
An Ex for Christmas (Love Unexpectedly) - Lauren Layne

If you are only going to read only one Christmas book this season, read this one.  Great story of best friends to lovers during the Christmas season.

Kelly Byrne is a school teacher and is finally on Christmas break.  She splits her time between Manhattan, NY and Haven, which is in upstate New York.  Kelly is on her way to her house in Haven to spend time with her best friend Mark Blakely who lives next door.  While on her trip home, a psychic tells the superstitious Kelly that she has already met her one true love and she will find him again before Christmas.  Kelly decides to make a list of all her ex's and is determined to hunt them all down before Christmas.  What Kelly doesn't know is that her bestie Mark has been in love with her for years and he is not happy with her plan to find her ex's.

Through a series of LOL moments, Kelly reconnects with her ex's, while at the same time the sexual chemistry between the her and Mark is really heating up!  Mark needs to decide if he wants to push Kelly for something real between the two of them or just let her go for good and move on with his life.

I just adored Mark and Kelly.  Mark is such a great guy and the type you want to marry.  Kelly was so fun and quirky you couldn't help but just want to be friends with her.  The road to their happy ending was perfect!  I loved this book and just couldn't put it down!

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review 2017-10-30 13:20
An Ex for Christmas (Love Unexpectedly) by Lauren Layne
An Ex for Christmas (Love Unexpectedly) - Lauren Layne

 

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!

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review 2017-10-11 02:11
All along
An Ex for Christmas (Love Unexpectedly) - Lauren Layne

This is book #5 in the Love Unexpectedly series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend reading this series in order.

 

Kelly & Mark have been best friends for so long.  They can finish each other's sentences.  They can tell when a relationship is not working.  What Kelly cannot seem to notice is their attraction to one another.

 

Mark has been waiting for the right moment to sweep her off her feet.  Kelly is always in another city, with another man, or just plain oblivious.  Will Mark ever get his chance to be the man Kelly really needs?

 

This was such a great story.  I laughed, cried and even laughed while I cried.  This author never disappoints.  Such a truly sweet read about best friends and why they are truly the. best for you.  I loved every page and honestly hope we see these characters again.  This book gets a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publishers in exchange for an honest review only.

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review 2017-08-31 08:10
Review Tour - Ready To Run
 
 
 
Named Best Book of the Month by Amazon and iBooks 
 
 
 
 
READY TO RUN
I Do, I Don't #1
Lauren Layne
Releasing Aug 22, 2017
Loveswept
 


The Bachelor meets The Runaway Bride in this addictive romance novel about a reality TV producer falling for her would-be star: a Montana heartthrob who wants nothing to do with the show.

Jordan Carpenter thinks she’s finally found the perfect candidate for Jilted, a new dating show about runaway grooms: Luke Elliott, a playboy firefighter who’s left not one but three brides at the altar. The only problem? Luke refuses to answer Jordan’s emails or return her calls. Which is how she ends up on a flight to Montana to recruit him in person. It’s not Manhattan but at least the locals in Lucky Hollow seem friendly . . . except for Luke, who’s more intense—and way hotter—than the slick womanizer Jordan expected.

Eager to put the past behind him, Luke has zero intention of following this gorgeous, fast-talking city girl back to New York. But before he can send her packing, Jordan’s everywhere: at his favorite bar, the county fair, even his exes’ book club. Annoyingly, everyone in Lucky Hollow seems to like her—and deep down, she’s starting to grow on him too. But the more he fights her constant pestering, the more Luke finds himself wishing that Jordan would kick off her high heels and make herself comfortable in his arms.



NOW AVAILABLE!
 
 
 
 

 

Luke started to load up the gear and, realizing he was doing it alone, glanced over his shoulder to see where the hell his partner was.

 

Unsurprisingly, his friend was chatting up City Girl. Neither Charlie nor Ryan seemed to mind in the least that these two fancy pants had swooped into their town to capitalize on Luke’s past.

 

What was more surprising was that Jordan Carpenter was chatting right back, her smile seemingly genuine, her laugh real.

 

Luke ground his teeth.

 

He couldn’t say he’d put much thought into the woman behind the name as he’d been unceremoniously deleting her emails and voice messages, but if forced to assume, he’d have guessed aggressive shrew.

 

He suspected he was wrong there. Because while there was no mistaking the ambition in the woman, it wasn’t the cutthroat, ball-busting kind.

 

Her lean body might be all angles and long lines, but there was a softness to her as well. The way her hair did its own thing. The easiness of her smile, the quick laugh. The small but pert breasts.

 

Damn. He was staring.

 

He slammed the door shut. “Bander,” he shouted at Charlie across the lawn. “Let’s clear out.”

 

Charlie leaned into Jordan, whispering something in her ear that made her laugh, before walking away with a last wink.

 

Luke rolled his eyes. Really? This was happening?

 

Hey, Elliott,” Ryan called. “You want to come over for a barbecue tonight?”

 

Luke crossed his arms and studied his friend suspiciously, waiting for the catch. “Who’s on the guest list?”

 

He saw Jordan and her purple-shirt friend exchange a look. Well, that answered that question.

 

Damn. Ryan never had been able to resist the urge to stir up trouble.

 

It’s no problem if you don’t want to join us,” Jordan called out, lifting her hand to shield the afternoon sun from her eyes. “I’m sure your friends here can fill me in on everything there is to know about Luke Elliott.”

 

All about Luke Elliott’s romantic history was more like it. City Girl wasn’t even pretending to be coy about the reason she was here.

 

All former positive thoughts about her evaporated. Only the worst sort of human would use another’s failed relationships to advance her own career—for entertainment.

 

Luke turned away without another word, hauling himself into the driver’s seat of the truck as he waited impatiently for Charlie to get done shouting goodbye to every single person within earshot.

 

He drummed his thumbs against the steering wheel, refusing to even think about going to the BBQ tonight. If his friends wanted to stir up trouble, they could do so without his cooperation.

 

As for the two New Yorkers, they’d flame out all on their own. Weren’t East Coasters known for being impatient and fast moving?

 

Surely they’d be off to find some other glory-seeking asshole if he ignored them. One of the other guys could play the role for all he cared.

 

As Charlie hauled his ass up, Luke started the truck, his eye catching on Jordan Carpenter, who was watching him with a stubborn, determined look on her pretty face.

 

Damn it. She’d stir up all sorts of trouble unless he ran interference.

 

Luke pulled out his phone to text Ryan.

 

I’ll be there. Have beer.

 

Charlie leaned over, unabashedly reading Luke’s iPhone screen. “Ha. Knew it.”

 

What?” Luke glared at his friend.

 

Charlie grinned wider, gesturing over his shoulder. “You’ve got a boner for the hot blonde.”

 

Are you kidding me with this? She wants me to be the next bachelor.”

 

How were Ryan and Charlie not getting the absurdity of this?

 

Charlie shrugged. “So? Maybe it’d be good for you.”

 

Luke stared at his friend for a moment longer before putting the truck in drive. “The only thing that would be good for me is to push you out of this truck.”

 

Charlie was waving goodbye to Jordan and Simon. “See you tonight!”

 

Luke ground his teeth harder. He was already dreading the BBQ, but not going would only make matters worse. Clearly he needed to have a very blunt conversation with Jordan Carpenter.

 

 

 

  

Ready to Run (I Do, I Don't)Ready to Run by Lauren Layne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jordan is a producer on a TV reality series. She is searching for the perfect man to attract the women. Also, he needs to have left them at the altar. Why would she be attracted to that?

Luke is the man in question. Talking to him, and the folks around him, only brings more questions. If he is a runaway groom - why are the ladies loving him?

This is a seriously sweet and hot story. I love the characters and cannot wait for more in the I Do, I Don't series. So much fun, and yet plenty of heat to still call it romance.

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publishers.

View all my reviews

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband.
 
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 TODAYNew York Times, iBooks, and Amazon bestseller lists.
 

 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

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