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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 2017-10-30 00:00
An Ex for Christmas
An Ex for Christmas - 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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text 2017-10-20 19:35
My Halloween 2017 Bingo Card
It - Stephen King
The Bird Eater - Ania Ahlborn
The Halloween Children - Brian James Freeman,Norman Prentiss
Gwendy's Button Box - Stephen King,Richard Chizmar
Prawn of the Dead (Lemon Layne Mystery) - Dakota Cassidy,Hollie Jackson
You Will Know Me: A Novel - Megan Abbott,Lauren Fortgang

UPDATE: I don't think I'm going to get a Bingo. I've been in a bit of a slump the last two weeks and haven't felt much like reading. Next year I'll focus on reading books based on the bingo calls. I've been reading all over the place and have a few waiting in the wings for a call. 

 

I'm only posting a marker for books that I've finished that have been called because it is clear I will never be organized enough to follow a game correctly. 

 

I will update and bump this post if I ever get a Bingo!

 

 

 

Called & Read

 

Terror In A Small Town:  IT by Stephen King

Ghost: The Bird Eater by Ania Ahlborn

Chilling Children:  The Halloween Children by Norman Prentiss 

Magical Realism:  Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King & Richard Chizmar

Murder Most Foul: You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

Amateur Sleuth: Prawn of the Dead by Dakota Cassidy 

Vampires The Lesser Dead by Christopher Buehlman

 

Read, Not Called

 
Classic Horror: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson 

Raven ?? Fidget Spinners Destroyed My Life by George Billions

American Horror Story Blanky by Keanan Patrick Burke

 

 

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