Cover Image: An Ex for Christmas

An Ex for Christmas

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Member Reviews

I loved An Ex for Christmas - it was exactly the pick me up read I needed. Not only is it a fantastic feel good romance, it’s perfectly for the holidays, and the full romance package. I teared up, laughed out loud, and rolled around in happiness from the utter omgsocutefunhotperfect-ness of it all.

Even if you don’t read the blurb you know Mark is the hero from the start. I mean, how our heroine Kelly waxes poetic about him, how he’s pretty much perfect, and they already share custody of a dog. I mean really. Then there are the more obvious signs out how he always lets her have her way, he’s there for her, he does not want to hear about her love-quest... and yeah you might think this all sounds ridiculous, but NOPE. Lauren Layne makes it work.

To be honest, while I pretty much trust Lauren Layne to write a book I’ll enjoy across the board, I avoid any book with a blurb that mentions a “fiesty heroine.” (I mean, can we just not please, Romanceland?) Add in the superstitious woo-woo fluff-brain girl and generally you’d see me running screaming. But hang on and stay with me. Not only do I like many others adore the friends to lovers trope, Kelly is not silly and irrational. Her personality quirks fit her perfectly and are not at all overbearing. 

Quick note that after reading the book, I do think the blurb/back cover copy is a smidge misleading. 😱

An Ex for Christmas is also a story of opposites attract. Mark is so down to earth, gruff, and not surly but more... someone who won’t stand for any bullshit and deals with cold hard facts. He’s an introvert, and growly, but he is there for his friends and deep down he’s so damn sweet. He notices minute details and is a secret caretaker. He and Kelly balance each other perfectly. Kelly makes him step out and have fun. She forces frivolity and fun into his world, and Mark keeps Kelly from going off the deep end. He also feeds her and takes care of everyday tasks. (Yeah. He cooks. Our hero not only cooks, he’s a chef who owns his own restaurant. I want a Mark.)

Pretty much everyone has a “what if” or “the one that got away” person, and An Ex for Christmas is the ideal outcome and reunion of that wistful thought.

I know I’ll be re-reading An Ex for Christmas - not just during the holiday season, but any  time throughout the year. It’s sexy, fun, heartwarming, and an outright delight to read. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. ❤️
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AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS is one of my all-time favorite Lauren Layne books. It's everything you could want in a Rom-Com: sassy and loveable heroine, hot hero, and the most wonderful time of the year. It's classy and cheerful, and I can't wait to read it again.
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This is a typical cute romance full of will they won’t they. It has the moments where the couple meets and falls for each other but than are like nope it can’t work. We get to the end and of course it works. Great romance, kept me invested and yes I would read again
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This book is perfect.

It's perfectly sweet. Perfectly cheesy. Perfectly ridiculous. It's perfect.
It's Hallmark movie and Love Actually. It's Christmas shenanigans and snowy wonderland.

An Ex for Christmas has the feels and story down...Perfectly. All that missing for the reader is the appropriate matching holiday drink. Whether you are a peppermint martini or eggnog drinker, you will smile, shake your head, and cry at this dynamic duo. 

Me, personally, I'm going to snuggle up next to my One.
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I expect a fun rom com from this author and she usually delivers. But this book was flat. The main characters had no chemistry.
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Ohh, this was just the perfect contemporary romance. I love Lauren Layne's effortless prose, she pulls the reader in and before you know it, it's four hours later and you've finished the book. This small town romance is a departure from her usual NYC setting, but I enjoyed it a lot. Mark was a great hero, and I loved the friends-to-lovers development.
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AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS - Lauren Layne

#5 in the Love Unexpectedly romance series

CUTE HOLIDAY ROMANCE - 5 stars

Plot - 5 stars - Kelly is an elementary school teacher on Christmas break. When a strange woman tells psychic-believer Kelly that she's already met the man of her dreams, she sets out to revisit all of her exes to find "the one." And, of course, she ropes Mark into helping her, much to his chagrin. Of course, we all know that her true love has been Mark all along, but it's totally fun to watch her go through with her plan, dragging Mark along with her.

Writing - 5 stars - As always, Layne captures my interest right from the first page. She writes stories that mirror my own fantasies, creating characters and scenarios that resonate with me. 

Characters - 5 stars - Kelly is a typical Lauren Layne character, and that's a good thing. She's a good teacher, a personable young woman, and her belief in all things superstitious is charming. And she happens to have a male best friend. And that's just it--she totally thinks of him as just a best friend, nothing sexual about their relationship. But Mark, of course, has other ideas. He's a good-looking, sexy guy who has been friends with Kelly for years, but he's also felt stirrings of something more for her. But she honestly has no idea, and he doesn't let on. 

Title - 4 stars - The title gives some sense of what the story is about, but the actual plot is much funnier than what you might think, and there's definitely a lot of room for amusing moments.

Cover - 4 stars - An attractive guy and a holiday-themed stocking on a woman's leg. Definitely gives us the idea of what to expect, and the stripes catch the eye.

Overview - 5 stars - As always, the characters are wonderful! Kelly is a totally adorable nut who loves Christmas and who completely depends on a Magic 8 ball and horoscopes and other "woo-woo" stuff to run her life. Her best friend is Mark, the hot guy next door who also happens to own a restaurant. The stories about her "dates" are amusing and fun, Mark's negative reactions are understandable, and Kelly's cluelessness is kind of sweet. Layne is able to build the sexual tension even between a couple who is in the friend-zone. And it ends in some very hot scenes. Lots of references to the holidays, some great family interaction, and a very pleasant and entertaining read.
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Layne gives us a super fun screwball heroine playing in what could be the magic of her destiny and a dashing hero who bides his time lovingly. This Friends-To-Lovers treat sure feels like a can't miss holiday read.
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Cute story - I'm not into the "woo hoo" of Kelly's personality.  One magic 8 ball for a grown woman is too many let alone all that Kelly owns.  Kelly admits that she friend zoned Mark years ago because he was too attractive to be interested in a girl/woman like her but she was wrong.
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I usually say I love Christmas stories but this one just didn't do it for me.  I kind of didn't like it.  It had too much sexual content to it and not enough substance to the storyline.  That's about it.
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This one was an ok read. It was quick and light and a new author for me. I dont think she will be an "auto buy" for me but I will most definitely read more of her stuff in the future.

An Ex for Christmas is cute, warm, charming and funny, and would probably do one's heart good to read during the holidays. Its kinda like a Hallmark Channel movie. Put this one on your list
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I love Christmas stories and Lauren Layne sure knows how tp start the holidays. We have Kelly who is kind of a nut when it comes to this holiday and well fate. She never really thought about marriage and love until a stranger tells her things. Now the countdown is on and hope is all she has now for a magical Christmas this year with her trusty sidekick Mark. Lauren Layne created such a beautiful, whimsical and funny story I wanted more of these two. Released just in time for the holidays by this talented and imaginative author. Loved it.

“I received an eBook copy from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own.”
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Oh my gosh, Lauren Layne does it again! Kelly meets an mysterious stranger who tells her one of her ex's is her true love. Kelly decides to check out all of her former boyfriends to see if she missed something. Mark her best friend since high school who she shares a dog with is with her every step of the way including buying a Christmas tree that has character. What a great read!!! Ms. Laynes books need to be made into Hallmark movies!
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I love a good friends to lovers story and Mark and Kelly definitely did not disappoint!! I was hooked from the start and will definitely be reading this one again and recommending to my friends!
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LOVED IT! I'm a hard, hard sucker for best friends to lovers stories. I'm also a sucker for anything Lauren Layne. Combine the two and I'm guaranteed an amazing read! An Ex for Christmas was exactly that!
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Lauren Layne is new to me and I have been meaning to read her books.  What I can say is this book was fun, exciting and gave you all of the feels.  An Ex for Christmas was such a sweet and funny Christmas story.   I love reading Christmas stories in the Christmas season and when I saw this I immediately was drawn into the lightheartedness it seemed to be and boy did it deliver.

Kelly is a bit superstitious and believes in signs and sometimes it is to a fault.  She seems to allow this to rule her universe and while I can understand the concept she takes it to a whole new level.  There is excitement and fun moments but while she is going through her list with her best friend Mark’s help can she see what is right under her nose the whole time.  

I loved Mark, he was a loyal and sometimes grouchy best friend and I loved him. Kelly was the perfect blend of girly girl and smartass.  It felt like an awesome hallmark movie and I loved Mark and Kelly, 4 awesome stars.
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I LOVE Lauren Layne's books! Kelly and Mark have been best friends for a long time even though they are total polar opposites in personality. As Kelly revisits her exs looking for love before Christmas, she also starts to feel an attraction to Mark. For the first time, it seems like the timing may be right. I would highly recommend this book!!! It was a really fun, romantic book.
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Still on my friends-to-lovers kick, I couldn't wait to get into this light-hearted romantic comedy. Add Lauren Layne as the author, a little bit of snow, and some holiday magic, and I was all in. Layne is known for her quirky characters and Kelly is no exception. A school teacher in a private New York academy, she lives and dies by the Magic 8 Ball, allowing it to guide her choices. So it's not surprising that Kelly would take the prophecy of a subway psychic to heart. When Kelly discovers that the love her life is someone she's already met, she makes a list of all of her exes to figure out which is "the one." Things go hilariously wrong with each one, only frustrating Kelly. She can't figure out how the psychic could possibly be wrong, so she works her way through one ex after another, with disastrous results.

Enter Mark. He's been her best friend for the better part of a decade. Old high school friends who have never risked that friendship with something as temporary as sex. Not to mention the fact that Kelly is so not like any of the super hot girls Mark usually dates. So when she starts to have deeper feelings for Mark, she only amps up her search for the right ex before she acts on those feelings.

Plot
The plot is somewhat predictable, but it's so adorably told, it doesn't really matter. Much of the story centers around Kelly's search for her perfect ex, but her long-term friendship with Mark is a strong subplot until it becomes front and center. Underlying it all is Kelly's superstitious nature that drives most of the conflict.

Characters
Lauren Layne's writing shines when it comes to her characters. Kelly is delightful as an elementary school teacher who relies on fate to chart her course in life. While this could easily come off as cartoonish, Kelly has more depth to her than that, making this aspect of her personality realistic. Mark is utterly believable as the long-suffering best friend. A man of few words, he lets his actions speak for him. The supporting characters are light, with Kelly's exes getting most of the roles.

What I Loved About AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS
1. Friends to Lovers. One of my favorite tropes.

2. Kelly. Her smart, spunky brand of quirky is a breath of fresh air.

3. Mark. He takes the strong, silent type to a new level of hot.

4. Christmas. I love all the holiday elements incorporated into this story. Everything from snow to decorations and a Christmas parade make the setting an essential part of the story.

5. Surprise Ending. So while I was pretty sure I knew how things were going to end, I didn't know how it was going to get there, and the sweet surprise at the end was perfect.

Bottom Line
An adorably fun contemporary romance with the perfect amount of heat and humor.
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Lauren Layne delivers YET ANOTHER gem. An Ex for Christmas is a super fun read through the eyes of NYC private school teacher Kelly. From the onset I adored her voice and "magical" thinking and it reminded me that Christmas has always been a season where the more you "believe" the more you enjoy.

Kelly, an only child, returns to her family house in upstate NY to enjoy the holidays. However, she's shipped her parent off on a cruise and plans to enjoy some time with her old friends. Prior to hitting the rails, she meets a fortune teller of sorts who tells Kelly her true love is someone she already knows. It then becomes her mission to track down all her exes. The reader is introduced to Kelly's best friend Mark, their dog Rigby, said exes and old friends. 

Kelly really is an endearing character. Her holiday spirit is infectious and the ambitious search for her old boyfriends is rather hilarious. It's apparent just what Mark means to her, even as he teases her about her decision making skills (the use of her "Magic Eight Balls" and "tea leaves" reading is just the tip of the ice berg). It takes Kelly a bit to see that maybe she's approaching this with wrong mindset and I loved every bit of that journey. At first, her bestie Mark comes across a teeny bit prickly, but it doesn't take long for his charm to show through. When we do get his voice it's sentient and sweet and he fully embedded himself in my heart. 

Part of what made this a fun read is Lauren Layne's references to holiday movies and music. I too love "Love Actually" and agree wholeheartedly with Kelly's choice of favorite scenes. Even in Kelly's confusion and missteps, this book just made me feel happy ( and festive). An Ex for Christmas is now my "Love Actually" of books and my favorite scene...well you'll know it when you read it. 5 ++ Stars and recommendation!
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Kelly believes in  fate - she has at least 3 magic 8 balls in case she has to make a decision.  On her way home from work, she misses her train, but a woman with the ability to see the future tells her she has met “the one” already and will be with him before Christmas. Kelly, being somewhat oblivious to everything else around her, has determined that must have meant one of her previous boyfriends will be coming back into her life. Strangely, she then decides to set up meetings with each of the men instead of looking just past her nose at her best friend for 10 years. Mark has been her best friend forever, and it becomes obvious that he really hates her plan, but doesn’t come right out to tell Kelly why. 

The book reminds one of a Hallmark movie. I enjoyed the way this book was written. A lot of it felt like a friend confessing to another. You could see the way Kelly thought things through, and when the lightbulb finally clicked that Mark was the one for her. 

Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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