AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS
by Lauren Layne
Releasing Nov 7, 2017
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.
He looks like a lumberjack version of Clark Kent, Byrne. Other men don’t exactly love their girl being besties with sexy, scruffy Superman.
I’m nothing but the half-batty sister who believes in tea leaves and kinda sort believes Hogwarts is real.
He gestures with his fork toward my boobs, and I glance down to see a glob of cheese. I sigh and get out yet another napkin and clean up the mess, although mostly I just smear oil around. “I’m usually very elegant on dates.”
Kelly made all her important life decisions with a Magic 8 ball, actually with three Magic 8 balls, stashed strategically so she is never without coverage. She had one at home, one at work, and a small one on her keychain to consult when she was “out and about.” She was also superstitious and believed in the “woo-woo” of fortune-tellers, tarot cards, and palm readers. So when a homeless woman on a train platform beckoned to Kelly and told her that she had already met the love of her life and would reconnect with him before Christmas, Kelly takes that message to heart and generated an Ex List of her past boyfriends and began locating them to determine which one was her “One” in the few days before Christmas. This sounded like a cute and entertaining premise, and it was. Kelly was rather obtuse and thoughtless in her treatment of her best friend and neighbor, Mark, whom I adored. I enjoyed this delightfully amusing and light holiday read and I always enjoy Ms. Layne’s clever wit. Written primarily from a first person POV, the narrative was confessional and packed with self-effacing humor with breezy asides from the sassy and self-obsessed Kelly. My favorite scene was the procuring of the Christmas tree, one of many that kept me smirking.