Wednesday, November 8, 2017

An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne Blog Tour


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.


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Book 5
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo




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?




Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Kris☆☆☆☆☆
So, I don’t usually read holiday stories but I’m a Lauren Layne fan, so when this came up for review in my group I said, yea, ok... I'll try it (begrudging voice)! Boy, I’m glad I took a shot on this one!! I loved this story, it was sweet, funny, and poignant! Full of emotion and good feels, the pages flew by with fun Christmas traditions celebrated with humor and new-found attraction that made me laugh and sigh happily. Kelly's best friend forever has been Mark, they've always just been besties. But after a fortune teller gives Kelly a juicy tidbit that she's going to find the love of her life this Christmas and it's someone she already knows, Kelly goes on a manhunt of her exes. Mark tries not to encourage his best friend in this ridiculous search, he's hoping she finally sees him! Turns out Kelly did know her true love previously and he's been waiting for her to open her eyes to him for years. Well told and definitely full of Christmas cheer.


Jordan☆☆☆☆
Once again, Lauren Layne did not disappoint and delivered a book that left me feeling warm and fuzzy. I love a good rom-com and I couldn't stop myself from becoming fully invested in the story. I have yet to read a book by Layne that hasn’t won me over. An Ex for Christmas was the perfect holiday read to warm your cold winter nights. This book reads just like a Hallmark Christmas movie and I couldn’t help but fall in love with all of Layne’s characters. More specifically, I couldn’t help but swoon at Mark Blakely, the male lead character. Also, the chemistry between Mark and Kelly Byrne, the main character, was just so perfect and believable. I always appreciate a good friends-to-lovers story and Layne knows just how to weave one! Layne always does a spectacular job of drawing me in and keeping me hooked. So, if you also happen to love a good holiday romance then l think you’ll find An Ex for Christmas the perfect book to put you in the holiday spirit!

4 stars for Lauren Layne’s An Ex for Christmas!


Ruthie☆☆☆☆
This is classic Ms. Layne, and very enjoyable because of it. Kelly is a fun character with such an extreme belief in fate that she drives her BFF somewhat crazy. He is much more practical, but humours her because he has always done anything to keep her in his life. But this Christmas, her plan is really causing him pain, and thinking that maybe it is finally time to move on...

Never has it been more obvious to even the most casual observer that these two people are perfect for each other, but somehow Kelly has been completely oblivious – so when she starts to wonder why being near Mark is feeling more appealing than just friends usually does, she doesn't understand what her body is trying to tell her brain. It has to be said that Mark has the patience of a saint, and she is incredibly lucky that he has!

What with Rigby (their shared dog), bartender and ex-girlfriend Erica, and the whole cast of ex-boyfriends, this is a very enjoyable read, with some super humour, some perfectly romantic moments, and some very heated ones.

Great Christmas reading, thank you, Ms. Layne.




Also Available in the Love Unexpectedly Series

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Good Girl Blog Tour.


Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Love Story Release Blast.


Book 4
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Walk of Shame Release Blast.




Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen 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 Today, New York Times, iBooks, and Amazon bestseller lists.


Connect with Lauren

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of An Ex for Christmas (Love Unexpectedly #5) by Lauren Layne to read and review for this tour.

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