An Ex for Christmas
Friends-to-Lovers with Holiday Sparkle
A Standalone Romantic Comedy
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+ book summary
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.
“Lauren Layne writes characters I want to tackle and keep as my best friends, woven into smart, sexy, utterly romantic tales of love.”—Violet Duke
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.
“So, my ex list,” I begin, rummaging around in his console for the mini candy canes I stashed there last week. He does a double take, obviously not knowing they were there until just now.
I hold one up, offering it to him.
“To the candy, or to listening to me talk about my plan?” I say, peeling the cellophane off a candy cane and sticking the non-hook end in my mouth.
“Both,” he says, turning his attention back to the road.
I honor his wishes. For about thirty seconds.
“The list is kind of depressingly short,” I say.
“I never realized just how pathetic my love life was. Did you?”
Mark checks his mirror and changes lanes. “Can we not?”
“I didn’t include any of my boyfriends before tenth grade. Do you think I should have?”
He snorts. “What, your prepubescent affair with Kyle Cameron wasn’t one for the ages?”
I ignore this. “I also crossed off anyone that was married—”
“—or anyone that was mean.”
Mark looks over sharply. “Who was mean to you?”
I smile at his protectiveness. “Jeff Downing from eleventh grade was kind of a jerk. Called me fat.”
Mark makes a growling noise. “Who else?”
“Elton Drake. Stockbroker I dated a couple years ago. Yelled a lot.”
“Just bark, right? No bite?”
I pat his arm. “Just bark. And I kicked him to the curb.”
He gives a terse nod. “All right. So, who is on the list? How many people we talking?”
“And you’re going to believe a little old lady that one of them is your soulmate, or some shit like that?”
I study his profile. “Why are you so grumpy about this? You have Sheila. Why shouldn’t I have someone, too?”
Mark scratches his cheek. “I’m not saying I don’t want you to be happy. I just think if you were going to be happy with any of those guys, you would have been. You broke up with them for a reason.”
“Well, to be fair, three of the seven broke up with me.”
I smile at his loyalty. “Totally. Which is why I need to figure out a way to show them what they’re missing. Is it true that guys think women in elf costumes are hot?”
He gives me an incredulous look. “What?”
“You know,” I say, gesturing at midthigh. “Striped socks? Short green skirt? Cute little hat?”
He shakes his head. “Times like this, I deserve an award for having a female best friend.”
“It’s not like I asked you to take me shopping for the outfit. I’m just saying if I volunteered to dress up like an elf at the annual Christmas parade, would that be hot?”
“Quit being weird.”
“That’s not an answer.”
“Charming, witty, and sexy—An Ex for Christmas was so easy to devour! It had everything you want in a holiday read including a hunky best friend and quite a few tumultuous mistletoe scenes. Honestly, who knew mistletoe could be so hot?!”—R. S. Grey, USA Today bestselling author
“Witty and romantic . . . a definite must-read. . . . Don’t forget your warm fuzzy socks!”—Heidi McLaughlin, New York Times bestselling author of Stripped Bare
“I love friends-to-lovers, but add in a mysterious stranger, the funniest quest ever, plus the magic of Christmas? An Ex for Christmas is the perfect present for the season!”—Melanie Moreland, New York Times bestselling author of My Image of You
“This was a sweet, fun, relaxing read. It makes you want to curl up in front of the fire while the snow comes down and the smell of Christmas cookies fills the air.”—Garden of Reden Book Blog
“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 its shining glory. . . . Laughter and romance go hand and hand. Light and airy delight!”—Hopeless Romantic
“Funny, fresh, and absolutely adorable! One of the most enchanting holiday stories I’ve read.”—Tawna Fenske, USA Today bestselling author
“Holly jolly fun! Layne’s friends-to-lovers holiday tale checked every box on my list.”—Jessica Lemmon, author of the Real Love series
“I would recommend An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne, if you enjoy the friends-to-lovers trope or books by authors Penny Reid, Jessica Lemmon, Jen Frederick and Tawna Fenske.”—Book Magic
“I don’t think this book could have been any better. I loved it. I didn’t want it to end.”—Obsessive Book Nerd
“An Ex for Christmas is a page-turner because HEAs are a definite must for a holiday romance!”—JG, Deluged with Books Cafe
“This was such a great story. I laughed, cried and even laughed while I cried. This author never disappoints.”—Kitty’s Book Spot
“Oh how I loved this story! As soon as I cracked the cover, Ms. Layne’s wonderful characters took over, and took me on a blissful little literary journey.”—Red’s Romance Reviews
“It’s delightful, and just oozes joy from every page. No doubt, lovers of all things holidays and romance will devour this magical read”—Nick and Nereyda’s Infinite Book List
“An Ex for Christmas has a wonderful fairytale feel to the narrative perfect for the run up to Christmas to set the mood, adding an air of hope to the holidays.”—Book Angel Booktopia
“I know I’ll be re-reading An Ex for Christmas—not just during the holiday season, but anytime throughout the year. It’s sexy, fun, heartwarming, and an outright delight to read.”—Heroes and Heartbreakers