Review: Merry Ex-Mas by Sheila Roberts

Merry Ex-Mas by Sheila RobertsFormat read: ebook provided by NetGalley
Formats available: ebook, paperback, audiobook
Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Life in Icicle Falls #3
Length: 293 pages
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Date Released: October 23, 2012
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Cass Wilkes, owner of the Gingerbread Haus bakery, was looking forward to her daughter Danielle’s wedding—until Dani announced that she wants her father, Cass’s ex, to walk her down the aisle. Seriously? Even worse, it appears that he, his trophy wife and their yappy little dog will be staying with Cass….

Her friend Charlene Albach arrives at their weekly chick-flick night in shock. She’s just seen the ghost of Christmas past: her ex-husband, Richard, who left a year ago when he ran off with the hostess from her restaurant, Zelda’s. Now the hostess is history and he wants to kiss and make up. Hide the mistletoe!

And bring out the hot buttered rum, because the holidays aren’t easy for Ella O’Brien, either. Ella, newly divorced, is still sharing the house with her ex while they wait for the place to sell. The love is gone. Isn’t it?

But watch as Christmas brings all kinds of surprises….

Merry Ex-mas, ladies!

My Review:

There’s no place like home for the holidays–unless your ex is there!

That’s the situation for three of the women in the otherwise picture-postcard pretty town of Icicle Falls, Washington. And it’s beginning to look a lot like Xmas.

Make that Ex-mas.

Ella, the manager of the town’s boutique clothing store, is still sharing the house with her irresponsible, country-music playing ex-husband. Neither she nor Jake can afford to pay their half of the house payment and rent on a separate place. So they share uneasily, and try to keep out of each other’s way for fear that sparks might re-ignite. Either a fight, or sparks of a much more romantic nature. It’s just too bad that Ella’s mother can’t keep her nose out of their business.

Charley washed her ex, Richard, right out of her hair, and her restaurant. She bought him out of everything when she caught him boinking their hostess. But now he’s back and revving up the romance, saying and doing all the right things to convince her that he knows he made a horrible mistake. Or is she?

Cass owns the bakery. She doesn’t miss her ex, and never wants him back. She’d be happy if she never saw Mason again. But that’s a wish that isn’t going to be granted. The one good thing their marriage produced was three beautiful children, and their oldest is getting married. At Christmas. Too bad there’s no room at any inn in their tourist destination town and Cass’ ex and his Barbie-doll wife are going to have to stay at her house–while she plans their daughter’s last-minute nuptials.

The holidays are normally an insane time of year, but when your ex comes back like the ghost of Christmas Past, well, let’s just say that it’s a good thing that these women all have fantastic friends to get them through the holidays!

Escape Rating B+: I thought I was all holidayed-out, but Merry Ex-mas isn’t so much a Christmas story as it is a small town friendship story with a little romance. With two totally adorable dogs!

Better than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts(If you like small-town romances, the earlier Icicle Falls book is Better Than Chocolate, and it’s terrific!)

These three women are great friends, they stand by each other through everything, and it shows in the story and the way it’s written. Their lives are so intertwined, that it wouldn’t be “real” to have three separate stories. They have one story that moves between the three of them.

I liked Cass, Ella and Charley a lot. I thought their stories were great fun to read, and also that it was good that they didn’t all get a happy ending. Life isn’t like that. One happy ending, and on the rest, let’s say, progress.

What she Wants by Sheila RobertsI can’t wait to read more about Life in Icicle Falls. I’m looking forward to the next book,  which has the rather provocative title, What She Wants. Maybe Charley or Cass will get some happiness. Or happier.

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