Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Book Review: No Ex Before Marriage

By Sara Steven

While her friends join the "Wife Club" one by one, Poppy feels like that part of her life is done and dusted. Already married and divorced she's not desperate to go through all that again.

But what if her divorce never actually went through...?

After a shock revelation Poppy not only discovers she is still married, but that Zac is about to have his second wedding!

Coming face to face with her (almost) ex-husband after six years apart is never going to be easy. And when Zac panics and tells his new wife-to-be that Poppy is family, things can't get much worse as she is welcomed with open arms as part of the wedding party!

As the memories flood back, can Poppy really leave the past where it is? And can she watch the first love of her life walk down the aisle to say 'I do' once again? (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon)

I enjoy Portia’s books. They’re fun, and often contain some pretty interesting plotlines. No Ex Before Marriage fits that format perfectly! At first, the reader discovers that Poppy is the odd man out in her coupledom friendships. It hadn’t always been that way, back when she’d been married, too, yet after the divorce she consistently feels as though her friends choose to participate in activities that don’t include her. This is glaringly obvious at yet another wedding, and during that scene, I kept looking for the ex. With a title like No Ex Before Marriage, I knew some sort of ex would creep in eventually, and having not read the synopsis beforehand, I didn’t know it would be her ex-husband. 

When Poppy had to talk with Zac and work with him on figuring out the best way to ensure that a divorce between them occurs, it was such a unique way to bring them together! I mean, how cringe-worthy would it be to show up at the prenuptials for your ex? And, even more awkward when an instant cover story is created as to why Poppy is there. In classic Portia fashion, we get to see Poppy attempt to navigate the metaphorically giant potholes and road bumps ahead, while also attempting to figure out some buried feelings she’s had towards Zac; feelings she thought she’d dealt with and gotten over. It’s obvious that there are a lot of unresolved issues going on for Poppy. Unresolved issues with her friendships, unresolved issues with her prior marriage. There is a lot going on, and with all of it is a potential love interest waiting in the wings, and I honestly didn’t know who Poppy would decide on–new love, old love, or no love at all. 

One of the standout characters in this book is Poppy’s new friend, Kat. Kat reminded me of a friend of mine–single, independent, and very unapologetic about it! Kat provided a really nice balance to Poppy’s need to please and keep the peace with her friends, and even with Zac’s soon-to-be in-laws. I also feel that Kat helped Poppy come out of her shell, given that Poppy herself claims to be a bit boring and more than willing to stick inside her comfort zone.

I really loved the last chapter of Poppy’s story. I had hopes for how it would go, and I thought given everything we learn within the book, it was the right choice. While I know No Ex Before Marriage is about a love story gone sour, and whether there’s a chance it can be revived, at the same time I think it’s also about a fresh perspective for Poppy. She’s more than enough, and she deserves someone who feels the same way. A definite five-star experience!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US * Amazon UK

Portia MacIntosh is a bestselling romantic comedy author of over 15 novels, including Stuck On You and The Plus One Pact. Previously a music journalist, Portia writes hilarious stories, drawing on her real life experiences.

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