Friday, March 1, 2024

Book Review: Ex in the City

By Sara Steven

Nicole Wilde’s life has not panned out how she expected.

Ten years ago when she was living the rock star lifestyle as a music journalist - touring the country, going to gigs and hanging out with celebrities - she never thought she would end up living an uneventful life in suburbia, in a relationship that is well past its sell-by date.

Nicole knows that her days of wild parties and tour buses are over, but yet there is something that keeps drawing her back to her old life. So when rock star Dylan King turns up on her doorstep needing her help to restore his public image, she can’t resist one last trip down memory lane.

But Nicole and Dylan's history is complicated. And when her old life and new life collide, she will soon realise that you can’t run away from your past forever, and sometimes you just have to follow your heart…
(Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

You can take the girl out of her rock-style world, but you can’t take the rock-style world out of the girl! 

I’ve read a ton of Portia Macintosh’s books, but I haven’t explored her Nicole Wilde series. Ex in the City was a lot of fun! It was interesting to see the vast differences between the lifestyle Nicole used to live as a music journalist, and where she is now, in suburbia. Given her current situation and what has happened with Rowan, the man she definitely has an “it’s complicated” relationship with, it was huge of her to keep up appearances and do all she can for the common good of the makeshift family she’s been with for three years. 

When Dylan is first introduced, I could sense and feel the fresh breath of air that he brings to Nicole, despite the at times rocky past they’ve shared. Wild parties and tour buses don't sound like my cup of tea at all, but Nicole was really selling her experiences and I felt like I was right there with her, particularly with her “will they or won’t they” attitude when it comes to her feelings about Dylan. She can’t forget the lives they led back in the day, yet it appears there has been a lot that has changed–not just for her, but for him, too. 

I was ready to see Nicole leave Rowan right from the get go, but I could understand why she felt a duty to stick things out as long as she did. She is continually torn between living the life she lives now, and falling back into something that used to feel like magic to her. But can she fully trust Dylan, when she can’t forget the past? In so many ways, this felt like a coming-to-her-senses kind of experience for Nicole, in deciding how she truly wants to spend her life, and who she wants to spend it with. I think Ex in the City can really speak to so many of us “yummy mummies” who have traded in our leather jackets and tight jeans for yoga pants and hoodies, who feel like we have to leave the past behind and become “mature adults,” but maybe there’s a way to still hold onto the things we used to love with the things we love now. Nicole’s story was an inspiring read!

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

Portia MacIntosh is the bestselling author of over 20 romantic comedy novels. From disastrous dates to destination weddings, Portia’s rom-coms are the perfect way to escape from day to day life, visiting sunny beaches in the summer and snowy villages at Christmas time. Whether it’s southern Italy or the Yorkshire coast, Portia’s stories are the holiday you’re craving, conveniently packed in between the pages.

Formerly a journalist, Portia has left the city, swapping the music biz for the moors, to live the (not so) quiet life with her husband and her dog in Yorkshire.

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