Kissing Your Ex
Brooke Stevens
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Kissing Your Ex

Brooke Stevens
New American Library
304 pages
July 2004
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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A FedEx package containing some poignant memorabilia of their failed relationship from her ex-husband Jack Martin tugs at Maddy Green’s heartstrings, even though she’s now engaged to marry another man and happy with her new life. The package’s contents evoke bittersweet memories of their beautiful marriage and friendship which later deteriorated into bitterness and betrayal. However, this recollection of the past forces Maddy to look at her fiancé and reexamine their relationship in a new light, one not entirely favorable to him.

Meanwhile, Jack’s continued pleas for a meeting in an effort to rekindle their lost love tempts Maddy badly. Torn between hopes of a new love and dreams of an old one, Maddy has to make a tough decision, one which will affect her entire future. Maddy knows her feelings for Jack have never quite gone away, and it finally seems as if Jack too hasn’t quite given up on them. Is it too late for second chances? Dare Maddy gamble away her current happiness for a chance of meeting her ex and seeing if they can still make a go of it?

In most stories about divorce and its aftermath, authors encourage their protagonist to look forward, not backward, and find new life and fall in love again. This book, however, tries to take a look at second chances in life. In Maddy, readers meet a woman who’s had the love of her life, lost it, moved forward and is on the verge of marrying again. The bitter dilemma she finds herself in when her ex asks her for a new start, the war which rages between her hopes and dreams, between past and present, is one that many readers are sure to identify with.

Besides the strong and beautiful element of romance and an intriguing love triangle, the predominant suspense remains as to who exactly Maddy will ultimately end up with – her ex or the new man in her life – and this tension is maintained up until the very end, keeping the enthralled readers on tenterhooks. The evocative language brings across the conflict and romance in a manner almost lyrical, beautifully capturing the thoughts and feelings the characters. As a result, the story, while a bit meandering and mostly told in flashbacks, is heartfelt and enchanting.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Rashmi Srinivas, 2004

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