13 Sep '11

The Ex-Files – Cat Johnson

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When we meet Jane, she is having some REALLY bad sex…like awful…like she’s wondering what’s for tea whilst at it kind of bad sex. Her terrible boyfriend insists on going Dutch on everything and is so bad in the bedroom department, she often has to turn to the vibrator when he’s left. She has to get rid of him, but being single and over thirty is not something she relishes. When her best friend Candace tells her about an article she read in the local magazine, Jane goes into a panic. According to the article, statistics show she has probably already dated the person that is meant to be her Prince Charming. Unable to abide the thought of being alone for eternity, Jane decides on a drastic course of action; she is going to re-date all her ex-boyfriends to weed out Mr Right.  A drunken night out derails her plans slightly, as she ends up getting frisky with the gorgeous bartender Damien from her local haunt. When Damien reveals that he is more than happy to give her sex with no strings whenever she wants it, it seems that she can have her fantasy man whilst searching for the man of her dreams. Thing is, after every date with a man from her past, she finds herself searching for the man who lights up her sheets in the present. Is she giving the men from her past a fair chance whilst she is sleeping with Damien? Moreover, is she disregarding him unfairly because she is too busy looking backwards?
I think the reason that I enjoyed this book so much was because there was a heroine I identified with, alongside a Hero that I swooned over. To me, this is perfect Romance material.  Jane was a bundle of neurosis that I immediately related to. She didn’t want to be alone, so was willing to put up with the awful Jim (He called her “Plain Jane” – that alone is a red card offence). Then she grasped hold of this gossip rag article as if it was fact, pulling out her little black book and preparing to take a trip down memory lane. What she failed to realise is that relationships end for a reason! When Damien offers himself up on a plate, she would have been a moron to turn him down. The man is a walking, talking wet dream, who certainly knows his way around a bed (seriously….HOT sex scenes are plentiful in this book. There was steam coming off my skin by the end of the book :D) In her head, this is a temporary relationship which ends when she gets her white picket fence because she is much too old for him.  


It’s not quite as I imagined, but he’s close…..


Damien is a hottie. The talented bartender has never been interested in relationships, happy to have faceless, meaningless sex rather than commit. But, running away from past mistakes is getting tiring and he just doesn’t have the enthusiasm he once had. Then a liquored up Jane appears at his apartment and everything changes. He doesn’t want to just have sex with her, but that’s all she’s offering. He takes her up on his offer to try to convert her to his way of thinking, even when she is quite upfront about “looking for Mr Right”. I have to say at this point she p*ssed me off. Damien was never husband material in her head. This seemed to mean that she could do what-ever she pleased with him. Even though his actions screamed that he was interested in more than just a booty call, she treated him as if he had no feelings. She took calls from potential dates whilst they were together, she turned up at his bar for sex right after making a second date with one of them…..I wanted to slap her for being so clueless, and him for settling for scraps.  Although I empathised with her feelings, she almost became public enemy number one because of her obtuseness towards his feelings. When she finally starts to see sense, had she done too much damage for there to ever be a healthy relationship?
The infamous chocolate cocktail
Even though I didn’t like book one of the red line, I was always going to read the second. I have read enough of Cat Johnson’s work to know I adore her writing; I was always going to give this a shot. When she approached me about a review, I snapped up the chance. It’s because of this book that I now feel bad about dismissing an author’s after one book that didn’t work for me; I adored this book, but if I was in the same position with a new to me author I may have not been quite so enthusiastic.  It doesn’t follow on from the first in the line, it is completely stand-alone but the heavy sexual content remains. There is anal, oral, bad sex, good sex, M/F, F/F, F/F/M….*phew*. It’s plentiful to say the least.
The Ex-files is a smutty, steamy book that kept me entertained from the moment I heard about the dreaded “Vaginal Wall bang” sex move. Damien is the barman of my dreams. A sexy fella with amazing sex skills, fabulous culinary talent and the ability to make a chocolate Martini?? I want one 😀 


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