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Book CoverDinca’s review of The Ex Factor by Nancy Warren
Contemporary Romance published by Harlequin Blaze 1 Oct 10

I have never read any works by Nancy Warren and I find reading The Ex Factor strange. However, knowing the book will end in happily ever after, I’m surprised to find myself reading about a divorced couple, including a cheating husband. Not to mention finding it hard to believe the heroine would jump back into bed with the ex-husband.

I love the name of Karen Petersham’s wedding planner business, If You Can Dream It. It does heighten the imagination. When Karen’s appointment shows up with her ex-husband in tow, she assumes he’s to be the groom… even if he is her ex-husband. Her pride is stinging thinking that he’s coming to her to get himself remarried. When she was married to him, she caught him cheating on her, so she thinks why not flaunt this new woman in her face as well.

Dexter Crane has one chance to redeem himself by helping his friends plan their wedding. Karen had divorced him because she thought he was unfaithful. Instead of saving him from a compromising position, she condemned him and walked off, leaving him to fend for himself.  Now presented with the opportunity to be in constant contact with his ex-wife, he’s not going to let the opportunity pass them by. He’s hard-pressed to keep the amusement from his eyes when Karen finds out he’s not the groom.

As Dexter sets out to create the perfect wedding for his friends, he takes every opportunity to romance Karen back into his life and her bed. As the book progresses it’s hard to believe why he even bothers. She’s having sex with Dexter while she’s trying to meet men online. Not the usual kind of heroine you find in a Harlequin romance.

I’m left with a lot of questions. Does she love him as much as he loves her? If she cares for him why doesn’t she try to be more possessive of him when she finds the girl all over her husband. If Karen loves him, she should fight for him, and just not have walked away from her marriage so easily before. I find this heroine has a lot of emotional problems. She is kind and loving and wonderful with her female friends and rude and obnoxious to their male friends. She even calls her best friend’s fiancé an emotional cripple. I guess it takes one to know one. I feel that Karen needs counseling to get her own emotions together before she attempts any kind of personal relationship.

There is a secondary romance in this book that I feel deserves a story of its own. I really enjoyed Laurel and the boring accountant, Ron who falls in love over spy novels.

Although I feel the book is well-written, I think Karen needs to get her stuff together and Dexter needs to suck it up and find someone who deserves him. Since the book is well-written, I will look for another Nancy Warren novel and give her another try. Ms. Warren gets an A for a well-written novel, an F for her heroine and a C for her hero, and Laurel and Ron get to live happily ever after. Due to the instability in Karen and Dexter’s relationship, they will have their ups and downs.

Grade: C


Wedding planner Karen Petersham loves weddings—usually. Her newest client, Sophy, has brought along her best man for advice. And the best man is none other than Karen’s sexy ex-husband, Dexter Crane. But there are rules when engaging in ex-sex:

1) Do not get romantically involved (obviously)

2) All fun. No fight.

3) Two words—booty call!

4) (Reminder: nix the romantic involvement)

5) Remember why it ended (important!)

6) And get out before you fall in love with him again…

Read an excerpt.