No Ex Before Marriage by Portia MacIntosh

Title: No Ex Before Marriage

Author: Portia MacIntosh

Published on: 11 January 2022

Genre: Romance

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

Poppy’s friends join the ‘wife club’ one by one. Poppy was the first one to get married, eight years ago. Rachel, who always dreamed of fairy tale weddings and romances is the last one to get married. It is at Rachel’s wedding that Poppy realizes how much she’s grown apart from her childhood friends Rachel, Sally and Lindsey.

The girls do everything ‘couples only.’ Even after the wedding, the girls are with their spouses at the dinner table while Poppy is made to sit at the singles table. She meets Kat, Rachel’s cousin-in-law at the singles table. Kat is a happy-go-lucky, live-your-life-to-the-fullest kinda person. She makes a plan to skip the wedding and attend a New Year’s Eve party – the wedding is on New Year’s Eve. Kat and Poppy, both single, do not want to welcome 2022 at the singles table.

They somehow escape and make their way to a party happening in the next room (at the hotel). Poppy meets Fred, the owner of the company that has arranged a New Year’s Eve party. She and Fred kiss as the New Year bells ring. The next morning, Poppy has no idea what happened last night.

After a couple of days, Fred somehow contacts Poppy and arranges to meet on a dinner date. Poppy’s dad calls when she’s with Fred and he has two good news and two bad news. The good news is, he finally made his mind to clean up his late wife’s office. The bad news – he discovers Poppy is still married to her ex-husband Zac. The second good news is, he’s found out where Zac lives. The bad news? Zac will be marrying the daughter of a famous actor next week!

Poppy decides to go to Scotland, to the castle where the wedding is supposed to take place, and get Zac sign the papers before it is too late. Since Poppy cannot drive, Kat decides to tag along. When Poppy and Zac meet, Zac introduces her to his fiancée Lilac as a ‘cousin.’ So Lilac insists that ‘cousin’ Poppy must attend the wedding.

As the memories flood back, Poppy wonders if she’s left her past behind. She and Zac knew each since childhood. They were young when they got married and hurting from inside when they grew up. Can Poppy watch her first love say ‘I do’ to another woman?

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Omigosh, this book! I have never considered myself as ‘hopeless romantic’ or even a tad bit romantic but this book… I fell in love with love!! So heart-warming and delightful, I was like ‘aww’ the whole time – especially the flashbacks of Poppy and Zac’s love story.

I could totally relate to the friends snubbing singles because they are now married. As you grow older and realize you are the only one amongst your friends who is single, things change. Friends start spending more time doing couples activities and if you do not have a partner, you will not be invited. Ugh, as if being single is no fun! Kat believes singles can have fun, and one does not need a partner to do ‘couples activities’.

It is Kat who first questions if Poppy still has feelings for her ex. Poppy responds in negative but she has a lingering doubt in her mind – she never met anyone after their divorce – at least no one who was as interesting as Zac. Does this mean she’s still not over him? In that case, it would be difficult for her to face him again. But it must be done. Soon. Before he could marry someone else. Because they aren’t divorced yet.

When Zac and Poppy meet, it does seem like they pick up from where they left. It is also very clear that both still have feelings for each other.

Apart from heart-warming romance that makes you go aww, we also have a dash of romance. Kat is wacky crazy and totally likable. Poppy and Zac are, no doubt, stars of this fantabulous romantic comedy. Poppy’s friends were a tad annoying – especially with their ‘couples only’ activities and letting Poppy down at any chance they get. Between me and you, I feel Poppy gave them way too many chances they did not deserve. Hmph!

The twist at the end – gosh! I had to read this one particular sentence twice to make sure I read it right. I did not expect it coming.

If this book is made into a movie or something, I am going to be the first in line to watch it.

If you are looking for a heart-melting, charming, delightful, delicious, fantabulous and totally captivating rom-com, I highly recommend you to give No Ex Before Marriage by Portia MacIntosh a try.


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