Seeing him again has her second guessing everything.
Unfinished Ex, an all-new steamy romance with a surprise twist from bestselling author Samantha Christy, is out now!
He wanted everything I couldn’t give him. A doting wife, a perfect family, a white picket fence, and game nights.
It’s not that I didn’t want to be his wife anymore. I just wanted something more—a career. So when an opportunity came up two years ago, it was easier to make him hate me than have him think he wasn’t enough.
Now, a day after our divorce is final, I find myself thrust back in the town we grew up in, down the street from the house we once owned together.
Seeing him again has me second-guessing everything. My priorities. My reason for leaving. My secrets.
When we cave, and have one explosive night of ex sex, everything changes.
Or nothing has.
And I have to decide if history is about to be repeated.
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“Aren’t you popular?” a familiar voice spews behind me.
I stiffen, then turn. “Jaxon.” I spin back and motion for the bartender.
My hair gets moved aside, and strong fingers come around the side of my throat. For a second, I think he might strangle me. Then his grip relaxes, and his thumb brushes against the hollow of my neck. Tingles shoot through my body. It’s the first time I’ve felt his touch in years.
“As if being all over television isn’t enough,” he says. “You have to come here and rub it in my face? What the hell, Nic? Is there any guy here you haven’t come on to?”
“Give me a break.” I shrug his hand off me and huff. “It’s my reunion too. And if you don’t want to see me on TV, change the channel. Anyway, don’t you have a girlfriend you should be dancing with?”
The disdain in our voices is surprising. We never spoke like this to each other when we were married. And I’m not sure why I’m speaking to him this way now. He doesn’t deserve it. But seeing him on the arm of another woman all night has been… devastating, to say the least. And my defenses are up.
He takes my arm and leads me to the dance floor.
I know I should resist, but I don’t. Not much anyway. “What are you doing?”
“Talking with my ex-wife. And showing everyone here that we can be civil.”
I glance around. Everyone is staring. And guffawing. And videoing. I suppose they either think I’m going to punch him or fuck him.
“Can we be civil?” I ask. “Because based on the two times we’ve seen each other, we’re either glaring at or ignoring one another.”
“I think we should try to be. How else are we going to survive two months of you being here?”
“Avoidance,” I say, trying to ignore the warmth of his hands. The solidness of his body. The familiarity of his scent.
Every synapse in my brain is firing, telling me to pull away. But my heart strings—apparently they think we’re still tethered together, and I find myself swaying to the music.
He moves with me. “How’s that working for you? Apparently not well since you decided to show up at the one place you knew I’d be. Not to mention my friends.”
“Oh, your friends.”
“Yeah, my friends. You left them too. Or have you forgotten?”
“I remember perfectly well. More than you could ever know.” I break away from him because being in his arms is suffocating. “I have to go. I need to be up early.”
“Then why did you even come?”
Why did I? “It was obviously a mistake.” I go back to the bar and Paige, who is holding up a shot. I’ve never needed one more. “Thanks. And now I’m leaving.”
She checks the time. “You almost made it an hour. That’s longer than I thought you’d last.” She glances behind me. “Oh shit.”
I turn to see Calista standing in the hallway, the sadness of her stare burning through my skin from twenty feet away. She saw us dancing.
Not bothering to say goodbye to anyone, I hightail it to the back door. I’m barely to the back gate when I hear, “Why can’t you leave well enough alone?”
Slowly, I rotate and face Calista. She walks toward me in what seems like slow motion. Is she going to call me names? Pull my hair? Tackle me to the ground? Behind her, people pour out from inside.
“Calista, now is not the time. We’ve both been drinking.”
“You think I’m going to cause a scene?”
“No, because I’m walking away.”
I get another thirty feet when I hear her heels on the pavement behind me. She runs ahead and stops my progress. Not with her fists or her body, but with her eyes. Her sorrowful, poignant stare that makes me feel even more guilty about being here.
“Calista, I don’t have time for this.”
“You left. You chose your career over him. You were selfish, uncaring, and insensitive. Not to mention you broke him. Do you know how long it took him to even ask someone out?”
“It’s my turn. You had your turn. You had your chance with him. You don’t get to waltz back into town and pretend like everything is normal when you’re the reason he can’t be. He was just starting to heal. And tonight, I had a feeling he might even commit to this relationship. Then you show up and all anyone can do is look at you, and then look at him to see if he’s looking at you, and then look at me to see if I’m bothered by any of it. Why are you here? You made your choice. You don’t even want him, so why don’t you stay away and give him room to breathe? Please, Nicky. I’m begging you.”
I’m stunned by the lack of anger in her confrontation. But I shouldn’t be. Even when we butted heads back in high school, she was still nice about it. She didn’t get to be head cheerleader, class president, and prom queen by intimidation. She did it because she was delightful, caring, and perky. The kind of person who’s perfect for Jaxon.
Jaxon comes out of the pub and sees us.
Calista glances between him and me. “Unless you still want him.” Her eyes become glassy. “Do you?”
“I…” I clutch my pendant. “I have to go.”
I run through the parking lot. Then I run down the street. Then I take my shoes off and run barefoot until I get inside the house and up to my room. Then I collapse on my bed, knowing everything she said was one hundred percent true.
Especially the part about me wanting him. Because I was lying to myself. Being in his arms wasn’t suffocating. It was like going home.
Sunny Shelly’s Review: 3 Stars
I really liked parts of this book, and really disliked other parts of it. I have such conflicted feelings! While I loved the second-chance romance between a divorced couple who so clearly still was madly in love with one another, there were so many plot points in this story that I kept rolling my eyes over.
The good: There is a lot of growth on the parts of both Nicky and Jaxon in this book when it comes to their relationship and how they drifted apart in the past because of her career aspirations. Unfortunately, I felt that was overshadowed by the lie that Nicky told Jax in the first place and… the ickiness… of the surprise pregnancies in this book.
So Nicky lied about having cheated on Jaxon so he wouldn’t come after her because she felt like she wasn’t enough for him anymore since she had dreams of being a broadcast meteorologist. Except that she lied about it. And then his indiscretion was brushed under the rug by them both on their way to reconciliation. Okay, I can suspend belief for that. But Jaxon getting his ex-girlfriend and Nicky pregnant within weeks of each other was a bit too much. Calista was just a wretched woman who kept coming up with excuse after excuse to spend time with Jax because she was jealous he and Nicky were seeing each other again. I will admit that Jax and Nicky handled Calista’s pregnancy like champs, and came out the other side rock solid as a result. In the end, everything got tied up in a neat little bow and they make it work for all parties involved, including Calista, so this story does have a HEA for everyone.
I wish this book would have come with a trigger warning for miscarriage because that is a sensitive subject for me that I need to know about going into a story.
If I could pluck out certain parts of this story, I would give this book a higher rating. Because I really enjoyed how Nicky and Jaxon found their way back to each other. But I felt that the outside drama was unnecessary since they had enough to work with between the distance, their breakup, their loss, and where they go in the future.
I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.
About Samantha Christy
Samantha Christy’s passion for writing started long before her first novel was published. Graduating from the University of Nebraska with a degree in Criminal Justice, she held the title of Computer Systems Analyst for The Supreme Court of Wisconsin and several major universities around the United States. Raised mainly in Indianapolis, but also living in Lincoln, NE for a time, she decided to devote herself to family upon the birth of her third child and became a stay-at-home mom. It was then when the writing bug really took hold as she was a voracious reader. Being a stay-at-home mom facilitated her ability to follow her dream of becoming an author.
When she is not writing, she keeps busy cruising to every Caribbean island ships sail to. Samantha Christy currently resides near St. Augustine, Florida with her husband and the two of her four children who haven’t flown the nest. Oh, and her dog, Ozzy, who she worships and thinks is the most adorable Whoodle on the planet.
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