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Monday, December 6, 2010

The Ex-Files: A Collection by Dakota Cassidy

The Ex-Files: A Collection by Dakota Cassidy
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, time travel, holiday
Length: Full Length (332 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Meet Maddie, Vicky, Katy, and Maxie. Each woman devastated -- and divorced.

So what do you do when you're drowning in a sea of pity and Häagen-Dazs? Join a support group with others just like you. Give yourselves a cute name like The Ex-Files, go out for karaoke from time to time, argue often, oh, and indulge in a crazy second chance at love with the help of your nutty new friends.

Join four women as they laugh, cry, time travel, meet a vampire and a cursed warrior, but most importantly, learn to love again!

Divorce is never funny, but the adventures of the four women of Divorcées Anonymous, a.k.a. The Ex-Files are! Each of these women finds love the second time around, in some very unusual ways. Whether it’s a furry lover, a cursed Celtic warrior, or some other unusual twist, each story is unique. Join Maddie, Maxie, Katie and Victoria, for romps and laughter, and lots of love and passion. You won’t regret a single minute, I can promise you that.

Mayhem and Maddie
Six months into her divorce, Madison “Maddie” Blake is still reeling. She feels like it must have been her fault. She’s told, over and over, that she needs to move on, her reply is “to what?” That is, until she meets three women who become her friends, and a great guy in a bunny suit, and discovers the joy of Karaoke. But can she trust in Cole enough to give him custody of her slightly battered heart?

Maxie's Man Maxine
“Maxie” Rodriguez has been divorced for three months. A battered woman who barely escaped with her life, she teaches self defense to women like herself, and dreams of a strong, handsome man who seduces her every night. At least she thinks he’s a dream. Kellen is actually a Celtic warrior, cursed to have no form until he atones for his sins against a witch. Until he meets Maxie and falls in love. But can he break the curse and stay in this time with Maxie?

Kinky Katy
Katy Jennings is the counselor that centers the women, trying to help each find the way to move on. Problem is, Katy is still in love with her ex, Garrett, and wants nothing more than a second chance with him. On the eve of his wedding to another woman, Katy goes back in time, with the help of her fairy godmother Talulah, to relive five days in the early part of her marriage, and see if it can show her what went wrong. But will five days with Garrett give her the courage to fight for her man when she gets back to the present?

Maddie Got Run Over by a Reindeer
Maddie loves Cole, Cole loves Maddie. Everything is perfect, right? Well not exactly. Cole wants Maddie to marry him, but Maddie is still gun shy, afraid Cole will change his mind in the future. When he proposes, Maddie dashes out of the house in a snowstorm, and gets run over by Santa’s sleigh and reindeer. The joyriding dwarf takes her back to the North Pole, where Aloysius, a six foot tall elf, shows her the error of her ways. Will Al find a way to get Maddie back to Cole in time to celebrate the holidays?

Vicky the Vixen
Victoria “Vicky” Rawlings watches as each of her friends finds happiness the second time around. More than happiness, they each find the one thing Vicky longs for: hot, sweaty, toe-curling sex. But that isn’t likely to happen with Vicky, since she has this disorder that makes her cringe at a speck of dust, or the thought of a stray germ. When she sees a man out in water and believes he is drowning, she fights her disorder to rescue him. Kale Ohana could be just the man to cure Vicky of some of her phobias and obsessions, but what will Vicky say when she finds out that the hot and sexy neighbor in her bed is not what he appears to be?

Dakota Cassidy has taken the serious subject of divorce, infused it with a large dose of paranormal happenings, and sprinkled liberally with lots of hot and delicious sex in strange and unusual places. These are fun stories, but stories that also show the real emotions of a traumatic time in some women’s lives. I liked how it was handled with humor and yet with sensitivity and caring.

All four women were unique characters. Maddie is the sassy and wisecracking career woman, who realizes she wasn’t still in love with her ex so much as with the idea of being in love with him. This is the realization that helps her finally move on. Maxie is the abused woman, resilient and determined to get past the pain and move on with her life. I liked her courage, and her flashes of temper. Katy is the serene and composed counselor, soothing and mediating the group, until she discovers she wants her man, and I loved her “inner dialogues” with her fairy godmother. Vicky is the OCD clean freak, who slowly realizes that her world won’t fall apart if she lets stuff just happen once in a while. I loved the growth each of these women showed during this collection of touching and humorous tales.

The men were all great characters, uniquely suited to each woman’s needs. Cole is determined to prove to Maddie that he is in for the long haul, even if he was in a bunny suit when they met. Kellen is the strong Celtic warrior, determined to protect Maxie from her dangerous ex-husband. Garrett is terrific and just what Katy needs him to be as she rediscovers what is important. And Kale is the exact opposite of Vicky: totally unorganized and yet everything she needs in a man.

There are some wonderful surprises for each of these couples on their way to their happy ever after. And it certainly would not be Dakota Cassidy without humor and hot sexy romance, whether it’s a man in a bunny suit, a warrior of old, or one very laid back surfing vampire. This is one that will keep you chuckling for a while.

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