The Ex-Factor by Helena Frith Powell Review

Reviewed by Joanne Watson

This is a story about a 30 something girl called Marina who writes a column for a national newspaper. She is asked to write a piece about first loves, which prompts her to seek out her own first love, despite being married to Mark. She finds her first love, Tom, living and working as a photographer in Rome. Meanwhile, famous designer Katie, who always had her eye on Mark, sets up a New Year’s Eve reunion which brings all the old friends together. Feelings start to develop between Marina and Tom, and between Mark and Katie.

Marina has to choose whether to pursue her first love Tom, or stay with her husband, Mark, the latter of which is becoming less of an option as a romance starts to develop between Mark and Katie.

Running alongside this storyline, is the sub storyline of Marina’s friend, Ulrika, who is stuck in a troubled marriage. She has a series of lovers, and thinks a new set of boobs will make everything better.

This is an easy read. It has a simple storyline, but it does feel a little crowded at times, where there is too much going on, more than necessary to the plot. It is very current with lots of references to things such as Facebook, Twitter and Blackberry Messaging, and features a phone-tapping scandal. There is quite a lot of swearing in the book, and quite a graphic sex scene so it would not be a suitable read for anyone easily offended by this type of language. I didn’t mind the language, but thought the sex scene was unnecessary and added nothing to the plot.

As a mother of three, including twins, I did perhaps ‘over analyse’ the Ulrika storyline as she, like me, was a mother of twins. The age of the twins seemed to jump around in the book, and some of the behaviours and actions in the book didn’t match the age of the children. For example carrying almost two years old in car seats!

I liked the front cover design, but the illustration on the front didn’t match up to the ‘voluptuous brunette’, as the main character is described, which I though odd. This book is ‘chick lit’, and is a perfectly fine read, if you want to just switch off and relax. It isn’t the best in the genre I have read, but also not the worst.

I would give this book 2 and half stars out of 5.

Rating: 2.5/5

RRP: £7.99 (Paperback) / £4.99 (Kindle)

Available to buy from Amazon here.

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