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The Ex Files    by Jane Moore order for
Ex Files
by Jane Moore
Order:  USA  Can
Broadway, 2004 (2003)
Hardcover, Softcover, Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by Shannon Bigham

Jane Moore, British columnist and author of Fourplay, explores model Faye Parker's trials and tribulations as she experiences pre-wedding doubts. Faye is engaged to Mark Hawkins, an up-and-coming chef, and plans go awry when Faye and Mark invite their ex's to the wedding. The wedding reception is to take place at a posh, upscale French chateau, which is being paid for by Mark's wealthy parents. Though pleasant enough to Faye, they worry over whether she is good enough for their son, particularly after Mark's brother Tony and his wife divorce. Faye's mother Alice has her own doubts about the pending nuptials, but as her meekness is no match for Faye's feisty nature, Alice stays mum.

Problems begin at the rehearsal dinner when Faye meets Mark's brother Tony. Faye's blood runs cold when she realizes Tony is the man with whom she had a one-night stand a few weeks before. Tony shares Faye's feelings of shock, but is also indignant and angry that Faye has not been faithful to Mark. Faye is under extreme stress because she does not want Tony to tell Mark, while Tony has convinced himself that Mark and Faye should not wed. All the ex's only complicate matters. On Faye's side is shallow and narcissist male model Nat, who brings along a Playboy bunny look-a-like as a date. Mark's ex-girlfriend Kate does not want this wedding to happen she feels that she should be marrying Mark, not Faye, who is known to be fickle and hard to handle. Mark's roommate Brian does not approve of the marriage, nor does Faye's flamboyant homosexual friend Adam. Many in this story have reservations about whether Mark and Faye are a suitable match.

Meanwhile, as various people bend Faye's ear, sharing their opinion of her marrying Mark, Faye is experiencing doubts too. First, there is the problem with Tony. Second, Faye wonders if Mark is too dull a person to spend the rest of her life with. Granted, she loves him but he is not terribly exciting ... or perhaps Faye is having the common jitters many brides experience before walking down the aisle. Faye has to decide if she will go through with the wedding or call it off. She now realizes that marriages are not storybook as she previously believed, and has to seriously ponder what she wants to do about Mark, whether she feels true love for him, and whether Mark will be able to fulfill her desires. Faye is a fickle woman but it is time for her to grow up and make some adult decisions quickly.

The Ex Files is a fluffy, light read interspersed with humor from its characters' antics as the wedding day looms. The book meanders a bit into flashbacks, although they do develop the characters, showing how each formed the opinion that Faye and Mark are not marriage material. Though the ending (which I will save for the reader) is a tad predictable, this novel is an enjoyable read for chick lit fans.

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