My Great Ex – Scape by Portia MacIntosh
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publishing Date: 16th January 2020
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Number of pages: 278
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
What if your future was somewhere in your past?
Rosie Jones has been dumped by every boyfriend she’s ever had – most recently by Dinosaur Dave, live on TV, during the ‘phone-a-friend’ segment of a quiz show.
After the footage goes viral Rosie receives a bunch of flowers with a message:
I love you, I should have never let you go, I want you back x
But who sent them?
At a loose end and with £50,000 prize money in her back pocket, Rosie decides to take a trip down memory lane, visiting each of her ex-boyfriends to see not just if they are the one who sent the flowers but if they are the one.
Her journey takes her back to the house she grew up in and on a transatlantic cruise to New York, but can Rosie figure out which ex-boyfriend is the love of her life, or should the past stay in the past?
After winning a lot of money and being dumped by her boyfriend on live TV at the same time, Rosie’s big moment goes further – it’s not only shared on the internet but she also finds a bunch of flowers on her doorstep. There is only a message telling “I love you. I should never have let you go. I want you back”. Rosie assumes the flowers are from Dave, the one who humiliated her on TV. But they’re not. Are they from one of her other ex – boyfriends? She decides to embark on an adventure of finding out who has sent the flowers – and she’s not doing it alone but with her parents and one of her exes who has turned out gay, on a cruise to New York.
There was a lot of potential in this novel and I am surprised that Portia MacIntosh has allowed her story to feel so unfinished, so under – developed. Yes, it was a light – hearted, easy read but lacking in execution. And again, the publisher doesn’t help, advertising the book as a “laugh – out – loud romantic comedy” while there is little romance and little comedy, to be honest.
The first three exes are really quickly discounted and the main focus of the story switches to Rosie on the cruise ship, and I thought, why? Why so quickly? Portia, gimme more! Some more info on them, some gory details maybe, why give the last two a better chance?
I also didn’t understand the Rosie’s desperation to reconnect with her ex so much. Why? Yes, she got a bouquet of flowers (once again, why? I didn’t get it, why to send flowers without telling who has sent them, I mean, when you really want to win your ex back, then at least bite the bullet and write they’re from you), but there is a reason that your ex is your ex, no? And Rosie was extremely, I repeat, extremely focused on reconnecting with her exes. Why, Rosie, why? Are you so desperate to have a man on your side, or you really doesn’t know what to do with your life? Are you bored? The author didn’t really sell this idea to me. And let’s be honest, we all know Portia MacIntosh, we know how funny her books can be, and this one has left me feeling so lukewarm and disappointed that I didn’t find this promised and expected fun.
The reason why I didn’t warm to Rosie so completely is probably because I simply didn’t understand her desire to reconnect with all her ex – boyfriends. However, altogether, she was a brilliant character – relatable, liking her food and not fussing about her weight (finally! What a lovely change!), not knowing what to do with her life. I rather liked how clueless she was, almost in all aspects of her life, it was actually funny and not annoying, which is already a good thing. She really had a big heart and was a kind person, and really, you had to like her after she was so brave to shake off the humiliation, behaving as if nothing has happened – and it was also great. Instead of wallowing in self – pity, Rosie simply takes herself on an adventure – most of the story is set on a cruise ship, which I liked very much, especially, as it turned out, it was not your usual cruise – ship, and Rosie and Eli were actually the youngest guests on board, which led to some of the most awkward scenes.
The pace of the story is rather slow. There are some scenes that lightened the whole tone, bringing the long awaited humour and smile. And while the author’s sense of humour is absolutely my kind of sense of humour, this time it felt a bit too forced, as if she tried too hard. Overall, it was a light and easy read, with some witty scenes and some great ideas. It’s not a bad book by any means, it’s just not Portia MacIntosh’s best.