Ella James has once again stepped up to the plate and given us a truly amazing book in The Plan. I loved everything about this Southern second chance love story. Marley and Gabe’s second chance was much more than I expected. This story was more than two angry exes that find themselves having to share a home when they didn’t expect to. This story is about two people who were hurt by not only their shared past and a young disastrous marriage but by the pain of similar losses and the feeling of not knowing how to move forward. Time and distance can either help or hurt and in the instance of Marley and Gabe, time and distance only seemed to leave behind pain, misunderstandings and unanswered questions.
That doesn’t remotely touch what has happened since the two have divorced. They each have successful careers but are failures at love and long term relationships. There has been a heartbreaking loss for Marley and a shocking discovery for Gabriel that shakes the very foundation of his life. Each make their way home to Fate, Alabama, as a last resort. One comes to hide, the other to rebuild. It couldn’t be more fitting that fate leads these two back to their humble beginnings. Whether they are ready or not, they will have to face their fears, combat their anger and finally find a way to forgive each other.
This story is full of heartbreaking angst, moments that are so funny and so truly Southern that I laughed so hard my stomach hurt and an attraction that is still razor sharp in spite of a divorce and years of leading separate lives. Gabe is gruff and determined to keep Marley at arm’s length. He has many demons to face and a public that is clamoring to have his sordid story as a means to keep his wounds fresh and his heart bleeding. Now that he has returned to Fate he has to contend with small town speculation and over eager neighbors. Marley has her own insecurities that twine around her untouchable mother and a biological clock that just won’t stop ticking. But if her plan works, she’ll have everything that she has ever wanted and maybe, just maybe, her ex husband too.
Ella’s words always make me feel like I am sitting right with her characters. Her words evoke so many emotions. I ran the gamut getting to know Gabe and Marley, their wants and wishes, the ugly hurts that cannot be avoided. The entire Off-Limits series has stories and characters so layered, complex and absolutely endearing. The Plan is no exception. I fell for and felt for these two. Second chances are hard to come by and when Fate steps in, we sometimes have to step back and let love take its course. Rocky, tedious and thrilling though it may be. It helps, too, to have some great pie and pork chops for good eats on the journey.
This was amazing! It was worth the wait, the delays and the angst that the awesome author experienced during the writing of Gabe and Marley’s love story. Great job, Ella. Truly fantastic!
You’ve heard this story before. Woman feels her biological clock ticking and gets someone to knock her up.
Not for love, for baby.
That’s what I thought.
Then I found out my fiancé had a vasectomy. The life I thought I had? Nope. Suddenly I’m 33, and I don’t even have a kissing buddy.
When my mom’s health takes a turn and I wind up back in my hometown of Fate, Alabama, I tell myself to leave things up to…well, you know.
Then I see Gabriel McKellan. He’s Fate’s most famous son, a bestselling author who is beautiful, complicated, and living just below me. In addition to his plus-sized brain, Gabe’s well-endowed in other ways, and great in bed to boot. I would know. He’s my ex husband.
When I suggest The Plan, I don’t imagine that he’ll take the bait. It’s been ten years, and we don’t work. But Fate has other plans for both of us.
I veer into the bushes, heading across the lawn toward the home’s rear right, where there’s supposed to be a staircase tacked onto the house’s back side.
“Not your walkway,” he says coolly.
“Figured that out,” I snap over my shoulder.
Hurt stings my cheeks and neck, prickles tears in my eyes. I whirl. “You are such an asshole! Always were. The biggest jerk in our class!”
“What was it, then, Marley?” He takes a long stride down the walkway toward me. “Oh, wait, I remember.” He looks pointedly down, and then back up at me with those electric eyes—and I know what he’s meaning.
“Jesus—you’re a pig!”
He smirks. “Only for you.”
With those ungraceful words, I march toward the house I’m sharing with my ex-husband.
GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36046927-the-plan
Ella James is the USA Today and Amazon Top 10 bestselling author of more than twenty love stories. She’s an angst-a-holic who loves exploring difficult situations and the emotions of the people caught up in them. Also, smut. But always, always romance.
Ella is an Alabama native who makes her home in Colorado with her husband, three young children, and hyperactive dog. When she’s not writing, she can be found hiking the foothills, taking nature photos for her Instagram account, or swilling vanilla cream soda.
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