An Ex to Grind Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 Jun 2014
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Fresh!....Spirited! -- Publishers Weekly
"Sharp, witty." -- Palm Beach Post
"Hilarious." -- USA Today
"Wildly inventive." -- People
"An Ex to Grind was a joy from beginning to end." -- Bestselling author Karen Robards
"Jane Heller is feisty, funny and fully in control."--Boston Globe
...the master of the slick urban modern woman's getaway romance.--Kirkus Reviews
"Anything Jane Heller writes, I buy. Her romantic comedies are the absolute best."--Bestselling author Karen Robards
"An Ex to Grind was a joy from beginning to end."--Bestselling author Karen Robards
"Come along for a witty, fast-paced and clever ride! Jane Heller is at the top of her game."--New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips
"An Ex to Grind is the perfect battle-of-the-sexes tale for today's world."--Karen McCullah Lutz, author of The Bachelorette Party
"Lively, warm, and wise. Melanie Banks is a heroine to root for, and I couldn't put this book down! "--Amanda Brown, author of Legally Blonde and Family Trust
"Sharp, witty."--Palm Beach Post
Fresh!....Spirited!--Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Jane Heller promoted dozens of bestselling authors before becoming one herself. She is the author of thirteen books including An Ex to Grind, Infernal Affairs, Name Dropping, Female Intelligence, and Lucky Stars. She lives in Santa Barbara, California, where she is at work on her next book. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
I sometimes wonder if people who review books have ever tried to write and have their own work then published or criticised! An amazing achievement to have written a novel, and even better to have then had someone create a movie on the back of it!
Melanie Banks, a most unsympathetic character, is a financial analyst who is griping that, since she was the breadwinner in their marriage, she has to pay her husband maintenance in their divorce. She hits upon a clause in their divorce agreement that gives her a light at the end of the tunnel and she single-mindedly pursues a mean-spirited course of action to get a bit closer to that light. She doesn't care who gets hurt in the process.
There's nothing funny in this novel. There's nothing even mildly witty in the dialogue. Melanie uses her friends, shirks her real responsiblities and wastes everyone's time, not least the reader's. I kept reading because I wanted Melanie to receive her inevitable comeuppance, and while the sequence when that arrives is indeed sweet, I thought she deserved worse than she actually got. Given that she's the "heroine" of the story, I suppose that was too much to ask.
I hope that this author returns to form in future novels. I miss the crackling dialogue, intelligent styling and interesting heroines that made me a Heller fan many moons ago.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Melanie hires the well-known matchmaker, Desiree to help her find a love interest for Dan. You see, in the fine print of their divorce papers, it states that if Dan gets married or lives with another woman for 3 months, she no longer has to pay him alimony. Thus, her search for the perfect Love Connection begins.
I have been a huge Jane Heller fan & have read all of her books. An Ex to Grind and Lucky Stars have been VERY different from her earlier novels that were always filled with fun & crazy plots that guaranteed laughs. These last two, anyone could have written them - they did not have that unique quality that I had come to love.
No doubt that I will await the next Heller book and I do not regret spending the time reading 'An Ex to Grind,' but it seemed a little under par for her normal work.
I gave this novel a chance after a favorable review in the local paper. I stuck with it, hoping that it would get better. It did not. The protagonist is so annoying I found myself rooting against her at every turn, hoping she would wind up alone so she could continue to be miserable. If ever there was a character who deserved to be miserable, she's the one.
Save yourself the time/aggravation and leave this novel on the shelves.
Melanie's character is frank, bordering on a little too much self-deprecation that doesn't seem to jive with her chosen career. In fact, for a woman so driven that her husband accuses her of work-a-holism, her mind can't seem to get off the track of having to fork over half of her salary. For me, that made the premise a little unrealistic.
However, that is exactly the reason I purchased the audio recording of this novel--Melanie's voice is reminiscent of a friend unloading her deepest secrets and her less than stellar moments infused with probably more humor than actuality as in any good retelling of a story beginning with "You'll never guess what happened to me. . . "
The first half of the novel entertains a lot more than its second half. Unfortunately, this is when the author must tie up all the loose ends and actually keep the story real without being too predictable. Does it work? That depends. Melanie is a madcap heroine--cut from the clothe of Katherine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby--or Rosalind Russell in "His Girl Friday." Those characters do some crazy things to get what they want with the old adage, "All's Fair in Love and War" at the top of their list of Words-to-Live-By. In this same respect, Melanie, does some despicable things--but that doesn't take away from the fun of the book. So what if she doesn't have the moral compass of a Girl Scout or missionary? Once you dedicate yourself to such a book, or the viewing of that Lifetime movie, you already know the outcome as soon as you see the titles--you are expecting to be outraged. What fun would it be if the main character never did anything unsavory? The predictability of the story should factor into the the comedy as in the classic films mentioned above. In "An Ex to Grind," Melanie works towards what she wants, gets what she wants, realizes she doesn't really want what she thought and must go through the fire of disappointment to become a newly baptized Melanie--one that views things in a different way because of her experience. This does happen in this novel, however, the outcome is not all that satisfying--its too saccharine-y sweet. I may expect that from a classic film, but not from a novel published in 2006.
Reader Caroline Schaffer does a great job of acting out each characters voice while still keeping the timing of a comedienne, making the audio presentation of this novel a worthwhile listen.
Bottom line? Having not read any of Jane Heller's other novels, I found "An Ex to Grind" predictable fun with a madcap heroine. Recommended for those who want a typically crazy comedic read that probably would work best as a Lifetime movie.
Diana Faillace Von Behren
Due to a co-habitation codicil in their divorce agreement, she decides to hire a matchmaker to provide the perfect woman for him, so that he'll break that cohabitation rule, thus relinquishing his alimony. What she doesn't count on is his finding Leah - the perfect woman, who brings about all kinds of positive changes in Dan, including his new quest to become a college football coach. Suddenly Mel is finding herself torn between the husband she used to love, and the hunky artist across the hall. Of course, if either of them found out about her plot... it could be the end of both relationships.
The story had a lot of promise - it's really hard to actually like Mel. She's so conniving, and never really saw that her current fortune had a lot to do with Dan's early support. Despite that, Heller's crisp dialogue and witty banter keep the story from becoming mundane. I was pretty disappointed with the ending - I hate ambiguous endings when you've invested so much time in a book.