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Exes with Benefits

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***He wants a second chance. I want a divorce. To get what I want, I’ll have to give him what he does.***

From New York Times & USA Today bestselling author, Nicole Williams:

The only benefit I want from my ex is a divorce.

We got married for all the wrong reasons. The one thing we got right was our separation. I should have known better than to think I could bet on forever with a guy like Canaan Ford. Everything about him screamed impermanent, from his wild eyes to his restless soul.

When I left him and the small town I’d spent my whole life in, I swore I’d never go back. Never only turned out to be five years. Canaan claims he’s changed, but he hasn’t—same knowing smile, same rough demeanor, same body crafted from sin and sinew. And yet, something is different. He thinks this is his chance for redemption. My disagreement comes in the form of divorce papers dropped in his lap. He refuses to sign them. Unless . . .

He wants a month to prove himself to me—that’s his offer. One month to make me fall in love with him again and if I don’t, he’ll sign the papers. As much as I want to say no, I agree. I can suffer my ex for a short amount of time if that’s what it takes to be free of him once and for all. I fell for him once; I won’t make that same mistake twice.

He says we’re not over. I say we were over before we got started. Only one of us can be right, and I can’t let it be him.

310 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 18, 2017

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About the author

Nicole Williams

57 books9,656 followers
Nicole is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author who got her humble start dictating books to her parents at the age of three and her big break nearly three decades later when she signed her first publishing deal. She grew up an avid reader and writer who majored in Economics because a Creative Writing degree was lofty and impractical, not to mention a pipe dream. Irony, you wily fiend.

When she isn’t embroiled in a book, she spends her time playing wife and mom to her two favorite people in the world, and referee to their three rescue pets/wildlings. Nicole lives in the Evergreen State on the quieter side, ideal for an admitted recluse who enjoys the diversity of outdoor endeavors the Great Northwest offers.

Nicole loves hearing from her readers. You can connect with her on:

Facebook: Author Nicole Williams
Instagram: author_nicole_williams
Twitter: nwilliamsbooks

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Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,159 reviews7,554 followers
September 14, 2017
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EXES WITH BENEFITS: is a second chance full-length stand-alone romance novel by Nicole Williams. In this we meet Canaan Ford and his wife Maggie.

With a turbulent rocky relationship newly wed Maggie reaches the hard decision to walk away from her marriage to her childhood sweetheart Canaan and the only boy she'd ever loved. But his boozing and fighting and coming home with scars and scrapes and her playing nurse maid had taken it’s toll on Maggie and she’d finally decided enough was enough. And hightailed it to Chicago.

We were a couple of kids playing house. We should have known better than to think we could make a marriage work at eighteen.

When she left him and her small town of Farmington behind her she swore she’d never be back, coming back only lasted her five years. Only due to her grandmothers death is she setting foot back on home land territory. She's not only come home to bury her eighty-five year old Grandmother she'd also come with divorce papers in hand.

Canaan Ford wasn't just the boy who'd been my friend when I needed one. He wasn't just the first boy I'd kissed and fallen in love with. He was the man who, with just one touch, could turn me on in such a way I became an unknowing slave to his any whim.

The very day she arrives back in town is the very day she comes face to face with Caanan. It's been five years since she'd last seen him. The handsome son of a bitch had somehow gotten even better looking. . He swears he's changed and he begs her to give him one month, just one month to prove to her that he has. Since she waked out on their marriage, he's stopped his boozing and fighting and has slowly made himself into a better man, a better man for her, the love of his life.

"One month. Give me one month to show you I'm the man who deserved to marry you."
"What happens if at the end of the month I'm not convinced? If I haven't fallen madly in love with you again, like you're convinced I'm about to."
"Then I sign your damn divorce papers."

The title for this is really misleading, it suggests that there is an arrangement of sexual favours between the two and that is not the case at all. All in all I really really enjoyed this book, even after five years you could feel the love oozing off the pages between these two star crossed lovers, and like the next person I have such a weakness for second chance romances and this was no different, this was probably one of my favourite ones. Get ready to succumb under Nicole Williams spell as you fall in love with these characters, their story, their past, and like me you'll claim Canaan as your very own bookboyfriend. I was so moved by their story, tears and happiness as they walked down memory lane will always leave a soft spot in my heart for these two, no two characters were made for each other like these two.
Profile Image for Aestas Book Blog.
1,059 reviews74.8k followers
October 15, 2017

OMG. OMG. OMG!! This book was absolutely AMAZING. I swear to you MY HEART WAS RACING on every single page!!!! ***DEEP BREATH*** It's a super intense, emotionally charged second chance romance between a married couple and — HOLY HELL — the way this man LOVES this woman... His LOYALTY and DEVOTION to her. It'll take your breath away. I absolutely adored this book and can't recommend it highly enough!

Nicole Williams is such a strong, talented author. I love the way she writes. Her words bring the stories she tells to life in such a vivid manner that you feel as though you can them unfold right in front of you. This is why she's what I call an "auto-click" author for me. Every time she releases a new book, I always want to check it out.

From the prologue alone, my heart was already hurting for both of them. I was FEELING their pain. I've seen a few people ask why this couple broke up in the first place. The answer is both simple and heart-breaking. Maggie and Canaan had grown up together, dated through high school, and married at eighteen. They were young but they were also deeply in love with each other. Canaan was a fighter. The true reason why he needed to fight is revealed later (and your heart will break all over again), but the bottom line is that he needed it and craved it. The bloodier the fight, the better. And he'd come home night after night to her bruised, cut up, bloodied, hurting, and often drunk.

“Watching the person you loved in pain was worse than experiencing that pain yourself, but watching the person you loved choose that pain… there wasn’t a word for the hell that kind of torture was.”

As much as she cared for him, it eventually just got too hard for her to see the boy she loved destroy himself each night and watch his face turn black over and over again from the hits. It was killing her inside and, for reasons he wasn't ready to share yet, he couldn't stop and so she left.

Lying on that couch, he looked so vulnerable. Almost like he needed someone to protect him. From the world. From his demons. From himself. I’d tried. God, I’d been trying for what felt like forever, but the only thing I had to show for my efforts was scars and pain.

GAH the scene where she left just killed me. I understood why she was leaving even though I personally didn't agree with it. I couldn't justify her choices but on some level, I could understand it. It was just too hard for her to watch the person she loved self-destruct so violently. And my heart just fucking ached for him. You'll see why as soon as you 'meet' him. Seriously. THE FEELS.

Canaan wasn’t just someone I loved — he was someone I’d shared everything with. He’d walked with me though the hardest part of my life, and I’d walked with him through his. We’d been each other’s beacon, shelter, and compass through all of life’s shit… So how had we gotten here?

Five years later, she came back to town. And that was where the real story began. She came brandishing divorce papers but he begged her for a second chance. He said he'd changed -- that he wasn't the same man he'd been before. And as much as she wanted to run the opposite direction from him, he still made her heart flutter, he still drew her to him, and she couldn't help but feel some kind of connection no matter how hard she wanted to deny it.

Canaan. I hadn’t seen or heart from him since that night. It was almost like he’d never existed. Save for that gaping hole I felt in my chest from time to time when a memory of him broke free of the box I kept them locked in.

“We were a couple of kids playing house. We should have known better than to think we could make a marriage work at eighteen.”
“I wasn’t playing anything.” His eyes flickered to mind, fire burning in them. “You and me, that was the most real thing I’ve ever known. I wasn’t playing. But that doesn’t change the fact that I fucked things up.”

He asked for a month. One month to prove to her that he was worthy of her love. One month to make her fall in love with him again. If he didn't succeed, he'd sign the papers. If she didn't give him the month, he wouldn't sign anything. He was determined to fight for the woman he loved and he was willing to do absolutely anything to prove himself to her.

“Sign. Them.”
His eyes closed as he shifted into just the right spot on the stairs. It’s not over.”
“You’re delusional.”
“Maybe. There’s a fifty-fifty chance, because one of us is delusional about this whole divorce thing. Time will tell if that person is me. Or you.”

It's worth repeating here: I LOVE THE WAY NICOLE WILLIAMS WRITES. She just get it. She understands people very well and knows exactly what to convey through her words to FEEL the story. Reading a written story is such an interesting method of storytelling if you think about it. The reader is essentially blind and they rely solely on the author to help their minds picture the story they're being told so it's completely up to the author to tell them the exact details they feel best convey each scene. Sure your imagination can embellish what you know, but you rely on those written words to build the story in your mind. And I guess I just really love the way she chooses to describe each scene. Like, there's this moment where he opens up the envelope with the divorce papers for the first time and I just loved the way she described it: “My vision got foggy as I watched his hands explore the sealed folder. They looked so different from the last year we’d spent together. No split-open knuckles. No swollen fingers. No dried blood staining the crease of his palms. Other than a few dark smudges that I guessed were grease, they looked whole. Healed.” -- Like, those words just tell you so much. If she hadn't chosen to write that, you as the reader would still be aware of what was happening in that scene and that he was opening said envelope. But because of that description, you not only knew the scene, but could feel it too. That is damn good writing.

Canaan was hella right about one thing. Broken marriage, separation, pain, you name it, nothing could dampen the chemistry they shared. Even if they were fighting at each other's throats, the attraction between them just sizzled.

“You married me because I was—“
“Because I was in love with you.” The amused smile left. “I want to remain married to you because I’m still in love with you.”

The story flowed very smoothly. Actually, when I was reading, a friend of mine asked me to check in at 20% and let her know how I was liking it and I fully intended to but without realizing it I read all the way up to 30% before coming up for air. The story just sucked me right in.

“A hell of a lot of chemistry sure doesn’t go bad with all of that other love, trust, and respect stuff. Does it?”
… “I wouldn’t know.”
Canaan stopped in the middle of yanking a strip of tape. “I felt like we had those things. Maybe not in the amount we should have, but I always loved and trusted you. And I respected the shit out of you, too.”

Now, I knowwwww some of you will be curious about this. Maggie has a boyfriend back in the city. But he is a) not actual competition and b) not worth sparing any thought over. He was just there briefly. And then not there. He's short lived, but serves a purpose. Don't worry.

“You’re a married woman, Maggie.”
“My husband forfeited his rights years ago.” My eyes found his, expecting them to shoot away once mine made contact.
They didn’t. His gold eyes held to mine. “He’s here to reclaim them.”

And I know even more of you will want to know about whether Canaan was with anyone during their separation -- for many of you, including me, this is something I really like to know and the answer is NO. Not even a little bit. He is the definition of loyal and devoted. You'll understand within a few minutes of meeting his character that he is genuinely a one woman man. Maggie was not only the woman he promised to love forever, he was also the woman he wanted to love for ever. So there is absolutely no questioning of his loyalty. Like not ever.

“Let me spell it straight out for you. Canaan has not so much as looked at, touched, or fucked another woman since you.”

Need more?

“I’m being serious.”
His eyes sparked. “So am I.”
“No one else?” I said after a minute.
He didn’t pause. He didn’t blink. “No one.”
“You waited five years.”
He gave me a funny look, like he doubted my question. “I’d wait forever.”

But OOOOOOMG this book seriously has one of the hottest sex scenes ever in it and they're literally both fully clothed and don't even kiss. Curious??? Just read it!!! Gah. HOTTTTT!!! In fact, I think I've read enough of this author's books to be able to say that this is definitely the hottest book she's ever written.

Back to Canaan. I'm a little scattered here, okay. I literally just finished reading this book and my mind is still buzzing with feels. Okay. Canaan. He is an AMAZING book hero. There's just something about a deeply devoted married man that is just HAWT. And he's so tortured!!! The length he goes to win Maggie back and prove himself to her will melt even the coldest of hearts. I've always been drawn to flawed heroes. Let's be honest, Prince Charming is boring. At least to me, I loved the tortured, flawed, broken heroes who mess up and fall down so low because it's how they make amends, heal, and fix their mistakes that truly stays in my heart.

“We didn’t work once. In face, we were a goddamn chaotic mess. Why should we even think we might have a chance at getting it right the second time around?”
… “Because you can’t write a great love story without a tragedy to overcome. Because that’s when love’s proved. Not when life’s easy, but when it’s so damn hard you can hardly breathe.”

Ohhhhhhhh and THE PAINTINGS *sobs* that was just about the sweetest and most heart-breakingly swoony moment of the whole book. THE FEELS!!!! Gah.

Also, for the record, I highlighted 35 quotes in this book. That's a lot of swoon!

His hand slid across the desk toward me. “You know how I feel about you. You know I still care about and want you.” His throat moved before he could keep going. “That I still love you. More than anyone’s ever loved another person, but still less than you deserve.”

Honestly, I'm super proud of myself for being able to actually properly verbalize all the reasons why I loved this book here because I wrote this directly after I finished reading it and my initial reaction was more along the lines of HOLYSQUEEEEEEJUSTFUCKINGREADTHEBOOKANDTHANKMELATEROHMYHEAVENLYSWOOOOOOON but of course, a few more details/words were needed. So here you have them. Words. ^^ Woohoo! :D #FeelingProud

To summarize: This is one of the BEST BOOKS I've read all year. I highly, highly recommend it!!!

Rating: 4.5+ stars!!! Contemporary Adult Romance Standalone



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Profile Image for Megan✦❋Steamy Reads Blog❋✦.
293 reviews467 followers
September 17, 2017

“The man was the boy again, and I wanted to save him the way he’d saved me. But I couldn’t. The only person who could save Canaan Ford was Canaan Ford.”

Nicole Williams is back baby……well it actually hasn’t been that long since I read her last book, but I do get uber excited anytime she comes out with a new story. I always get fully invested in her well written plot lines, dialogue and the characters she creates. Exes with Benefits was not at all as I expected it to be and I’m not saying that is necessarily a bad thing, because I love being surprised by a story. I guess I just expected it to be more like Roommates with Benefits, but with an ex-boyfriend instead of a roommate, however it wasn’t like that at all. Exes with Benefits is a tempestuous second-chance love story that will take you on a wild ride and make you fall hard.

Maggie and Canaan are childhood sweethearts who have been inseparable for as long as either of them can remember. Due to circumstances, they decide to get married at a young age and to say their relationship was a tumultuous one, would be a massive understatement.

“I promised to love you forever, and I will.”
“But I can’t spend forever with you.”

Maggie spends her nights awake forever concerned on the whereabouts of her husband Canaan, only to discover him coming home at all hours of the night, drunk and beaten to a pulp. Maggie finally has had enough of the constant fighting; having to clean up dried blood off of his clothes and his beaten and bruised body.

Maggie builds up the courage to finally walk away from her rocky marriage and the only life she has ever known in the small town of Farmington, Missouri. She knows she has to make her escape because she can’t possibly take any more heartache and disappointment.

Fast forward five years and Maggie has set herself up in the big city of Chicago; she swears her small town life in Farmington is behind her and she will never go back… that is until she receives the devastating news of her Grandmother’s passing. She has to return home to not only say goodbye to her Grandmother, but to also deliver divorce papers to her estranged husband Canaan.

Upon handing the divorce papers to Canaan, he swears he is a changed man and refuses to sign them. Maggie is unconvinced Canaan has changed and he pleads with her to give him one month; one month to prove once and for all he is a changed man and if at the end of the month, Maggie has not fallen madly and deeply back in love with Canaan, he will sign her papers. Will Canaan redeem himself and show Maggie he has stopped his drinking and fighting?

“And what happens if at the end of that month I’m not convinced you’ve changed? If I haven’t fallen madly in love with you again, like you’re so convinced I’m about to.”
“Then I sign your damn divorce papers.”

Even after everything these two have been through in the past (and present), the love they had for each other was undeniable. As I flipped through each page I could feel their love, passion and longing for one another so intensely. Sometimes it takes walking away from the love of your life to finally make it work.

I adored this emotional, heartfelt story of love lost and then found. I was on a complete emotional rollercoaster whilst reading this one; it was almost too much for my little heart to handle at times. It was just the perfect mix of humor, angst and emotion for me and even though it was nothing like I expected it to be… it was more. I would definitely recommend Exes with Benefits to anyone who appreciates a great second-chance love story with impeccable writing and characters you can’t help but fall in love with. I have a feeling Canaan will be melting many hearts, not just mine.

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Profile Image for Alex ♈.
1,568 reviews1,181 followers
December 18, 2018
No rating.
I knew what I get, but I was still curious.

The main plot of this story had much potential.
If only the main characters were 10-15 years older = more mature!!!

Why did she leave him 5 years ago?

They married at 18 because she got pregnant. Unfortunately she had a miscarriage. This and his younger brother’s death broke the hero and he was on his “successful” way to self-destruct: he fought, he drunk alcohol and smelled of a different perfume after every fight. He ignored his wife.
She tried to help him, but he refused and went on with destroying himself.

So she left. I didn’t blame her. Her only mistake was not to divorce him immediately.

Was there cheating?

I wouldn’t call her having a new bf cheating, but kissing the H still being in relationship with her bf was definitely cheating.
Yes, they were still technically married, but they were separated for 5 years.
The worst part – she never told her bf that she was legally/technically married to OM/H.
Sorry, but it was just dumb.

The hero/husband didn’t try to contact her. NOT ONCE!
She left and he worked on his behavior and changed, but he never initiated their reunion.

She came back when her grandma died. What if it happened 10 years later? What if she never came back?
Would he live his whole life as a monk in regret???

Yes, he was celibate for 5 years. He never cheated on her. Perfume smell – OWs threw themselves at him *eye roll*, but he never “reacted”.

I couldn’t even being sad, mad or irritated.

What can I expect from the 25-year-old man, who says such things:

“People only become vets when they can’t hack it in med school.”

And the next one was just epic.

I wish this guy would rate and review daddy-kink smut books on GR. Please!!!

“Your boyfriend?” His throat moved, but the rest of his expression was unreadable. “He’s a doctor? How old is he then? Fifty?”

When a sharp exhale came from him, I couldn’t resist. “Thirty-five.”

One corner of his mouth pulled, but everything else remained emotionless. “That makes him twelve years older than you. You were in kindergarten when he was a senior in high school.”

I’d never thought of it that way. Not that I was going to give Canaan the credit of knowing it. “Yeah. What’s your point?”

His hand stabbed in the direction of where he’d just pulled me from. “Caleb Thomas might be a tool, but your boyfriend’s a pervert.”

Maybe YA???
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Olga therebelreader.
888 reviews681 followers
September 10, 2017
Exes With Benefits is an emotional, gripping tale of a love so raw and bittersweet that will leave you breathless. This book has humor, steam, mystery, angst..... My emotions were all over the place. The storyline was addictive and had the right amount of angst, misunderstanding, humor, drama, and resolution to keep me flipping those pages with a smile and an “oh-no” plastered on my face. We all make mistakes and some are harder to forgive than others. The relationships in this book pushed my boundaries of acceptance and forgiveness. Both the hero and heroine were young and following their hearts and in the end, I was happy that the characters made the choices that were right for them.

A few fav lines:

“Because you can’t write a great love story without a tragedy to overcome. Because that’s when love’s proved. Not when life’s easy, but when it’s so damn hard you can hardly breathe.”

“He was a part of me. The best part. The worst part. The defining part.”

In short:
Hero 4/5 | Heroine 4/5 | Plot (Point, Originality) 4/5 | Writing Style 4/5 | Steam 4/5 | Romance 5/5 | Angst-Suspense 3/5 | Darkness 1/5 | Humor 3/5 | Secondary Characters 3/5 | Drama-Conflict 4/5 | Mystery 2/5 | Twists 3/5 | Pacing Steady | Action 3/5

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Profile Image for Alba and Her Secrets..♥.
808 reviews1,016 followers
September 22, 2017
4.5 'Right guy, wrong time' Stars!
ARC provided by the author via Ardent Prose PR in exchange for an honest review.

Can we take a moment to appreciate how Nicole Williams i sable to make me experience every feeling possible while Reading her books? Yeah, I accept it. I am a mess of emotions when I finish her books! And she did it. AGAIN. She made me love the journey back to love between this couple.

Exes with Benefits is Nicole’s newest standalone novel and contrary to the humor aspect we had in her last release (Roomates with Benefits), this one is definitely more focused in the drama. Canaan and Maggie have been separated (but still married) for five years and now it’s time for them to reunite after the terrible way they ended their love story.

Canaan was the best part of my life. And the worst. The best memories. And the worst. He was the high and the low and I was so damn tired of the sick cycle I thought would kill me one day.

Let’s just start by saying what I love the most about Nicole’s books: her heroes. Canaan has become one of my top favorite heroes by her. He had a very difficult past that drove him away from Maggie and made him start drinking and fighting to still feel. Now he is a changed man. His life is pretty good except for one thing: he wants his wife back. And he will do anything to get her.

“What happened to you?”
“I lost the most important thing of my life one night.” [...] “That has a way of changing a man.”

“You stayed because you thought I’d come back here one day?”
“I stayed here because I knew you’d come back here one day.”

Canaan is deliciously romantic, funny, a man that has a beautiful soul and feelings towards his wife (including the panty-melting kind!). You will absolutely LOVE HIM. And maybe that is why I didn’t connect as much with Maggie sometimes. I totally get what she’s been through but after knowing the whole truth she still doubted Canaan and I didn’t like that. Of course, I forgot all about that when they finally got their happy ending!

“You’re worth every effort. Every last goddamn one.”

Therefore, my rating for Exes with Benefits is 4.5 STARS because Nicole Williams definitely delivered another fantastic all-the-feels love story. I adored swoony Canaan and the love he shares with his beloved Maggie. Obviously, I am recommending this one, especially if you are a fan of second chance romances!

Profile Image for Nicola.
1,393 reviews243 followers
September 16, 2017
3.5 stars.

I think god was a child the last time I read a Nicole Williams book—not sure why I've left it so long—and Exes with Benefits was a enjoyable second-chance romance balancing hot and heartfelt with humour and that lovely pull you get when one party is reticent.


Ever watched Sweet Home Alabama, the one where Reese Witherspoon married her small-town childhood sweetheart, lost a baby, left him for the big-city because of how he acted afterwards, never divorced him, met someone of stature (who was a tool) and returned for a divorce only to reluctantly realise she still had feelings for her ex?

Meet Maggie, who married her small-town childhood sweetheart, lost a baby, left him for the big-city because of how he acted afterwards, never divorced him, met someone of stature (who's a tool) and returns for a divorce (and a funeral to be fair) only to reluctantly realise she still has feelings for her ex, Canaan.

Well, SHA is one of my faves and it's no hardship picturing Josh Lucas as Canaan and my husband, Patrick Dempsey*, as Dr. Tool, so I can live with the similarities.

"He might have aged well, but he was still Canaan Ford, the person who had broken me in places I didn’t know a human could break."

Maggie may be reticent but when it comes to her husband, irrespective of spending five years apart, she's fighting a losing battle when Canaan ups his game, hell bent on proving to her he's a changed man and worthy of another chance. And I loved him. With a huge heart, he's completely honest and open with his feelings and intentions, and when combined with Maggie's stubborn weakness for him, they make a great couple creating moments that are filled with fire against others that are amusing and those which wrench the heartstrings.

"You know how I feel about you. You know I still care about and want you. That I still love you."

There were some aspects to their past that I would've liked a little more depth on as they were important to this couple's path and the title to me didn't really reflect the story as there was more to their story than mutual pleasure with an ex, but overall Williams has brought her reader a low-angst, romantic love-story which, despite seeming to have some similarities to the aforementioned film, is worth checking out.

"After what we just did on it, that car will probably never run better."

*Patrick Dempsey is not my real husband.

Copy received courtesy of Ardent Prose PR for an honest and unbiased opinion.

Profile Image for Melanie (mells_view).
1,709 reviews331 followers
May 11, 2018
This read was okay, but it felt like it was lacking something to make it GREAT. If that makes any sense at all. It was also kind of hard to like the heroine, but it was easy to understand her actions and motivations. The hero was written well and redeemed himself well. I think this story could have benefited from a more dramatic prologue. It was emotional and gave back story, but it didn’t hit me in my gut and make me FEEL for the characters.

Still a pretty good read if you’re looking for exes with benefits as the title states.
Profile Image for Bookphenomena (Micky) .
2,415 reviews385 followers
February 16, 2019
If you want a book with heat, depth and substance then EXES WITH BENEFITS is the perfect autumn read to cozy up with. From the title, I thought this would be all kinds of light reading but what I got was some story with punch (there's a pun there) and characters to get my teeth into.

This story couples some themes that I love, second chances and bad boy turned around. In fact, Canaan gave me serious hero-swoon because he was a great guy in the most believable way. Canaan was a man not about to repeat his mistakes and I found I forgave him in the early stages of the book, his character growth between chances was apparent.

"Because you can't write a great love story without tragedy to overcome. Because that's when love is proved. Not when life's easy, but when it's so damn hard you can hardly breathe."

Maggie was a complex woman, I didn't know how to figure her out at times. Her duplicitous life was something difficult to stomach but I was generally sympathetic to her situation and why she found herself at an impasse. Maggie grew up within the narrative of this book and I was glad of her evolution, she needed it. Canaan thought he didn't deserve Maggie and I wasn't sure if Maggie deserved Canaan. The story, the characters, writing and the chemistry did not disappoint.

Whilst this is a fairly quick read, there is sufficient depth to feel like a fully rounded story. It hit the buttons for feeling good without being too light. I highly recommend for a weekend read to get lost in.

A copy of this book was provided by the author in return for a honest review.

Reviewed for Jo&IsaLoveBooks Blog.
Profile Image for Katerina.
782 reviews257 followers
September 24, 2017
I'm going to start of with saying the title of this book sounds seedy and unfaithful. He doesn't want "benefits" from her; he wants his wife back.

We have to remember they were both 18 when they married out of wedlock. They both went on to lose that child a week later. Previous to that, Canaan lost his younger brother and drowned himself in drinking and brawls. Eighteen is horribly young to not only be married but deal with grief, and guilt because in a lot of ways - your maturity is evolving.

I do have a bias towards heroines, but I don't think she was fair on him. I don't understand why his family wasn't more supportive - especially with the destructive warpath he was taking. Why she didn't ask them for their help? I don't understand why she wouldn't question him directly if she had suspicions about his fidelity. I also think it was cruel to leave the way that she did - with him chasing her car for a mile. Yes, I believe he was hurting her with his behaviour, but she also had a responsibility to her husband to keep checks on him - at least after she left. If I was in her shoes, even if she didn't want to be with him, wouldn't she be concerned for his well being. She could have been more rational and served him divorce papers as an ultimatum or have him check into a facility. Age was a large factor in the lack of maturity, but so was the lack of immediate familial support.

However in the present, I personally couldn't believe how naive she was to think he wouldn't change. It's been five years; his brother is dead, his wife has left him, his dad suffered a stroke, his child is gone. She was very angry with him. I do like the push-pull aspect, but she's genuinely deep to him. Pushing him away, then using him for sex - knowing he wants more, being callous with his feelings and making her husband feel he as if he were interfering between her and her boyfriend - who she didn't care for much herself. If you want him to grovel, have him grovel but clearly show him some respect in the sense that he remained faithful and shaped up his act, and is chasing you trying to rebuild a relationship. The man's in love and there is sincerity in the effort, and at times it felt like she was spitting on that. He's hurt you but at the very least I did feel sympathy.

They weren't an all encompassing couple however, so I wasn't too fussed or involved.
Profile Image for Denna.
410 reviews112 followers
September 30, 2017

I didn't hate this but it also wasn't my favorite. One thing I loved and a few I didn't!

Thing I loved:
•The hero, i thought he was great and I absolutely loved that he was faithful even before she left.
I pretty much just loved the hero lol

Things I hate:
•Wasn't crazy about the h, I hated that she had a boyfriend but she honestly believed that the hero had been messing around so it didn't bother me that much. Also I can handle the h not being celibate better that the hero not.
•As much as I loved the hero I wasn't crazy about him waiting until she came back to fight for her

Even though this book had a couple of things I didn't care for it was still very enjoyable. I really really loved the hero, I would do a reread just for him. The book was sexy and other than the h having a bf and technically cheating on him it was safe. The epilogue was sweet :)
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Pick a Book.
462 reviews107 followers
September 21, 2017
English / Português

4 stars

The name of this book, EXES WITH BENEFITS, deceived me. When I took this book I imagined that it would be an older couple, late 30s, and that after they separated they would end up meeting again, that it would be very spicy, they would fall in love again and in the end they would realize that it was bullshit to separate and they would be together again. Did you imagine that too, right? However Nicole Williams gives the reader something better. She delivers a book about forgiveness. Forgive yourself for the choices of life. About second chances. About loving someone so much that this feeling is inked on our heart and that even if you don't stay with this person, you can not stop loving her/him. It is about the purest love.

Canaan and Maggie have known each other practically their whole lives. From friends they became lovers and married very early. Life and the troubles we couldn't see coming pushed them away and made Maggie leave town. A few years later she returns and Canaan sees this as an opportunity to take the love of his life back.

What caught my attention right away was the age of the characters. So young. So inexperienced. And going through such a situation. However, I understood their motives and insecurities.

The author has created two loveble characters. Both Maggie and Canaan are great people, and we, from the very first chapter, hope that these two will be together again. You can feel that real, genuine passion, but also their pain. I wanted to cry for their heartache ... I suffered with them. From the first line I was hooked by those two young hero and heroine in love, but broken. Canaan is the kinda of guy we want for ourselves. That regardless of all the bullshit of life he will love you forever the way you are. And I'm extremely in love with him. He was not perfect, but not for a second did I doubt his love for Maggie.

I didn't know that I needed a romantic book like that, to show me that this true feeling is possible, when I started to read. As I said before, I thought I was going to receive a much more sexy book but didn't know that I would be getting exactly what I needed: A sweet, true and honest romance.

EXES WITH BENEFITS is about second chances, if is worth trying again and makes the reader root for them and vibrate by their every step. Their love overflows the lines of the book. It is palpable, a love that will make all the romantics sigh. I highly recommend it!!!

*An ARC was provided by the author and Ardent PRose. Thank you!
English / Português

4 estrelas

O título de EXES WITH BENEFITS me enganou. Quando peguei esse livro imaginei que seriam um casal lá pelo final dos seus 30 anos e que depois de separados iam acabar se encontrando novamente, que ia ser bem picante, iam se apaixonando novamente e no final perceberiam que foi besteira se separar e ficariam juntos de novo. Você também imaginou isso, Neh? Entretanto a Nicole Williams proporciona ao leitor algo melhor. Ela entrega um livro sobre perdão. Perdoar a si mesmo pelas escolhas da vida. Sobre segunda chances. Sobre se apaixonar tanto alguém que esse sentimento está tatuado no coração e que mesmo que você não fique com essa pessoa, não tem como deixar de amá-la. É sobre o mais puro amor.

Canaan e Maggie se conhecem praticamente a vida toda. De amigos se tornaram amantes e casaram muito cedo. A vida e seus problemas os afastaram fazendo com que Maggie fosse embora da cidade. Alguns anos depois ela volta e Canaan vê aí uma oportunidade pra ter de volta o amor da sua vida.

O que me chamou atenção logo de cara foi a idade dos personagens. Tão novos. Tão inexperientes. E passando por uma situação dessas. Entretanto, compreendi seus motivos e inseguranças.

A autora criou dois personagens apaixonáveis. Tanto Maggie quanto Canaan são ótimas pessoas e a gente, desde o primeiro capítulo, fica torcendo para os dois ficarem juntos novamente. Conseguimos sentir aquele paixão verdadeira, genuína, mas também suas dores. Quis chorar por suas tristezas... sofri junto com eles. Desde a primeira linha fui fisgada por aqueles dois jovens apaixonados, mas quebrados. O Canaan é aquele cara que a gente quer pra gente. Que independente de todas as burradas da vida ele vai te amar pra sempre do jeito que você é. E eu tô extremamente apaixonada por ele. Ele não era perfeito, mas nem por um segundo duvidei do amor dele pela Maggie.

Eu não sabia que eu precisava de um romance assim, que me mostrasse que esse sentimento verdadeiro é possível, quando comecei a ler. Como disse antes, achei que ia receber um livro picante e mal sabia que estaria recebendo justamente o que eu precisava: Um romance gostoso, verdadeiro e honesto.

EXES WITH BENEFITS é sobre segundas chances, se vale a pena tentar novamente e faz o leitor torcer e vibrar por cada passo. O amor deles transborda as linhas do livro. É amor palpável, um amor de fazer qualquer romântico de plantão suspirar. Recomendo demais!!!

*ARC fornecido pela autora e Ardent PRose. Obrigada!

* Pick a Book

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Profile Image for Pinky.
507 reviews352 followers
July 9, 2022
Trigger Warnings:

The prologue for this book gripped me, I felt so much for both characters and I didn’t even know them. This book is about Maggie, who has been taking care of her husband Canaan for too long. Canaan comes home late at night after he fights, drunk outta his mind, and passes out on the couch. Maggie would wake up every day, terrified that her husband would be dead, constantly taking care of his wounds from his new fights. And she’s had enough, she loves him but she can’t do it anymore so she decides to leave. 5 years later, she is back with divorce papers, but Canaan is not willing to sign them until he gets a chance to prove himself.

I was in the mood for something angsty and decided to give this a go and it did not disappoint. This book did have too much inner monologue, some parts were a bit slow. I did like it, but I just felt like Maggie was a bit selfish and a big hypocrite. She mainly thought about herself, she tends to run away from her problems and I do too but some of the things she did really irritated me. I don’t understand how she easily ran away and erased her thoughts about her husband, Canaan for 5 years, it’s insane to me. She grew up with him and knew his circumstances but still left. She claims to love people but she seems to only care about herself. She's a very shitty friend and won’t tell you shit but expects you to be transparent with her. I loved Canaan, he won my heart, and I even cried for him. Canaan deserved better than Maggie bruh. This book was entertaining but the drama near the end made me hate Maggie. But whateva this book had grovelling but I didn’t like the FMC so I wasn’t as engrossed. Especially cuz it felt the MMC was grovelling so much when he deserved an apology too, and this is coming from a girl that LOVES GROVEL BRO. Also…the couple claims to have hot sex and shit but I don’t think they know what foreplay is🤭🙈Sorry LMAO😂

Now for spoilers

That is all, stay safe folks!
Profile Image for FictionalDen.
251 reviews205 followers
August 2, 2020
3.5 Stars

This is a slow burn second chance romance. Maggie and Reed are high school sweethearts, they got married when they were just eighteen because Maggie got pregnant. 11 months later Maggie left a drunk Canaan and moved to Chicago. Five years later she is back into town because of her grandma’s funeral and to make Canaan sign the divorce papers. Canaan refuses to sign them until she gives him a chance to prove that he has changed and isn’t the same drunk teenager who used to get into fights every night.

I loved him so much. The first chapter when he chased after Maggie when she was leaving, OMG it was so cute and sad. He had been through so much in his life as a teenager with two major loses, but it took the love of his life leaving him for him to get his act together. He was so sweet and patient with Maggie during the present time, even Maggie couldn’t believe this is the same Canaan she married when she was 18.

“What happened to you?” I asked, the phone still reminding me of its presence.
“I lost the most important thing of my life one night.” He paused in the doorway, curling his fingers around the top of the frame. “That has a way of changing a man.” His eyes held mine for one moment, then released them before he turned to leave.”

I felt bad for her honestly, but sometimes she really did annoy me when she kept on throwing Canaan’s past again and again on his face when he was so desperately trying to convince her he had changed. Thus so many scenes where Canaan like a broken tape recorded kept on repeating himself “I have changed” “I have changed” “I have changed” “I have changed”.

And in the past five years they were separated, Maggie moved on with someone else where as Canaan was still waiting for her, which was really refreshing for me, I felt bad for Canaan but at the same time I was happy for once It was the Female lead who didn’t stay celibate since the separation. And OMG the scene where the boyfriend (ex) and Husband meet!

“Reed McAllister. Maggie’s boyfriend.”
Before I could snap anything about there being a defining “ex” before that title, Canaan’s voice cut through. “Canaan Ford.” I heard the sneer in his voice, alerting me to what was coming next. “Maggie’s husband.”


Profile Image for Shayna.
1,813 reviews594 followers
September 20, 2017
Nicole Williams never fails to turn out an emotionally driven and intense romance! Add the second-chance trope into the mix, and you got yourself an absolute WINNER! My heart and my head was put through the ringer with this one, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. EXES WITH BENEFITS is an addicting second-chance romance between a married couple and it WOW is it super INTENSE! I was hooked the second I read the prologue. I was on the verge of tears in the first few pages...my heart broke immediately, right alongside the character’s. Ms. Williams’ makes us WORK for their happily ever after and right when you turn the very last page, you will know that it was SO WORTH IT!

“Fighting and fucking. We are damn great at both.”

Maggie and Canaan were INCREDIBLE characters! The heartbreak, the intensity, the passion...this book made me feel ALL THE THINGS! From the very beginning, even though I wanted to punch Canaan on multiple occasion, I had his back and rooted for him the whole way through. His loyalty and devotion shined through the pages and made me MELT! I can only hope that I find someone who loves just as hard as Canaan Ford does.

“Show me how much you want me. Prove to me there’s no one else who can make you feel like I do.”

Full of delicious angst and passion, EXES WITH BENEFITS consumed my entire night! I was captivated, enthralled, and downright stunned by the way these characters consumed me. I started with tears in my eyes and ended with the biggest smile on my face, and THAT is why I can never say no to a Nicole Williams’ romance.

Exes with Benefits Teaser

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Profile Image for Raffaella.
1,060 reviews104 followers
July 24, 2022
The title seems to suggest a humorous book but it’s anything but.
In fact it is a very angsty reading with a lot of grief for this young and until that moment unfortunate couple.
The heroine lost her parents and grew up with her grandmother, the hero lost his mother and had only his father and his younger brother.
He was a difficult boy and he and the heroine fell in love very young and when she got pregnant they married at only 18. He was still very wild, he drank and had anger management issues and during their first tragic year of marriage he lost his lil brother in a dreadful accident that was partially his fault. Then the heroine miscarried and he started getting drunk and being involved in clandestine fights.
He closed up and came home late at nigh- or didn’t come at all- drunk and wounded, and reeking of ows.
The heroine was terrified that he could die and at the same time she was tired of that life and so eventually she left him.
Five years later she goes back because her grandmother had died.
The hero has completely changed. He doesn’t drink anymore, he has a job and wants her back.
The heroine though has already filed for a divorce.
She has a life in Chicago as an artist and has also a boyfriend, a doctor.
The hero asks her one month to show her he’s changed, then, if she hasn’t changed her mind he will sign the papers.
Of course the heroine is not indifferent to him or we wouldn’t have the book, she’s still attracted to him but doesn’t trust him anymore.
It turns out that he felt guilty for his brother’s death and fighting was the only way to get rid of pain and frustration.
And no, he never cheated. Women were all over him but he didn’t even see them.
It was only the fighting and the drinking.
The book was very emotional, I really felt bad for this young couple that had so many accidents and deaths, with the only help of a grandmother and his father. They couldn’t cope. I understood that the heroine had to leave him, there was no way he would have changed. He changed because he loved her with all his heart. She was his everything and when she left he realized he had to change to win her back.
I loved this hero, so young and so brave.
He was able to win his addiction and to wait for the heroine to come back to him.
He never gave up on her, never, even when the heroine left him a second time he was there for her.
Oh, and this is also the first book I’ve read where the hero is celibate for years and the heroine isn’t.
Thank god for small mercies.
I didn’t like that she had a boyfriend while still married to the hero though, I think she made a huge mistake in starting a relationship with om and not telling him she was still married.
Eventually when he finds out there’s also a big fight and all this was the heroine’s fault.
And she acts like she is the injured part. Not at all.
I understand she was hurt and she couldn’t really trust the hero after what he did to her but he was a changed man and he showed her.
I wish she had managed things differently.
The five years had changed the hero for the best, not the heroine though, that still acted like an immature child.
Hea that I think those two deserved abundantly.
The book was good and with a good amount of angst.
One of the best hero iMO
Profile Image for Tpagirl Loves Romance.
1,621 reviews131 followers
October 21, 2017
Exes with Benefits was a second chance standalone by Nicole Williams.

I loved the premise of the story and although sad, the prologue had me hooked from the beginning and I stayed that way to the end.

Canaan Ford and Maggie Church grew up together in Farmington, MO and were high school sweethearts. They married at 18 and were married for eleven months before she finally left him. She loved him but they were toxic together. She had not been back to the small town in five years but couldn't avoid it anymore when her grandmother died. Although separated, they had never divorced. Canaan was ready when she returned and set out to win her back. Maggie was set on making the separation legal.

Williams told the story with a single POV, Maggie's. I would have liked to hear from Canaan as well. I really wanted to know more about him in the five years and why he didn't go and fight for her once he was back on track, but the single perspective left some mystery to the storyline, which was a positive.

Williams outlined their time together while also revealing parts of their past. I loved everything about Canaan. Obviously at 18, he had major issues that led to them spiraling out of control, but also obvious, he had picked his life up after Maggie left and made things right. He became a man for Maggie. And as much as I loved Canaan, I got tired of Maggie quickly. She had her good moments, but she was whiney, judgmental and pessimistic. I was also not a fan of her relationships while they were still married, albeit estranged.

In the end, I loved the emotions evoked from their second chance story. I'm a fan favorite. I would have liked seeing more into the future, but the soul mate chemistry was present so I could envision their forever love.
Profile Image for Yvette (Booksandbandanas).
485 reviews105 followers
September 20, 2017
Nicole Williams writes the BEST second chance love stories. They make me feel all the things.

This story is about a couple who gets married very young, and along with being young, and tragedies striking left and right, things are bound to fall apart. Cannan is making bad decisions, drinking to much, fighting to much. Only considering the things he's going through. Maggie is done she has given all that she feels she can give. It's now 5 years later.

This man, there was never a point in the story I felt I could be mad at him or hate him in any form. He knows he's made mistakes and he's changed. Boy, has he changed. This man is the cure to it all. I'm so in love with him it's not even normal.

There's so much to this strong yet fragile woman. She's home after tragedy strikes 5 years later, only to be followed by her past, and the only man who has made her feel with every ounce of her being.

To sum it up. I loved this story. Beginning. Middle. End. This author pulls on my heart strings and makes me fall so deep, I feel as if I'm right their in the pages of the story. Nicole writes a second chance love story, like I've never known before. She makes you hurt and heel, and feel.

Loved this perfect story.
September 12, 2017
4.5 Stars!

Exes with Benefits was a super cute, easy read! Not super heavy on angst, we still got the right balance of heart and emotion. Our heroine Maggie, left her husband Canaan five years ago. He was young and a hot mess of drinking and fighting. She'd packed up her life and left him, never once looking back. A half decade later, she's forced to go back and face this man, this life she'd left in the shadows of her mind. Can she make it through the trip home without letting her heart falter for the man that captured her from back in her childhood days?

Gah, Canaan was all kinds of irresistible. At first, I really felt like there were so many holes in their love story, but Nicole Williams gradually pieces each missing part as their second-chance love story progresses. It's not been easy for these two characters and their reunion isn't a lot smooth sailing, yet with time, and vital information, can these two childhood sweethearts get their second chance at love and marriage?

Im a sucker for second chance romances and this was a truly great read!

Advanced copy received by author in exchange for my honest review.

Profile Image for Sarah.
1,628 reviews1,256 followers
September 23, 2017

5 Second Chance CROWNS

Exes with Benefits by Nicole Williams is the perfect angsty, second chance romance I needed in my life. From cover to cover, I was infatuated with Canaan and Maggie.

Canaan develops into such an amazing man, showcasing exactly how losing the "love of your life" can change a person. The Canaan readers get to see is kind and compassionate, and while he still has the demons that plague him and the destructive desires, he has learned to control them over their time apart. The man he becomes is a man to love, and I loved this hero!

Maggie is a heroine your heart breaks for from the prologue. She is so broken, and you could feel her pain in the beginning, the being torn between what you need and what you want. That torture does not abate throughout the novel, and her dilemma is the cause of the angst throughout the novel. Readers will understand her indecision, though, based on the hurt she endured at the beginning of the novel.

This story is my favorite kind of second chance romance. It is filled to the brim with angst, a phenomenal hero seeking redemption, and heroine looking to protect her heart, and so much tension and sexual chemistry to make your ereader steam up. Their road to redemption is filled with good and bad memories, but watching them face them together to become something stronger is magnificent.

Exes with Benefits is my new favorite Nicole Williams book. It was fast, sexy, and heartfelt, and I didn't want to put it down.

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

For more reviews and other book news, check out Musings of the Modern Belle at www.modernbellebooks.com.
Profile Image for NinaReader.
543 reviews84 followers
February 15, 2018
4.25 Stars!

I love going in and not knowing too much about a book except that it's a second chance and that's what I was in the mood for.

Well this was definitely that and I surprisingly loved it! It was light enough but it wasn't just light. It had substance and a really sweet hero, a full bodied story with just enough heartfelt moments!
Profile Image for Esther.
156 reviews65 followers
July 24, 2022


Okay so I don’t know how to rate this. The H was amazing. The h… not so much. I wanted to punch her a couple of times. I felt like she was using the H for a part of the book (she knew how he felt about her and she had a bf) the breakup between the h and OM was anticlimactic. She didn’t tell him during the two years that she has been dating OM that she was technically married. Shitty move. Don’t know if she was celibate the first 3 years after the break up. He was celibate during the 5 years. So, he deserves 5stars because he was truly a book boyfriend but her… she should have fight for him. At least once after the reunion. He has been amazing during the 5 years with her grandma, has conquer his addiction, stopped fighting, celibate, work hard in his dad businesses (the dad had a stroke and lose mobility of his right part) I get that he was hurting after his brother’s dead and blame himself and that was what make him self destruct himself. Also, he blames himself because of miscarriage because he felt like it was karma for his brother’s dead. He fight and fight after the h came back to town for her and don’t go to search her (again) until she comes back because he was getting better and waiting for her to be able to forgive him.
He went once to search for her after some months of the break up(he was better) but he saw her so happy and thriving and didn’t want to cause her more pain. So he focused on getting better. He bought her first paintings so she could have some money to stay there and he has some piece of her. Swooning.
Profile Image for Kim.
2,496 reviews150 followers
September 13, 2017
Maggie is coming home to Farmington, Missouri from Chicago for the first time in five years...since she ran away from her small town life, and her first love and husband. Her heart was broken and she created a new life for herself. But now she is back for a funeral, but also plans to deal with the pesky little business of getting divorce papers signed while she is there. But she has not idea that it is not going to be that easy.

Canaan Ford had been a man on downward spiral due to tragedies in his life and he started to take Maggie down with him. But her leaving him was a catalyst for change. Now he has wrestled his demons and has tried hard to become a worthy man. And his hope is to win Maggie back. He is flirty, charming, sexy, sweet, thoughtful, supportive, and determined. But she is guarded, indecisive, stubborn, angry, and sad.

Maggie wants him to sign. He decides to give a counter offer. And soon they find themselves spending time together and exploring who they are now, while also trying to deal with issues from the past. But who knows where it will all leave them in the end.

I loved Canaan. He really was a devoted man and swoonworthy hero. He tried so hard and knew what he wanted. It was told in Maggie's point of view, and I have to admit that she frustrated me at times. She was judgmental, and seemed to kind of use him at times. Obviously, he was in it for the long haul, but she kept him guessing and kept holding onto the past and other things in her life.

This is an antagonistic and flirty second-chance rom com. They had an intense young love and a connection that stood the test of time, but they had a lot of issues to face in order to rekindle not only a friendship, but a possible relationship. Their history was complicated and heartbreaking, but are their hearts strong enough to overcome it and make it work this time? I enjoyed the small town setting and the idea of coming home after an absence with some things changed and some staying the same. But Canaan was definitely the biggest appeal of this book for me.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. Follow Me: Reviews by Tammy & Kim | Facebook | Twitter
March 19, 2019
in case there are any thirsty bitches out there like me who read the synopsis of something and are interested but not interested enough to dedicate however many hours to reading this (i literally spoil the entire thing so don't read if you're gonna get pissy):
Profile Image for Terri (N.J.).
790 reviews39 followers
January 10, 2018
LOVED this ! Omg this was one of the best second chance romances that I have read in a long time. Canaan and Maggie grew up together and married young. Although they were soul mates and so much in love the hurt from their pasts made things hard for Canaan to cope. With the marriage strained Maggie up and moved to Chicago leaving Canaan totally heartbroken. Five years later another tragedy brings Maggie back to her home town and the husband she left behind.
This story was heartfelt, sexy and funny. It gave me the Sweet Home Alabama feel. I was totally drawn in to this right from the very beginning. Truly genuine and a total feels story. Canaan is so swoony I just loved him, wow!! The Love he has for Maggie is just so special. I highly recommend this beautiful and well written story.
Profile Image for Beneath The Covers Blog.
1,512 reviews493 followers
September 17, 2017
A second-chance love story full of hurt and heartfelt romance!

Exes with Benefits was and eye-opening and unconventional novel. The title alone gives the reader an insight as to what the story is about. But it can also be deceiving, as it does not express everything that does happen in the book.

As I began reading and was further invested in the story of these two characters, I couldn't help but see the book's similarities to the movie "Sweet Home Alabama". If that was the author's intention, I think she nailed this book out of the park! Although the movie has a sweet, sassy, and comedic undertone, Exes with Benefits conveys some quite opposite components in the storyline. And if you've read Nicole's previous book, Roommates with Benefits, you'll be quite surprised as well with the change of direction Exes with Benefits takes you.

From the beginning, the reader is questioning the right and wrong choices the characters make. The story pulls you in conflicting, painful directions, and forces the reader to think with their heart more than with their head. Raw and overwhelming emotions are laid bare, the gut-wrenching actions taken are finally explained, and the outcome of tragic, young love is revealed.

I really, REALLY enjoyed this book. And the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because I felt the ending was rushed and cut short. With the characters having such a long-standing history together, I was hoping for more of a stronger ending, to match the intense and emotionally-impacted story.

But regardless of the ending, or the fact I could just be selfish and want more about the characters and their story, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to everyone. A poignant and emotionally driven story that defies expectations of what genuine and lasting love truly means!

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.* ~Kelly
Profile Image for tinyteaplots.
703 reviews2 followers
December 30, 2017
Let's start by saying that I really liked this. I stayed up way too late so I could finish reading it. I wish I could have bumped it up to four stars, but, alas I could not.
I live life with the understanding that anything can happen, anything is possible. So, I know that it is possible for a chica to walk out on her hubby and start a new life without divorcing him. I just don't understand it in this case. Sure said husband was f*ing up his life, but he wasn't cruel or abusive. This whole shindig was because Maggie was too chicken shit to face reality. We've got a runner, folks.
Basically, Maggie is the reason for missing the five-star mark.
Canaan, oh Canaan. I Loved Him, Lots. Poor, sweet, crazy-in-love guy. Him, I understood. My heart ached for him. And as annoyed with Maggie as I was, I needed them together for his sake.
Ms. Williams always knows how to tug at my heartstrings ♥️
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