The Ex Project - Book cover

The Ex Project


Age Rating


In Happyville, everyone deserves a happy ending—except those who don’t. Charlotte Marshall is devastated when she catches her boyfriend Jason kissing another woman. Following breakup procedure, the two attend the mandated six-week Ex course, where they must bare their souls to see if they can find the path back to love. It’s their decision. Or is it? How much control do the citizens of Happyville have when the council has the final say?

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Chapter 1


I really, really, really didn’t want to be here.

I knew the moment I walked into that room, I would be a wreck.

Steady yourself, Charlotte Marshall. Breathe.

It was hard to be rational when doing something completely irrational, though. If I’d known the first time those clear pond-green eyes locked onto me that this would happen, I would have run a mile.

“Good morning! I take it you’re here for the Ex course? Can I take your application number please?”

Oh, God.

I handed over the letter I’d received in the post, and the woman before me frowned.

“Jason Hanning?”

That was all it took to make me want to fall to the floor in tears. I couldn’t face the guy. I could barely hear his name without breaking into a sweat.

“He’s already checked in. Straight down the corridor to the hall, thank you,” she chirped before moving on to the next lonely soul.

Of course, he’s already checked in.

He was never late for anything. Ever. I hated the fact that I had to spend the next six Wednesdays proving we were no longer compatible.

We aren’t.

He was so wrong for me.

With that in mind, I strode forward to the doorway, my heart hammering in my chest as beads of sweat ran down my back.

I pulled open the door to a sea of people sitting cross-legged on the floor, their eyes all turning my way to watch as I entered the room.

I searched for him, finding him seated against the far wall, his arms folded and his face like thunder. The one thing we had in common, I suppose, was that neither of us wanted to be here.

I walked over, sitting beside him as he grunted an acknowledgment in my general direction. I whispered a hello before staring at the large poster board on the floor before us. Beside it were lots of colored pens, and I felt nausea rise in my throat.

“Isn’t this exciting?” he muttered, pushing a hand through his dirty-blond hair.

“Just shut up. Let’s just get through this as painlessly as possible,” I replied frostily, annoyed that he had the audacity to speak to me.

“Oh, trust me, it will be painful.” He smirked, easing back against the wall as I glared at him with annoyance.

“All we have to do is go through the mechanics of why we aren’t together and why it will never work between us. Hardly painful.”

A small, portly woman made her way to the middle of the room, and it was difficult not to stare. Everything she wore was red: the suit, the shirt beneath the suit, her lips, her nails…even her cheeks.

“Jesus,” I whispered to no one in particular, my eyes scanning the room to see the horrified looks on nearly all the faces.

“Good day, Exes,” she boomed as I cringed. Was she being serious? “Today is the start of our magnificent course.” She looked around the room, her gaze touching everyone. “We have turned many relationships around in this very room.”

She paused for effect, and I heard someone snigger.

“You are here because you applied for a breakup.” Her full, red-painted lips pouted. “That’s incredibly sad considering you once applied for the relationship together. As you know, there are some unfortunate reasons for a couple to end their relationship, but most couples can overcome them.”

“I don’t fucking think so,” snapped a woman from across the room, glaring at the man beside her.

“I was drunk. Shit happens,” he slurred, and I realized he was currently still drunk.

“See, it could be worse,” I heard a man hiss at a woman to my right, who responded with a scowl.

“Calm down, please. We will work through the next six Wednesdays together, and at the end, you and your ex will both decide with your counselor if you still wish to terminate your relationship. If you do, the final decision will be put forward and you will receive your documents in the post. Please remember that following your agreed decision, you may not apply for a relationship again within the next year with the same person.”

I wished it was the sixth Wednesday already. I had absolutely no intention of getting back with Jason, ever.

“So, first, I need you to face each other in your couples and say something kind.”

I froze, my mouth falling open with horror. What was this fresh hell? I heard Jason chuckling from beside me, and I turned to glare at him.

“Ladies first,” he murmured, not trying to disguise his laughter.

“You are a perfect asshole.”

He roared with laughter as I shook my head and turned back to the front.

“My turn, my turn!” He laughed, seemingly enjoying himself now. “You’re amazing at giving head.”

“Fuck you,” I spat.

He winked at me. “We’ve definitely done enough of that.”

I closed my eyes in mortification. What drugs must I have been on to get with him in the first place?

“Okay, now please share it with the group. We’ll start with”—she glanced down at her sheet before pulling her slimy red lips into a wide smile—“Jason and Charlotte. Oh, what a lovely name pairing. Now, could you tell us what Charlotte said to you, Jason?”

I froze in horror as Jason cleared his throat. He sent me a small grin before he spoke. “Well, Charlotte said I’m a perfect asshole.”

My cheeks flushed as the woman before us glared at me, her eyes narrowing as she made a note.

“Right. That’s not what we mean by kind, Charlotte. I would encourage you to compliment him on something you think is positive about him.”

“He is closer to dying than I am.”

Jason glared at me as the woman eyed me closely.

“Okay, well, let’s try what Jason said to you, shall we?”

“I’d rather not repeat it.”

“I’m afraid you have to,” she interrupted sweetly as I stared at the floor.

“Jason said I’m great at giving head.”

“No, I said you’re amazing at giving head,” he corrected.

A man shouted out from across the room, “My future wife right there!”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake!” screamed the woman beside him angrily. “Control your fucking self, you hideous beast.”

I was mortified.

Six weeks of this?

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