The Ex Hex, by Erin Sterling

August 27, 2021 Book Reviews 6 ★★★★

The Ex Hex, by Erin SterlingThe Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
Series: Ex Hex #1
on September 28, 2021
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 320
Format: Kindle or ebook
Source: the publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | Bookshop | Barnes & Noble | Audible
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four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins, writing as Erin Sterling, casts a spell with a spine-tingling romance full of wishes, witches, and hexes gone wrong.

Nine years ago, Vivienne Jones nursed her broken heart like any young witch would: vodka, weepy music, bubble baths…and a curse on the horrible boyfriend. Sure, Vivi knows she shouldn’t use her magic this way, but with only an “orchard hayride” scented candle on hand, she isn’t worried it will cause him anything more than a bad hair day or two.

That is until Rhys Penhallow, descendent of the town’s ancestors, breaker of hearts, and annoyingly just as gorgeous as he always was, returns to Graves Glen, Georgia. What should be a quick trip to recharge the town’s ley lines and make an appearance at the annual fall festival turns disastrously wrong. With one calamity after another striking Rhys, Vivi realizes her silly little Ex Hex may not have been so harmless after all.

Suddenly, Graves Glen is under attack from murderous wind-up toys, a pissed off ghost, and a talking cat with some interesting things to say. Vivi and Rhys have to ignore their off the charts chemistry to work together to save the town and find a way to break the break-up curse before it’s too late.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

This book contains mature content and may not be suitable for younger readers.

Magic, humor, and love

There once was a witch with an ex
Who decided he needed a hex.
When she gave him a curse,
Things quickly grew worse—
‘Til they solved it with true love (and sex.)

The Ex Hex is witchy, frothy, romantic fun! It feels like a cross between a contemporary rom-com and a paranormal cozy mystery, albeit without a murder. I loved the main characters, and enjoyed the plot, the humor, the small-town setting, and the overall premise. Rhys and Vivi have great chemistry, and although Vivi hasn’t forgiven him for breaking her heart, neither of them has forgotten how they felt during that long ago, magical summer. But when Rhys returns to Graves Glen and Vivi’s post-breakup curse suddenly expands to the whole town, they’re going to have to ignore their feelings and get on with undoing what Vivi set in motion all those years ago. If only they can keep their hands off each other long enough…

The Ex Hex is the first in a series, and there is plenty scope for sequels. Vivi’s cousin Gwyn is single, and Rhys has two brothers. I suspect Graves Glen may be home a few more witches besides the Joneses, and the local college, Penhaven (where Vivi teaches) has a secret witchcraft division, which holds potential for even more witchy characters. I’m already eager for book #2!

CW: the book does use the f-word a lot, both in dialogue and the characters’ inner thoughts, if that bothers you. And it’s definitely intended for adults.

NOTE: I did wonder whether Vivi’s surname is a sly nod to the Jones family from Jayne Ann Krentz’s Arcane Society novels. This is real magic, not the psychic talents of the Arcane Society universe, but Ms. Sterling—a pen name of Rachel Hawkins—is a fan of Krentz’s work. So maybe?

four-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • COYER Seasons 2021: Summer

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