The Ex Hex
by Erin Sterling
Published September 28th 2021
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.
When I first heard of this book, I immediately add it to my TBR since it sounds like the perfect halloween read. Second chance romance, small town setting, plus hocus pocus kind of humor? Sign me up! Then I found out that Erin Sterling is Rachel Hawkins and I dropped everything to read it once it’s available on Scribd.
And it didn’t disappoint! The Ex Hex was everything I expected and more- it was fun, it was swoony, it was atmospheric and it was hilarious. I enjoyed more of my time reading it that I expected it!
Set in a small town called Graves Glen which is filled with real witches blending into the real life and have their founder’s day every Halloween, this book was the perfect cozy halloween read. Everything was told in such a vivid detail: on how every year founder’s day become their main attraction, how halloween was a different kind of event as the result, the small witchy shop they have, and how the university works with both human and witches student. The cold air, the changing leaves, and the day to day life around the characters. It felt like slice of life, but also magical and quickly became one of my favorite setting.
Vivi is a witch, as is her mom, her cousin Gwyn, and her aunt. In fact, it was Gwyn who cursed Rhys with vodka and bath and body works candle. Speaking of Rhys, he’s also a witch- in fact he’s part of the founding family that do the ritual to renew Graves Glen magic. Which is why it’s a huge deal that the curse was real and threatening not only Rhys, but also the whole town and their community.
From the get go, this book was fun and the characters just came to life with their antics. From Gwyn and Vivi little hex session, Vivi and Rhys first meeting, to the calamity that follows them… it was a really fun times and I couldn’t stop laughing while listening! I had a few problems with the narrator at first- I felt like she was too fast and didn’t differentiate between Vivi and Rhys well enough. But once I got used to her, the sultry tone she used really made the story more fun and the chemistry going through the roof!
Speaking of chemistry, from the very beginning it was obvious that both Vivi and Rhys were well match together. From the way they remember fondly of the time they were together, they unresolved feelings and the tension between them… it was just 🔥🔥🔥 Rhys made me swoon quite a few times, but I’m also happy to see Vivi stood her ground with him. Their chemistry was just palpable and their history made you can’t help to root for them!
While it wasn’t a 5 star reads for me (the climax and resolution just kind of… fizzles out), I had such a fun time reading it and I highly recommend it for fall/spooky season! The setting gives it a cozy mystery feel, while the dialogue and the chemistry between the characters will made you laugh, swoon, and even blush multiple time. If you’re looking for some fun, second chance halloween romance, this book is perfect for you!