Friday, October 22, 2021

Book Review: The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

Pages: 320
Genre: Adult Fantasy/Romance
Pub. Date: September 28, 2021
Publisher: Avon
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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.

The summer that Vivi was nineteen years old is when her heart officially got broken by a boy.  As any good witch would do, she took a long intoxicated bath, and thanks to her loyal cousin's help, they ended up cursing her ex, Rhys Penhallow.  They knew they broke a rule by drinking and preforming magic, but Vivi doesn't think Rhys was actually cursed.  She isn't even sure if they did it right. It was more theatrics than anything and a way for Vivi to try and get over him.  You see he hid the fact that he was already betrothed and for that, she can never forgive him.  Fast forward to nine years later and Rhys has returned to Vivi's small town.  He is there for a Fall Festival and is a guest speaker as the Penhallow family have ties to this town.  Once she sees Rhys, not only do her old feelings for him start to re-emerge, she realizes that the curse she preformed years ago might have worked.  Strange things are happening to Rhys and its not just bad luck.  In fact, Vivi witnesses it for herself when he tries to recharge the town's ley lines. Things go from bad to worse and it is starting to impact the entire town.  The more Vivi and Rhys work together to try and figure out how to fix things, the more their old feelings come back and as much as Vivi doesn't want to fall for him again, she can't help it.  Maybe he has changed? Can she really forgive him though? Erin Sterling's The Ex Hex is a fun, magical romp that has romance, witchcraft, and an adorable setting to boot.

Vivi is the best kind of witch in The Ex Hex. She didn't grow up around witchcraft, so she is bit behind the others.  She is still learning the ins and outs.  I really adored her relationship with her cousin and her aunt.  Their discussions and banter were some of my favorite parts of the novel.  Vivi had a definite Bewitched vibe to her and I was here for it!
Rhys was a tough character for in The Ex Hex. I know I was supposed to be swooning over him, but I didn't love him as much as I hoped. I liked how Rhys and Vivi rekindled their summer romance, but I didn't feel their connection as strongly as I expected.  But that doesn't mean there wasn't romance in The Ex Hex, because there is and it's steamy!

For me, the best part of the book was the adorable town of Graves Glen.  It was like Stars Hollow in that it was charming, everyone knows everyone, there's an adorable street with various shops, a college nearby, and it's always a beautiful fall day. I loved the details Stirling included and how the town was preparing for the Fall Festival. Needless to say, October is the best month to read this book.
If you love a good witchy romance, give The Ex Hex a try this fall, especially if you are like me and want to read something Halloween inspired, but not too spooky. This was like a rom-com from the Hallmark channel, except with much more steam.  So, while The Ex Hex wasn't my favorite book of the season, I still appreciated the chance to escape to an adorable town filled with angsty witches, ghosts, curses, and lots of romance. It was the exact kind of light read I was looking to curl up with in October.
What do you guys think? Have you read The Ex Hex? Do you enjoy witchy or spooky read in the fall? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 



  1. I've been reading a lot of romances lately, and I love that this one incorporates all those fall and Halloween vibes - so perfect for the season!

    1. It really is perfect for this month! Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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