Summary (from the publisher): 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.
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
I know Halloween just wrapped up yesterday (& yes, I was totally playing “All I Want for Christmas is You” in my kitchen last night), but I just had to share my thoughts on the hottest spooky read in the contemporary romance world right now, Erin Sterling’s The Ex Hex! I’ve read Rachel Hawkins’ YA Royals series (her pen name for romance is Erin Sterling), so I was even more interested to read her first contemporary romance.
I’ll be totally honest, I’m not the biggest spooky season/Halloween person – I’ve dressed up over the years for friends’ parties & nights out (I of course dressed up as Olivia Rodrigo via sour album cover this year) and I’m quite minimal on the fall/Halloween decor – but the fact that The Ex Hex is a contemporary romance definitely caught my attention and it didn’t seem too supernatural/horror for my reading tases, which was ultimately so true! The Ex Hex follows twenty-something which & history professor Vivienne Jones, who experienced the biggest heartbreak of her life when legendary Rhys Penhallow ended their relationship nine years prior….and during that heartbreak, Vivi and her cousin Gwyn may or may not have cursed Rhys and her entire town. With Rhys back to recharge the ley lines and the curse proven to be very much in effect, Vivi and Rhys must work together to break their break-up curse.
The Ex Hex was such a light-hearted read with humor and a fantastic spooky/Halloween-esque backdrop. Vivi and her family are all witches – Vivi’s cousin and her aunt run a witch-themed/magical store – and the town they live in is half comprised of witches too. I really enjoyed learning more about Vivi and Rhys’ magical family history, since Rhys’ ancestors were founders of Vivi’s town. The book mostly takes place between Vivi’s family store and the college where she works at & named after Rhys’ family – I really loved the college setting and the fact that she was a teacher/professor!
The plot surrounding the curse and magic was fairly easy to understand, which I appreciated as a minimal magic/fantasy reader. I’d say that half of the book was spent on breaking the curse, while the other half was about Vivi and Rhys’ relationship (yes, romance included) and their personal growth. Their relationship was overall just so sweet and made me want more & more of their banter.
Overall, I highly recommend picking up The Ex Hex – I think its autumnal and witchy/magic vibes are also perfect for this time of year & winter. I’m really excited to see what Erin Sterling/Rachel Hawkins may come out with next in the contemporary romance world!
Have you read The Ex Hex? What are some of your favorite spooky reads or some favorite recent contemporary romance books? Share in the comments!