In this second chance romance, Rhys Penhallow is returning to Graves Glen to fulfill his familial duty to charge the ley lines. Little does he know that nine years ago Vivienne Jones cursed him after he broke her heart. Once Rhys returns to town, havoc breaks loose and he must team up with Vivienne to save Graves Glen.
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 am so sad to be writing this review. I was super excited for this book. A romance between two witches during October? What could there not be to love? Apparently, quite a bit.
The Ex Hex has a fantastic concept that would be perfect for spooky season… if it delivered. However, I found this novel to be very shallow. The execution lacked depth and feeling. I was left with nothing to become emotionally invested in and with no strong plot to make up for it.
While this was sold as a romance, I have to say that there was not much, if any, romance to be found. Instead, it was all sexual tension that failed to be palpable. The relationship never really progressed and was built completely upon sex. There was no falling in love since that happened prior to the book. This was a major plot mistake in my opinion. Without reading about Rhys & Vivi’s initial relationship and romance, there was no foundation for their feelings or attraction when they reunited. Instead, the relationship was thin, uncompelling, and emotionally-lacking.
Erin Sterling failed to do any world building which seems like a rather big blunder. Having built a magical world of witches for context would have added depth to the plot and story. The plot is not absent in The Ex Hex; it just is not all the exciting or complex. When the synopsis mentions things going wrong due to the curse, I expected more than three mishaps that are quickly solved. Ya’ll, I am just so disappointed.
I also would be remiss not to mention that there are quite a few Harry Potter references. How has everyone not received the message at this point? Harry Potter references and the like are hurtful and triggering for an entire community. It is unacceptable to be unnecessarily including them in a book.
Overall, The Ex Hex fell disappointingly short of my expectations and was only an okay read. The novel lacked tension in both the plot and the romance. I will not be recommending this book.
The Ex Hex
Romance; Magical Realism
September 28, 2021
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