Filled with delightful witchiness and humor, this playful romantic comedy from Sterling (
The Wife Upstairs, written as Rachel Hawkins) explores second chances and self-discovery. Nineteen-year-old Vivi Jones fell hard for Welsh exchange student Rhys Penhallow—so hard that her heart shattered when he revealed his father was arranging a marriage for him back home. Despite only recently learning of her witchy nature, the devastated Vivi put a curse on Rhys with the assistance of her cousin, Gwyn. Nine years later, Rhys returns to small-town Graves Glen, Ga., and his trip is disastrous from the moment he steps foot into the town, proving that even as a teenage witch, Vivi packed a punch. The poor man is felled by mishap after mishap until he discovers the magical cause of his misfortune. With time running out before Halloween, when “the curse reaches its zenith,” Rhys and Vivi, now a history professor at the college where they met, must find a way to break the curse before it destroys the town—which means finding a way to make peace with each other. Comedic chaos rules the day, with plenty of laughs overlaying just a touch of introspection as the exes realize how much they still mean to each other. The result is a fluffy Halloween treat. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (Oct.) Correction: An earlier version of this review misstated the title of the author's previous book.
A delightful and witty take on witchy mayhem
Sterling casts a spell on her readers with this romantic comedy. … As humorous and fantasy filled as the novel is, it also encourages readers to ponder the idea that the world is a very small place. Sterling puts a wonderful spin on two people who once had each other's backs to two people who need each other to save a city from destruction. A cute and laughable holiday read to get you through the harsh winter weather.
Diverting, magic-infused romance.
Self-deprecating and witty Rhys is a positively dreamy hero and a perfect match for reluctant witch Vivi. The quaint town and quirky cast of characters give
The Ex Hex a “Stars Hollow” vibe, making this a must-read autumnal treat!
Washington Independent Review of Books
A spooky romantic comedy treat that had me sighing at one page, laughing out loud at the next. The Ex Hex is the perfect book for fall.
New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey
A pitch-perfect paranormal romantic comedy …
The Ex Hex seamlessly blends fantasy and romance, with a strong sense of world-building and magical rules that guide Vivienne and Rhys's attempts to course-correct from the "accidental" curse, and an equally evident sense of attraction between these two witches. A bit of unexpected magic, a dose of revenge and a sprinkling of steaminess churn together in a humorous and heartfelt paranormal romance, sure to delight fans of Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic—or any contemporary tale of witches run amok.
If you like seasonal fall reads but don’t want to jump full into horror, this is the perfect October book for you. … It promises Hocus Pocus vibes, but with a lot more heat. So curl up with a pumpkin spice latte and
The Ex Hex for a perfect autumnal reading experience.
The first in a new Georgia-set paranormal romantic comedy series by Sterling (the pen name of Rachel Hawkins, author of the Gothic domestic suspense novel
The Wife Upstairs and the YA series "Hex Hall"). Young witch Vivienne Jones fell hard for Rhys Penhallow nine years ago, only to have her heart broken when she found out he was engaged. In her vodka-fueled, post-breakup misery, Vivi and her cousin Gwyn pretended to curse Rhys. It should have just been a bit of silliness, but something felt off afterward. As for Rhys, he never intended to fall in love in his ancestral home of Graves Glen, GA, where Vivi's beauty and sweetness enchanted him. He's always regretted how things ended. Now he's returned to attend to family business, and his luck begins to sour the minute he sets foot on Georgia soil. Rhys's mysterious affliction soon begins affecting Graves Glen as well, forcing Rhys and Vivi to get over their mutual mistrust, ignore their chemistry, and work together to break the curse before it kills everyone in town. Sterling writes a fun, sexy romantic comedy with a compelling plot, fantastic worldbuilding, twists that give the story depth, and engaging primary and secondary characters. The novel wraps up plenty of loose ends, but readers will be eager for sequels. VERDICT Recommended for all public library collections. —Heather Miller Cover, Homewood P.L., AL
A small-town witch is forced to make magic with the man who broke her heart when his return sets a series of supernatural disasters in motion.
Nine years ago, Vivienne Jones decided to get over the boy who'd dumped her in the only way she knew how: by putting a curse on him. Given that it had been a spell performed after copious amounts of vodka, she hadn't placed much stock in its success. But when Rhys Penhallow finally reappears for the annual fall festival in Graves Glen, Georgia, home to both witches and ordinary people, Vivi begins to sense that her breakup hex might have worked a little
toowell. In the beginning, it's easy for her to dismiss some wacky occurrences as pure coincidence, but after Rhys invites her to help him magically recharge the town's secret ley lines and the spell goes terribly wrong, they realize they have more problems on their hands than a mere curse. Now, Graves Glen is threatening to fall into total chaos, with problems ranging from possessed wind-up skulls to a talking cat to a very unhappy library ghost. It doesn't help that as far as Vivi's attraction to her ex is concerned, it's almost too easy for her to fall right back into the past and all her old feelings. Putting out small magical fires around town is one thing, but the more often Vivi and Rhys have to put their heads together to solve this mess, the more tempting it is to see if they can pick up where they left off nine years ago—if Vivi can ever forgive Rhys for breaking her heart. Although the story's resolution may feel a bit hurried, Sterling's novel is ultimately crisp and sweet, like biting into the perfect caramel apple, and makes for an equally delicious autumn treat that will sweep readers up into a world of whimsical magic.
A wickedly funny rom-com about the power of second chances, family, and love.