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The Ex Hex

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Member Reviews

The Ex Hex is a fun romance and delightful spell of adventure. I loved the quirkiness of the town and the pure enjoyment of reading the predicaments that Vivienne and Rhys got into. This is a diverting read.
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Simply adorable. Second chance romances are totally my jam, and clearly Erin Sterling’s as well. 

The banter between Vivi and Rhys was sweet, sexy, scintillating, swoon-worthy, and laugh-out-loud at times. The chemistry between these two had the pages smoking hot, but that isn’t what made me absolutely love this book. It’s how these two handled their baggage. Vivi is still, rightfully so, pissed about what caused their break-up. Rhys takes full blame, but these two go beyond that. They recognize that who they were then isn’t who they are now, while still admitting there is chemistry between them. Watching these two get to know each other again (in some comical and sexy scenes) was pure delight.

Rounding out the story is the fabulous family relationships (some good and some a bit of a sticky wicket) and the secondary characters from Vivi’s cousin to the cat. This was the first book for me from Erin Sterling, and I will definitely be reading more from her.
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This book was so good! I have read a few other by this author that were thrillers. I thought this one was going to be the same, but I was pleasantly surprised it was not! Vivivans aunt always told her not to mix vodka with magic. Well, heartbroken Vivi and her cousin jokingly  set a curse on Rhys. Fast forward 9 years later and Vivi and Rhys run into each other again and you won’t be able to put the book down! I adored the  family relationships in this story, and found myself laughing out loud quite a few times! I can’t wait to buy this book when it comes out for my sister!
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THE EX HEX by Erin Sterling is CUTE AS HECK.

Nine years ago, Vivienne had her heart broken, and what better way to heal that broken heart than by hexing her ex! Now, ex-boyfriend, Rhys, returns to town and it seems the curse has resulted in more consequences than Vivienne could have imagined.

If you are looking for a fun, steamy, spooky read, look no further. This book is very much ‘Hocus Pocus, but they bang’ and it really was just such a fun and (mostly) lighthearted read! The cast of characters consists of some badass women, a handful of men learning to get over their own egos, and a talking cat??

I honestly haven’t read a ton of witchy books, but Sterling has made me want to devour as many as I can this spooky season! Already looking forward to the next book in this series!

Publication Date: September 28, 2021

*** special thanks to NetGalley and William Morrow/Custom House for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review ***
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3.5 rounded to 4

It had all the right elements--the magic of love and also actual magic. Unfortunately it hung on my least favorite trope: non-communication. Vivi and Rhys had a summer fling nine years ago, which ended when he revealed he was betrothed. Two more exchanges could have cleared that up, but instead there was no communication for nine years, and then sparks flew until they finally resolved what would have taken five minutes.

But without that we would have had no story, as there was a totally hilarious curse involved, which in turned triggered a fun plot. The sex was sweet, the magic inventive, and the end satisfying. It would have been a five star read if it hadn't had that negative motivation to overcome during the first half.
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Rachel Hawkins’ entry into adult romance was fun and fully captured the witchy atmosphere.

At 19, Vivi just ended a summer fling with Rhys, a fellow witch and descendant of her town’s founder. Drowning in the sorrow of a relationship ended too soon, Vivi and her cousin cursed Rhys, but it was a joke. Nine years later, Rhys returned to Graves Glen and Vivi realized that the hex did more damage than she anticipated.

The Ex Hex was a fun witchy story and I completely fell in love with the atmosphere of Graves Glen where witches hid in plain site. At just over 300 pages, The Ex Hex was a quick read, but I felt that the plot and romance suffered because of this. Rhys and Vivi ended on ugly terms nine years ago, but after a few quips, they two were basically ready to pick up where things left off. Along the same vein, the two running around town trying to break the curse was fun, but the meat of the problem wasn’t revealed until the end of the book.

I don’t have much to say about the audiobook narrator, because the performance didn’t work for me and I quickly went back to the ebook copy. Caitlin Davies’ delivery was rather flat and she didn’t differentiate between the male and female characters. This could have been a fun audiobook experience, but the narrator never captured the fun tone of The Ex Hex.

The Ex Hex is perfect for readers who are looking to start spooky season, but with kissing.
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Vivi is broken hearted when Rhys dumps her in college so much so that she places a curse on him.  Now this would not be a problem, except Vivi is a witch and curses while even funny ones that make you feel better sometimes might get out of hand when magic is involved.  For years Vivi doesn't see Rhys, but when circumstances bring him back into town and back into her life weird things start to happen.  Did she really curse him all those years ago, or are things happening just by chance?  Will Vivi be able to stop the curse before it hurts not only Rhys, but her town and family.

Overall this is a cute book.  The plot line is pretty fast paced and you fall in love with both Vivi and Rhys.  Great if you are looking for a light spooky read for the upcoming fall season.  Thank you William Morrow and Custom House and Netgalley for allowing me to read an advance copy.
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What an absolute gem! The Ex Hex is a smart and moody romance that perfectly blends a witchy ambiance with an intriguing plot. Erin Sterling sure knows how to paint an enthralling backdrop: a small southern town with a historic college, a family magic shop, a Fall festival, a ghost that has gotten lost in a library. I wanted to live inside this book and take in the beautiful and escapist setting. Rhys and Vivi are a modern couple and I was cheering them on until the end. This is rom-com as its finest. I can't wait to read more by this author!
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Rating: 4.5 Stars

Their short-lived romance burned hot, and then he broke her heart. Though she had been warned that vodka and witchcraft didn’t mix, Vivi thought it would be cathartic to cast a faux-hex on her ex. Fast forward nine years, and Rhys’ return to Graves Glen was causing magic to run afoul. Could the Ex Hex have really worked?

This was exactly what I wanted, and at the same time, more than I expected. I was really excited about the influx of witchy rom-coms hitting the shelves this fall, and The Ex Hex was both wonderfully witchy and comical.

She can write under another name, but Hawkins signature humor was all over this. I am a long time fan of Hawkins’ books, and it’s because she can brilliantly mix humor, magic, and mayhem to produce a story that is utterly delightful. I reveled in the banter and snark, as I audibly laughed at all the chaos that transpired.

And that brings me to the “more” I eluded to earlier. There was quite a bit of romance in this book, obviously, but there was also an engaging plot. Vivi and Rhys were forced to work together to try and undo the Ex Hex which involved lots of mini-fires they had to put out, but pointed to a bit of mystery surrounding the hex and the town’s magic as well. I really enjoyed getting to the bottom of it all, and I found it a great way to drive Vivi and Rhys back into each other’s arms.

There were so many other things I adored about this book, but instead of going on forever, I’m am hitting the highlights.

• Second chance romance
• Lots of magical moments
• Sassy witches
• Strong familial bonds
• Brotherly love
• Finding your “magic”
• Hilarious hijinks
• A talking cat
• Splendid small town setting
• Off the charts chemistry

Full of fun and feels, this book kept a smile on my face from beginning to end. I came for the romance, but got so much more from this warm and charming story that simply made me happy. I am eagerly anticipating the other books in this series and really hope there will be a romance for the other two Penhallow brothers.
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Really enjoyed this one. I'm never going to complain about a male love interest who is a Welsh witch. :-) Vivi and Rhys had a lot of chemistry, and their relationship up and downs made sense to me (unfortunately, this is not always the case in romance). I thought the exploration and explanation of the hex was interesting and kept the plot moving well. Graves Glen seemed like my kind of place and the way normal people and witches co-existed was fun. And...I also may want to borrow some of Vivi's clothes.
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OK listen, parts of this were very cute. I liked the characters a lot individually and the setting was exactly what you’d want in a witchy romance — Stars Hollowish town meets Practical Magic for perfect fall vibes. Plus a college where magic is taught in secret alongside regular classes? I was to go to there. But I struggled with the romance a bit because I didn’t get any kind of deeper chemistry from the characters the entire way through. I kept waiting to understand their feelings for each other besides being attracted to one another and it just never happened. So five stars for setting but the rest just didn’t live up to what I was hoping for, unfortunately!
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I was so excited to try The Ex Hex, especially once I saw it billed as “Hocus Pocus, but they f*ck” on Twitter. Unfortunately I felt this fell flat for me. I had really high expectations going in, and it just wasn’t clicking. This was my first book from Sterling, I would try her again but DNF this title at 20%
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Erin Sterling (writing as Rachel Hawkins) is an author whose books were pivotal to teenage Nick’s reading life. The Hex Hall series is one of my all-time favorites! I was beyond delighted to hear that she was releasing a fun paranormal adult rom-com. Her brand of humor really worked for me back in the day so I was curious to see how it would hold in an adult book. Well, friends, I’m happy to say that The Ex Hex was exactly the sort of witchy fun I was hoping it would be. All I ask of a book is to allow me to escape real life for the short moment that I spend with it. The Ex Hex did that for me!

Following a moment of heartbreak at 19 years old, our resident tipsy witches, Vivi and her cousin Gwyn decide to put a curse on the source of her broken heart: Rhys Penhallow, the dreamy Welsh descendent of the town’s father. Vivi and Gwyn don’t expect anything to come out of their curse until Rhys’s return to Graves Glen. Vivi learns that both the curse and her feelings for him are well and truly alive.

The activation of the curse leads to some wonky magic that wreaks havoc in town including a talking cat (named Sir Purrcival!!!!), not-so-friendly ghosts, potions-gone-wrong, and murderous toys. Now, Vivi and Rhys have to set aside their differences to work as a team to fix the curse before it’s too late.

I wouldn’t go into The Ex Hex expecting an elaborate magic system or loads of world-building. The magic was straightforward, easy to digest, and actually kind of fluffy! It’s exactly what I was expecting and the book doesn’t pretend to be anything else. I really loved the adventurous aspects as Vivi and Rhys raced to fix the curse. There were some surprisingly hilarious moments that reminded me why the author’s writing and humor work for me. The Ex Hex is very much of a cozy paranormal romance and it was exactly the brain candy I needed. It’s the perfect fall read if you ask me.

Of course, as Vivi and Rhys are forced to work together, their old feelings for each other resurge. Like the plot and magic, the romance was equally fluffy. I do admit to expecting just a bit of angst because that’s what I’m used to in a second chance romance, but The Ex Hex strays clear from angst. Rhys and Vivi were good together and I liked them a lot. I think their chemistry had a nice and bubbling presence throughout the book and Erin Sterling knows how to write one heck of a swoony kissing scene. There’s one particular scene in a closet that had me giggling like a hyena because I’m such a sucker for forced proximity that leads to a bucket of tension between the couple!

I really enjoyed the entire cast of The Ex Hex, especially the secondary cast! I feel like every character we met was fun and again, they somehow all made me laugh. My favorites were definitely Gwyn and Vivi’s kooky aunt Elaine. The family bond in this book between Gwyn, Vivi, and Elaine was lovely. I liked that they were supportive of each other but also weren’t afraid to call each other’s BS out. What I would have liked a bit more background and exploration of was Rhys and his own family. I felt there were some interesting potential complications there that weren’t necessarily explored with them.

All in all, The Ex Hex was a cozy and adventurous witchy book that I think is perfect for the upcoming fall season. I had a great time with these characters and the disastrous shenanigans they get into and I look forward to reading more of this series. Hopefully, we’ll see a lot more of Sir Purrcival!

Content notes: death of parent (past)

Relationship disclosure: Erin Sterling and I are mutuals on social media
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A cute romcom with some spice but make it about witches? Say less.

This was so cute! It was your usual cute fun romcom, but add witches dealing with the mess they made due to broken hearts and hex’s. 

I loved Rhys and his snarky comments & then add him being British??? Sold. I thought Rhys and Vivianne’s relationship was really cute, and I liked the build up to it. They had good banter and tension between them. I also really enjoyed reading about their mess with the curse and having to put out all the little fires because of it.

That being said it did feel like it was missing something, everything just resolved so quickly and easily at the end and it felt too simple for me. The book itself was enjoyable overall but not omgggg I absolutely adored everything about it if that makes sense which is why it was just shy of 4 stars (3.75/4 ⭐️)

This book was a cute romance perfect for quick fall time read! 

*thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review*
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Prior to reading this book, I saw it described as a a perfect fall read. That is incredibly accurate. There's magic, pumpkins, ghosts, festivals, and romance. 

I have read this author's YA selections and her characters are always so fun to read, including laugh out loud segments. 

*ARC provided by Netgalley
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Thank you to @netgalley and the publisher, @williammorrowbooks ! What a fun read! If you are looking for a book that hits all the Halloween vibes without the horror, try this one! The Ex Hex features witches, curses, ghosts, a talking cat IN A romance which together makes MAGIC. 
The main character Vivi and her cousin Gwyn have put a curse on Vivi's summer fling, Rhys 9 years ago and present day, guess who happens to be back in town for a founders event. What will happen as Vivi realizes the curse worked and is Rhys back in her life for good? 
The setting gave me Hocus Pocus small town vibes with a mix of halloweentown! There is romance mixed with a bit of mystery and it is a dual narration so you are reading both Vivi AND Rhys's perspective and their relationship progresses. It made for a light read with some angst and I cannot wait to see where the series goes!!
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Never mix vodka and magic.  Nine years ago Vivienne Jones is heartbroken after a bitter breakup with the sexy Rhys Penhallow. She had ignored her cousin’s warning to never mess with a witch boy and in her vodka soaked misery, she jokingly places a hex on Rhys as payback.

Flashforward to the present and Rhys begrudgingly returns to Graves Glen to recharge the town’s ley lines. But upon his arrival to town, his magic begins to go awry and it seems like things are out to kill him? As chaos ensues, Vivienne and Rhys realize that perhaps the hex she placed on him worked after all and now they must rush to save the town and Rhys!

This book was so freaking fun! I didn’t want it to end. It’s charming and a little bit spooky. The banter is on point and there’s a talking cat. Plus it's steamy and y’all know I love me some steam! I’m a sucker for second chance romance and this one reminded me of why I enjoy that trope so much.

Do you love Hocus Pocus and Sabrina the Teenage Witch? If you’re screaming yes right now, then run out and preorder this book!

The Ex Hex is out September 28th!

Thank you @netgalley, @ladyhawkins and @avonromance for the eARC in exchange for an honest review! I read this one with @lovearctually and had so much fun gushing over this book with everyone!

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Different from what I have been reading, I really enjoyed this little book, The Ex Hex. Vivi, heartborken and crying in a bathtub, agrees with her cousin to put a hex on the boy who just broke her heart, at age 19. While they are witches, Vivi has not known of her talent for long and both our witches are sure their little curse won't do much.

Fast forward nine years, the 100th anniversary of the town (founded by the ex-boyfriend's family) and who should be sent to represent the family but Rhys, the delicious looking ex. Of course, the feelings are still there; the attraction cannot be deniedin the little college town in the mountains of Georgia.

Rhys must basically reset the town's magic since witches do live there. The local college even has a witchcraft school, not accessible to normal humans (or muggles, as Potter fans would call them.) The real problems begin when the resetting of the magic goes terribly wrong and all sorts of magic happens but not necessarily what is wanted. To tell more might give away the story.

But, this story is more than one about witches and their craft. It is about family, yes, family. Vivi is very close to her Aunt Elaine and cousin Gwynn; in fact, she lives above her aunt's shop (that sells witchy items.) They don't practice a great deal of witchcraft; Vivi less than the other two. In fact, she is a professor at the college but not in witchcraft; she teaches history instead. The three women rely on each other and enjoy being with each other.

Rhys comes from a powerful family of witches---his father and two brothers. He and his father do not really get along as Rhys is the youngest and the one who has really had a great time being a dashing young man. He is more than a little upset when he has to go to Graves Glen as the family representative for the anniversary.

Now, we do have the couple coming together again so if sex scenes bother you, be prepared. Not as descriptive as some books but it is still there. I do think they sometimes forget they are not the 19-year-olds they were when they were first involved.

As an educator, I am asked if this could be used in school. This is not one a teacher should recommend in school, not because of the magic, but due to the sex scenes. A teacher could get in trouble for that reason. Quite often, a teacher can share excerpts from a book if they were discussing magic and that is possible, but not the entire book.

It is a cute book and I could see the author writing more about the two families. I did receive this as an ARC through #NetGalley and #TheExHex. #WilliamMorrowandCustomHouse
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This book is like Hocus Pocus meets The Witches of Eastwick meets a grown up Harry Potter.
I knew going into this that The Ex Hex was going to be all sorts of fun. First off, Erin Sterling is a pen name for Rachel Hawkins, who, under that moniker, has written some truly hilarious and highly entertaining YA novels. Secondly, my friend Bonnie enjoyed the heck out this, Hawkins’ (Sterling’s?) first foray into adult romance, and Bonnie has yet to lead me astray with her recommendations.

I laughed A LOT while reading. I also swooned a fair bit. In the beginning, we’re told that Rhys, the male lead, is charming. Very rarely does charm translate off the page for me. Hottness? Sure. Humor? That too. But a little less than halfway through, I found myself swept up right alongside the female lead, Vivi, by Rhys’ Welsh appeal.

In the opening pages of the book, Rhys has just unintentionally broken Vivi’s nineteen-year-old heart. So she does what any woman blessed with magic and a belly full of vodka might: she curses him.

Flash forward almost a decade, and Rhys is back in town. One of his forefathers established said town, and every Samhain a Penhallow, this year Rhys, has to be within its boundaries to renew their magical attachment to it.

Only this time, the curse Vivi cast on him rears its ugly head midway through the ritual and everything goes sideways on them. The dark magic rushes through the town, and all sorts of danger and hilarity ensues.

There are maniacal, animated toy skulls, a raging ghost, and my favorite, a talking cat who knows all of three words: treats, mama, and dickhead. Unsurprisingly, Rhys is the dickhead. I ugly cackled when I got to that part.

My one gripe was that I didn’t think the actual magic was fleshed out enough. How does it work? What does it feel like flowing through Vivi’s veins? Are the spells cast in Latin or English? I have no idea. Pretty much every instance of magic is glanced over, kind of like, “She cast the spell.” As an avid reader of fantasy books, I wanted more.

Aside from that, there are very few cons about this book. So if you’re looking for a cute, fast-paced, fun romance to get you hyped up for fall, definitely check this one out.
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The Ex Hex is a sweet, paranormal romance. After a bad breakup at 19, Vivi puts a curse on Rhys. When he comes back to town 9 years later, it’s still in effect. This book is a little bit Hocus Pocus with a small town setting. I really enjoyed it!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the free copy.
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