My rating: 4 of 5 stars (3.5 rounded up to a 4)
Erin Sterling is a pen name for Rachel Hawkins, a New York Times bestselling author of young adult romance (Hex Hall), middle grade fiction (Journey’s End), and adult fiction (The Wife Upstairs).
I listened to the audiobook version of The Ex Hex, which was narrated by Caitlin Davies, whose narration style is quite pleasant and easy to listen to. She has a pretty big back catalogue of audiobooks, and I’m definitely going to listen to more from her in the future.
When our heroine Vivienne was nineteen years old, she had a steamy summer romance with Rhys, a descendant of one of the founders of the town, Graves Glen. Their affair ended abruptly when Vivi dumped Rhys for not telling her that he was betrothed (something his father had set up that he was attempting to get out of). Brokenhearted, Vivi got quite drunk with her cousin Quinn, and “accidentally” hexed Rhys. Nothing really happens with the hex for about nine years, until Rhys arrives back in Graves Glen to fulfil his duty as a founding descendent to recharge the ley lines in the town; hijinks then ensue.
This book is pretty short, which is typical for romances. There’s 318 pages in the hardcover version, and the audiobook clocks in at about seven and a half hours. I listened to the audiobook on 1.75 speed, which took a little under four hours to finish.
I loved the fall cozy vibes of their town of Graves Glen. The romance between our heroine Vivienne and hero Rhys was cute and fun, and they definitely had a ton of chemistry. I appreciated the amount of consent that was in this book; Rhys makes it a point to always ask permission for pretty much everything which is wonderful to see.
This book didn’t amaze me but I could see myself re-reading it around Halloween when I’m in need of a nice, cozy, steamy fall read. I agree with some other reviews I’ve seen where some of the pivotal scenes are quite short and could have been expanded upon with more detail. Since the book was on the shorter side, I would have loved a bit more. I’d especially love to learn more about Vivienne’s mother. And I just want to be in this town more. It’s like if Hocus Pocus met Gilmore Girls.
Some of the tropes in this book include: second-chance romance, enemies to lovers, hero with accent (he’s from Wales), witches, curses, ghosts, and talking cats.
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