Book Review: The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

The Ex Hex (Ex Hex #1)
Publisher: Headline Eternal
Pub Date: 28 September 2021
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)


The Ex Hex is a spellbinding rom-com with a twist, think Practical Magic in the Gilmore Girls Stars Hollow…

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins, writing as Erin Sterling, casts a spell with a spine-tingling romance full of wishes, witches, and hexes gone wrong.

‘You broke my heart, Rhys Penhallow. And we curse you. You and your whole stupid, hot line.’

Vivienne Jones handled the biggest break-up of her life the way that any witch would: vodka, bubble baths, and a curse on her ex.

That was nine years ago. Now Rhys Penhallow, descendant of the town’s founders, breaker of hearts and still irritatingly gorgeous, is back. Rhys has returned to the quaint town of Graves Glen to recharge the ley lines and make an appearance at the annual fall festival. But when his every move results in calamity, Vivi realises that hexing her ex might not have been so harmless after all…

As the curse starts to affect the magic of the town, resulting in murderous wind-up toys, an outraged ghost, and a surprisingly talkative cat, Vivi and Rhys must put their personal feelings aside and work together to break the curse and save not just the town, but also Rhys’s life.


Parental death (recounted)

TL;DR: This was a buddy read with Julie and Leslie and we all had a great time reading it because this book was Fun with a capital f! It’s a simple witchy good time and an extremely easy read as the characters were engaging and the plot was entertaining. There were definitely aspects that I wish had been given more attention but overall, this was a delightful read and I’m already looking forward to getting my hands on the second book!

“Never mix vodka and witchcraft.”

Obviously, that’s what our main character Vivi and her cousin, Gwyn immediately went on to do after Rhys Penhallow broke Vivi’s heart that summer they were 19. Oh, it was all a joke and accidental and they didn’t actually curse him, right? Well… Fast forward nine years later, Rhys has returned to Graves Glen to recharge the ley lines and everything goes incredibly, horribly, very quickly wrong, not just for him but for the whole town. So, that long-ago curse definitely stuck! 😂 What ensues is all manner of hijinks as Vivi and Rhys, with a bit of help from Gwyn and aunt Elaine, try to reverse the curse in order to save the town from impending doom.

This is absolutely the perfect witchy book for the spooky season. The air is crisp with the chill of autumn, the whole town has put their gears in full throttle in preparation for Halloween, and with the addition of possessed toys, accidentally talking cats, haunted houses, angry ghosts and vengeful spirits, it’s easy to feel completely immersed in all the spooky autumnal vibes. But as spooky as some scenes were, the story was well-balanced with heartfelt moments between family and plenty of hilarious situations and witty dialogue that will have you cackling as you read—at least, I know I laughed more than I expected to when I started this! The writing is infused with so much humour and it made this all the more enjoyable to read.

The second chance romance between Vivi and Rhys plays a significant role in the story and it does slightly eclipse the main “reverse the curse” plot, especially towards the end, but I really enjoyed their ever-present electrifying chemistry! From the moment they meet again it’s clear that the magnetic pull they share has never faded and even after all these years, their mutual attraction hasn’t dulled one bit. Through the dual perspectives, it was fun to see them try to deny and resist their feelings and it certainly upped the sexual tension until they inevitably cave and the clothes go flying (not literally). I loved how googly-eyed Rhys became around Vivi—it was cute and sweet and if you love a soft-hearted hero who would do anything for his love, Rhys won’t disappoint! I will say that I don’t think there’s much character depth or progression although there was room for it, which is why I felt the ending was a bit of a letdown. Other than our MCs, I also loved Gwyn and her close relationship with Vivi. Gwyn was an absolute riot and I love her cheeky snark, quippy banter and her casual witchy badassed-ness, and I might’ve developed a bit of a girl crush. I’m so excited that the second book is about her cos I defo want to see her get her HEA! 🥰

The reason why I’m not giving this book a full five stars is that I wished that the ending had been less rushed and that certain elements had been better wrapped up. There were a few family-related revelations that were introduced and don’t get the proper attention they deserved. I do wonder if maybe this family storyline will continue in the second book as Gwyn is also family? Either way, it all ended a little too quickly IMHO. There were also certain threads of the story that were left unresolved, such as the situation between Rhys and his father. It was so open-ended and it felt very odd that the author didn’t bring some kind of conclusion to their situation.

Overall though, The Ex Hex was a pretty Fun and entertaining read and I’m glad that I finally picked it up, even if it wasn’t exactly during the spooky season!

Have you read The Ex Hex or is it on your TBR?

12 thoughts on “Book Review: The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

  1. Someone else (a recent review) felt the ending was rush too. I am trying to remember. I seem to have kept how fun it was in my head, and also how much I liked the characters. I love Hawkins’ humor, and I laughed so much

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did think it was rushed but it didn’t affect my feelings about the book all *that* greatly. It was definitely a super fun read and I’m surprised by quickly I sped through it cos I didn’t want to put it down. 😍 I can’t wait to read the second one! Have you read it yet?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This one is waiting on my shelf! I was hoping to get to it this Halloween, but it didn’t happen. Happy to hear you enjoyed it, and great review, Dini!


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