Ad | Gifted in return for a review, all opinions are my own | Post contains affiliate links
It has been a while since I have done a blog tour but when I got contacted about this one, the morning after I downloaded and started reading the book, I thought it was meant to be! I was also offered an extract so you can all have a look at the first chapter before deciding whether or not to trust my recommendation and buy it!
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.
‘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‘ Kirkus
‘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‘ Tessa Bailey, New York Times bestselling author
‘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.
The first line of the blurb got me – Practical Magic meets Gilmore Girls... I’m there! This is the perfect cosy, Autumnal, Halloween inspired read for these darker, colder nights we have started getting. I am not really into fantasy books – strange as a Harry Potter obsessed, OG Buffy fan, but as I said, the tagline pulled me in and I am so glad it did.
I loved this easy to read, funny story that was told from the viewpoint of both Vivi and Rhys, which was a nice touch and made it more interesting. The characters are all likeable, especially Vivi who I found to be relatable (aside from the witch part) and charming.
There was a good mix of spookiness and romance and would be perfect for those who enjoy the Halloween season, but nothing too scary! The tagline sums it up perfectly and if you enjoy those, you will love this for sure!
Nine Years Later
Of course it was bloody raining. For one, it was Wales, so rain literally came with the territory, Rhys understood that, but he’d driven from London that morning through sunshine with the occasional cloud. Gorgeous blue skies, rolling green hills, the kind of day that made one want to take up painting or maybe develop some kind of
poetry habit. It was only once he drove into Dweniniaid, the tiny village
where his family had lived for centuries, that it started pissing down. He was fairly sure he knew why.
Grimacing, Rhys parked his rental car just off the High Street. He didn’t have to drive, of course. Could’ve used a Traveling Stone, been here in the blink of an eye, but his insistence on driving everywhere irritated his father, and Rhys liked that more
than he liked the convenience of magical travel. Although, he thought as he got out of the car and frowned up at the sky, today it felt a little like cutting off his nose to spite his own face.
But what was done was done, and Rhys tugged the collar of his coat up a little and set off into the village proper. There wasn’t much on the High Street—a few shops, a church at one end and at the other, a pub. That was the direction he headed in now. There were only a handful of people out this afternoon, but all of them crossed to the other side of the street when they saw him. Lovely to see the family reputation was still robust as ever.
At the end of the street, The Raven and Crown beckoned, its windows warm rectangles of light against the gray day, and as soon as Rhys pushed open the front door, he was assailed with some of his favorite smells—the malty richness of beer, the sharp tang of cider and the oaky warmth of aged wood. God, he’d actually missed home.
Maybe it was just because he’d been away for so long this time. He usually tried to drop in every few months, more frequently if he thought his father was away. It put him right in between his two older brothers in terms of familial loyalty.
Llewellyn, the eldest, ran this pub and stayed in close contact with their father. Bowen, the middle brother, had fucked off to the mountains of Snowdonia two years ago, and they got occasional communications from him, mostly to alarm all of them with how intense his beard seemed to be getting.
So Rhys was, for once, not the most disappointing son, a title he was happy to hang on to until Bowen decided to stop doing whatever it was he was doing up there.
He was never going to be the favorite, though. Wells had won that role long ago, and Rhys was happy to let him have it. Besides, it was kind of fun being the black sheep. When he fucked up, that was taken as a given, and when he managed not to fuck
up, everyone was pleasantly surprised. Win-win.
Taking off his jacket, Rhys went to hang it on the coatrack by the door, the one just under an old advertisement for Strongbow cider, and as he did, he caught a glimpse of the man behind the bar watching him.
And when Rhys turned around, he realized the man behind the bar—his eldest brother, Llewellyn—was the only person in the pub.
Llewellyn was their father minus thirty years: same stern expression, same Roman nose—well, to be fair, they all had that nose—same thin lips. Only slightly less of a prick. But equally committed to staying in this tiny little village where everyone
was terrified of him and running this pub that only the occasional tourist—and erstwhile brother—wandered into.
“Hiya, Wells,” Rhys said, to which Wells only grunted in response. Typical. “Business still booming, I see.” Rhys sauntered over to the bar, grabbing a handful of peanuts from a glass bowl there. Wells shot him a dark look over the polished mahogany, and
Rhys grinned, tossing a peanut into his mouth.
“Come on,” he cajoled. “Admit that you’re delighted to see me.”
“Surprised to see you,” Wells said. “thought you’d abandoned us for good this time.”
“And forgo such warm fraternal bonding? Never.”
Wells gave him a reluctant smile at that. “Father said you were
in New Zealand.” Nodding, Rhys took another handful of peanuts. “Until a couple of days ago. Stag do. Bunch of English guys wanting the full Lord of the Rings experience.”
Rhys’s travel company, Penhallow Tours, had grown from a small, one-man business run out of Rhys’s London flat to a ten person operation, running multiple trips all over the world. His customers routinely called his trips the best of their lives, and his reviews were full of people gushing over how they never had a single day of bad weather, not one delayed flight, not a solitary case of food poisoning. Amazing how much the smallest bits of magic could do.
“Well, I’m glad you’re back,” Wells said, resuming his cleaning. “Because now you can go talk to Father, and get him out of this mood.” He nodded at the windows, and Rhys turned, seeing the truly abysmal weather in a new light. Fuck me. He’d been right then.
I hope that has piqued your interest – you can purchase the book from Amazon – and it is available in Kindle, Audiobook, Paperback and Audio CD versions. I also have a paperback copy to give away – head over to my Instagram to enter!
I hope you all have a happy Halloween, lots of treats and no tricks!
Check out the other reviews on the blog tour on these accounts!