Nine years ago, Vivienne Jones nursed her broken heart like any young witch would: vodka, weepy music, bubble baths…and a curse on the horrible boyfriend. Sure, Vivi knows she shouldn’t use her magic this way, but with only an “orchard hayride” scented candle on hand, she isn’t worried it will cause him anything more than a bad hair day or two.
That is until Rhys Penhallow, descendent of the town’s ancestors, breaker of hearts, and annoyingly just as gorgeous as he always was, returns to Graves Glen, Georgia. What should be a quick trip to recharge the town’s ley lines and make an appearance at the annual fall festival turns disastrously wrong. With one calamity after another striking Rhys, Vivi realizes her silly little Ex Hex may not have been so harmless after all.
Suddenly, Graves Glen is under attack from murderous wind-up toys, a pissed off ghost, and a talking cat with some interesting things to say. Vivi and Rhys have to ignore their off the charts chemistry to work together to save the town and find a way to break the break-up curse before it’s too late.
I’m a huge fan of autumnal books set in small towns and that’s exactly what I got with The Ex Hex. The witchy vibes were immaculate and I loved the setting. Graves Glen sounds like the best place to live during autumn (well all year round really) and I love when small towns take traditions and holiday celebrations seriously.
The fact this was so short worked both in and against its favour. I love when I can finish a book quickly, but I hate when there isn’t enough development. Don’t get me wrong I really enjoyed The Ex Hex, but some areas lacked development that could have made this a five-star read.
Let’s start with the characters, shall we? Vivi was a very likeable character, but unfortunately, she seemed very underdeveloped. She’s a witch who doesn’t use magic very often and basically chooses to not really be a witch at all – other than helping out at her aunt’s magic shop. There’s a quick mention of her mother, also a witch, not liking magic and that’s why Vivi doesn’t use it much but that’s all you get. No background on her mother and what potentially happened that made her not like it. This isn’t a huge issue, but it would have been great to have more of a background to our main character.
Her relationship with Rhys when they were 19 was very sweet, but they both sucked at communication. If he was going back to Wales to break off his (forced) betrothal he didn’t really need to tell her, or he could have mentioned it beforehand and told her he was being forced into it. One everything goes down and he returns to Wales I assume it was broken off, it’s never really mentioned again. What I was left wondering was why he didn’t try and contact her. If he liked her as much as it seemed surely he would have tried?
With that being said I love this new relationship they share nine years later. The anger and teasing Vivi has towards Rhys is always tinted with slight flirting. She was so in denial for the longest time when he returned. If you didn’t love him you wouldn’t have cursed him in the first place.
I was definitely rooting for them after a while and there’s something about the way this book is written that you can’t help but feel invested in their relationship. Parts of this had me smiling like an idiot. I know a lot of people said there wasn’t enough spice in this, but honestly it had the right amount for me. I find it much more enjoyable when things are heavily hinted at rather than the author spending pages and pages describing everything in excruciating detail. The reason why I read this book was for the witchy vibes and that’s exactly what I got.
My favourite character was actually Gwyn, she was funny and seemed the most interesting. I’m so glad there’s a second book about her. I definitely need to read it soon.
The story was fun if a little too fast-paced, but it was really enjoyable. I liked watching Vivi and Rhys become closer again and seeing how the curse affected different parts of town was quite the adventure. Unfortunately, everything seemed to happen and get resolved a little too quickly for my liking, but again I liked how this was a quick read.
I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read this yet, but the way in which it ended was weird to me. There was a goodbye that seemed pretty final, but then two pages later it wasn’t. I’d rather they just live ‘happily ever after’ with no other nonsense. But that’s just me.
I feel like I’ve spent too long talking about this book now so I’ll leave my review here. If you are looking for a quick witchy read to finish off October then I would definitely recommend The Ex Hex.
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