Genre: Romantic Comedy (With A Dash Of Paranormal)

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

Available From: Amazon

As the leaves change and the air grows crisper, there’s no denying that Autumn is my absolute favourite season. With the promise of pumpkins, spiced lattes, and the thrill of the supernatural come Halloween, I found myself in the mood for a story that captured this enchanting spirit but in a light-hearted, delightful manner. This year, I gravitated towards The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling. Rom-coms have always been a hit-or-miss for me, with some being predictable and others being genuinely endearing. To my pleasant surprise, The Ex Hex was the latter – a book that was not only genuinely funny but also expertly balanced its romantic and comedic elements.

As rom-coms go, The Ex Hex is a refreshing departure from the formulaic. Sterling’s narrative captures the essence of a playful, magical journey that’s equal parts steamy romance and whimsical charm. The opening scenes, especially the prologue, paint a vivid picture of youthful recklessness, heightened by a potent mix of wine and witchcraft. This irresistible start pulls the reader in, igniting a curiosity about the ramifications of a seemingly harmless spell.

When Rhys re-emerges in the town of Penhallow, the narrative shifts into high gear. Sterling’s knack for humour shines brilliantly, with Rhys’s comedic misfortunes evoking both empathy and laughter. Vivienne’s varied responses, from her inklings about the curse’s aftermath to her amusing choice to abandon Rhys, enhance the comic tone.

The renewed romance between Rhys and Vivienne forms the core of the narrative. Sterling weaves their encounters with tangible chemistry and fervour, compelling readers to champion their eventual reunion. Although the story brims with light-hearted moments, Sterling adeptly integrates a steamy dimension, affording readers a perfect blend of wit and warmth.

Supportive characters such as Aunt Elaine, Gwyn, and the endearing Sir Percival amplify the tale’s depth. Vivienne’s magical family, especially the indomitable and loyal Gwyn, contributes layers of depth, strength, and community spirit. Their interactions underscore the significance of family ties and allegiance.

Nestled in the picturesque setting of a Georgian town, The Ex Hex isn’t designed to spook but to encapsulate the magical and snug ambiance of the Halloween season. Its fusion of magic, mischief, and romance earmarks it as a prime pick for readers yearning for a playful and romantic read that still channels the essence of fall.

In essence, Erin Sterling’s The Ex Hex is a delightful concoction of witchy antics and blazing romance. It invites readers into a realm where affection, humour, and a smidgen of magic converge, rendering it a staple for those eager to embrace the seasonal vibe. And with the sequel’s anticipation, Sterling ensures that this magical sojourn is only just beginning.

I’ve said before, I’m a huge fan of a book that’s utterly real world except for one specific element. In this case, it’s the fact that witches exist. This isn’t a book about witches and witchcraft. We’re not in Harry Potter or The Worst Witch realm here. This is a straight up romance story, in which it’s taken for granted that witches and spells are real. I love that. 

What Genre Is The Ex Hex?

The Ex Hex falls squarely under the Romantic Comedy genre, although the presence of fantastical elements could arguably make it Paranormal Romance. I’m reluctant to say that, however, as it’s not in the same vein as Twilight or The Discovery Of Witches; the focus is on the romance and real world, not the magic and paranormal. It seamlessly blends elements of romance with magical and supernatural themes, set in a contemporary world where witches and curses exist. 

Personally, I really appreciated the Halloween theme, its light-hearted tone, and comedic elements, although it may not be to your taste if you dislike fanciful elements encroaching on your real-world romances. The book’s witchy elements and setting make it especially apt for readers seeking a seasonal read around Halloween time.

How Steamy Is The Novel?

Spice Rating: 🌶️🌶️🌶️

The Ex Hex brings a sizzle to its pages, with evident chemistry between its protagonists, Vivienne and Rhys. Their passionate interactions and the sultry undertones of their rekindled romance are undeniably present throughout the narrative. However, while these steamy moments enhance the romance and draw readers in, they are skilfully balanced within the broader context of the story. On a scale of spiciness, the novel comfortably sits at a 3.5 out of 5. While the book doesn’t shy away from passionate encounters, it’s not overwhelmingly erotic, maintaining a harmonious blend of romance, humour, and witchy charm.

What Romance Tropes Are In The Book?

Trope Count: 💚💚💚💚💚

Every romance novel has its signature elements that draw readers into its world of passion, conflict, and resolution. These familiar patterns, known as tropes, serve as the backbone of many beloved stories, offering readers both comfort and anticipation. The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling embraces a delightful mix of these tropes, weaving them seamlessly into its witchy narrative. Let’s delve into the key romance tropes that colour this enchanting tale:

Second Chance Romance: Rhys and Vivienne had a past romantic relationship that ended, and now, years later, they are given a second chance to rekindle their romance.

Enemies to Lovers: Following the aftermath of their breakup and the ensuing curse, there’s a period of tension and conflict between Rhys and Vivienne, but this eventually gives way to romantic feelings. I’m a huge fan of enemies to lovers, whether it’s in the form of a full-blown 180 from despising each other to adoring each other, or if it’s a bit more subtle. This is definitely a more subtle version, but no less enjoyable for that.

Curse/Bet: The whole premise revolves around a curse that Vivienne and her cousin cast on Rhys as a joke, which then turns out to be real and has consequences.

Small Town Romance: The setting is in a quaint Georgian town, where everyone knows everyone, adding to the close-knit community vibe which is typical of this trope.

Forbidden Romance: The curse complicates the relationship between Rhys and Vivienne, making their romance somewhat “forbidden” due to the potential consequences.