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The Ex Hex
Cover of The Ex Hex
The Ex Hex
A Novel

New York Times Bestseller

Erin Sterling casts a delightful spell with a spine-tingling romance full of wishes, witches, and hexes gone wrong.

"A delightful and witty take on witchy mayhem." — Popsugar

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.

New York Times Bestseller

Erin Sterling casts a delightful spell with a spine-tingling romance full of wishes, witches, and hexes gone wrong.

"A delightful and witty take on witchy mayhem." — Popsugar

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.

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About the Author-
  • Erin Sterling also writes as Rachel Hawkins, the New York Times bestselling author of multiple books for young readers. Her work has been sold in more than a dozen countries. She studied gender and sexuality in Victorian literature at Auburn University and currently lives in Alabama.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 5, 2021
    Filled with delightful witchiness and humor, this playful romantic comedy from Sterling (The Wife Upstairs, written as Rachel Hawkins) explores second chances and self-discovery. Nineteen-year-old Vivi Jones fell hard for Welsh exchange student Rhys Penhallow—so hard that her heart shattered when he revealed his father was arranging a marriage for him back home. Despite only recently learning of her witchy nature, the devastated Vivi put a curse on Rhys with the assistance of her cousin, Gwyn. Nine years later, Rhys returns to small-town Graves Glen, Ga., and his trip is disastrous from the moment he steps foot into the town, proving that even as a teenage witch, Vivi packed a punch. The poor man is felled by mishap after mishap until he discovers the magical cause of his misfortune. With time running out before Halloween, when “the curse reaches its zenith,” Rhys and Vivi, now a history professor at the college where they met, must find a way to break the curse before it destroys the town—which means finding a way to make peace with each other. Comedic chaos rules the day, with plenty of laughs overlaying just a touch of introspection as the exes realize how much they still mean to each other. The result is a fluffy Halloween treat. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (Oct.)
    Correction: An earlier version of this review misstated the title of the author's previous book.

  • Kirkus

    August 1, 2021
    A small-town witch is forced to make magic with the man who broke her heart when his return sets a series of supernatural disasters in motion. Nine years ago, Vivienne Jones decided to get over the boy who'd dumped her in the only way she knew how: by putting a curse on him. Given that it had been a spell performed after copious amounts of vodka, she hadn't placed much stock in its success. But when Rhys Penhallow finally reappears for the annual fall festival in Graves Glen, Georgia, home to both witches and ordinary people, Vivi begins to sense that her breakup hex might have worked a little too well. In the beginning, it's easy for her to dismiss some wacky occurrences as pure coincidence, but after Rhys invites her to help him magically recharge the town's secret ley lines and the spell goes terribly wrong, they realize they have more problems on their hands than a mere curse. Now, Graves Glen is threatening to fall into total chaos, with problems ranging from possessed wind-up skulls to a talking cat to a very unhappy library ghost. It doesn't help that as far as Vivi's attraction to her ex is concerned, it's almost too easy for her to fall right back into the past and all her old feelings. Putting out small magical fires around town is one thing, but the more often Vivi and Rhys have to put their heads together to solve this mess, the more tempting it is to see if they can pick up where they left off nine years ago--if Vivi can ever forgive Rhys for breaking her heart. Although the story's resolution may feel a bit hurried, 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. A wickedly funny rom-com about the power of second chances, family, and love.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from October 1, 2021

    The first in a new Georgia-set paranormal romantic comedy series by Sterling (the pen name of Rachel Hawkins, author of the Gothic domestic suspense novel The Wife Upstairs and the YA series "Hex Hall"). Young witch Vivienne Jones fell hard for Rhys Penhallow nine years ago, only to have her heart broken when she found out he was engaged. In her vodka-fueled, post-breakup misery, Vivi and her cousin Gwyn pretended to curse Rhys. It should have just been a bit of silliness, but something felt off afterward. As for Rhys, he never intended to fall in love in his ancestral home of Graves Glen, GA, where Vivi's beauty and sweetness enchanted him. He's always regretted how things ended. Now he's returned to attend to family business, and his luck begins to sour the minute he sets foot on Georgia soil. Rhys's mysterious affliction soon begins affecting Graves Glen as well, forcing Rhys and Vivi to get over their mutual mistrust, ignore their chemistry, and work together to break the curse before it kills everyone in town. Sterling writes a fun, sexy romantic comedy with a compelling plot, fantastic worldbuilding, twists that give the story depth, and engaging primary and secondary characters. The novel wraps up plenty of loose ends, but readers will be eager for sequels. VERDICT Recommended for all public library collections.--Heather Miller Cover, Homewood P.L., AL

    Copyright 2021 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    September 15, 2021
    Graves Glen, Georgia, is readying for Founder's Day, the October holiday that honors the small town's witchy history. Penhallow College, named for the town's founder, offers a secret curriculum for witches along with classes for mundane students. Vivi, who teaches at the college, had been in love with Rhys Penhallow when they were both students, but when he broke her heart, she and her cousin cursed him after downing a surfeit of vodka. Because the town's ley lines, which channel supernatural energy, need renewing every 25 years, Rhys must return from Wales. When they meet again, their chemistry flares. But the curse on Rhys twists the magic, causing spells to go awry and threatening the very existence of the town. While trying to find out how to undo the curse, the couple captures the ghost of a young witch and discover much more is needed to lift the hex. Best-selling Rachel Hawkins turned herself into Erin Sterling to write this diverting, magic-infused romance.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Erin Sterling
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