The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

Hello Readers!

In the spirit of almost-Fall, I want you to think about biting into a caramel apple. It’s sticky from the caramel, sharp from the dusting of salt, and tart from the apple underneath the layers of goodness. That’s how I’d like to present The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling – aka Rachel Hawkins, beloved former YA author, twitter aficionado, and cat mama. I recently won a giveaway on Goodreads for the kindle edition of The Ex Hex, or perhaps more widely known by it’s working title, Hocus Pocus but They F.

…I couldn’t not pre-order/enter giveaways for a book titled like that, alright? Although recently, Sterling has admitted to never actually having seen Hocus Pocus. But it’s a vibe, as the kids say. A state of mind, if you’re dated like me.

Let’s set the scene: crisp, autumn air; leaves crunching underfoot, haunted houses, ghosts, and witches. An unimaginable amount of fairy lights strung up in window displays featuring enough pumpkins to put Disney’s After Hours Boo Bash to shame. Also, there’s a sexy warlock – excuse me, witch, as it’s used for both genders now, that’s come to the little village of Graves Glen, much to the dismay of our heroine, Vivienne Jones.

Nestled in the Georgia mountains is a small village that holds a secret. It’s a hot spot for witches, and Rhys Penhallow has come to stand in for his family at the annual Founder’s Day celebration, an event that kicks off the most touristy time of year for it’s residents – Halloween. He’s also in town to charge the ley lines, which give power to the witches that reside in the village, and there’s quite a few of them as the college in town has it’s own spooky division. The normies know nothing of it, and that’s how our resident witches like it.

Vivi hasn’t seen Rhys since she threw a pair of jeans at him. After a passionate three months, Rhys announced he needed to go home and stop his father from moving forward with arranging a marriage for him. Vivi was unsympathetic to his plight, got drunk and cursed his hair, good looks, and sexual prowess. Nine years later they’re back together for a couple of days and the joke curse Vivi placed on him has come to light as an actual curse. Together, the two pair up for misadventures in attempting to contain the magic that’s been let loose on Graves Glen.

I really enjoyed Erin Sterling’s second foray into adult literature. Her quick wit, charming characters, and ability to bring a scene to life with her written words is pretty unmatched, in my opinion. And if you’re amenable, she’s pretty good at writing the sexytimes too.

This is a great read to ring in the spooky season. And I noticed this morning that Goodreads now notes this as The Ex Hex #1 – is this perhaps becoming a series? I’d be down.

Edit: Sterling confirmed there will be a sequel via her Twitter. Yay!!

Goodreads rating: 5 of 5 stars

Will I read it again? Yes! Definitely will be added into my October rotations.

Has anyone gotten their hands on a giveaway copy or arc? The Ex Hex releases 9.28, so if anyone wants to leave their thoughts on it in the comments, let’s chat.

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

I adore Rachel Hawkins. She’s one of my favorite people to follow on social media and the anecdotes she tells of her family and cats make her tweets come alive with joy. It’s easy to forget that written words can have a person behind them, but she makes you feel like you’re part of the family with every post.

The Wife Upstairs is a modern day retelling of Jane Eyre, with a Southern Gothic twist. As someone who never had Jane Eyre on my high school reading list, but Hamlet three separate times, this was my first foray into the story. I’m not entirely sure of the base material, and I wasn’t particularly rooting for any of the characters, but I did enjoy the shifting narratives and descriptive writing Hawkins utilized.

Jane comes to a small town in Alabama looking for a fresh start. She’s a little shifty, not your average heroine, with a hidden backstory and a thing for kleptomania. She gets engaged to the resident hottie in the first third of the book, which means it all goes screwy from there.

The Wife Upstairs was not my favorite book of the summer, but it is perfect gloomy day reading. Hawkins is engaging, smooth, and swift in her storytelling, and you can tell she put her heart into it. I’m looking forward to her next ventures into adult lit, with Reckless Girls and The Ex Hex (or as she aptly describes it, Hocus Pocus but they F).