Publisher: Headline Eternal
Release Date: September 28th, 2021
Rating: 5/5 Stars
I need to stop reading such good books. Seriously – there is so much good stuff out there right now, crafted beautifully and completely engaging. If you can’t tell already, I really bloody loved The Ex Hex. A paranormal romance about witches trying to stop a curse damaging a town with, of all things, a Welsh hero. Yes please!
After Rhys Penhallow breaks her heart, Vivienne and her cousin curse him, but it’s not a proper curse. Not really. Yet when Rhys returns nine years later, he is beset by bad luck, and Vivi realises hexing her ex may not have been the best of ideas. When a ritual goes wrong, the pair must work together to save the town and Rhys’ life.
There were a few things that niggled at me and I disliked, but they were very much specific to me, and didn’t detract from my overall 5* rating of the book. Actually, because they’re relatively near the start of the book, once the scenes in the Wales were over with I found it fairly easy to just enjoy the rest, or were things that I could ignore for the rest of the book, but I do want to get them out of the way here. Again, these are really specific to me, but stood out in the book and reminded me this was an American author.
- Penhallow. Rhys’ family are meant to be an old Welsh family, and it’s his ancestor who founded ‘Graves Glen’ in the States. But the name…that’s not a Welsh name. Sorry. It’s actually from Cornwall. Their manor is Penhaven, which is fine, but again it’s a Welsh word combined with an English word? Maybe the author made the choice deliberately, but it just stood out to me.
- ‘Wells’. Rhys’ brother is Llewellyn – I checked with a few people on this because it really stood out to me as an odd abbreviation of that name! They call him Wells, but Wells tends to be English version – if you’re Welsh, you’ll likely use Llew or Lew!
Yes, these are nitpicky, yes I only noticed them because I am Welsh, and I still gave this book 5* because no one is perfect and I still freaking loved this book.
In truth, it’s actually really cool to see Welsh reflected in a book like this! And it’s fun to see Rhys butt heads with his father over using the Welsh or English name for Graves Glen. It would have been nice to see a bit more dialect reflected in the Welsh characters, but again, no one and no book is perfect.
Okay! Now for the stuff I loved about this book. The characters are actually really fun to follow, and the way the relationship develops is done really well. I loved Vivi, and I loved her complex relationship to magic. It’s interesting to see a character who lives in a magic filled world, but kind of distances themselves from it without really understanding why they’re doing it, and I like how that unfolded.
I also liked the relationship between Vivi and her cousin, as it’s nice to see characters wholeheartedly supporting each other. Rhys is written well – a touch arrogant, but not enough it’s off-putting, and it’s clear he’s often just trying to do the right thing.
The blurb describes this as a spellbinding rom-com, and those words are really fitting, though the characters get themselves entangled in enough dangerous situations the tensions remain up!
Again, I really loved this book – I can tell when I’ve thoroughly enjoyed a Romance when it gives me warm, tingly feelings, and a deep desire to see a HEA between the characters. And this book definitely gave me all that.
Thank you to Headline for providing me this book via NetGalley, and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour!