This book I snagged on a whim as my Book of the Month pick for October. It sounded like funny fluff reading and even if I haven’t been a fan of Erin Sterling AKA Rachel Hawkins, I was still excited to read something a little funny and distracting for the bewitching season. And yes I know that it is now November and I am just now getting around to posting my review of this one. Things have been a little crazy so while I did read this one back in October my review calendar has been pretty full so here we are.
So what exactly attracted to me to this book? Well the cover is cute and it sounded so funny—-drunk witch mistakenly hexes ex-boyfriend using a harvest apple candle. I was dying of laughter just picturing it. Erin Sterling is a pen name for Rachel Hawkins who wrote The Wife Upstairs—which I wasn’t a fan of. But just because I wasn’t a fan of the thriller she wrote, doesn’t mean that I won’t enjoy a witchy romance for Halloween. So when I was struggling with my spooky Halloween book for the month, I decided to flip the script and read this one instead.
If you are wanting a funny quick read that has some romance and witch-craft then I think you will love this book. It wasn’t earth shattering literature but it was a fun way to spend a few days enjoying some funny moments and electrifying chemistry and of course a talking cat!
New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins, writing as Erin Sterling, casts a spell with a spine-tingling romance full of wishes, witches, and hexes gone wrong.
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 (summary from Goodreads)
Was this book funny? Yes. Especially in the beginning. I laughed quite a bit the first third of the book. Rhys and Vivi were great and I enjoyed their easy banter and all the magic gone wrong (talking cat I am especially laughing at you!). But somewhere along the way the humor started to fizzle out and I am just not sure why. Their romance started off pretty solid with Rhys and Vivi clearly having all the feelings for one another but I had a hard time trying to decide if they were just lusty feelings for one another or if there were real feelings there after all. I think the story needed a lot more time to develop the love plot. I could fully buy lust—–but true love—-I needed more time to get there as a reader. They were together for 3 months when she was 18 and then here we are 9-10 years later and they are still ‘in love’. I am not buying it. The only thing they keep going back to, is their amazing sex and I just had a hard time buying that they were so desperately in love with each other by the end.
It wasn’t an awful book, in fact it was downright funny at times, but I think there was a lot going on in the plot. Romance, a hex, witches, a haunting. Yes everything wrapped up by the end but overall the story just felt shallow. This could have been a richly mined start to a series. The author could have added a whole lot of back story and really worked to develop the characters and the setting but for some reason she just doesn’t and it left me feeling lukewarm about the future of the series. However, I do hope she writes a book about Wells (Rhys’s brother). I love a brooding hero and Wells has tormented brooder written all over him. Would I read a story about Wells? Yes. Would I want it to be more developed and flushed out? YES.
This series has a lot of potential but I feel like the author just fell short of developing a solid witchy romance series. I mean I would be willing to read more by her and see if they get better, but if this was it then I would feel disappointed. I need something besides great sex and a talking cat to hook more—a brooding hero with a Welsh accent or not, I would need a lot more. I think the author has only scratched the surface of the series and the characters—-she needs to go all in!
Book Info and Rating
Format: 320 pages, hardback
Published: September 28 2021 by Avon
Review copy provided by personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 2 stars
Genre: paranormal romance