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Hello and welcome back to book review corner, book friends! The Kiss Curse was my second and final witchy read for Witchtober, which means it joined me on the porch during trick or treat this year.
The Kiss Curse is the follow-up to Erin Sterling’s highly popular 2021 release, The Ex Hex. Whoever designs these covers knows what’s up, and they always make the rounds on Bookstagram. I’ll hop on my “books set in the same place with loose connections between them aren’t a series” soapbox another day, but in this case, I did start to get the sense we might be building up to something bigger so I’ll allow it.
In this second installment, we get the story of Gwyn and Wells, cousin and brother of the couple from the first book, repsectively. Wells moves to town and opens up a rival witchcraft shop across the street from Gwyn’s. Competition (and mutual attration) ensue. But when Gwyn’s magic starts acting up, the two form an alliance to figure out what’s going on.
What I Liked
I was on the fence about whether to read this one because I had lukewarm feelings about The Ex Hex, at best. But people kept assuring me this second one was better, so I had to give it a go. And overall, I agree!
I really liked the banter between Gwyn and Wells, and their chemistry felt much more natural to me. It’s sort of a grumpy/sunshine situation, or maybe more of a quirky/formal situation? Whatever it is, I’m here for it.
There are some truly laugh out loud funny moments that had my husband getting annoyed with me for laughing too much while he was trying to read his gardening books. Sir Purrcival the talking cat is in prime form in this one, and really, isn’t that what we’re here for?
The side characters, mainly Gwyn’s Baby Witches, round out the small town vibes and bring some great humor as well.
What I Didn’t Like
I will revisit my complaint from book one. The pacing is… not great. So much time is spent with the setup of Gwyn and Wells’ relationship, whereas the main conflict of the plot doesn’t really become apparent until there’s a very small chunk of pages left to go.
I did like how the mystery was laid out with some good misdirection, but everything came to a head very suddenly and wrapped up too quickly and neatly for my taste.
In all, I very much enjoyed this witchy read and I’m glad I decided to give it a chance. Just go in expecting that the romance will take the majority of page space and the plot itself is a bit tossed in and slammed shut. I recommend The Kiss Curse for fans of small town vibes (a la Gilmore Girls) and witchy romances, and to anyone who loves some solid rivals-to-lovers banter.
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4 thoughts on “Get Bewitched by “The Kiss Curse” ”
Wonderful review and photo Amanda! I love a good romantic comedy and might give this a read next October!.
I love your photo and the hat! I read The Ex Hex, and now I want to read The Kiss Curse. Nice review, Amanda.
Fun picture! I plan on reading this, but I did enjoy The Ex Hex. I loved the town and history. I love companion novels too. Pacing can put me off as well, but it seems like there were more pros than cons here.
Yes, definitely more pros than cons, especially if you liked the first one!