Gwyn is Vivi’s cousin and Wells is Rhys’ older brother from The Ex Hex. We met both characters in the original novel. Gwyn lives in the same small town as Vivi and helps run the family magic shop. Wells, we met briefly in the first novel, and he lives in Wales near the Penhallow patriarch, Simon, and runs the family pub that has been in their family and an anchor point for their magic for over a hundred years. But, business is dying and the family’s magic is not really tied to the pub so Wells doesn’t see a point in keeping it running. Known as the dutiful and loyal son, Wells has always done what his father wanted him to do, but he wants to get out. Now that Graves Glen is being fueled by the magic of the Jones’ women (Gwyn, Vivi, and Gwyn’s mother Elaine) and the Penhallows (the founders of the town) don’t have as strong of connection to the town anymore, Wells uses the opportunity to convince his dad to let him go there and reestablish themselves as a prominent family.
Years ago, Gwyn sort of met Wells and it was not the best first impression. She has had a grudge ever since, especially since he didn’t show up to Rhys and Vivi’s wedding. Now he’s living in her town and opening a shop directly across the street from hers. Halloween is coming up and that’s a big deal in Graves Glen with multiple festivals and fairs and things. Vivi and Rhys are going on their honeymoon and Elaine is at a witch retreat in Arizona, which means the town’s magic is being left in the hands of Gwyn and Wells, who just barely get along. They soon realize that although they are opposites, they do like each other and actually maybe they can’t keep their hands off each other. But things are getting weird in Graves Glen – a new coven of witches is in town and Gwyn’s magic is fading. Gwyn and Wells have to work together, along with the teenage witches she’s mentoring (the baby witches!), to figure out what the coven is up to and what is going on with Gwyn’s magic.
I loved the book and felt just as enamored with the cozy, magical vibes as when I read The Ex Hex. It’s funny, whimsical, and steamy – what more could you want? I love that Gwyn is not the “irresponsible” or “dumb and crazy” cousin to contrast her to her cousin Vivi who is more serious and straight laced. Yes, Gwyn is bolder, louder, and a little more carefree, but that doesn’t make her irresponsible or less intelligent. I love that she wasn’t shortchanged just to be different from her cousin. Her and Wells were great together and I loved their chemistry and banter. Their playful teasing of each other that went from sort of enemies to friends to lovers were so good.
My only critique for the novel is that I felt like they didn’t discover the real problem/conflict until after halfway through the book and then it got resolved really quickly because there wasn’t much of the book left! That’s my only thing, but otherwise I really liked it and loved the vibes!
I saw that there will be a third book coming out in the fall! Maybe it will be about Bowen, the middle Penhallow brother!
Side Note: I took this photo on the last day I wore real clothes since I’ve been home sick all week!
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