Hex and Candy (Jia’s review)

Title: Hex and Candy (Strange Bedfellows #1)
House Line: Dreamspun Beyond #26
Author: Ashlyn Kane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 21st 2018
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Page Count: 214 pages
Reviewed by: Jia
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5


Strange Bedfellows

True love’s kiss can break the curse. But then what?

Cole Alpin runs a small-town candy store. He visits his grandmother twice a week. And sometimes he breaks curses.

Leo Ericson’s curse is obvious right away, spiderwebbing across his very nice body. Though something about it worries Cole, he agrees to help—with little idea of what he’s getting into.

Leo is a serial monogamist, but his vampire ex has taken dating off the table with his nasty spell, and Leo needs Cole’s companionship as much as his help. When the hex proves to be only the beginning of his problems, Leo seeks refuge at Cole’s place. Too bad magic prevents him from finding refuge in Cole’s arms.

Cole’s never had a boyfriend, so how can he recognize true love? And there’s still the matter of the one responsible for their troubles in the first place….

Hex and Candy started off very sweet and fun but the initial impression didn’t hold through the whole book unfortunately. The characters were okay, there could have been more background information and my questions were answered… eventually. Which was a source for unnecessary confusion since the book could have benefitted from the information when the questions about Cole’s behaviour or thought process came up, instead of later on.
The intention with this sentence feels a little vague “His coffee spoon would have made an unsatisfying projectile.” Maybe Cole wanted to use the spoon to shut the beeping up but the sentence felt a little random and mostly added confusion since it mentioned a window…

Cole’s heart thundered. He was going to do it. His eyes locked with Leo’s for a split second, and then Leo dropped his gaze to Cole’s mouth, and Cole wasn’t going to get a clearer signal than that. He licked his lips and took a breath-
Beep, beep, beep.
His coffee spoon would have made un-unsatisfying projectile. Cole doubted it weighed enough to break the window, for example.

Cole then continued making the coffee. I guess it had to do with the universe stepping in to hinder Cole from making a move, as just a moment before Cole had contemplated if it would be so wrong if he kissed Leo and then he decided that he’d try to kiss him and hope the universe would let him have this one thing. Connected with everything else in the book it merely felt confusing and based on a weak structure. Also why would the universe care? Why would he think the universe was a against him for what others took for granted? Exactly what did others take for granted? In the end I understood but I still thought it strange why he’d think the universe would care about one human in this sense.

The story was cute and fun in the beginning plus a few moments later on as well, but it lost a lot of the initial attraction for me the more I read unfortunately, which is a pity since it started off so well and had a lot of potential. It’s an okay read but I’m still cautious in recommending it. It did have a little angst and some sweet moments and some suspense before ending off on a happy note.

Dreamspun Beyond

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Hex and Candy provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


Reading, to me, is as close to an addiction as one can come without crossing the line... completely. I read a lot, and many different genres. I'd love to hear if my reviews helped you, so feel free to comment :)