Hex and Candy (Belen’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: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 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….

Three months ago Leo Ericson was living life happily unaware of the paranormal world around him, but when he gets involved with a vampire things go sideways and now he finds himself needing a holistic cursebreaker.

“Boy did you piss someone off,” he said before he could help himself. “What’s the damage?” He could take a guess, but it would be easier if Leo told him.
Leo seemed to wilt with relief. “You don’t think I’m nuts?”
“Please.” Cole’s family were adepts going back generations. “I’ve known you for like thirty seconds. But witchcraft, yeah, that’s real, and so’s the curse you’re under.”
“And you can undo it?”
That was trickier. “Sometimes. But not during regular business hours. I don’t charge for that stuff. Gets too complicated on my taxes.”

Cole Alpin is the only male witch in a very strong matriarchy. Cole’s never had a boyfriend, but not for lack of desire. So when he meets Leo and realizes the way to break the curse that’s covering Leo is with true love’s kiss, and that Cole is the one to bestow it, he needs time to settle into the idea.

“I know it’s scary. I know it’s new territory for you. Okay? But even if it weren’t for this, even if Leo didn’t need you, I know you. And you have wanted to fall in love your whole life.”
Damn it. Closing his eyes, Cole concentrated on breathing in and out. His throat felt thick. Most days he put it out of his mind or made light of it as he had with Leo.
But sometimes he remembered he wasn’t allowed to have what others took for granted. The universe wouldn’t allow it.

But when trouble continues to follow Leo, Cole decides to do everything he can to help. But things aren’t always what they seem and Cole and Leo have more obstacles than true love’s kiss to get through to find their happily ever after.

Hex and Candy has a cute premise, with likable characters, is threaded with humor, and I liked the dual POV. I would definitely be interested in reading another book centering around Cole or Leo, or just set in this world.

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.


I am an unapologetic book addict/lover. I'm happiest when reading and I spend most of my time with my Kindle, which is never far from my hand. I love to be told a good story! I mostly read fiction: Romance, Erotica, Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal (shifters? Yes, please!), a little BDSM when I'm in the mood, and I love a good ménage story. I DEFINITELY PREFER A HFN/HEA! My biggest no-no's are cheating, miscommunication / misunderstanding plots, unnecessary angst, and cliffhangers.

A sampling of my "Favorite M/M" stories:

Carry the OceanThe Half of UsRed Dirt HeartAdulting 101Tied Up In Knots
Shelter the SeaManties in a TwistDavid, RenewedEthan who Loved CarterPerfect Imperfections
WolfsongFight the TideHow to Walk Like A ManThe Lightning-Struck HeartForging the Future