Love at First Spite by Anna E. Collins centers around Dani Porter, an interior designer who gets cheated on by her now ex-fiance, Sam, right before their wedding. Not only did this douche cheat on her but he posted a picture with the other woman on Instagram, and to make matters worse, he cheated with their realtor! Scandalous. Anyway, after dealing with the anger of having to go pick up her belongings from what would have been her marital home, she decides to buy the empty lot next to it to build what she calls The Spite House.
Dani, hellbent on some form of revenge comes up with the idea of The Spite House to annoy Sam for the rest of his life – or until he moves. However, after chatting with some of the architects at her firm, no one wanted to partner with her. Enter Wyatt. Wyatt Montego is one of Dani’s co-workers, a stoic and very much business oriented kind of guy that likes to play by the rules. He carries himself with somewhat of a stand-offish demeanor, which to his co-workers gives off the impression that he’s unapproachable. Reluctantly, Dani asks him if he was available for the project and he agreed under the condition that she help his nan with her drapes.
Common Themes + Opinions:
There’s two big themes revolving around Dani’s character throughout the story, the main one being revenge. While I get what she was trying to accomplish, she gave that project so much energy instead of focusing on moving on. In a way, it made it seem like Sam ultimately won a war he was unintentionally fighting. Even after his indiscretions, he lived in Dani’s head rent free. Outside of this, her need to get this revenge ends up backfiring on her almost literally. In the midst of all the house stuff, she made some costly mistakes that (of course) worked out in the end but could have easily been avoided.
The other theme is Dani’s independence. She recants her mother and father’s relationship several times throughout the book, where her father is the decision maker and everything he says goes. Her mom meekly follows behind whatever her husband wants/decides, and doesn’t seem to do anything on her own. Based on Dani’s commentary, her mom makes it look like she’s content playing second fiddle to her husband though Dani suspects she wants more. Dani feared that her relationship with Sam would end up in a similar fashion, and some of the choices that Sam makes before their relationship broke proved her fear correctly. As a result of this, after they broke up, Dani made it a point to make sure she did the things she wanted in the way that she wanted. In doing so, she completely missed the fact that it’s okay to have a support system to rely on and help delegate some things to.
Final Thoughts + Ratings:
Love at First Spite was a fun read. It had its little shocks and plot twists here and there that kept me hooked on what would happen next. I’ll admit, I had no idea what the catalyst event would be in this book considering I guessed wrong several times. I did appreciate that Wyatt tested Dani in a way, and showed her that he was her equal and not trying to her submit to him as a partner (like her parents).
Overall, I give this one four stars for keeping me entertained. As for the spice, I’d say 2.5 peppers – there were a few scenes, nothing graphic but the build up to them getting together fell a little flat for me.
Have you read Love at First Spite? Let me know your thoughts!