Review: At First Spite by Olivia Dade

Posted March 6, 2024 by Jen in Contemporary Romance, Rating A, Reviews Tags: , , ,

Book cover of AT FIRST SPITE by Olivia DadeAt First Spite
Olivia Dade
Rating: A-

What I’m Talking About:

Athena and Johnny are engaged to be married, despite the objections of Johnny’s older brother, Matthew. Athena quits her job and sells her condo in preparation of moving to Harlot’s Bay once they are married. She even buys Johnny the Spite House, an irregular tiny home that shares a wall with Johnny’s current home, as a wedding gift. However, weeks before the wedding, Johnny breaks things off with Athena and goes on their honeymoon alone, leaving Athena to move into the Spite House where she lives between the two Vine brothers.

At First Spite is a beautiful story that made me laugh and brought tears to my eyes. Dade gives readers an emotionally-rich romance with real characters, complete with beautiful flaws that make each unique and perfect. I always get so wrapped up in Dade’s stories. She allows readers to see the heart and soul of her main characters, creating an intimate bond. Athena is a strong woman who needs help. Watching Matthew give her the emotional and physical support she needs is beautiful. They are meant to be, which is clear from the start. And while it’s sad they have to hurt Johnny, it’s also part of his growing process. He needed a swift kick to help him realize he’s not living up to his full potential. 

I love that Athena is perfect in Matthew’s eyes. He sees her depression and knows it’s part of her. He doesn’t need to fix her, just help her to help herself. To set her up to succeed. And Athena is observant when it comes to Matthew. She knows how important his relationship with Johnny is. She doesn’t try to talk him into changing it, even though it’s unhealthy. 

Not only is At First Spite emotional and lovely, but there is so much humor. From Karl’s monster-romance audiobooks, to the murder doll decorations and pranks Athena pulls on Matthew. I laughed out loud; I cried. When a book can fill me with so much emotion, I can’t do much but enjoy the ride taking all the ups and downs. 

In the end, the relationship works because they know one another and love each other as friends and then lovers. They don’t expect perfection, but understand what they have is special. At First Spite is a true joy.

My Rating: A-

About the Book:

When Athena Greydon’s fiancé ends their engagement, she has no choice but to move into the Spite House she recklessly bought him as a wedding gift. This is a problem, for several reasons: The house, originally built as a brick middle finger to the neighbors, is only ten feet wide. Her ex’s home is attached to hers. And Dr. Matthew Vine the Freaking Third (aka the uptight, judgmental jerk who convinced his younger brother to leave her) is living on the other side, only a four-foot alley away.

If she has to see Matthew every time she looks out her windows, she might as well have some fun with the situation–by, say, playing erotic audiobooks at top volume with the windows open. A woman living in a Spite House is basically obligated to get petty payback however she can, right?

Unfortunately, loathing Matthew proves more difficult than anticipated. He helps her move. He listens. And he’s kind of…hot? Dammit.

Release Date: February 13, 2024
Harlot’s Bay #1
Contemporary Romance
paperback (400 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Purchased with my own funds

Purchase Info:
Amazon (affiliate link)