At First Spite

Avon (Harlot’s Bay, Bk. 1). Feb. 2024. 400p. ISBN 9780063215917. pap. $18.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Athena Greydon’s fiancé, Johnny Vine, has broken off their engagement days before the wedding, leaving Athena nowhere to live—nowhere except the house that she bought him as a wedding gift, using almost all of her savings. There, only an alleyway separates her from Johnny’s brother, Matthew, the man who told Johnny to ditch her. While Athena has no choice about where she lives, she can make Matthew pay, whether that means putting creepy dolls in the windows or playing monster erotica at top volume. Matthew knows he made the right decision when he convinced Johnny to leave Athena, but he also understands that he’s messed up her life, so he’ll do everything he can to make things easier for her—while secretly wishing he could have her for himself. This swoony contemporary romance is well-written and paced, but what really makes it shine are the intricate characters that Dade (Ship Wrecked) has brought to life. Readers will connect emotionally with Athena and Matthew, laughing at their witty banter and tearing up when they’re vulnerable.
VERDICT Buy multiple copies of this title, because it won’t stay on the shelf.
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