Danielle (Dani) Porter is an interior designer for a house building firm near Seattle. She was engaged to Sam but caught him cheating with their realtor one month before the wedding. He kept the house they bought together but he had reneged on buying the adjacent property she wanted for her dream textile printing studio. It’s been a month now but she’s still seething, even though Sam wants her back. But she’s got another plan…buy that property, build a rental house born of Sam’s nightmares and market it as the Spite House. With her cousin and new landlord as investors, Dani now needs an architect. Enter Wyatt Montego who is the talented but prickly architect at her firm, feared by many in the company. He agrees to do it quid pro if Dani will help him with a project for his grandmother. Wyatt also brings on the contractor and the revenge project takes off! However, neither of them counted on this morphing into something more between the two of them.
They say revenge is best served up cold but this was more clever. As the project progressed, it became fun and interesting. Dani kept Wyatt in the dark about the true objective of the house so much of it was designed conventionally. He didn’t even know that Sam lived next door and as he and Dani’s feelings began to transition from distant colleagues to romance, she found herself facing a moral dilemma. Frankly, I never thought the project would go this far, let alone that she’d find two people willing to invest in something like this but as the house began to take shape and become a reality, I kept hoping that Dani would lose some of the passion behind it. Wyatt had his own issues, which were slowly revealed, making him a lot more appealing and understandable. I liked that there were good reasons for his cool and distant behavior, that he wasn’t standoffish without basis.
Dani and Wyatt were almost complete opposites, which worked well for them. Their communication issues created unnecessary drama at times (like this story needed more of that!) but they were illustrative of what most couples experience so it felt realistic. I disliked the concept of the Spite House but it served as a method for Dani to exorcise all that Sam baggage. Dani was slow to the realization but she eventually got there. The climactic ending was unexpected but it did provide a resolution that fit well. What I loved most about the story was the relationship between Dani and Wyatt where they were forced to get to know each other without the distraction of lust, though that did surface pretty quickly. They also had to juggle the issues related to them working for the same company and carrying on a secret affair. It all made for a deeper story than I’d expected but still brought the laughs.
I listened to the story and the narrator brought a lightheartedness that made this feel less mean. Her voice for Dani sounded perfect and Wyatt came across exactly as I thought he should. This is my first time listening to her and I was very pleased with her performance. She helped make this a fun listening experience.
- Release Date: January 4, 2022
- Narrator: Lila Winters
- Audio Length: 8 hours, 56 minutes
- Publisher: Harlequin Audio
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For more about this book and author, check out the blog tour from last week!
(Thanks to Harlequin Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)