Book Title: Love At First Fight
Author: Carrie Aarons
Release Date: September 18th, 2020
Synopsis: Molly Archer has just been dumped by her boyfriend and she’s spending time with his friends at a house in the Hamptons, which is more awkward than she realises. And if that’s not enough, her ex’s best friend is also going to be there. And Smith Redfield seems to hate Molly’s guts and her mere presence, which is only going to get complicated when they have to be around each other so much. But what if this summer is the start of something new?
Review: This is my third Carrie Aarons book and I just love everything she writes so much. She creates these characters that stick with you long after you’ve finished the book, but also characters are just so real and relatable. In Love At First Fight, we’re treated to a whole new world and after I devoured Nerdy Little Secret, this was a nice change.
Molly Archer is a simple girl, she’s helping kids in need and making sure that they’re educated and fed and looked after the right way. Molly doesn’t come from money and while that sometimes is an issue in her parents house, she’s really proud of how far she’s come. Molly was supposed to spend the summer in the Hamptons with her boyfriend, Justin, her best friend, Heather, and a whole bunch of Justin’s friends. Except, Justin decides to dump her (via text, the audacity!) and then takes off for Singapore, leaving Molly single and miserable. But since she’s already paid for her share of the house, she goes. Even though being around Smith Redfield makes her itchy.
Smith is Justin’s best friend and a restaurateur. He comes from a blue collar family that has worked their way up to give their kids everything they need. Smith, on the other hand, has worked even harder to make the money he has. He’s got two restaurants in New York and he’s working on building his third. While Molly thinks that Smith hates her, the truth is that he’s been in love with her since the minute they met. The only problem is that Molly didn’t even notice him – she chose Justin. And in true scorned man fashion, Smith decides to be an asshole to hide his feelings for Molly. Nobody knows why Smith behaves the way he does and neither does Molly, it’s just become normal for their group of friends at this point.
“I’ve had to lie to my own brain to trick it into thinking that Molly Archer is a stuck up brat. Because if I don’t, I’ll have to admit she’s my kryptonite. I’ll have to admit that the minute Justin introduced her to me a year ago, I understood it clicked. I know what it feels like to fall in love at first sight. Because I did. With her. And then she went on to fall in love with my best friend.”
So a summer under the same roof? What could possibly go wrong! Everything. But it also goes completely right.
While Smith’s behaviour made literally no sense to me, I love how Molly didn’t let that affect her. She doesn’t fight back and she just ignores him, till everything in her snaps. And watching her take a stand and tell Smith off is quite literally the most beautiful moment in the book. It’s all very playground behaviour – I torture you because I don’t like you – but somehow it seems to work? Their friends are all paired off, so obviously things start to shift and from the moment they share their first kiss, it’s an explosion of feelings everywhere.
“He was pretty damn convincing that he loathed me. But the minute he told me how he felt, it was like a switch flipped inside me. My heart tilted its gaze and thought, ‘Oh, there he is.'”
Molly and Smith are great characters on their own too. Their passion and love for their careers is such an important part of this book, as is Smith’s relationship with his family. I would give anything to see books about each of his siblings because that family is large. But Molly and Smith together are also so incredible. Their secret relationship is all kinds of hot and spicy and it’s just so addictive. Obviously Molly’s trying to wrap her head around the fact that Smith went from hating her to wanting to possess her, but the more she learns about him and the more he opens up to her, it all seems to fall into place.
I absolutely loved everything about this relationship, from how they come together, fall apart and then fix things. Smith’s insecurities and Molly’s constant worries and fears are so real and so relatable and to see those things get in the way of a perfectly normal relationship was comforting. Sure, it was painful seeing Molly go through what she did, but Smith’s choices and decisions are driven by his constant fear that he’s not going to be Molly’s first choice.
“I knew you were the other half of me since the first moment I laid eyes on you.”
Ugh, Carrie Aarons. You almost broke me with this book, but I absolutely loved everything about it. It’s such a refreshing set of characters with a fantastic relationship and proof that friendship always comes first, no matter what.
Thanks to Carrie Aarons for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!