Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, Year of Reviews - 2021

Review – Love at First Hate by Denise Grover Swank and A.R. Casella


Love at First Hate; Bad Luck Club #1 
(A standalone within a series)

Publication Date: August 12, 2021

Genre/Tropes: Enemies-to-Lovers/Contemporary Romance

Author: Denise Grover Swank and AR Casella 

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars



Charming and adorable, sprinkled with humor and steam, the perfect summer romance.

Cal Reynolds lost his wife three years ago and has never really moved on. When reporter, Molly O’Shea begins delving into his personal life and the reasons behind the Bad Luck Club, a club he and his dad began after his wife passed and his father’s second wife left him, well Molly intrigues him in more ways than just as a way to meddle in his life. He wants her to move past her nosey investigating and just be with him for the sake of being with him, but is that possible when he hasn’t moved past the events that happened three years ago either.

Molly came to Asheville simply to dogsit while her sister was on vacation, but she discovered a lead on a story that was just too juicy to pass up. Even better the man behind the story is a true dish and she enjoys spending time with him probably more than she should considering she’s only in town for a few weeks and he’s the center of the story she’s working on. While tracking down leads she makes a circle of friends she never thought possible and making and a life that she never dreamed. Could she stay and have something more beyond just a great story?

The Bad Luck Club is a really sweet concept started by two men who were down on their luck and having a really hard time at life. Commiserating with others who are also down on their luck and finding ways to change your outlook on life is a great way to change your life around. Cal and his father, Bear, are extremely likeable and it’s an easy book to fall in love with.

Every secondary character is fun and made the story roll right along. With this as the first book in a new series there is a lot of potential for more stories as each person is full of personality.


The first book in a new series by Denise Grover Swank and A.R. Casella, authors of the USA Today bestselling Asheville Brewing series.

She wants his story. He wants his secrecy. Too bad he can’t stay away from her.


Blogging about bad dates used to be fun, but a girl can only take so much foolishness. So I broke up with my job.

Okay, full disclosure, I was fired. It’s a long, sordid tale, involving my sourdough starter—RIP, Fred!—and my ex-boss’s serious lack of humor.

Newly funemployed and in need of a break, I go to Asheville to dogsit for my sister…and stumble onto a scoop big enough to put my fake-dating days behind me forever.

Augusta Glower, local success story, wrote a bestseller about the self-help group she started. People think her system works, and copycat Bad Luck Clubs have sprung up nationwide. Something feels off, though, and a little poking around by yours truly suggests she stole the idea.

There’s one problem. I have to prove it, and the guy she ripped off—super-hot house flipper Caleb Reynolds—seems to…well, hate me. Which is too bad since his secrets aren’t the only thing I’d like to peel away.

* * *


Molly O’Shea is my worst nightmare.

Is she sexy as sin? Well…yeah. Does she smell like honeysuckle and trouble? No doubt. Is she determined to dig up my secrets with a backhoe? I’m pretty sure she got a two-week rental. But I’ll never talk. If the reason I started the club gets out, my whole life will implode.

So why is she so damn irresistible?

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