Thursday, September 23, 2021

ARC Review: A Reckless Match by Kate Bateman

A Reckless Match

Kate Bateman
Series: Ruthless Rivals (Book 1)
Publication: St. Martin's Paperbacks (September 28, 2021)


Madeline Montgomery grew up despising––and secretly loving––the roguish Gryffud “Gryff” Davies. Their families have been bitter rivals for hundreds of years, but even if her feelings once crossed the line between love and hate, she’s certain Gryff never felt the same. Now, she’s too busy saving her family from ruin to think about Gryff and the other “devilish” Davies siblings. Since he’s off being scandalous in London, it’s not like she’ll ever see him again...


As the new Earl of Powys, Gryff Davies planned on spending his post-war life enjoying the pleasures of London. But when an illegal duel forces him to retreat to his family’s Welsh castle, he realizes the only exciting thing in the dull countryside will be seeing the fiery Maddie Montgomery. Thoughts of his nemesis sustained Gryff throughout the war; but the girl he loved to tease has grown into a gorgeous, headstrong woman – who loathes him just as much as she ever did. Will secret tunnels, dangerous smugglers, and meddling from their feuding families be enough to make Maddie and Gryff realize that their animosity is really attraction...and maybe even love?

A Reckless Match is the first in a new regency romance series by Kate Bateman about two feuding families, and reunited childhood enemies whose hatred turns to love.

My Thoughts: This story was a nice start to a historical romance series. The Montgomery family and the Davies family have had neighboring estates for centuries. And through all that time they have been enemies and rivals in every possible arena. It got so bad that the king set up a buffer zone between the two estates and required one Montgomery and one Davies to meet on a bridge in the middle of that territory and shake hands once a year on the equinox.

This year Maddie Montgomery is hoping that the Davies representative won't show up. Her father has made some bad financial decisions and the family really needs to own the buffer zone to make a financial recovery. If not, Maddie might be forced to marry the distasteful local magistrate. 

With just moments to spare, Gryff Davies shows up. He's been forced to leave his military career since his father's death and his inheritance of the land. And he's been building a reputation in London as quite a rake including dueling which is only marginally legal. Worst of all, Gryff has been Maddy's nemesis since they were children. 

Each has had a (mostly) secret crush on the other since they were children. Now events keep throwing them together. First, he rescues her from a fall into an unknown and unexplored cave. Then they discover smugglers and get trapped in the caves after the smugglers set off an explosion.

This was a fun romance. I liked that Maddie was a bluestocking with an interest in archaeology. I liked that Gryff was honorable and heroic and his reputation as a rake undeserved. I liked the side characters and can see where the next romances are probably going. 

Fans of the genre will enjoy this engaging story. 

Favorite Quote:
"How's your bottom? Bruised? Want me to take a look?"

She sent him a narrow-eyed look.

"Maybe you should loosen your bodice?" he said, straight-faced. "Let yourself breathe."

"You seem full of helpful suggestions to undress me."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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