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A Reckless Match

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The first in a new regency romance series about two feuding families and reunited childhood enemies whose hatred turns to love. Maddie Montgomery's family is in debt, and her hope rests on the rival Davies clan missing their yearly “pledge of goodwill,” ceding the land that separates their estates. With Maddie's teenage nemesis, Gryffud “Gryff” Davies, Earl of Powys, away, The first in a new regency romance series about two feuding families and reunited childhood enemies whose hatred turns to love. Maddie Montgomery's family is in debt, and her hope rests on the rival Davies clan missing their yearly “pledge of goodwill,” ceding the land that separates their estates. With Maddie's teenage nemesis, Gryffud “Gryff” Davies, Earl of Powys, away, hope is in reach. But then, Gryff shows up and is stunned that the tomboy he once teased is now a woman. When Gryff and Maddie discover contraband on their land, they realize it can benefit both families. But they've also uncovered a dangerous plot, and they need to work together to get out alive. Soon, their hatred for each other starts to feel more like attraction. Kate Bateman brings crackling banter, steamy romance, and a dash of adventure into the first book in the Ruthless Rivals series.


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The first in a new regency romance series about two feuding families and reunited childhood enemies whose hatred turns to love. Maddie Montgomery's family is in debt, and her hope rests on the rival Davies clan missing their yearly “pledge of goodwill,” ceding the land that separates their estates. With Maddie's teenage nemesis, Gryffud “Gryff” Davies, Earl of Powys, away, The first in a new regency romance series about two feuding families and reunited childhood enemies whose hatred turns to love. Maddie Montgomery's family is in debt, and her hope rests on the rival Davies clan missing their yearly “pledge of goodwill,” ceding the land that separates their estates. With Maddie's teenage nemesis, Gryffud “Gryff” Davies, Earl of Powys, away, hope is in reach. But then, Gryff shows up and is stunned that the tomboy he once teased is now a woman. When Gryff and Maddie discover contraband on their land, they realize it can benefit both families. But they've also uncovered a dangerous plot, and they need to work together to get out alive. Soon, their hatred for each other starts to feel more like attraction. Kate Bateman brings crackling banter, steamy romance, and a dash of adventure into the first book in the Ruthless Rivals series.

30 review for A Reckless Match

  1. 4 out of 5

    WhiskeyintheJar

    3.5 stars I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. According to the Montgomerys, the pig was stolen. According to the Davies clan, it got lost. For over 500yrs the Montgomerys and the Davies have had a contentious neighborly relationship. Whether it was a pig or woman who started it, Madeline Montgomery and Gryff Davies have kept the feud going. Teasing and pranks were pulled while kids and while G 3.5 stars I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. According to the Montgomerys, the pig was stolen. According to the Davies clan, it got lost. For over 500yrs the Montgomerys and the Davies have had a contentious neighborly relationship. Whether it was a pig or woman who started it, Madeline Montgomery and Gryff Davies have kept the feud going. Teasing and pranks were pulled while kids and while Gryff was away fighting Napoleon for three years, both have actually missed each other. When Maddie learns that her father has lost the family fortune in a stock scam, she's hoping that the Davies siblings all stay in London and don't show up for the handshake Henry VII decreed to try and stop the feuding between the two families. On the Spring Equinox, a member from each family must meet on the strip of no-man's-land between the two estates and shake hands, if someone from a family's side doesn't show up, the other family gets the land. Maddie needs the money that could come from owning the land but with minutes to spare, the worst Davies shows up. “Well, well. Maddie Montgomery. Did you miss me, cariad?” With a light and sweet tone, A Reckless Match starts off the Ruthless Rivals series. I enjoyed the set-up of the English Montgomery's endlessly feuding with the Welsh Davies and loved how the author gave our couple's fathers an undercover friendship from it. From the start, it was obvious that Gryff liked Maddie, he's candid in his thoughts of how much he cares and missed her. Maddie was struck by lightening and he thinks about how when he heard this, how shaken he was. Their teasing and back and forth always had a lightness and little sizzle that made you want them to never leave each other's side because they were a fun couple to be with. He shouldn’t be goading her, of course. It could only lead to trouble. But teasing her was a pleasure he’d missed out on for three long, miserable years. The memory of her face was something he’d fallen back on when times were particularly hard. Wounded, exhausted after battle, he’d often reminded himself to stay alive, if only to spite her. To tease her just one more time. The plot has the two discovering an underground cave on their no-man's-land and while exploring it, learning that smugglers are using it to hide their barrels. It's a lighter mystery that works to keep them together and pulls in some side characters, Gryff's brothers, Maddie's cousin, and an unwanted suitor of Maddie's. I usually like a little tease alluding to future couples but this had some overkill in that department. Gryff's brother Morgan and Maddie's cousin Harriet and Maddie's older brother Tristan and Gryff's younger sister Carys, are obviously future couples and they seem to have an extremely similar relationship and set-up as Maddie and Gryff. Did I enjoy Maddie and Gryff's relationship? Yes. Do I want to read the exact same dynamic three times in a row in the same series? Not really. The expression in his eyes was one of undisguised admiration and Maddie’s heart missed a beat. He’d called her remarkable. There wasn't a lot of exploring of our character's make-up, I know Maddie's mother died when she was ten and Gryff was off soldiering for three years, the focus is solidly on the here and now and the teasing with wanting more between the two. I greatly enjoyed the first 60% of this but started to get a little restless, especially when I hit 70%. Maddie and Gryff are trapped in a cave and even though we're in the back-half of the book, their relationship felt exactly the same. They still are doing the fun teasing and I still felt the sizzle but where was the relationship growth? The last 40% just didn't give me the development between the two that I was looking for, their relationship felt exactly the same as when I was reading in chapter one. Ten years of teasing and flirting— yes, that’s what it had been, she could admit it now— had always been coming to this. This bonfire. The all too easy match-ups have me a bit worried for the future couples' stories and Maddie and Gryff's relationship didn't really change from the start to the end enough for me. However, the majority of this story was plain fun with it's light tone and the little bit of sizzle to their teasing. There were also numerous interesting tidbits included about the times that were engaging and had me going off to read more about. If you're looking for light sweet teasing with a sizzle, this would be one to pick up.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Loves Reading

    Kate Bateman keeps writing stories I want to read. But they have tended to not meet my expectations— probably partly because those expectations were unreasonable. Intrigued despite myself, I thought I would give her books one more try with this one. Thankfully, this one is a winner and I am really excited for the series to move forward. The setup for this is about a boy and a girl from neighboring households on the Welsh/English border, who have been feuding for centuries. So we have boy/girl nex Kate Bateman keeps writing stories I want to read. But they have tended to not meet my expectations— probably partly because those expectations were unreasonable. Intrigued despite myself, I thought I would give her books one more try with this one. Thankfully, this one is a winner and I am really excited for the series to move forward. The setup for this is about a boy and a girl from neighboring households on the Welsh/English border, who have been feuding for centuries. So we have boy/girl next door AND enemies to lovers. A dangerous, fun combo. Gryff and Maddie meet for the first time in years, both having matured and grown-up. They like what they see but of course play it cool with teasing insults, as sworn enemies must do. Gryff has been off at war against Napoleon and Maddie has been searching for archaeological finds on the family estate. From when they meet onward, the story is a bit of a romp. It’s full of adventure and light, fun moments and delicious tensions. I thought it amusing and heartwarming but did not go too far to become hokey. I don’t want to go into plot details here because there were a few moving parts. But I would say that the adventure aspect was well woven into the romance, and I found them both to be satisfying. I read this fast, which is a sign of my enjoyment. There was some set up (too much toward the end, really) with siblings and cousins for future books. I am keenly interested in the story of the female cartographer (!!!), which is a story I have been craving for years. I do wish it didn’t take a move to The Regency era for me to find a Bateman book that worked for me, but this one gives me a push to check out the stories I have missed. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a chance to read and review this book. Views are my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Overall: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Plot/Storyline: 📖📖📖📖📖 Feels: 🦋🦋🦋🦋 Emotional Depth: 💔💔💔💔💔 Sexual Tension: ⚡⚡⚡⚡ Romance: 💞💞💞💞 Sensuality: 💋💋💋💋💋 Sex Scene Length: 🍑🍑🍑🍑 Steam Scale (Number of Sex Scenes): 🔥 (Though it feels a touch steamier) Humor: Yes! (These are all personal preference on a scale of 1-5 (your ratings may vary depending what gives you feels and how you prefer you sex scenes written, etc) except the Steam Scale which follows our chart from The Ton and the Tartans facebook group.) Basic plot The Mon Overall: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Plot/Storyline: 📖📖📖📖📖 Feels: 🦋🦋🦋🦋 Emotional Depth: 💔💔💔💔💔 Sexual Tension: ⚡⚡⚡⚡ Romance: 💞💞💞💞 Sensuality: 💋💋💋💋💋 Sex Scene Length: 🍑🍑🍑🍑 Steam Scale (Number of Sex Scenes): 🔥 (Though it feels a touch steamier) Humor: Yes! (These are all personal preference on a scale of 1-5 (your ratings may vary depending what gives you feels and how you prefer you sex scenes written, etc) except the Steam Scale which follows our chart from The Ton and the Tartans facebook group.) Basic plot The Montgomerys and Davies have been rivals forever. The Davies estate was on the Welsh side, the Montgomerys on the English. To put an end to their fighting, King Henry VII decreed they would each send a representative on the spring equinox to show their goodwill towards each other. If either didn’t attend, the land between the families would be forfeit to the other. Our representatives in 1815 are Maddie Montgomery and Gryff Davies... Give this a try if you want: - Enemies to lovers feel – though it’s on the light side, as they quickly work together towards a common goal. They toast to being “Friendly enemies” and I think that’s a perfect term to describe it! - Forbidden love/rival families – Everyone stares when a Davies and Montgomery are in the same room, awaiting the explosion - Regency time period – This takes place in 1815, though much of it is at their country estates, a touch at the end is in London - Lower to mid steam – One full scene, but also kisses and a hot almost scene in a library - A perfect mix of action, danger, humor, and relationship - A bit of unrequited love from the hero – they have known each other since they were children My thoughts: Ohhhhh I loved this book. It’s been quite awhile since a book just grabbed me from the very beginning and Bateman’s lovely prologue titled “The Legend” did just that. These characters have a bit of a past, growing up together and attempting to torment each other. We know if either of them really examined their feelings of the other, they would see how badly they want each other. This book gave me the butterflies I crave. Those small things between in a romance that build their wanting, that I sometimes find missing and want them so badly to be there. Moments like when the heroine finds delight in a bite of food and it makes the hero’s jaw twitch. The touch of his hands on her neck while he playfully describes a ‘cravat snake’. His thoughts as he carries her between his thighs on his horse. Her mind as he walks in front of her in a cave and she notices his firm backside. All those little things in the beginning of falling in love that make you breathless. Sitting near someone and feeling their knees almost touching yours. Eyes sliding over exposed bosom in a dress. I LOVE that stuff, so so much and I found it here. The banter between Maddie and Gryff is just glorious. It’s funny and snappy and sexy and I adored every minute they were on page together. This book had me smiling through many parts and my heart melting during others. Both characters delighted me. Maddie has survived being struck by lightning. She has an independent streak and cares deeply about her family. She’s a problem solver and will do what she can to help her family’s financial distress, though she simply must find an alternative solution to an undesirable marriage. Gryff is strong, protective and naughty. He’s tormented Maddie since childhood, and has no plans on stopping now that they are grown. He loves to get a rise out of her. As they shared more of their life with each other and began to trust, it was lovely to see his transformation to partner. Some romances I am left at the end so happy. I just know they will have the best life together as I close the book and I am certain of that here. I am also left eager to read the other stories in the series. It’s set up here for Morgan and Harriet, Tristan and Carys...Soon the Davies and Montgomeries will be so enmeshed you won’t be able to tell them apart :P Here’s a few random parts that I wanted to note from the book (view spoiler)[ I love little things like this! Maddie bit into hers with a little hum of delight and then smiled around the mouthful as she chewed. She glanced at Gryff, and her skin heated as she found his gaze lingering on her lips. She swallowed carefully, then licked a morsel of sugar with her tongue. The muscle in the side of his jaw twitched, as if he was grinding his teeth. He glanced up and their gazes clashed. Her stomach did a little somersault. And I ADORE when as children one of them has kept some kind of memento. Maddie frowned as she took it. It was a cashmere shawl, with a swirling paisley pattern in a gorgeous combination of cream, red, and orange. It looked vaguely familiar. She gasped in sudden suspicion, checked the corner, and turned her astonished gaze on the older woman. “This is mine! There’s an ink stain on the fringe. Where on earth - ?” It had been a favorite of hers when she’d been a girl. She’d lost it – she wrinkled her nose as recollection came. “Gryff stole this! Years ago. And I couldn’t catch him. He rode back here and tied it to the flagpole, right at the top of one of these towers, just to taunt me. I loved the entire library scene and dictionary dare. I think that was my favorite of the whole book. I also loved when they are in the caves and Gryff writes their initials with coal on the wall in a heart. So funny and cute! And this thought from Gryff: In his fantasies he’d seduced her with the silver-tongued words of the Welsh poets. But the poetry of his ancestors had deserted him. He could only think in monosyllables. Mine. More. Now. And his annoyance once they escape the caves and he’s realizing how much he loves her and finds out she’s gone to London Lord Powys, he read, then frowned. That was formal. Not even Dear Lord Powys. And why was she using his title? Why not Dear Gryff, or Darling? Still, perhaps, she’d been worried someone else might read the letter. Fair enough. (A few lines skipped) He re-read the letter, and felt his temper rise. Friendship? Gratitude? He didn’t want her bloody gratitude! He wanted her naked in bed, under him, over him, loving him, for as long as it took to get her out of his system. You’re never going to get her out of your system. (A few more lines skipped) A striking thought came to him: In giving her that tin of gold, he’d given her the means to evade him. Well, damn it. She ought to be in love with him. He’d saved her from almost certain death on several notable occasions, just like every blood prince in every stupid fairy tale. Not to mention he’d given her several orgasms, under very challenging circumstances, and was quite prepared to give her countless more, if only she’d let him. He bloody well deserved to get the girl. (hide spoiler)] Content Warnings: (view spoiler)[ Death on page (in self defense) Brief tones of sexual pressure and grabbing from villain Brief talk/remembering of miscarriage of a side characters Recovering from being struck by lightning (body scarring( (hide spoiler)] Locations of kisses/intimate scenes: (view spoiler)[ 5% - kiss (brief) 32% - kiss 53% - kisses, breast play (interrupted) 73% - kisses, fingering orgasm for her, oral orgasm for her, missionary sex (virginity loss for her and orgasms for both) and yes, he has broken ribs during this, he is THE MAN 82% - kisses (brief) 98% - kiss (hide spoiler)]

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mariana

    Thanks to Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review! This was the first book for me to read by Kate Bateman, but it will definitely not be my last. The story was engaging and adventurous. It took me only a weekend to read. The writing style was witty and fun. This is book one of a new series. However, based on some references, it seems to be a spin-off series. My guess is that Gryff Llewellyn Davies, Earl of Powys, was introduced in another story. I'm not sure if that would h Thanks to Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review! This was the first book for me to read by Kate Bateman, but it will definitely not be my last. The story was engaging and adventurous. It took me only a weekend to read. The writing style was witty and fun. This is book one of a new series. However, based on some references, it seems to be a spin-off series. My guess is that Gryff Llewellyn Davies, Earl of Powys, was introduced in another story. I'm not sure if that would have changed my opinion of him or not, but this was easy to read as a standalone. The H/h are lifetime arch enemies due to a centuries only grudge between their households. Rather than stay apart, they constantly played tricks on each other as children; yet secretly each had a longtime crush on the other. I don't know how they didn't figure it out, but they each thought he/she alone in the attraction. I really liked Madeline Montgomery. She was an intelligent and self-educated archaeologist who was also fun, pretty, and loyal. She enjoyed her debut season until it became too repetitive and behaved like a lady with decorum in public. She was not the typical wallflower bluestocking. She just did not feel in a hurry to get married. Unfortunately, her beloved father's debts recently increased the urgency to marry someone with money. Gryff was also loyal and physically attractive. He was brave and willing to face danger for those he cared about. With a little less detail here and there, I could have liked him. However, I personally could not get over his attitude towards women as sex objects for his pleasure. As usual in HR, he was a rake. He always wanted Maddie, but he sated his lust with many other liaisons instead. He found them empty and unfulfilling; yet he didn't want to get married because as the new earl, he could get the must beautiful and sexually skilled women. He compared Maddie to a whore though she came to him a virgin and waited WAY too long to consider if he loved her. In spite of the fact that I did not like Gryff, I still enjoyed the story as a whole. Considering authors usually write a variety of heroes and heroines, I definitely plan to try another by this author and will likely continue this series next year. It seems like the next two will also be enemies to lovers stories between the Montgomerys and the Davies.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Hoover

    And to think it all started over a stolen pig . . . or was it a woman? No one seems to really know what started the feud between the Davies and Montgomery families, but one thing's for sure - it's gone on for decades and neither side is giving an inch. And now it's time for Madeline Montgomery and Gryff Davies to clash swords in a duel of wits. Thing is - it seems both harbor confusing feelings for the other. They're having to try harder and harder to keep the hate going with so much chemistry s And to think it all started over a stolen pig . . . or was it a woman? No one seems to really know what started the feud between the Davies and Montgomery families, but one thing's for sure - it's gone on for decades and neither side is giving an inch. And now it's time for Madeline Montgomery and Gryff Davies to clash swords in a duel of wits. Thing is - it seems both harbor confusing feelings for the other. They're having to try harder and harder to keep the hate going with so much chemistry sizzling between them. When fate forces them into a situation of having to work closely together, sparks, words and emotions fly. May the best man . . . or woman win. I do love a good enemies to lovers story, and A Reckless Match is outstanding! Secret tunnels, smugglers, meddling families - it's enough to make a preacher cuss. But it all serves to keep throwing our delicious hero and spunky heroine together in this low-angst, hilarious and yet heart touching romance. The support characters are great, and I look forward to seeing them star in their own books. I absolutely adored this story and characters. Highly recommended to fans of romance - especially Regency Romance. Special thanks to St. Martins Press for an arc of this book. Review posted at Cross My Heart Reviews

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chris C - A Midlife Wife

    Sigh.. I just love her books! A wonderful intro to a new family series. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This was such a fun and totally unique book. When you read the synopsis you think that there’s going to be bad feelings and sniping behavior due to the years of hatred between the families. But that could not be further from the truth. Bateman took the high road, so to speak, and created a delightful story of childhood “enemies“. Their antics and assignations just made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I Sigh.. I just love her books! A wonderful intro to a new family series. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This was such a fun and totally unique book. When you read the synopsis you think that there’s going to be bad feelings and sniping behavior due to the years of hatred between the families. But that could not be further from the truth. Bateman took the high road, so to speak, and created a delightful story of childhood “enemies“. Their antics and assignations just made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I had a perpetual grin on my face throughout most of this book. Bateman loves to break the traditional roles of her female heroines in her stories and this one is no different. I love her fearless ability to break the molds and write what’s in her heart. So with that, we get a bit of modern storytelling set in historical times. A Reckless Match is a lighthearted story with the building romance that we crave. Definitely not stodgy or uptight, but a fabulous beginning to a new series I am excited about. With a bit of foreshadowing to the next book in the series, I am one that definitely cannot wait to get my hands on that one! Kate Bateman is an author that you definitely can put on your auto order list! * copy received for review consideration Full Review - https://amidlifewife.com/a-reckless-m...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    4.5 stars rounded up for the bickering and teasing (and the scarf-stealing incident where Gryff stole Maddie's scarf as a kid and hung it from the roof of his castle, hoping she'd storm the castle and take it back, not knowing, of course, why he has always loved torturing the thorn in his side). Kate Bateman has lately become an auto-buy (or rather, auto-request) author for me, and this book proved once more why I've come to love her writing: loveably flawed characters who communicate and grow to 4.5 stars rounded up for the bickering and teasing (and the scarf-stealing incident where Gryff stole Maddie's scarf as a kid and hung it from the roof of his castle, hoping she'd storm the castle and take it back, not knowing, of course, why he has always loved torturing the thorn in his side). Kate Bateman has lately become an auto-buy (or rather, auto-request) author for me, and this book proved once more why I've come to love her writing: loveably flawed characters who communicate and grow together, an amazingly strong and resilient heroine who actually learns that asking for help is not a weakness and gets to be actual, equal, partners with her hero, amazing supporting characters who have me anxiously awaiting their own books, fun banter, low-angst, and just an all-around great time! I loved this book from the very set-up: two households, divided for centuries, always squabbling over this and that (legend has it, it all started with the theft of a pig). Maddie and Gryff were so adorable in their bickering and teasing, unable to understand just why the other one is the only person they love to tease and torture... Their journey from childhood nemesis to lovers was just one fun, action-packed ride (there are smugglers to catch, caves to be explored, maybe even a dragon to avoid...), and I can't wait to see the next couple get their turn! My only (small) complaints are a tendency on Griff's side to assume the worse, and the pacing towards the end once they both realize they *gasp* love each other. But other than that, I really loved getting to know these two families, and I can't wait for the next books (I can't decide whose story I want first, her cousin and his brother who try so hard not to admit they have always liked each other, or her brother and his sister who think one is a stick-in-the-mud and the other a fake airhead). They all promise to be so much fun, and I already love all of the characters! *I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

  8. 4 out of 5

    Debby*BabyDee

    I’ve come to love Kate Bateman as an author and love her books. “A Reckless Match” was just a delightful and witty read for me. It was hard to put the book down but alas I finished today. I thought Gryff and Maddie, although on total opposites ends of the family were very likeable characters. He in all his rakeness is a kind person and she is a strong and intelligent woman. Due to family feuds, a pact was made to meet to shake on keeping the compromise between the families. After exchanging hands I’ve come to love Kate Bateman as an author and love her books. “A Reckless Match” was just a delightful and witty read for me. It was hard to put the book down but alas I finished today. I thought Gryff and Maddie, although on total opposites ends of the family were very likeable characters. He in all his rakeness is a kind person and she is a strong and intelligent woman. Due to family feuds, a pact was made to meet to shake on keeping the compromise between the families. After exchanging hands and a kiss, sparks begin to transpire between the two. This story has smugglers, brothers and other sub-characters that make this story all the more worth reading. I enjoyed the slowly sinking combativeness between the two and loved the rising attraction to romance. I recommend this read and am looking forward to reading others in this series. Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for this ARC in exchange for my fair and honest review. All opinions in this review are my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robin (Bridge Four)

    Release Day This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. A Reckless Match is the first book of the well names series Ruthless Rivals , which is a romantic spin on a family rivalry akin to Romeo and Juliet or the Hatfield's and McCoys.  Maddie and Gryff's family's have been at it for generations since someone stole a pig or possibly a woman, it has been so long it i Release Day This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. A Reckless Match is the first book of the well names series Ruthless Rivals , which is a romantic spin on a family rivalry akin to Romeo and Juliet or the Hatfield's and McCoys.  Maddie and Gryff's family's have been at it for generations since someone stole a pig or possibly a woman, it has been so long it is hard to say.  Once a year they have to meet on a bridge on a parcel of land between their estates and shake hands.  If one of the families does not send a representative, the shared land is forfeited to the other family. Gryff and Maddie were rivals as children.  Running around playing tricks on the other and tormenting them.  Gryff has just made it back from the Napoleonic war after the death of his father.  The girl he used to pester has grown into a beautiful woman, full of whit and cunning.  He thought about her a lot during the war but seeing her now has reminded him just how much he enjoyed getting under her skin, since she is definitely under his. Maddie's family has lost a fortune and could lose everything if they don't come up with a solution.  The easiest is for Maddie to marry someone rich, even though that is outside her moral compass.  She wanted to marry for love if possible.  Still there is a little time and a small sliver of hope if she can find something of value in some tunnels she stumbled across while verbally sparring with Gryff. Spending time together in some tunnels might not have been wise as the closed in space and dark make it so much easier to feel some intimacies with that blustering man.  If Maddie isn't careful she will give away all of her secrets to the new Earl. I had a lot of fun with Maddie and Gryff.  He can be a bit pompous at times but most of it seemed like an act to rile Maddie.  She, on the other hand, was so easy to love.  She is trying to save her family but also wants to remain her own woman.  If she marries the horrible man who has offered for her, she knows she will never be happy.  He won't let her work on her Archeology and definitely isn't going to like a wife who is his intellectual equal.  The feud is also funny.  It is amazing that between their fathers it had turned into somewhat of a game between them trying to bet the other. Overall this is a fun slight enemies to lovers story.  You could see with Maddie and Gryff belonged together from the beginning, so it was so easy to root for them.

  10. 4 out of 5

    ChasingLeslie

    The families of Madeline Montgomery and Gryffud “Gryff” Davies, Earl of Powys, have been bitter rivals for hundreds of years. When the two meet again for a handshake ceremony on a plot of shared land, long buried feelings being to surface. An illegal duel forced Gryff back to his family’s Welsh castle, he quickly realizes the countryside isn't so dull when he's exchanging playful barbs with Maddie. A hidden tunnel, dangerous smugglers, and exciting discovery make their time together something th The families of Madeline Montgomery and Gryffud “Gryff” Davies, Earl of Powys, have been bitter rivals for hundreds of years. When the two meet again for a handshake ceremony on a plot of shared land, long buried feelings being to surface. An illegal duel forced Gryff back to his family’s Welsh castle, he quickly realizes the countryside isn't so dull when he's exchanging playful barbs with Maddie. A hidden tunnel, dangerous smugglers, and exciting discovery make their time together something that neither can ever forget. “It started with a pig…Things escalated from there.” I was totally hooked from the first line and adored this feuding family tale, which is the first in the new Ruthless Rivals series. This story had an interesting plot, witty banter, and characters that spend a majority of the book together in each other's company. It wasn't super steamy (one full scene and one interrupted scene), but it did not lack for chemistry and affection. The storytelling was stellar! Kate Bateman knocks it out of the park again. Tropes: Feuding Families/Forbidden Love, Forced Proximity, Frenemies-to-Lovers, Bluestocking Steam Rating: 1.5 * I received an ARC and this is my honest review. #ARecklessMatch #NetGalley

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    ‘Maddie Montgomery's family is in debt, and her hope rests on the rival Davies clan missing their yearly “pledge of goodwill,” ceding the land that separates their estates. With Maddie's teenage nemesis, Gryffud “Gryff” Davies, Earl of Powys, away, hope is in reach. But then, Gryff shows up and is stunned that the tomboy he once teased is now a woman. When Gryff and Maddie discover contraband on their land, they realize it can benefit both families. But they've also uncovered a dangerous plot, an ‘Maddie Montgomery's family is in debt, and her hope rests on the rival Davies clan missing their yearly “pledge of goodwill,” ceding the land that separates their estates. With Maddie's teenage nemesis, Gryffud “Gryff” Davies, Earl of Powys, away, hope is in reach. But then, Gryff shows up and is stunned that the tomboy he once teased is now a woman. When Gryff and Maddie discover contraband on their land, they realize it can benefit both families. But they've also uncovered a dangerous plot, and they need to work together to get out alive. Soon, their hatred for each other starts to feel more like attraction.’ ___________________ A Reckless Match is the first book in Kate Bateman’s new series, Ruthless Rivals and is a historical romance and adventure. This is the first book by this author that I’ve read although I’ve had a few of her books on my ereader that I’ve been hoping to read but hadn’t gotten to yet. This book grabbed me right from the first, when the extremes of the feud between the two families are explained with the perfect blend of funny. The plot included all my favorite things: adventure, danger, banter, humor, and romance. I really appreciated that this story is a variation of the enemies-to-lovers trope in which the main characters don’t hate each other for a terrible and unforgivable thing one did to the other, which I feel like is normally the source of the tension with this trope. They had teased and taunted one another for years during their childhood, but that just added to their tension and their dynamic. Both main characters were truly so lovely, I enjoyed each moment of following their story. I’m really looking forward to reading the next book and continuing the series. I’m sure the tension will be altered a bit now that Maddie and Gryff have made the first steps to bridging the divide between the two families, but I’m curious to see how that will shape the following books. A Reckless Match has been one of my favorite reads of 2021. I’ll be moving the others books I have by this author up on my TBR. _____ I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for sharing an eARC of A Reckless Match by Kate Bateman with me. This is my honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Rogers

    Barbara’s Rating: 5 of 5 stars Series: Ruthless Rivals #1 Publication Date: 9/28/21 Period: Regency - Wales Number of Pages: 320 Be still my heart! This book sucks you in from the first line and doesn’t let go. It has everything! There are dastardly smugglers, slimy suitors, pitch-black caves, explosions, snappy banter, equally strong lead characters, fantastic supporting characters who will hopefully have their own books, a family feud to rival the Hatfields and McCoys, and an enemies-to-lovers roma Barbara’s Rating: 5 of 5 stars Series: Ruthless Rivals #1 Publication Date: 9/28/21 Period: Regency - Wales Number of Pages: 320 Be still my heart! This book sucks you in from the first line and doesn’t let go. It has everything! There are dastardly smugglers, slimy suitors, pitch-black caves, explosions, snappy banter, equally strong lead characters, fantastic supporting characters who will hopefully have their own books, a family feud to rival the Hatfields and McCoys, and an enemies-to-lovers romance that is wonderful. The Davies and Montgomery families have been feuding for hundreds of years – and it all began with a pig – or a woman. Nobody is actually sure anymore; they just know they are enemies. These sworn enemies are neighbors even though the Davies’ estate is in Wales and the Montgomery’s estate is in England. Whatever the issue, they’ll choose opposite sides – even if it is in their best interest to be in agreement. The Davies children – Gryff, Rhys, Morgan, and Carys – and the Montgomery children – Tristan, Maddie, and cousin Harriet – all grew up playing tricks on each other and taunting each other. The author has included nods to a number of old movies like Bringing Up Baby, as well as the snappy banter from Moonlighting. You will be laughing out loud at the descriptions of some of the things they did to each other when they were children. You’ll also give out a big heartfelt sigh when you read the story of the shawl. Gryffud Llewellyn Davies returned from the Napoleonic wars as the new Earl of Powys because his father passed away while he was at war. He couldn’t even return for the funeral. He decided he’d spend time in London to relax and enjoy himself before returning to his country home – and that worked well until there was a duel and he decided it would be in his best interest to leave London. He really doesn’t want to be back at Trellech Court with its quiet boredom. The only thing he had to look forward to was annoying his neighbor. He wonders how much she’s changed in the three years he’s been gone. Of course, he firmly believed that “Spending time with her was the mental equivalent of beating himself over the head with a shovel.” Madeline (Maddie) Montgomery has certainly followed Gryff’s exploits in London and is fully expecting that he will not be at the required annual meeting between the families. Hundreds of years ago, a king had gotten so tired of the feud between the families that he’d made an edict that required them to meet and shake hands each year at noon on the summer equinox. If one family doesn’t have a representative, the other family wins total ownership of a parcel of shared land. Maddie just knows this will be the year they get that land – and they really need it. But … then she sees the horse and rider … I loved Maddie and Gryff together because they were absolutely perfect for each other. I loved seeing them come to realize that they really didn’t hate each other at all and never had. Their admiration for each other grew and grew as they worked to explore the caves, round up violent smugglers, thwart a slimy suitor – and save Maddie’s family from financial ruin. The book is non-stop excitement! I read it straight through because I just couldn’t put it down. It is a well-written set-up and introduction to what promises to be a wonderful new series. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Caz

    I've given this a B at AAR. Set in nineteenth-century Wales, Kate Bateman’s A Reckless Match is an entertaining frenemies-to-lovers romance between scions of two noble families who have been enemies for so many hundreds of years that no-one now alive can remember the reason for that enmity.  The humour and effortless banter between her leads are things I’ve always appreciated about the author’s work, and her ability to create strong chemistry and palpable sexual tension is once again in evidence I've given this a B at AAR. Set in nineteenth-century Wales, Kate Bateman’s A Reckless Match is an entertaining frenemies-to-lovers romance between scions of two noble families who have been enemies for so many hundreds of years that no-one now alive can remember the reason for that enmity.  The humour and effortless banter between her leads are things I’ve always appreciated about the author’s work, and her ability to create strong chemistry and palpable sexual tension is once again in evidence here, as her two protagonists – Gryffud Davies and Madeleine Montgomery – continue both the family rivalry and the relationship built on verbal sparring and one-upmanship they engaged in as children. The prologue explains the feud and why, for centuries, it’s been necessary for a Davies and a Montgomery to meet at noon on the summer equinox on the disputed stretch of land that lies between their estates. A representative from each family must shake hands as a show of good faith  at that time and place every year, and if one of them doesn’t show, then the land is forfeit to the other. On day of the spring equinox of 1815, noon is getting closer and closer and there’s not a Davies in sight – and Maddie Montgomery is gleeful at the thought that her father will finally be able to take possession of the land and the rich deposits within it she’s sure will replenish the Montgomery coffers.  Not having to marry the lecherous Sir Mostyn Drake (who’s sixty if he’s a day) is an added bonus, as is finally getting the upper hand over the insufferable Gryffud Davies, an irresponsible rakehell who hasn’t been home since he inherited his father’s estate and title – and her nemesis since childhood. Sadly, however, Maddie is destined for disappointment, as with just minutes to spare, a lone horseman appears, galloping furiously towards her – and there’s no mistaking that broad silhouette or the effortless grace of the rider.  Her pulse pounding, Maddie hopes that perhaps Gryff has lost some of his appeal or his looks – but no such luck.  If anything he’s even more handsome than he’d been the last time they’d seen each other three years earlier, and his wicked green eyes and gently mocking smile turn her knees to water and make her insides lurch as much as ever.  Maddie steels herself for confrontation, telling herself she doesn’t care a whit what Gryff thinks of her. You can read the rest of this review at All About Romance

  14. 5 out of 5

    Wendy'sThoughts

    4.5 It Is The Conflict That Delights Stars * * * * 1/2 Spoiler Free-A Quick Review I discovered Kate Bateman in 2019 and fell hard for her writing. She took me on a journey I was happy to go on. When I saw this was coming, I jumped on it. Maddie Montgomery's family and Gryffud “Gryff” Davies', Earl of Powys family have been enemies since the beginning of time...No seriously, since the beginning of when families held land and fought over it. The rumor was the fight that has been going on for centur 4.5 It Is The Conflict That Delights Stars * * * * 1/2 Spoiler Free-A Quick Review I discovered Kate Bateman in 2019 and fell hard for her writing. She took me on a journey I was happy to go on. When I saw this was coming, I jumped on it. Maddie Montgomery's family and Gryffud “Gryff” Davies', Earl of Powys family have been enemies since the beginning of time...No seriously, since the beginning of when families held land and fought over it. The rumor was the fight that has been going on for centuries was over a pig. One family thought the other stole it and refused to accept another as even trade. The other rumor was more intense, meaning it was a fight over a woman. There was no actually knowing but the dye was cast. Montgomery hated the Davis and visa versa. It got so bad, it took a royal decree that a strip of land between the two manors was to be shared. Every solstice it was deemed that a representative of each family met in a certain spot, shake hands, and agree to the truce. If one of the families does not show, then the strip of shared land will revert to the family that was there. This year having the Davis family Not show was the real hope of Maddie Montgomery. Maddie's father was a victim of stock fraud and now he is in trouble with all the creditors and worrying he will not be able to save the family home and reputation. Unfortunately, there is a disgusting older man who wants to marry Maddie and has named a price he will pay for her. Although it is tempting for the father to say yes, he loves his independent daughter and will not force her. Which leaves Maddie at the bridge waiting and hoping her nemesis, Gryff does not show up. If he doesn't then all of their prayers will be answered. The land probably has coal mines for the taking and other riches to save them. Gryff and Maddie have been at each other since childhood. Gryff then saw how lovely Maddie was starting to grow. He loved teasing her and although he has the reputation of a rogue since returning from the war, he has always loved sparing with Maddie. He has been in London so she has reason to think he may not show, but show he does. Damn, the blasted man showed up and has the nerve to be as handsome and broad as she remembered. They both say a few words and then it is time for the shaking of hands, however, something causes Gryff to kiss Maddie instead. Well, that was not expected and both are a little stunned by it. She does not slap him as she should have and he would like more from her. This is the beginning of these two crossing paths and then becoming friends first and then more. There is suspense, action, the need to protect each other, and a very happy ending. Also, each family has siblings and those siblings have hidden feelings for the other. I think this series is off to a solid start. A Reckless Match (Ruthless Rivals, #1) https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... A Daring Pursuit (Ruthless Rivals, #2) https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review. For more Reviews, Free E-books and Giveaways

  15. 5 out of 5

    book bruin

    This was such a fun childhood enemies to lovers historical romance! The rivalry between the Davies and Montgomery families was the perfect backdrop for this story. I loved the banter and chemistry between Gryff and Maddie. They each gave as good as they got and their back and forth created the most delicious build up. Throw in some forced proximity and years of mutual pining (even if they didn't recognize it at the time) and I was sold. There's adventure along the way in A Reckless Match, with a This was such a fun childhood enemies to lovers historical romance! The rivalry between the Davies and Montgomery families was the perfect backdrop for this story. I loved the banter and chemistry between Gryff and Maddie. They each gave as good as they got and their back and forth created the most delicious build up. Throw in some forced proximity and years of mutual pining (even if they didn't recognize it at the time) and I was sold. There's adventure along the way in A Reckless Match, with an exciting smugglers plot and cave exploration/escape, but I did feel that the story meandered a bit in the middle. This made the book feel overly long and though the last few chapters set up the future books very well, it also added some unnecessary last minute drama. I really loved the secondary characters in A Reckless Match, and I can't wait to see sparks fly between Tristan and Carys and Harriet and Morgan. I wonder if we'll see a book for Rhys in the future too. CW: discussion and mentions of lightning, being struck, and scarring, on page violence (explosions, guns, and knives), mentions of death of parent and war *I voluntarily read an advance review copy of this book*

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anita

    Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review. When you take an ancient family feud, two childhood frenemies, a den of smugglers and a simmering passion, what do you get? An absolutely wonderful, fantastic book, that's what. The Montgomery and Davies families have feuded since medieval time, one family English and the other Welsh. Their lands adjoin except for a strip of no man's land, as decreed by King Henry the Seventh. E Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review. When you take an ancient family feud, two childhood frenemies, a den of smugglers and a simmering passion, what do you get? An absolutely wonderful, fantastic book, that's what. The Montgomery and Davies families have feuded since medieval time, one family English and the other Welsh. Their lands adjoin except for a strip of no man's land, as decreed by King Henry the Seventh. Each year a family representatives meet, shake hands and agree not to kill each other. Madeline Montgomery and Gryffud Davies, Earl of Powys have known, and tormented, each other since childhood. Gryff went off to fight Napoleon and Maddie grew up to be a smart, stunning beauty with an interest in archaeology. At this years meet and greet each is stunned by the changes in the other. When Maddie stumbles into a cave system, she hopes to find artifacts that will help restore her families depleted fortune. Of course, Gryff is right behind her and they find a smuggler's den full of illicit contraband which leads to a dangerous undercover mission. What they eventually find is the answer to Maddie's prayers, and a steamy encounter with Gryff that leaves Maddie well aware of her own lack of experience and that what she feels for Gryff is really love.

  17. 5 out of 5

    sil ♡ the book voyagers

    I finished A Reckless Match! If you're looking for a book with lots of action, never a dull moment, flirty conversations and lots of kisses, this one is definitely for you. Maddie and Gryff's families have been enemies for centuries. Literally next-door neighbors, they can't see each other without fighting. Now Gryff is back and he's the new Earl after his father has passed away. But his bickering with Maddie is still going strong. When they discover a plot of contraband, they team-up to get at t I finished A Reckless Match! If you're looking for a book with lots of action, never a dull moment, flirty conversations and lots of kisses, this one is definitely for you. Maddie and Gryff's families have been enemies for centuries. Literally next-door neighbors, they can't see each other without fighting. Now Gryff is back and he's the new Earl after his father has passed away. But his bickering with Maddie is still going strong. When they discover a plot of contraband, they team-up to get at the bottom of this! This also has the "has loved her for all his life" trope. Gryff literally thought of Maddie whenever he felt like giving up. He was all "I need to do this so I can see her again" and ofndjgn they WERE ENEMIES STILL. He has loved her from kids to teens and now to adults. They have a simmering attraction that no one can deny. - Smol and tol - Kissing bc lost a bet - Hero has a term of endearment for her I'm very excited for this series to continue! It seems all of them or the majority of these books are going to be enemies to lovers or hate to love in a way.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Milena

    I am a fan of Kate Bateman's historical romances, and I was very excited about her new series, Ruthless Rivals. A Reckless Match is the first book in the series. It's an enemies-to-lovers romance with strong Romeo and Juliet vibes. The Montgomery and the Devies clans have been rivals for generations. The rivalry started either over a pig or over a woman, no one remembers any longer, but the feud has lasted centuries, and each family doesn't miss a chance to antagonize the enemy. Maddie Montgomer I am a fan of Kate Bateman's historical romances, and I was very excited about her new series, Ruthless Rivals. A Reckless Match is the first book in the series. It's an enemies-to-lovers romance with strong Romeo and Juliet vibes. The Montgomery and the Devies clans have been rivals for generations. The rivalry started either over a pig or over a woman, no one remembers any longer, but the feud has lasted centuries, and each family doesn't miss a chance to antagonize the enemy. Maddie Montgomery and Gryff Davies continue their families' tradition of bitter rivalry while secretly harboring feelings for each other. They rekindle their antagonistic relationship after Gryff returns back home to Wales from the war. I loved Maddie and Gryff's banter, their chemistry, and their adventures together. Their romance is simply delicious! I also loved that the story is set in Wales and not London like most Regency romances. I highly recommend A Reckless Match to historical romance readers, especially to fans of the enemies-to-lovers trope! *ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

  19. 4 out of 5

    PlotTrysts

    A fun series starter, the book combines some great romance tropes: childhood frenemies-to-lovers from feuding families, Gryff and Madeline, must work together to catch a band of smugglers. In the meantime, Madeline is trying to hide her family's bankruptcy from Gryff, although it could mean that she has to marry a rich old lecher to save them. For his part, Gryff is learning how to be the head of his family after his father's death. Maddie's interest in archaeology is a welcome addition to the b A fun series starter, the book combines some great romance tropes: childhood frenemies-to-lovers from feuding families, Gryff and Madeline, must work together to catch a band of smugglers. In the meantime, Madeline is trying to hide her family's bankruptcy from Gryff, although it could mean that she has to marry a rich old lecher to save them. For his part, Gryff is learning how to be the head of his family after his father's death. Maddie's interest in archaeology is a welcome addition to the book. While the third act conflict is a bit predictable, its resolution was satisfyingly enjoyable, and left us ready for the rest of the series. This objective review is based on a complimentary advanced reader copy.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenn (The Book Refuge)

    *Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.* This book was a fun little romp! Gryff and Maddie grew up in feuding families that share some land between them. Every Equinox they have to meet up at a specific time or one forfeits the land to the other. Gryff has returned after 3 years in the military to take over after his father died and Maddie Montgomery has changed quite a bit in his absence. Small feelings he had for her when they were younger an *Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.* This book was a fun little romp! Gryff and Maddie grew up in feuding families that share some land between them. Every Equinox they have to meet up at a specific time or one forfeits the land to the other. Gryff has returned after 3 years in the military to take over after his father died and Maddie Montgomery has changed quite a bit in his absence. Small feelings he had for her when they were younger and he used to tease her, have grown stronger when he sees how fierce and bold she is now. Maddie does not like how strongly she feels pulled to Gryff and she really doesn't want him to know how badly her family is currently doing. They are on the edge of financial ruin and she believes there may be some hope in the ground beneath their feet, the ground they share together. Will Gryff be willing to believe her hunch? And will he want to work together and possibly save her family from losing everything, and her from an unwanted marriage? This book was a great time. It had some cave hunting and some Indiana Jones type adventures. It read very quickly and it was sweet and steamy in just the right way. I do think that some of the pacing was all over the place, and everything happened in a very short amount of time. I think the next couples in the series were well set up and I do look forward to the next Equinox meeting to see who may be paired up next. 4/5 stars

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    3 stars A very different historical romance... One with lots of caves and a Romeo and Juliet-style feud. Plot: ★★★ Romance: ★★ Enjoyment: ★★★ A Reckless Match comes out on September 28! Maddie Montgomery's family has been in a feud with the neighboring Davies family for generations. By order of the Royal family, each year a representative of the Montgomery family and a representative of the Davies family must meet on the borderlands of their estates and shake hands to seal their yearly agreement—if e 3 stars A very different historical romance... One with lots of caves and a Romeo and Juliet-style feud. Plot: ★★★ Romance: ★★ Enjoyment: ★★★ A Reckless Match comes out on September 28! Maddie Montgomery's family has been in a feud with the neighboring Davies family for generations. By order of the Royal family, each year a representative of the Montgomery family and a representative of the Davies family must meet on the borderlands of their estates and shake hands to seal their yearly agreement—if either party fails to show up, the strip of borderland is taken from the no-show family. Maddie thinks her family might just win this year... until Gryff Davies shows up on his horse, freshly returned from the war and looking Fine with a capital F. Gryff's childhood crush on Maddie Montgomery was something of his past, Gryff thought. But when he sees Maddie on the border, he realizes he was just lying to himself. She's the only person who makes him feel something, and he's not sure he can bear to see her getting married off... Will these two lifelong "enemies" meet their match? I thought this series debut was entertaining enough, but to be honest I think this was a case of "it's not the book, it's just me and my reading tastes again" because I had a really hard time getting through A Reckless Match. And objectively, this was a wonderfully fresh historical romance. For one thing, there's a lot of adventure and cave exploring. How many historical romances set in England can say that? This novel does include the "virgin female" trope, which is a personal dislike of mine. It also moved quite slowly and seemed to conveniently wrap up every plot point. Again, neither of those qualms are necessarily bad, but given my personal romance preferences they served to keep me from fully engaging in the story. If you like historical English romances, feuding families, or caves, I do recommend this one! Thank you to St Martin's Press for my copy in exchange for an honest review. Blog | Instagram

  22. 5 out of 5

    Antonella

    Kate Bateman slowly becoming an auto-buy author when in the mood for a fun historical romance...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Cook

    Really enjoyed this star crossed lovers, feuding families romance. This had a lot of adventure and was heavy on the plot for a large portion of the middle and that took away just slightly from the romance, but the overall reading experience was very fun. Can't wait to read more in this series! Really enjoyed this star crossed lovers, feuding families romance. This had a lot of adventure and was heavy on the plot for a large portion of the middle and that took away just slightly from the romance, but the overall reading experience was very fun. Can't wait to read more in this series!

  24. 4 out of 5

    ✩ Yaz ✩

    3.5 - ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 He was her shadow, her blight, and her curse. But she couldn’t imagine a life without him in it, even only as a memory. She was grimly certain she’d never desire anyone more. A Reckless Match is a delightful fast-paced historical romance of two lifelong enemies who cross the forbidden line and surrender to their deepest desires. Madeline and Gryff are swept by an inferno of sizzling romance and delicious sexual chemistry. “Of course it’s madness. You’re a Davies. I’m a Montgomery. The 3.5 - ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 He was her shadow, her blight, and her curse. But she couldn’t imagine a life without him in it, even only as a memory. She was grimly certain she’d never desire anyone more. A Reckless Match is a delightful fast-paced historical romance of two lifelong enemies who cross the forbidden line and surrender to their deepest desires. Madeline and Gryff are swept by an inferno of sizzling romance and delicious sexual chemistry. “Of course it’s madness. You’re a Davies. I’m a Montgomery. The world will probably implode if we keep going. I don’t care. I want you to kiss me. Now.” And to add the cherry on top: This book promises witty banter. Plenty of it. It's finally the Spring Equinox of 1815 and 22-year-old Madeline Montgomery is this year's representative of the Montogomery family. It's been an annual tradition for the Montgomerys and the Davies to shake hands as a gesture of goodwill on the dividing bridge between their lands. This tradition dates back to the days of King Henry the Seventh after devising a Machiavellian solution to rid himself of the theatrics between the two lifelong enemies. It did little to quell the animosity and bad blood between the families but it atleast led the families to come up with creative ways to bait and challenge each other. Madeline had hope this year that the new Earl of Powys, Gryffud Llewellyn Davies, her childhood nemesis, would miss the yearly occassion—especially when she heard of his scandalous liaisons in London. Not surprising for shameless rogue like Gryff to stir up a roar in London so he must have his hands full. But Gryff is a Davies through and through, he won't give Madeline of forefeiting the land between them to a Montogomery no less. Madeline is running out of option for her family is in an unfortunate financial situation and spending time with the insufferable and utterly irresistible Gryff is an invitation to sin. Gryff Davies always looked as if he couldn’t choose between strangling her or ravishing her. She’d never quite decided which would be worse. I adored this book, it was such a quick feel-good read that delivered some steam. And a Welsh hero? Calling her Cariad? That endearment always has me weak. The couple have an insane and wonderful chemistry between them and every page spent with them was pure entertainment. Dear God, they were enemies! She must be light-headed from the lack of air. These were clearly the first symptoms of asphyxia: lurid fantasies and shameless hallucinations. She was succumbing to madness, like some lust-crazed female hermit. Unlike other historical romances, this one offers an adventure with the couple away from dazzling ballrooms and elegant theatres. I felt like the story could've offered more and I honestly wanted more of the couple which explains the 3.5-star rating but overall I enjoyed the book. This is a promising series and I look forward to the future stories of the other Montgomery and Davies' siblings. This book was a treat!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    This is the first book in Kate Bateman’s NEW SERIES — “RUTHLESS RIVALS,” releasing 9/28/21. This is my first Kate Bateman book, and definitely won’t be my last. The Montgomery and Davies clans have been sworn enemies for 500 years. Their feud started over a stolen pig, or a lost one, depending on which clan you asked. The King decreed a meeting between the warring clans every year on spring equinox to shake hands as a gesture of good will. They agreed to meet on the bridge dividing their properti This is the first book in Kate Bateman’s NEW SERIES — “RUTHLESS RIVALS,” releasing 9/28/21. This is my first Kate Bateman book, and definitely won’t be my last. The Montgomery and Davies clans have been sworn enemies for 500 years. Their feud started over a stolen pig, or a lost one, depending on which clan you asked. The King decreed a meeting between the warring clans every year on spring equinox to shake hands as a gesture of good will. They agreed to meet on the bridge dividing their properties. If either side failed to appear, land the King had set aside would go to the other. In 1815 our heroine, Madeline Montgomery, was chosen to shake hands with her nemesis Gryff Davies, the new earl. Gryff not only shakes Maddy’s hand, but SURPRISE, he also kisses her for good measure! During that kiss, both felt flashes of heat and desire. This book was so much fun!! The hero and heroine both deny their true feelings for each other, until they’re forced to work in close proximity together to stop a band of criminals. There’s so so much pining from both Gryff and Maddy, and I loved that this story was written in such a way, I could feel the electric current running between them. This story is magical, a true HEA romance. I highly recommend it! I can’t wait to read the next installment in this series. Thanks so much to St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley for kindly providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    Reckless is the key! Welsh Clan Davies and the English family, the Montgomery’s had been feuding for centuries over…a stolen pig?…or maybe a stolen woman? No matter it’s so far back in time the root cause has been forgotten, although the dissension lives on. Oh, and then there’s the ‘no man’s’ strip of land either side of the river which is the boundary between the two factions, as decreed by King Henry VII. He was exasperated by the whole sorry mess being played out on the border country of Wale Reckless is the key! Welsh Clan Davies and the English family, the Montgomery’s had been feuding for centuries over…a stolen pig?…or maybe a stolen woman? No matter it’s so far back in time the root cause has been forgotten, although the dissension lives on. Oh, and then there’s the ‘no man’s’ strip of land either side of the river which is the boundary between the two factions, as decreed by King Henry VII. He was exasperated by the whole sorry mess being played out on the border country of Wales and England. Talk about the Capulets and Montagues! Or to Henry’s mind, the Medici’s and the Borgia’s. Each year on the spring equinox, a representative of the families must meet on the narrow bridge spanning the river and shake hands. Failure to appear means that strip of land is forfeited by the family who fails to turn up for the occasion. In this year of 1815 Madeline Montgomery is her family’s representative. The end of the time specified is approaching and no Davies has appeared. Just as she’s about to metaphorically dance a victory jig, the rogue and her childhood tormentor Gwf Davies rides over the hill. Gwf is back in Wales taking a rest from Prinny’s gaze. He’s just been involved in a duel. Prinny does not approve! Meanwhile Maddie is trying to bring the family fortunes around. And yes that much discussed strip of land is involved. There’s a cast of interesting characters including two wicked and eccentric aunts. Always dropping rather charged comments. I loved them! Off to stage left, or is it right? are a couple of interesting relationships that bear watching. The story has it all—feuding lead characters smouldering with desire, adventure, near death experiences, hidden treasure (sort of), miles of caves (I felt the walls closing in) and mystery. Quite a lot is happens, with some rather comic moments. Amusing remenicents bring a lighter note to the heaving, electric emotions that charge the atmosphere between our two lead characters. Their struggles to fight that attraction of course just increases tensions, and leads to some rather steamy interplay. However resolution of land use problems and Maddie’s financial situation is not clear and the road ahead is somewhat rocky. An easy, fun read! A St. Martin's Press ARC via NetGalley

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stacee

    I had read and loved Kate's previous series, so there was no way I was going to miss this one. I love love loved Maddie and Gryff. They're both snarky and sarcastic and smitten. I loved their flirting disguised as banter and how each of them was already half in love with the other. Gryff's family is a delight and I'm really hoping they're going to be the future books. Plot wise, it was fun. There are a few moving pieces here, but really, the focus is on Maddie and Gryff. There's no angst, loads I had read and loved Kate's previous series, so there was no way I was going to miss this one. I love love loved Maddie and Gryff. They're both snarky and sarcastic and smitten. I loved their flirting disguised as banter and how each of them was already half in love with the other. Gryff's family is a delight and I'm really hoping they're going to be the future books. Plot wise, it was fun. There are a few moving pieces here, but really, the focus is on Maddie and Gryff. There's no angst, loads of open communication, and chemistry galore. The conflict is outside of the relationship and I especially enjoyed the two of them working together. Overall, this was a quick read with characters who were so easy to root for. I can't wait for the next book in the series. **Huge thanks to the publisher for providing the arc free of charge**

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jewlsbookblog

    Madeline (Maddie) Montgomery and Gryffud (Gryff) Davies families are essentially the Welsh version of the Hatfields and McCoy’s with a rivalry that began over a pig…or a woman…depending on who is asked, but they’re not a typical enemies to lovers couple. Oh my word, how I loved these two and their hilarious families! As the new Earl, Gryff has returned home from battling Napoleon only to find his childhood nemesis has grown in to a lovely woman. Gryff has it all—wit, loyalty, thoughtfulness, and Madeline (Maddie) Montgomery and Gryffud (Gryff) Davies families are essentially the Welsh version of the Hatfields and McCoy’s with a rivalry that began over a pig…or a woman…depending on who is asked, but they’re not a typical enemies to lovers couple. Oh my word, how I loved these two and their hilarious families! As the new Earl, Gryff has returned home from battling Napoleon only to find his childhood nemesis has grown in to a lovely woman. Gryff has it all—wit, loyalty, thoughtfulness, and charm, as well as being close to his younger, somewhat flashier siblings, but the thought of settling down hasn’t crossed his mind, at least consciously. So why is it Maddie is bringing forth all these blasted feelings?! Maddie is a bit of a blue stocking with a love of archeology. She’s in a pickle and trying to find another way to salvage the family coffers without becoming the sacrificial lamb, but never did she figure help would come from the enemy. And no, it’s not a marriage of convenience but something much more unique;) A Reckless Match was a fun romp through the countryside! There were interesting plot twists, oodles of sizzling chemistry—and I do mean oodles and oodles—and of all things-who’d have thought the dictionary could be a tool in seduction?! I am loving this new series and can’t wait to see where it goes.!! I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley/St. Martin’s press. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Aly

    4.5 Madeline Montgomery and Gryff Davies come from two feuding families and have known each other since they were young. He's an ex-soldier who inherited the title of Earl of Powys and the gossip sheets made him into a much more scandalous man than he is. Maddie dream of pursuing her passion for archaeology but to pay for his debts, her father wants her to marry an old man she abhor, who made it clear that he would never let the young lady do as she please once they'll be married. Fortunately for 4.5 Madeline Montgomery and Gryff Davies come from two feuding families and have known each other since they were young. He's an ex-soldier who inherited the title of Earl of Powys and the gossip sheets made him into a much more scandalous man than he is. Maddie dream of pursuing her passion for archaeology but to pay for his debts, her father wants her to marry an old man she abhor, who made it clear that he would never let the young lady do as she please once they'll be married. Fortunately for Maddie, her Davies nemesis, a well, smugglers and a cave will bring her a much more interesting future. Kate Bateman books are always an adventure and this new series start on an excellent note. Gryff and Maddie's witty banters and chemistry were a delight to witness. I really like the feud's legend but what I like even more is that Gryff already fancied Maddie when she wasn't pretty and he didn't suddenly fall for her when he see her transformation into beautiful swan.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rainelle

    A Reckless Match, by Kate Bateman. How is it that I had so much fun reading this book?! I would like to thank the writer for supplying all the wonderfully entertainment between Maddie and Gryff in this story. These two really held their own throughout the book. The writer description from the characters, the land, the fashion and the characters facial expressions, gave me a good visual as I read the story. The creativity of their characters, I think was perfect for this storyline. I enjoyed the A Reckless Match, by Kate Bateman. How is it that I had so much fun reading this book?! I would like to thank the writer for supplying all the wonderfully entertainment between Maddie and Gryff in this story. These two really held their own throughout the book. The writer description from the characters, the land, the fashion and the characters facial expressions, gave me a good visual as I read the story. The creativity of their characters, I think was perfect for this storyline. I enjoyed the comedic moments, as well as the harmless banter among Maddie, Gryff, and their families. The excitement and the thrill of the chase of the unknown was the best for me. I’m glad that the writer stayed close to keeping the dialogue and wording of the story simple for the readers. The pace of the book left me enjoying the end of the book. The action I though was great! It provided some intense moments within the plot. I found that the book had some realism that played well with thoughts of the development of economic and agricultural among the land. The undeniable smoldering lust that Gryff and Maddie had for one another was a treat to read. I found this story a pleasure to read, with these two in the book. This book is a excellent page turner for a reader who simply wants to enjoy a good book that will bring a smile to your face. Until next time my fellow readers… read on!

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