ARC Review: A Reckless Match by Kate Bateman

About the Book:

Title: A Reckless Match

Author: Kate Bateman

Series: Ruthless Rivals

Page Length: 336

Publication Date: Sept. 28, 2021

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Synopsis: 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.

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon   

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My Review:

An enemies-to-lovers romance with Romeo and Juliet vibes, Kate Bateman’s A Reckless Match is a fun and exciting love story. The story centers around Gryff Davies and Maddie Montgomery, who are from feuding families that have been feuding for so long that they don’t even know how and why it began. Gryff has returned home and is adjusting to life as a titled man when he encounters Maddie for the first time in years. Maddie is trying to save her family from bankruptcy while avoiding an unwanted marriage to a much older and wealthy man. However, when the pair see each other again, the sparks fly.

Maddie and Gryff have been antagonizing each other since they were young children. As neighbors and enemies, they never ceased to play pranks on and tease one another. However, as adults their rivalry slowly turns into something more. When Maddie’s initial plan to save her family from ruin fails, and she and Gryff realize that smugglers are hiding goods on their shared land, Maddie and Gryff agree to a temporary truce while they work together to find the smugglers and bring them to justice. Will they find the smugglers? Can they resist their ever-growing feelings for each other? Will their families ever end the feud that threatens to tear them apart? Can Maddie save her family and home?

Maddie has such an adventurous spirit, and her passion for and knowledge of archeology is so interesting and helpful! She is intelligent and outspoken, and she possesses such strength. I love how she challenges Gryff, and she doesn’t relent. She is so determined to save her home and family, and she insists on being involved in protecting her land. She’s a dynamic and passionate person, which is why Gryff is so drawn to her.

Gryff is also fantastic! He is a charmer with a quick wit and a dashing personality, and I love how he teases and woos Maddie. However, he has been through a lot since he last saw Maddy. As a leader in the military, Gryff has experienced his fair share of danger, which is helpful when trying to find and detain the smugglers. Gryff and Maddie’s combined knowledge definitely sees them through some perilous situations, including cave explorations, explosions, and more.

The romance is so swoon-worthy, and the chemistry between Maddie and Gryff is off the charts!! This pair has been at odds since they were children, and I love the little anecdotes of their childhood and the trouble they got into. They have such a strong and long-lasting bond, even though neither wants to admit it. Caring for each other goes against all they’ve been taught. Their banter is witty, fun, antagonizing, and romantic, and there are as many cute and fun parts as there are romantic parts. I found myself laughing out loud at some of their conversations and antics and swooning at some of their tender and romantic moments.

The secondary characters are also intriguing, and I’m eager to see more of them in upcoming books in the series. Bateman definitely set up some potential future love stories between the Davies and the Montgomery’s, which should prove entertaining. Characters like Maddie’s aunts and many of the people who work for Gryff are other great additions to the story.

Kate Bateman is a fantastic storyteller, and this novel is no exception. It is an engrossing story full of adventure, intrigue, danger, and romance, and I can’t wait to read the next book in this new series! I’m so thankful to NetGalley, Kate Bateman, and St. Martin’s Press for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance!
  • The suspense and action!!

Favorite Line:

She’d take his worst efforts over anyone else’s best.


This is a fantastic read for anyone who likes enemies-to-lovers historical romance with adventure, suspense, and an epic love story!

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