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Published by St. Martin's Press on September 28, 2021
Genres: Romance, Historical
Review Copy Provided By: St. Martin's Press
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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, 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.
I was provided a review copy; this did not influence my opinion of the book.
“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.”
We begin the Ruthless Rivals series with an enemies-to-lovers story. Maddie Montgomery’s family had been feuding with Gryffud Davies’ family for so long no one remembered what they were fighting about; was it a pig, a woman? Ten miles separated the two estates, but it was the strip of land between the two where “Every year, on the day of the spring equinox, one representative from each family had to present themselves on the dividing bridge and shake hands in a gesture of goodwill.” If either family failed to send a representative, then the other family would receive full ownership of that strip of land.
This year, Madeline and Griff were sent to represent their clans. The two had known and been taught to hate each other their whole lives. Of course, neither let their families down and were present to shake the other’s hand. After some contentious encounters, the two found themselves discovering gold, smugglers, and danger. Fighting for their lives and their families force them to work together, and togetherness brings sparks.
“This was no slow stoking of fire. This was an immediate conflagration: heat and desperate urgency”
Every book from this author feels like an adventure. Whether promenading, exploring, fighting, or escaping, her characters are always on a quest. Along with great banter, a sexy rogue, and a feisty heroine, you can guarantee there will always be a slow-burn romance and some steamy scenes.