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Book Review: A Reckless Match by Kate Bateman



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If you like the enemies to lovers trope with a healthy dose of angst and a sprinkle of childhood crush thrown in, then you will love this book! I loved how the book started off with the backstory, detailing a rivalry between families that was said to be worse than the Montagues and Capulets of the Shakespeare tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. I knew then that this would be well worth the read, and I was pleased to find that I was right. The rivalry was hilarious, passed down from generation to generation, until now the daughter of one family and the son of another must battle it out. However, a lot more is at stake now than just a blood feud, and whereas before their fathers were at odds, now it's a couple who feel way more towards each other than they should.


Every year on the spring equinox, one member of the Davies family and one member of the Montgomery family must meet on the strip of no-man's-land that runs between them. As long as they do that, the land remains unclaimed. However, if one member fails to arrive, then the other family will get ownership of the land. Normally it's a matter of pride, but to Maddie Montgomery, it means so much more than that now that her father is deep in debt and the land in question could be the key to their salvation. So when she sees Gryffud Davies riding up at the last possible second to meet her, she is not pleased. Gryff hadn't seen Maddie since he left for war over three years ago, but he had thought of her often. While teasing her was irresistible as children, now he wants to do much more than tease her. But with his father recently passed away, he is just getting used to being an earl, and he has no intention of settling down. Which makes this profound attraction to his sworn enemy so unwanted...and so alluring. As circumstances keep forcing them together at every turn, they start to realize that the line between enemies and lovers can be quite thin, and it's easy to cross over if one is willing to break tradition in favor of what the hear truly wants.


I was utterly charmed by Gryffud from the moment he arrived on the scene. He was extremely likable and friendly, and I loved seeing how he genuinely cared for Maddie, despite their constant bickering. He was so in tune with her, it was hilarious to me that he didn't realize he already loved her. It was clear as day to me, but the rivalry between them, and his unwillingness to wed, clouded his judgment. Maddie was also a wonderful character, a young woman I think I could easily be friends with. More at home digging for archaeological finds than in a ballroom, she has a strong interest in the land and what it could provide, not just in terms of money but also in terms of history. She was intelligent, confident, independent, and the perfect match for Gryff. Their interactions had me laughing often, as the traded jabs and innuendos. As their romance progressed, I found myself reading faster and faster as I couldn't wait to see what happened next. There was a small conflict about two-thirds of the way through that was a bit frustrating - some of the things said by Gryff were very difficult for me to reconcile with the man I had known up to that point - it was eventually chalked up to a scuffle that could be forgotten. While it wasn't really resolved, no apologies were exchanged, they had much bigger things to deal with at the time. He redeemed himself, she stood up for herself, and all was well.


As the first book in a series, this is a great start, and I am looking forward to reading more. I am hoping the cousin, Harriet, gets her book next, as I'm most intrigued by her story. However, based on the cover of Book 2, looks like it will be Gryff's sister instead. I imagine the angst in the second book will turned up quite a bit, and I am here for it!


**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**