Five Witty, Daringly Wonderful Stars!
The Ruthless Rivals (Book 2)
Regency Romance, Historical Romance
St. Martin's Paperbacks
May 24, 2022
ebook, paperback, audiobook
The Davies and Montgomery families have been locked in an ancient feud. But it’s a thin line between love and hate in Kate Bateman's A Daring Pursuit.
Carys Davies is doing everything in her power to avoid marriage. Staying single is the only way to hide the secret that could ruin her—and her family—if it was revealed. For the past two seasons she’s scandalized the ton with her outrageous outfits and brazen ways in a futile bid to deter potential suitors. Outwardly confident and carefree, inside she’s disillusioned with both men and love. There’s only one person who’s never bought her act—the only man who makes her heart race: Tristan Montgomery, one of her family’s greatest rivals.
ONE SCANDALOUS BARGAIN
Wickedly proper architect Tristan needs a respectable woman to wed, but he’s never stopped wanting bold, red-headed Carys. When she mockingly challenges him to show her what she’s missing by not getting married, Tristan shocks them both by accepting her indecent proposal: one week of clandestine meetings, after which they’ll go their separate ways. But kissing each other is almost as much fun as arguing, and their affair burns hotter than either of them expects. When they find themselves embroiled in a treasonous plot, can they trust each other with their hearts, their secrets…and their lives?
“Try to stay out of trouble. And if you can’t be good, be careful.”
A Daring Pursuit by Kate Bateman is an absolute must read for all historical romance lovers. Rivals since childhood, Carys Davies and Tristan Montgomery are well-matched in wit, intelligence, and combustible chemistry. With each interaction their resistance to each other crumbles, and I could not have loved this story more!
“He was so strong, so solid. She felt like Odysseus, lashed to a mast in a storm. How tempting it would be to melt against him, to surrender to the siren song of sensation.”
Recently returned from the Continent, Tristan has left the war with France behind him, but he manages to stumble upon some drama in the form of Carys Davies in a compromising situation with one of her former suitors who is very much a married man of the ton. Carys has made a reputation for herself as being most definitely wild, a little reckless, a woman who whole-heartedly embraces scandalous fashion (in a tasteful way, darling), and is the animal rights activist of her times. When I tell you that Carys and Tristan have the gravitational pull of planetary proportions, combined with the inferno of unspoken feelings between them, and I thought I would perish from the Darcy and Elizabeth-esque repartee between these two characters—I am not exaggerating.
“He never did anything without thoroughly weighing the pros and cons, but whenever he was near her logic and reason abandoned him.”
When Carys decides to call Tristan out on all his scandalously wonderful innuendos and propositions him to act on all his promised words, both Tristan and Carys start the gloriously delicious downfall of falling for each other while insisting it’s just an arrangement between friends. My friends, there is truly nothing better here. Tristan exudes all the classic heroic characteristics, and there’s even a “who did this to you?”-type of moment, and yes I absolutely did swoon. Carys’ bravado is applaudable in a time where society could be a cruel mistress, and yet when she reveals her true self to the readers and to Tristan, I couldn’t help loving her even more.
“I don’t need light to see you. I know what you are: a beautiful infuriating force of nature.”
Undoubtedly Carys and Tristan steal the show here, it’s their romance after all. But there is also mystery, blackmail, sibling hijinks, a pair of crows, a circus bear, and a scene featuring Tristan’s Aunts that had me cackling so loudly that I got shushed by my own husband. I adored Kate Bateman’s first in the series, A Reckless Match, but truly A Daring Pursuit is a shining triumph of a romance. If you are a fan of a perfectly balanced rivals to lovers romance, then this is the story for you!
Jes is a self-proclaimed bookworm, who recently moved from the PNW back to the Midwest. When her nose isn’t in a book, she’s spending time with her husband, two kids, and her three fur babies, or exploring the globe. She also firmly believes that you should start the day with coffee, and end the day in bed with a good book.