A Wicked Game by Kate Bateman

A Wicked Game (Ruthless Rivals, #3)Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Series: Ruthless Rivals #3
Publication Date: 12/27/22
Period: Regency London
Number of Pages: 304

If you love snappy banter, witty characters, and a deep abiding love both characters have kept hidden for years, then you’ll love this book. The Montgomery and Davies families have been in a feud for centuries. While the earlier family members kidnapped each other, stole from each other, and saw to each other’s demise, the current family members’ enmity is of a much more benign nature. Shux – the feud might even be considered over since two couples of the feuding families have married each other. Now, could there possibly be a third?

Harriet Montgomery and Morgan Davies have been challenging each other, daring each other, and besting each other since they were children. They’ve also secretly loved each other for that long as well. They each know nothing could come of it because they are sure the other sees them as nothing more than an enemy to taunt and challenge.

Growing to adulthood has a way of changing things for us – and that is certainly what happened with Morgan. As he grew to adulthood, he knew he loved Harriet – and after his experiences in the war, he knew he’d do what it took to make her realize she loved him too.

Morgan certainly put his training in battle strategies to good use in wooing and winning Harriet, but it was a near thing. Not that she didn’t love him – she did. It was that she was always looking for his ulterior motive. What did he have up his sleeve? What trick was he playing?

Harriet was vehemently opposed to marriage to a sailor. She wanted a husband who would be home and sharing her life every day and not just occasionally when he was home from the sea. How will Morgan get past that? His solution is perfect and I know you’ll love it.

So, why didn’t I rate it a 5-star read like I did the first two books? That is a bit hard to explain, but I’ll try. I was looking for more adventure – more excitement – more villains out to wreak havoc, etc. Harriet wanted adventure and I wanted her to have it, but it just didn’t materialize. Don’t get me wrong, it was a beautiful romance, it just wasn’t an exciting, on-the-edge-of-your-chair kind of adventure on the way to the romance. I know it couldn’t be like the first book of the series – now THAT was adventure and romance. No, we couldn’t have them trapped in underground tunnels while being chased by smugglers and discovering gold – but gosh – we could have more than some nut with a gun covering just a few short pages.

I loved the story and you couldn’t ask for a more enticing, romantic lead character than Morgan. He was witty, handsome, caring, honorable, intelligent – I mean – goodness – what isn’t to love about him? The same goes for Harriet. I loved her spunk, her wit, her intelligence – and she was exactly perfect for Morgan. They totally complemented each other in every way. I hope you’ll love the story as much as I did. Now – we’re going to have to wait for Rhys, the last Davies male standing, to find his Montgomery love. Can’t wait!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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