A Wicked Game
The Ruthless Rivals
by Kate Bateman
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Pub Date 27 Dec 2022 | Archive Date 10 Jan 2023
St. Martin's Press, St. Martin's Paperbacks
A Wicked Game marks the third book in Kate Bateman's popular regency romance series, Ruthless Rivals.
If there’s one thing impossible for a Davies to resist, it’s a challenge from a Montgomery. . .
A teasing bet.
Shipwrecked and imprisoned thanks to an incorrect map, Captain Morgan Davies has returned to London to exact sweet revenge on the cartographer responsible for his suffering. He’s also vowed to claim the winner’s prize—three kisses—in the bet he made with his long-time nemesis, the prickly, smart-mouthed Harriet Montgomery. His incarceration has clarified his feelings for her, but convincing the infuriating woman he wants to marry her is going to be his greatest challenge yet. When Harriet’s revealed to be the very mapmaker he seeks, Morgan decides to combine revenge and seduction into one delightful package. . .
A dangerous enemy.
Harriet’s always wanted witty scoundrel Morgan, and now he’s back; as handsome and as taunting as ever. She has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s failing eyesight and a rival mapmaker copying her work to play wicked games with a dastardly Davies—however tempting he might be. But when a threat from Morgan’s past puts them both in danger, Harry discovers that she and Morgan might not be enemies at all . . .
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Average rating from 180 members
Bateman sleighs again with another wickedly hot compulsive read! This series hasn't let me down yet!
In the third book in Bateman's "Ruthless Rivals" series, another dreamy Davies man goes after his childhood love/nemesis, a Montgomery! At this point, the feud between these two families is well buried except for the flirty cat and mouse game that Harriet and Morgan have carried on for too many years. These are adults, betting each other for kisses. Of COURSE, they secretly love each other!
When Capt. Morgan Davies gets back from the Navy, he is determined to do two things - get revenge on the devious mapmaker that led his crew into captivity with a false map and win Harriet Montgomery's heart once and for all. What will he do once he learns they are one and the same?
Harriet is quite ready for her long-time crush Morgan to seduce her, but life's a little messy right now. She has a father who is going blind, a business to run, a rival mapmaker who has stolen her work and a French ex-soldier who also wants revenge for the false maps she made for the British Navy.
They must come to each other's rescue in this page-turning, open-door, spicy romantic read. **His final romantic gesture to prove his love!! GAH!**
In the epilogue, Bateman teases brother Rhys's story next with an even more eccentric member of the Montgomery's extended family. I can't WAIT!
Morgan Davies has been back from war for some time now, and has yet to claim his prize from the bet he made with Harriet Montgomery all those years ago. But she need not wait much longer, for Morgan wants more than just his prize, he wants the girl.
*screams* It was stellar, it was a phenomenon, it was everything I wanted from a historical romance. I appreciate a man with his priorities straight, Morgan never doubted for a second that Harriet was the one for him. So true. It was fun, it was sweet. Harriet was an icon, always ten steps in front of Morgan even when he thought he had her all figured out. He was playing into the palm of her hand.
So this book was everything I ever wanted and everything I ever needed. Morgan and Harriet are one of my favorite couples of all time and I am just fully in love with this book and that literally makes me so happy because I have been <i>dying</i> for their book.
Overall, I don't really know how to form coherent thoughts about my love for this book but I am going to try.
The plot: there really isn't one, which I am fine with because I was obsessed with Morgan and Harriet but essentially you are following the hero and heroine as they proposal these wicked (and spicy) dares with each other but ultimately Morgan is on a mission to marry Harriet and win her heart.
This man is head over heels in love with her. Like he loves her, is not ashamed, and is determined to show her how much she means to him and I simply LOVE IT. He is so much fun. He's charming, he's loyal, reliable, funny, and he's so caring. I love how he isn't afraid of his feelings and love for her and knows what he wants and goes after it. There was no fighting it up from chapter 1 we know this man's intentions and I am here for it!!
Harriet is also an amazing heroine. She matches him in ever way and I love clever and bold she is. She literally never backs down and refuses to be bull-dozed and I love it! Shes a super strong heroine and I love how both of them were made for each other. I fell in love with Harriet and Morgan separately and together.
This book is so amazing and you need to go preorder it!!! Now my next thing is, when will we get Rhy's book?! This man needs his own romance Ms. Bateman!!!!
It feels like each story in this series just keeps getting better and better! I was really enamored with "frenemies" Morgan and Harriett. In keeping with the Montgomery and Davies centuries old feud, these two characters have been a thorn in each other's sides since birth.
Harriett was truly a lovely, independent woman trying to make a name for herself, making maps for the family business, and desirous of setting off on adventures of her own, not just helping others have theirs with the maps she draws.
Morgan really was a standout, constantly teasing Harriett but secretly hiding feelings for her that he's had since he was 16. But they are supposed to be sworn enemies because of this family feud, how can he convince her he has true feelings for her?
The banter back and forth between these two was highly entertaining, and their dares and bets? Marvelous! I loved how quick witted Harriett was, needing those wits to best Morgan in those physical challenges she had no chance of winning. And Morgan secretly wanting Harriett to win those bets just endeared him to me all the more.
I really enjoyed the little bit of drama we got with a map stealer and a pirate stirring things up. And the smexy scenes were oh so hot!! I think the hottest we've had so far in this series!
I am really enjoying this series, it gives me all the feels. And there's a very entertaining cast of side characters that I enjoy seeing in each installment. I am excited to see what is in store for the last Davies son with that little tidbit we got towards the end. I'm sure it's going to be exciting!
Many thanks to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for an advanced review copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
We continue the enemies to lovers of the Montgomeries and Davies in the third book of the Ruthless Rivals series, A Wicked Game.
The Montgomery cousin of Tristan and Maddie, Harriet, always found Morgan Davies, brother to Gryff and Carys, to be a challenge. His presence and banter both enrage and enlight her. With no one else does she feel such passion and want.
And he feels the same.
When Morgan returns from war he has one goal: to marry Harriet. Now that his siblings have shown the marriage is possible he has a plan to convince her he wants her forever.
There were many similarities with the first book of the series, but unlike the others, they both know they want each other. And Morgan plans to marry Harriet. He has a plan to convince her they can work and he doesn't need any outside force to make him realize how important she is to him. I think it can be summed up in one quote:
"He'd take a slap from Harriet over a kiss from another woman any day."
He is so so into her and I loved it! And she is into him! It's not one-side, but considering their background, Harriet thinks it can only be moments of pleasure - and she'll take whatever of Morgan she can get.
Add in a little drama from a French general bent on revenge and gold, and you have my favorite of the series.
This book was the epitome of historical romance with romance, action, spice, and historical nonsense that makes it fun and drives the relationship forward.
I loved the compromises they each make to gain each other and a life they can have together, one which they both want. It felt realistic and like their love would last.
Overall, they were just SO in love with each other from the beginning which made their journey to happy ever after all the more rewarding. Add in their banter, dares, and spice and they were completely made for each other.
Read for: rivals to lovers (they didn't hate each other in the slightest lol they could never be enemies), banter, spice, *any excuse to kiss you*, action, intelligent heroine, mutual pining, "I want you to annoy me for the rest of my life"
I think we can expect a Rhys/Tess book! Can't wait for more and enjoyed the cameos from the other couples. This book can be read as a standalone.
Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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