The Davies and Montgomerys have been feuding for centuries; it’s even said that their families were the inspiration for Shakespeare’s Capulets and Montagues. It’s a history that Madeline Montgomery knows well. Ever since she was a child, Gryffud Davies has been pulling her hair and stealing her shawl. It doesn’t surprise her at all to learn that her childhood tormentor has turned into a roguish rake. A rake whose magnetism draws her as surely as the moon draws the tides.
Exiled from London for participating in a duel, the newly-minted Earl of Powys is looking forward to resuming one of his favorite activities – baiting Madeline Mongomery. But his Maddy has grown into a self-possessed woman in the years he’s been gone and he can’t help his attraction to her.
When a single misstep leaves them reliant on each other, will two enemies put down their swords and fall into each other’s arms?
Kate Bateman is fast becoming one of my go-to authors. This book is utterly charming and fun, and my cheeks hurt from all of the smiling I did while reading it.
This is a wonderful enemies-to-lovers tale with a hint of childhood rivals mixed with the Mummy thrown in. I mean, Gryff would make an excellent Rick and Maddie is a pretty awesome Evie. There’s tension and bickering but also mutual respect and gentleness. I absolutely adored that Maddie had been previously struck by lightning and that Gryff was a big ol’ softie under his gruff and roguish exterior. There’s some really lovely banter, and the character voices are so funny and engaging.
The feuding families plot was well done and was very clearly based on the Hatfields and McCoys from the Appalachian region. Even the feud’s beginnings are similar. ^_^ The secondary plot about the Montgomerys’ diminished fortunes added to the tension and created an undercurrent of desperation in some of what Maddie did while their families' ongoing feud meant that she had to keep it hidden so the Davieses couldn’t capitalize on her family’s misfortunes.
My one quibble is that very late in the book there’s a brief scene from someone else’s head that I don’t feel is necessary for the plot of THIS book. It’s cute, but I feel like it should be part of a different book. But it didn’t lessen my enjoyment too much.
In all, this is a great start of a series and I look forward to seeing where it goes.
Four and Half Stars rounded up to Five Stars
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I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley