Review: A Daring Pursuit (Ruthless Rivals #2) by Kate Bateman


Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher:  St.Martin's Press (May 24, 2022)

From 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.

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?


My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Even though I am a fan of some of this author's other stories, I struggled to get through this one. 

On one hand I enjoyed the way Carys didn't back down from Tristan. She had a fire to her that was refreshing, and when she and Tristan were sniping back and forth, purposely trying to annoy each other, I found myself laughing out loud. I do think that her form of dress came across as completely inappropriate and out of place given the time period and the fact that she was supposed to be an unmarried, virginal, lady. Her reputation would have been ruined by the way she dressed and flirted alone without having any help from the villain who was blackmailing her. 

However, I wish there had been more by the way of "flashbacks" showing Tristan and Carys over the years to give some sense of when and how they started to have feelings for each other. We hear a lot about it, as well as the family feud that has been raging for centuries, but we aren't really shown anything especially where these two are concerned. I don't see them being enemies the way they claim to be. I don't see them particularly being friends.  The lust between them? Absolutely. After all, they did enter into a pack to sleep with each other for a week so that Tristan could introduce her to all the ways of lovemaking. 

Sadly, once they actually started exploring those areas, I felt the story lost most of what made it enjoyable.

To begin with, although Tristan knows full well that Carys was taken advantage of by Howe, so do we. And I didn't particularly care to have his name brought up every time Tristan did something new to/with her. Yet despite this, they still fall in love with each other? How? When? Of course it is explained away as something that had always been there, just made more obvious by their physical connection, but again we are told these things instead of being able to experience them alongside the characters. 

One near-death experience later and he's ready to marry her. Which I mean, isn't all that uncommon, but I would definitely have liked to have seen her brother make him squirm just a little bit. 

However, what didn't work for me will undoubtedly work for someone else, and I do plan to read more from this author. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

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